Italian submarines in World War Two
Morosini (MS, I.20)
|Laid down||2 Mar 1937||Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico, Monfalcone|
|Launched||28 Jul 1938|
|Commissioned||9 Nov 1938|
|Loss date||8 Aug 1942|
|Loss position||45° 00'N, 2° 00'W|
|History||Last reported on 8 August 1942. Lost in early mid-August on passage back from her patrol area to Bordeaux. Position very roughly 45°00'N, 02°00'W.|
|Commander||Date from||Date to||Command notes|
|C.C. Alfredo Criscuolo||1 Dec 1938||11 Apr 1941|
|C.C. Athos Fraternale||11 Apr 1941||5 Apr 1942|
|T.V. Francesco D'Alessandro||5 Apr 1942||13 Aug 1942|
|Date||Commander||Ship hit||Type||GRT||Nat.||Loss type|
|1.||15 Jul 1941||C.C. Athos Fraternale||Rupert De Larrinaga||Cargo ship||5,358||Sunk|
|2.||15 Jul 1941||C.C. Athos Fraternale||HMS Lady Somers||Ocean boarding vessel||8,164||Sunk|
|3.||12 Mar 1942||C.C. Athos Fraternale||Manaqui||Cargo ship||2,802||Sunk|
|4.||16 Mar 1942||C.C. Athos Fraternale||Oscilla||Tanker||6,341||Sunk|
|5.||24 Mar 1942||C.C. Athos Fraternale||Peder Bogen||Tanker||9,741||Sunk|
|6.||30 Jun 1942||T.V. Francesco D'Alessandro||Tijsa||Cargo ship||5,327||Sunk|
Patrols and events
|Commander||Date||Time||Port||Arr. date||Arr. time||Arr. port||Miles||Description|
|1||Criscuolo, Alfredo||5 Jun 1940||1800||Naples||24 Jun 1940||2130||Naples||Sailed with Provana and patrolled off Cape Palos (Spain) in 36°40'N, 00°16'E. Reported by MARICOSOM on 23rd June in 37°50'N, 07°20'E.|
|12 Jun 1940||0745|
(0) 85 miles SE of Palos.
|At 0745 hours, a steamer was sighted and closed to 400 metres. It was identified as the Greek Styliani (sic, Stylianos Chandris? 6,060 GRT, built 1920). The attack was aborted.|
|15 Jun 1940||0143|
(0) 85 miles SE of Palos.
|At 0136 hours, a shadow was sighted. It was identified as a French 1,000-ton two-funnel torpedo boat. At 0143 hours, Morosini fired a torpedo (533mm) from 400 metres. Due to an error in drill, the wrong torpedo tube was fired and the torpedo, which was not angled as intended, missed.|
|15 Jun 1940||0630|
(0) About 85 miles SE of Palos.
|At 0547 hours, turbine noises were heard. At 0630 hours, a convoy of three large ships escorted by destroyers was sighted at 14,000 metres. They passed out of range.|
|17 Jun 1940|
(0) Approx. 36.50 N, 00.10 E (Cape Palos).
|A Spanish ship was sighted steering 070° at a distance of 3,000 metres,.|
|21 Jun 1940||0335||36° 50'N, 0° 10'E||At 0315 hours, a dense smoke was observed. Morosini proceeded for a stern attack and at 0335 hours, fired one torpedo (533mm) at a medium sized merchant vessel (steamship of 7-8,000 GRT about 140 metres in length), zigzagging on a NNE course, 8-9 knots. After 56 seconds, a loud explosion was heard and the vessel claimed sunk. There was no confirmation of this attack.|
|2||Criscuolo, Alfredo||11 Jul 1940||2350||Naples||26 Jul 1940||0900||Naples||2066,4||Patrolled south of Alboran Island with Nani, between Cape Sacratif and Cape Quillates and between Cape de Gata (Almeria) and Cape Tres Forcas (Morocco). Sighted only a few vessels in Spanish territorial waters.|
|Criscuolo, Alfredo||10 Aug 1940||0907||Naples||10 Aug 1940||1640||Naples||36||Exercises.|
|Criscuolo, Alfredo||12 Aug 1940||0908||Naples||12 Aug 1940||1415||Naples||35||Exercises.|
|Criscuolo, Alfredo||24 Aug 1940||1440||Naples||24 Aug 1940||1530||Naples||1||Changed moorings.|
|Criscuolo, Alfredo||29 Aug 1940||1645||Naples||2 Sep 1940||2230||Taranto||Passage Naples-Taranto.|
|Criscuolo, Alfredo||15 Sep 1940||0930||Naples||15 Sep 1940||1030||Naples||1||Changed moorings.|
|Criscuolo, Alfredo||24 Sep 1940||0730||Naples||24 Sep 1940||0800||Naples||0,5||Changed moorings.|
