Italian submarines in World War Two


Luigi Torelli (TI, I.9, UIT.25)
Torelli

TypeOcean going 
ClassMarconi (17) 
Laid down 15 Feb 1939 Odero-Terni-Orlando, Muggiano
Launched6 Jan 1940
Commissioned15 May 1940
End service
Stricken
Loss date
Loss position
History In 1943, was converted to a transport submarine, code name "AQUILA VI". Taken over by the Germans at Singapore on 10th September 1943. Taken over by Japan at Kobe on 10th May 1945. Scuttled by the US Navy on 16th April 1946 in the Kii Suido.
Fate

Commands

CommanderDate fromDate toCommand
C.C. Alberto Carlo Teppati4 Jun 194027 Jul 1940
C.F. Alberto Ginocchio29 Jul 194022 Aug 1940
C.F. Aldo Cocchia23 Aug 19406 Oct 1940
C.F. Primo Longobardo7 Oct 194027 Mar 1941
T.V. Antonio De Giacomo27 Mar 194119 May 1942
T.V. Augusto Migliorini19 May 194221 Sep 1942
T.V. Walter Auconi22 Sep 194225 Jan 1943
C.C. Antonio De Giacomo26 Jan 19433 Apr 1943
S.T.V. Sergio Dechecchi16 Mar 194316 Mar 1943
T.V. Enrico GropalloJun 19439 Sep 1943

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Teppati, Alberto Carlo19 Jun 19400955La Spezia19 Jun 19401615La Spezia4,3Exercises.

Teppati, Alberto Carlo22 Jun 19400955La Spezia22 Jun 19401400La Spezia4Exercises.

Teppati, Alberto Carlo25 Jun 19401630La Spezia26 Jun 19401925Naples351Passage La Spezia-Naples.

Teppati, Alberto Carlo8 Jul 19401300Naples9 Jul 19401500La Spezia286Passage Naples-La Spezia.

Teppati, Alberto Carlo19 Jul 19401200La Spezia19 Jul 19401900La Spezia16Exercises.

Ginocchio, Alberto