|Criscuolo, Alfredo||30 Sep 1940||0830||Naples||30 Sep 1940||1715||Naples||49,4||Exercises.|
|Criscuolo, Alfredo||4 Oct 1940||0825||Naples||4 Oct 1940||1600||Naples||38,8||Exercises.|
|Criscuolo, Alfredo||7 Oct 1940||0827||Naples||7 Oct 1940||1747||Naples||50,7||Exercises.|
|Criscuolo, Alfredo||10 Oct 1940||0800||Naples||10 Oct 1940||1405||Naples||32||Exercises.|
|Criscuolo, Alfredo||18 Oct 1940||0726||Naples||18 Oct 1940||1202||Naples||32||Exercises.|
|3||Criscuolo, Alfredo||25 Oct 1940||0800||Naples||28 Nov 1940||1700||Bordeaux||4150,27||Passage Naples to Bordeaux. Patrolled off Oporto (Portugal) and then to 20'W, between 40°00'N and 42°00'N and 12°00'W and 17°00'W. Passed Gibraltar on 31st October 1940.|
|3 Nov 1940||1135-1235||At 1135 hours, a steamer was sighted and the submarine proceeded submerged to attack but, at a distance of 1,000 metres, it was recognised to be a hospital ship.|
|10 Nov 1940||0630||At 0630 hours, an illuminated ship was observed steering 100°, toward the Portuguese coast. It was assumed neutral and was not chased.|
|20 Nov 1940||2000||At 2000 hours, Morosini was informed that a convoy of thirty ships had sailed at 1400 hours from Gibraltar. The submarine moved to the eastern edge of her patrol area and awaited further information, but nothing was sighted and, at 2000 hours on the 26th, she left her patrol.|
|27 Nov 1940||1037|
(0) Near the Spanish coast.
|At 1037 hours, two vessels were sighted proceeding eastward. Morosini closed the coast, but no further contacts were made.|
|Criscuolo, Alfredo||7 Dec 1940||1000||Bordeaux||7 Dec 1940||1040||Bordeaux||0,5||Moved to dock.|
|Criscuolo, Alfredo||13 Dec 1940||1140||Bordeaux||13 Dec 1940||1210||Bordeaux||0,5||Undocked and move back to quay.|
|Criscuolo, Alfredo||4 Jan 1941||1140||Bordeaux||4 Jan 1941||1210||Le Verdon||55||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|Criscuolo, Alfredo||5 Jan 1941||1004||Le Verdon||5 Jan 1941||1910||La Pallice||64||Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice, escorted by the minesweeper M-9 and submarine chasers UJ-D and UJ-E.|
|Criscuolo, Alfredo||15 Jan 1941||0850||La Pallice||15 Jan 1941||1708||La Pallice||20||Trials.|
|Criscuolo, Alfredo||17 Jan 1941||0905||La Pallice||17 Jan 1941||1815||La Pallice||22,7||Trials.|
|4||Criscuolo, Alfredo||22 Jan 1941||1600||La Pallice||24 Feb 1941||1800||Bordeaux||4558,6||Sailed for patrol off Irish coast (1) between 54°00'N and 55°00'N and 18°00'W and 25°00'W (2) between 54°00'N and 55°00'N and 15°00'W and 18°00'W.|
|30 Jan 1941||1200||55° 44'N, 20° 20'W||At 1200 hours, the submarine Baracca was encountered and recognition signals exchanged.|
|1 Feb 1941||Time?||54° 23'N, 17° 24'W||Morosini sighted an unidentified submarine which submerged.|
|7 Feb 1941||2208||54° 19'N, 18° 00'W||At 2208 hours, a large sloop was observed but was not attacked according to instructions (?).|
|8 Feb 1941||2005||54° 30'N, 17° 20'W|
|At 2005 hours, a U-boat was sighted at 1,000 metres. It turned back after making a signal. Immediately after, a steamer was sighted.|
|8 Feb 1941||2030||54° 30'N, 17° 20'W||As soon as the steamer was sighted, Morosini proceeded for a surface attack.|
At 2030 hours, a torpedo (533mm) was fired, followed two minutes later by a second one (also 533mm) at less than 500 metres. Both missed.
At 2132 hours, a third torpedo (450mm) was launched from 400 metres, but it immediately turned to port. At 2141 hours, a loud underwater explosion was felt. The steamer was now transmitting an SOS and was identified as the Dutch Prins Fredrik Hendrik (1,288 GRT, built 1936). C.C. Criscuolo was discouraged of having failed to secure a hit, although three torpedoes had been fired at point blank range. He decided to abandon chase.
|Fraternale, Athos||24 Apr 1941||1730||Bordeaux||24 Apr 1941||1810||Bordeaux||1||Moved briefly out in the river then turned back.|
|Fraternale, Athos||25 Apr 1941||0636||Bordeaux||25 Apr 1941||1155||Le Verdon||61||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|Fraternale, Athos||25 Apr 1941||1307||Le Verdon||25 Apr 1941||1508||Le Verdon||6||Trials off Le Verdon (testing gyro compass).|
|Fraternale, Athos||26 Apr 1941||0800||Le Verdon||26 Apr 1941||1557||La Pallice||56||Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice and trials at Le Pertuis d'Antioche.|
|Fraternale, Athos||29 Apr 1941||0744||La Pallice||29 Apr 1941||1650||La Pallice||41,6||Trials.|
|5||Fraternale, Athos||30 Apr 1941||1607||La Pallice||22 May 1941||1504||Bordeaux||4307||Sailed for patrol, on parallel 53°54'N between 20°00'W and 25°00 W. First use of the ENIGMA coding machine by Italian submarines?|
|13 May 1941||1916||53° 50'N, 21° 00'W||At 1745, a steamer was observed suddenly coming out of the mist at 10,000 metres. It apparently also sighted the submarine and reverted course. Morosini fired two rounds at over 10,000 metres, but they fell short by about 3,000 metres. The enemy vessel replied with ten rounds, the last round falling short by 2,000 metres. She sent an SOS identifying herself as the British Vancouver (5,729 GRT, built 1928) and escaped to the North.|
|14 May 1941||1540|
|54° 13'N, 21° 25'W|
(e) 54° 33'N, 20° 39'W
|At 1100 hours, Morosini had changed course following new instructions from BETASOM. At 1500 hours, a smoke was observed to the port side. The submarine tried to close but, at 1645 hours, the vessel made an SOS identifying herself as the British Manchester Port (5,569 GRT, built 1935) and turned tail. Morosini attempted to give chase, but could not close to less than 10,000 metres. At 2110 hours, the submarine was ordered by BETASOM to resume her course to rejoin the position assigned in the morning and abandoned the chase.|
|15 May 1941||1003||53° 30'N, 10° 25'W||At 1003 hours, Morosini received a signal from Bianchi that a convoy of three steamers, escorted by detroyers, had just been sighted at 0900 hours in Italian Grid 7626/12, course and speed unknown. She altered course to intercept. At 1339 hours, a new signal from Bianchi, made at 1315 hours, was deciphered and reported a convoy of 10-20 ships escorted by destroyers steering 240°, 8 knots in Italian Grid 5826/46. This was only 25 miles away from Morosini and she altered course again.|
|15 May 1941||1850|
|53° 23'N, 18° 31'W|
(e) 54° 09'N, 19° 22'W
|At 1850 hours, a large aircraft was observed flying toward the submarine from a distance of 10,000 metres. Morosini dived and, at 1854 hours, she had reached a depth of 50 metres when eight bombs exploded. At 1912 hours, the submarine was at a depth of 70 metres when another eight explosions occurred. C.C. Fraternale took his submarine to 90 metres and another eight depth charges exploded at 1930 hours.|
The aircraft was Catalina 'Z' of 209 Squadron, piloted by Flight Lieutenant Spotswood. It had been sent to escort convoy OB.321 and had been informed that a U-boat was shadowing the convoy. Morosini had been sighted as she was 10 miles on the port beam of the convoy and closing fast. The aircraft made an approach from the sun and, as the submarine crash dived, dropped four depth charges about 40 yards across the bow, just 15 seconds after the submarine had disappeared. A large air and oil bubble was observed. The two corvettes HMS Rhododendron and HMS Hibiscus, escorting the convoy, were detached to hunt the submarine.
|17 May 1941||1345||51° 00'N, 21° 18'W||At 1345 hours, the submarine Otaria was sighted at 3,000 metres. Recognition signals were exchanged.|
|Fraternale, Athos||28 Jun 1941||1000||Bordeaux||28 Jun 1941||1325||Le Verdon||49||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|Fraternale, Athos||28 Jun 1941||1425||Le Verdon||28 Jun 1941||1620||Le Verdon||Trials.|
|6||Fraternale, Athos||28 Jun 1941||2055||Le Verdon||25 Jul 1941||1220||Bordeaux||4667,9||Patrolled west of Gibraltar.|
|30 Jun 1941||1045||At 1045 hours, BETASOM ordered the submarines to the following positions:|
Torelli in Grid 2533/36 or 36°58' N, 12°30' W
Morosini in 2511/33 or 36°30' N, 13°20' W
Cappellini in 8511/66 or 35°58' N, 14°00' W
Da Vinci in 8511/33 or 35°30' N, 13°20' W
Baracca in 8533/31 or 35°10' N, 12°30' W
Malaspina in 3972/51 or 33°00' N, 11°45' W.
At 2115 hours, Malaspina sighted Morosini and exchanged recognition signals.
|30 Jun 1941||2045||At 2045 hours, the submarine Malaspina was sighted at 3,000 metres. Recognition signals were exchanged.|
|5 Jul 1941||1214||At 1214 hours, the submarine Cappellini was sighted. Recognition signals were exchanged.|
|6 Jul 1941||1240||At 1240 hours, a submarine armed with a single gun was sighted. It was probably a German U-boat. Morosini turned away.|
|9 Jul 1941||2035||At 2035 hours, a large aircraft was seen. Morosini made a recognition signal but this was not answered and it flew toward her. The submarine dived.|
|14 Jul 1941||2345|
2153 GMT (e)
|36° 18'N, 11° 27'W|
(e) 36° 18'N, 21° 11'W
|At 1607 hours, a smoke was sighted on the horizon. Morosini took an intercepting course with the intention of attacking after dark.|
At 2345 hours, the submarine had closed on the surface to 800 metres and launched a torpedo (450mm) from a bow tube. The torpedo porpoised, breaking the surface twice, it turned to port and missed.
At 2356 hours, a second torpedo (533mm) was fired from a bow tube at a distance of 700 metres. After 32 seconds, it hit the stern section. The vessel made an SOS identifying herself as the British Rupert De Larrinaga (5,358 GRT, built 1930). She was from convoy OG.67d and was carrying coal from the Tyne to Las Palmas.
|15 Jul 1941||0059|
2230 GMT (e)
|36° 18'N, 11° 27'W|
(e) 36° 00'N, 21° 11'W
|Rupert De Larrinaga was still afloat and, at 0059 hours, Morosini fired a third torpedo (533mm), this time from a stern tube. It hit after 23 seconds and the vessel sank at 0105 hours. All her crew of forty-four were rescued by the Spanish steamer Campeche (MARICOSOM reported it as the Spanish steamer Caceres but this was an error).|
|15 Jul 1941||0524|
0310 GMT (e)
|37° 10'N, 20° 42'W|
(e) 37° 12'N, 20° 32'W
|At 0344 hours, a smoke was sighted and Morosini moved to intercept.|
At 0524 hours, she fired a single torpedo (533mm) from a bow tube at a range of 1,000 metres. The torpedo was believed to have hit forward after 45 seconds. Fraternale did not observe a column of water, but rather boiling bubbles next to the hull. In fact, the torpedo had missed. The target was the ocean boarding vessel HMS Lady Somers (8,194 GRT, built 1929).
A minute later, a second torpedo (450mm) left a bow tube and this time it did hit astern. The enemy vessel now opened fire on the submarine with two guns of about 120mm, one forward and one aft, forcing the submarine to submerge at 0530 hours. Fraternale observed that the vessel was still afloat but immobilised, and decided to renew the attack at daybreak. He had no torpedoes left in the forward tubes.
|15 Jul 1941||0832||37° 10'N, 20° 42'W||As Morosini was getting ready to finish off HMS Lady Somers, a tanker appeared on the scene at 0832 hours. Fraternale maneuvered for a stern attack on the new arrival, but soon recognised it as Spanish and aborted.|
This was the Spanish tanker Campeche (6382 GRT, built 1934) who was answering the SOS from Lady Somers.
At 1002 hours, a torpedo (533mm) had been loaded in a forward tube and it was fired from a short distance at Lady Somers. It hit after 15 seconds and she finally sank. The Spanish ship rescued her 138 survivors from a total of 175.
|17 Jul 1941||1216-1300||At 1216 hours, a steamer was sighted and closed for a stern attack. This was the Portuguese Santa Irene (520 GRT, built 1921) flying the Swiss flag and the attack aborted. She would be sunk by the submarine HMS Taurus during the night of 12/13 April 1943.|
|Fraternale, Athos||25 Jul 1941||1950||Bordeaux||25 Jul 1941||2015||Bordeaux||0,5||Moved to dock.|
|Fraternale, Athos||4 Sep 1941||0630||Bordeaux||4 Sep 1941||1025||Le Verdon||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|Fraternale, Athos||4 Sep 1941||1130||Le Verdon||4 Sep 1941||1923||La Pallice||139||Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice and trials [mileage is from Bordeaux].|
|Fraternale, Athos||6 Sep 1941||1900||La Pallice||6 Sep 1941||2025||La Pallice||Trials.|
|7||Fraternale, Athos||6 Sep 1941||2135||La Pallice||27 Sep 1941||1340||Bordeaux||3130,15||Patrolled off Gibraltar. At 1000 hours on 10th September, ordered to an area between 32°00'N and 33°00'N, and between 15°00'W and 16°00'W, and an area between 31°00'N and 32°00'N , and between 14°00'W and 15°00'W. Ordered on 11th September to 35°15'N, 09°05'W. At 1900 hours on the 18th, ordered to 35°00'N, 10°45'W thence to 35°55'N, 13°05'W. Interrupted patrol because of defects. Her hydrophones did not work properly, she had only detected her escorting Sperrbrecher from a distance of 2,000 metres.|
|18 Sep 1941||1750||35° 14'N, 9° 06'W||After a careful hydrophone watch, Morosini came to periscope depth at 1750 hours and was surprised to see a destroyer proceeding at high speed at only 1,000 metres. It had not been detected. The submarine went deep very quickly but was not hunted.|
|19 Sep 1941||0320||35° 36'N, 10° 00'W||At 0320 hours, Morosini was proceeding on the surface when a small destroyer or submarine chaser was sighted and shortly after another two units of a similar type. The submarine stopped her diesels and was not detected.|
|19 Sep 1941||0810||34° 45'N, 10° 52'W|
(0) Italian Grid 0180/25.
|At 0810 hours, Morosini, proceeding to intercept a convoy after having been informed the previous evening, finally made contact. The convoy was steering 270° at 7 knots. The submarine made an enemy report and kept the contact until 1320 hours, when forced down by a destroyer. At 2020 hours on the 20th, her attempts to renew contact with the convoy had come to nought. Morosini had developed mechanical defects and had to return home.|
|19 Sep 1941||2308||36° 18'N, 12° 37'W||At 2308 hours, a submarine chaser was sighted proceeding to the southeast.|
|23 Sep 1941||1050||43° 44'N, 13° 11'W||At 1050 hours, the submarine Perla was encountered and exchanged recognition signals.|
|25 Sep 1941||0854||45° 37'N, 7° 10'W||At 0854 hours, a large bomber was seen at 5,000 metres and the submarine dived.|
|26 Sep 1941||2050||45° 29'N, 3° 24'W||At 2050 hours, a bomber was seen at 3,000 metres and the submarine dived.|
|Fraternale, Athos||14 Nov 1941||1314||Bordeaux||14 Nov 1941||1344||Bordeaux||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon, but returned because of heavy fog.|
|Fraternale, Athos||14 Nov 1941||1500||Bordeaux||14 Nov 1941||1825||Bordeaux||48||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|Fraternale, Athos||15 Nov 1941||0840||Le Verdon||15 Nov 1941||1935||La Pallice||69||Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice and trials (stopped due to heavy fog at 0950-1100).|
|8||Fraternale, Athos||18 Nov 1941||1740||La Pallice||20 Dec 1941||1540||Bordeaux||5786||Patrolled northwest of Canaries, in concert with Cappellini and Da Vinci.|
|29 Nov 1941||2045||39° 40'N, 28° 31'W||At 1300 hours, Morosini had been informed by BETASOM (1215/29) of a convoy of twenty ships sighted at 0415 hours in Italian Grid 7137/56 on a southerly course and was proceeding to intercept. At 2045 hours, a destroyer was observed at a distance of 10,000 metres. The submarine dived to avoid being seen. Later, she resumed her course to encounter the convoy but sighted nothing.|
|30 Nov 1941||1120||39° 18'N, 27° 25'W||At 1120 hours, a German U-boat was observed at 10,000 metres. They closed to exchange information at vocal distance. The U-boat was also looking for a the convoy and had sighted nothing.|
|3 Dec 1941||0555-1120||38° 36'N, 35° 42'W||At 0555 hours, Morosini sighted a light and closed the vessel to a distance of 200 metres, identfying her as Spanish. Fraternale decided to wait until daylight to investigate.|
At 1120 hours, the submarine maneuvered ahead of the freighter and ordered her to stop for examination. This was the Spanish Vizcaya (4578 GRT, built 1938) proceeding from Havana to Bilbao and her master came on board with his papers. She was allowed to proceed.
|13 Dec 1941||1950|
|30° 21'N, 22° 08'W|
(e) 30° 10'N, 22° 12'W
|At 1950 hours, Morosini sighted smokes on the horizon. She had located the convoy (this was OS.13), but could not close to less than 10,000 metres when she was detected by an escort vessel. Fraternale took his boat to a depth of 150 metres as depth charges exploded.|
This was the sloop HMS Rochester who attacked with four patterns of depth charges, followed by the sloop HMS Leith who dropped a pattern of eight depth-charges. HMS Rochester could not regain contact, but water leaks forced the submarine to cut short her patrol.
|Fraternale, Athos||2 Feb 1942||0840||Bordeaux||2 Feb 1942||1233||Le Verdon||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|Fraternale, Athos||3 Feb 1942||0910||Le Verdon||3 Feb 1942||1720||La Pallice||Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice and trials at Le Pertuis d'Antioche.|
|9||Fraternale, Athos||4 Feb 1942||0840||La Pallice||8 Feb 1942||1415||Bordeaux||Sailed for Atlantic patrol, but defects forced her to turn back.|
|9b||Fraternale, Athos||11 Feb 1942||1525||Bordeaux||4 Apr 1942||1900||Bordeaux||9414||Patrolled off Guadeloupe. Carried twelve torpedoes, including two A/115 450 mm and also W.200/450 mm, which gave problems. C.C. Fraternale thought that A/115 torpedoes should not be carried, especially since the submarine did not carry a full load and that A/115 were 30 years old and unreliable. Yet recently Capitano di Corvetta Da Giacomo of Torelli had preferred using A/115 torpedoes instead of W/200 which were loaded as he found them more accurate. NOTE: the submarine carried eight pairs of binoculars, all of the Zeiss type, but four suffered defects (apparently their lenses were detached internally).|
|23 Feb 1942||1930||29° 10'N, 28° 15'W||At 1930 hours, a merchant vessel was sighted on the starboard beam. Apparently, she also sighted the submarine and turned tail. She made an SOS and identified herself as Sagaing,but Fraternale could not find her in his copy of Weyer's Taschenbuch. The submarine gave chase at her maximum speed of 13 knots but could not get to a distance inferior of 1-12,000 metres and the vessel escaped. This was the British Sagaing (7958 GRT, built 1925).|
|2 Mar 1942||2240||21° 55'N, 47° 05'W||At 2240 hours, the submarine Leonardo Da Vinci was encountered. She was to cede some fuel to Morosini. Because of the heavy seas and the relative short hose (80 meters) the operation was difficult and the hose broke, a second hose also broke and the operation had to be cancelled.|
|11 Mar 1942||1838||23° 15'N, 56° 35'W||At 1153 hours, Morosini sighted the smoke and masts of a vessel in 23°15' N, 56°35' W. It turned out to be a tanker on a southerly course. Morosini gave chase. At 1245 hours, the submarine Finzi was encountered and informed about the tanker. At 1630 hours, Morosini appeared to be in a good position and submerged for the attack.|
At 1838 hours, a pair of torpedoes (533mm, W 270 type) were launched from the bow tubes at a distance of 1,400 metres. Fraternale could not follow his torpedoes' wake as the submarine lost trim, but they missed. The tanker had apparently sighted the periscope and turned away, firing with her stern gun. The submarine went down to 20 metres. Morosini surfaced at 1950 hours. Half an hour later, Giuseppe Finzi came into sight and reported that the tanker was escaping to the south.
|12 Mar 1942||0138||22° 45'N, 57° 40'W||At 2222 hours, a smoke was sighted in 22°45' N, 57°40' W steering 250°. Morosini trailed her with the intention of attacking after dusk. The target appeared to be a 7,000-ton merchant vessel, 130 metres in length.|
At 0138 hours, the submarine closed to a range of 1,200 metres and fired a pair of torpedoes (450mm, W 200 type) from her stern tubes. The first torpedo made a turn to port and missed completely but the second one squarely hit the target. The vessel sank in four and half minutes.
Initially, Morosini was attributed the loss of the British Stangarth (5,966 GRT, built 1942) but she had sailed from New York on 11th March and could not have reached the Caribbean a day later. Stangarth was later attributed to U-504 (KK Hans-Georg Friedrich Poske). Morosini's victim was probably the British Manaqui (2,802 GRT, built 1921) who disappeared without a trace at that time. She had sailed from Cardiff for Kingston Jamaica and had joined convoy OS.20. She left the convoy on latitude 36°00' N (probably near longitude 22°06' W) and her maximum speed of 9-9.5 knots. To be in the position of Morosini's attack she would have maintained an average speed of 8.7 knots which was reasonable. Thirty-four crew members and six gunners perished.
|12 Mar 1942||1310||23° 16'N, 56° 35'W||At 1310 hours, the submarine Finzi was encountered and, at 1445 hours, she took Morosini in tow to give her fuel. At 1555 hours, the towing cable broke but, fortunately, the 120-m long hose did not. By keeping her engines running at a slow speed, Morosini managed to get 20.9 tons of fuel by 2100 hours.|
|16 Mar 1942||0503|
|19° 09'N, 60° 36'W|
(e) 19° 15'N, 60° 25'W
|At 2005 hours, the masts of a tanker were observed on the port bow. She was steering 190° at about 12 knots. Morosini took an interception course. At 0503 hours, a pair of torpedoes (533mm, W 270 type) were fired from the bow tubes at 600 metres. After 25 seconds, two torpedoes were claimed to have simultaneously hit amidships; survivors would report only one hit on the port side amidship.|
This was the Dutch tanker Oscilla (6341 GRT, built 1939) in ballast, on passage from Gourock to Curaçoa. She had a crew of nineteen Dutchmen, thirty-six Chinese and one Englishman. The ship was still afloat, fifty-two men abandoned ship in three lifeboats except for four men who were missing.
At 0520 hours, Morosini fired a torpedo (450mm, A 115 type) from a stern tube at a distance of 600 metres. It had a straight run but appeared to hit without detonating.
At 0523 hours, another torpedo (450mm, type A 115) was launched from a stern tube and appeared to have the same result.
At 0534 hours, a torpedo (533mm, W 270 type) followed from a distance of 700 metres. It broke surface twice but hit the target. Survivors confirmed that it hit amidship but this time on the port side, Nevertheless, Oscilla remained afloat.
At 0553 hours, Morosini opened fire with both 100mm guns. Although the tanker was armed, she did not have a gun crew on board. After 81 rounds were expended, the tanker finally capsized and sank. The survivors were picked up by the American steamer Explorer.
|23 Mar 1942||2214|
|24° 53'N, 57° 30'W|
(e) 24° 51'N, 57° 44'W
|At 1743 hours, the masts of a tanker were discerned over the horizon. It was proceeding northward at about 12 knots. Morosini maneuvered to take a position ahead and submerged at 2038 hours. The submarine's attack periscope was defective and Fraternale had to use the observation periscope.|
At 2214 hours, two torpedoes (450mm, W 200 type) were fired from the stern tubes at a distance of 1,000 metres. Both were claimed to have hit after 52 seconds, and this was confirmed by survivors. One hit forward of the bridge and the other forward of the engine room. It was the British tanker Peder Bogen (9741 GRT, built 1925), on passage from Trinidad to Halifax and ultimately for the UK. She was proceeding at 10.5 knots when she was torpedoed. The crew of fifty-two and one passenger abandoned ship in two lifeboats. However, they noticed after almost three hours that the ship was not sinking and decided to return to her.
However, from 0154 to 0203 hours, the submarine began shelling the tanker from about a mile. Her aim appeared to be poor but the firing was enough to discourage the crew from boarding her again. The tanker still refused to sink and gunfire was renewed from 0215 to 0228 hours and this time Peder Bogen disappeared beneath the waves. The submarine had expended 75 100mm rounds to sink her and had no more torpedoes.
|2 Apr 1942||2050|
|44° 52'N, 13° 16'W|
(e) 44° 51'N, 13° 05'W
(0) German Grid BE 9296.
|At 2050 hours, a U-boat was sighted steering 250°. This was U-108 (KK Klaus Scholtz) and they exchanged recognition signals.|
|D'Alessandro, Francesco||27 May 1942||Date???||Bordeaux||28 May 1942||0900||La Pallice||Passage Bordeaux-La Pallice.|
|10||D'Alessandro, Francesco||3 Jun 1942||1700||La Pallice||13 Aug 1942||Date approx.||Sunk with all hands||Patrolled northeast of Puerto Rico. She carried 300 rounds of 10 cm and sixteen torpedoes (eight forward and eight aft). Sunk on or after 8th August 1942, cause unknown (eight officers and fifty other ranks lost). A bomber from 311 Squadron (Czech) claimed a submarine probably sunk on 12th August 1942, 200 miles WSW of the mouth of the Loire (the attack was actually on U-406). On 13th August 1942, a bomber of 304 Sq claimed a submarine probably sunk 275 miles northwest of Cape Finisterre (the attack was actually on U-607). NOTE: Italian Grid Chart No.9 was in use from 1st July 1942 onward.|
|4 Jun 1942||1800||45° 00'N, 10° 00'W|
|At 1800 hours, Morosini signalled BETASOM that she had crossed the 10° W meridian.|
|4 Jun 1942||1845||At 1845 hours, Morosini was informed that a convoy of three tankers and three corvettes had sailed westward from Gibraltar on 1 June.|
|11 Jun 1942||0100||At 0100 hours, Morosini signalled her position and that enemy traffic was nil.|
|17 Jun 1942||0045||Morosini signalled her position and that traffic was nil.|
|25 Jun 1942||2200||At 2200 hours, Morosini was informed of some changes in communications in zone K. She had also been informed that Finzi would cede her 15 tons of fuel on 1 July. At 0003 hours on 26th June, Finzi informed that she had 313 tons of fuel and that she could be at the rendezvous point at dawn on 29 June and this was changed accordingly. However, Morosini probably could not make it in time and the first rendezvous finally occurred on 1 July.|
|30 Jun 1942||0707-|
2303/29 or 0330-0500 (e)
|25° 35'N, 58° 10'W|
(e) 25° 33'N, 57° 33'W
|At about 0700 hours, the Dutch steamer Tijsa (5327 GRT, built 1938) [aka Tysa] on a trip from Port Said to Baltimore via Capetown, described as 10,000 ton vessel on 325° course (also reported as 315°) was attacked by Morosini. According to her survivors, she was sunk by three torpedo hits and the submarine fired at least 23 100mm rounds. All forty-three of her crew were rescued (one lifeboat with seventeen Dutch and seven British landed at St. Kitts on 9 July).|
The time initially given by the survivors was that she had been torpedoed at 1930Z hours on the 29th, but this was later corrected to 0330 hours GMT on the 30th and she sank at 0500 hours GMT on the 30th. Italian Intelligence assumed, at the time, that she was Mosfruit (2,714 GRT) but she was reported to have been sunk by U-458 at 1626 hours on 30th June in 56°10' N, 23°40' W (Grid AL 4224).
|1 Jul 1942||1231||23° 25'N, 55° 45'W|
(0) Italian Grid 7373/15.
|At 1231 hours (time given by Finzi), Morosini met Finzi but they had a minor collision. At 1620 hours, Morosini informed BETASOM that the fuelling attempt was postponed to 3 July (and at 1715 hours on 2nd July, this was further postponed to 4 July). At 1200 hours on 3 July, Morosini and Finzi were informed that traffic between New York and Brazil passed through Italian Grids 8950/36 and 0481/31.|
|4 Jul 1942||0330|
(0) Italian Grid 2126/41.
|At 0330 hours, Finzi informed BETASOM that the refuelling of Morosini could not be completed and she was given freedom of action. At 0200 hours on 5th July, Morosini informed BETASOM of her remaing fuel and torpedoes.|
|11 Jul 1942||0001||At 0001 hours, Morosini was ordered by BETASOM to maintain a patrol line on the routes between New York, Capetown and South America in Italian Grids 0626/11 and 8235/16.|
|14 Jul 1942||0245||At 0245 hours, Morosini informed BETASOM of her position. On 17th July, Finzi was ordered to give Morosini 30 tons of fuel.|
|19 Jul 1942||0230||27° 55'N, 52° 55'W|
(0) Italian Grid 1134/66. Position uncertain.
|At 0230 hours, Morosini reported sighting and may have attacked a decoy ship steering 330°. On 20th July, Morosini was told to maintain a patrol in Italian Grids 1195 and 2377. At 2100 hours on 21st July, Morosini amplified that the decoy ship was probably a camouflaged gunboat.|
|20 Jul 1942||1900||At 1900 hours, BETASOM ordered Morosini to Italian Grids 1195 and 2377.|
|24 Jul 1942||0130||At 0115 hours, BETASOM ordered Finzi to give 30 tons of fuel to Morosini and fixed the rendezvous for 27th July. At 0130 hours, Morosini gave her position and fuel situation.|
|27 Jul 1942||1050+||30° 45'N, 52° 25'W|
(0) Italian Grid 8293/53.
|At 1050 hours, the submarines Finzi and Morosini met. Morosini took 25 tons of fuel and gave Finzi one ton of oil.|
|28 Jul 1942||0900||At 0900 hours, Morosini reported her position and that she had 85 tons of fuel and 15 days of provisions left. She was told to operate between Italian Grids 2301/15 and 5398/26 on the route North America to Freetown.|
|31 Jul 1942||1830||At 1830 hours, Morosini reported her position and was initiating her return trip.|
|5 Aug 1942||0100||At 0100 hours, Morosini reported her position. At 1200 hours on 7th August, BETASOM instructed her to stay submerged [by daylight] when west of 10° West.|
|8 Aug 1942||1100||At 1100 hours, Morosini signalled that she would be arriving at 0600 hours on 10th August by Route 2. BETASOM gave her the route to follow and at 2300 hours on 9th August, informed her that a German ship escorted by three torpedo boats, might be encountered (this was Uckermark, ex Altmark, code name HAMMER, escorted by three German torpedo-boats T-13, T-10 and T-14). At 2400 hours on the 10th, the three torpedo boats were to meet her in German grid BF 9917 (43°33' N, 01°50' W). They actually did so at 0730 hours on the 11th.|
At 1850 hours on the 9th, the 4th Sicherungsdivision informed T-14, V-411, M-4413 and V-413 (DEFE3/186/542, TNA) that I-20 (Morosini) would be at point 446 at 0600 hours on the 10th, inward bound along HANDGEPAECK (route 2).
|13 Aug 1942|
|Morosini disappeared without a trace. The exact date and cause of her loss are unknown. She made her final approach through Route 2, which apparently started 45°06' N, 02°32' W or 45°02' N, 02°28' W on course 049° for 50 miles and end at about 45°34' N, 01°34' W or about 20 miles west of Le Verdon. Possibly mined on Rubis' minefield of 7th July 1942 (8 mines laid in 45°07' N, 01°19.5' W). She reported at 0100 hours on 8th August that she would be arriving at dawn on the 10th and was ordered to proceed via Route 2 submerged when east of 10°W (ULTRA intelligence apparently located her by DF on 7th August. Message was probably around midnight 7/8th August). At 0100 hours on 8th August, Morosini had inforned BETASOM that she was making her final approach and would reach Le Verdon at dawn on 10th August. At 2300 hours on 9th August, she was informed of the possible encounter of a merchant ship (this was the outgoing Uckermark ex Altmark, code name HAMMER) escorted by three German torpedo-boats (T-13, T-10 and T-14 of 3. T-Flottille, KK Wilcke). She did not answer signals sent to her on the evening of 9th August neither another one on the 10th (ULTRA intelligence had intercepted them). She may have been mined. At 1000 hours on 10th August she had not arrived at the rendezvous and three German aircraft were sent to search but could not locate her. She was believed at the time to have probably been sunk by aircraft. ADM199/2060: a bomber from 311 Sq (Czech) claimed a submarine probably sunk on 12th August 1942 200 miles WSW of the mouth of the Loire (the attack was actually on U-406). On 13th August 1942, a bomber of 304 Sq claimed a submarine probably sunk 275 miles NW of C. Finisterre (the attack was actually on U-607).|
Sunk on or after 8th August 1942, cause unknown, eight officers and fifty ratings were missing.
103 entries. 45 total patrol entries (10 marked as war patrols) and 67 events.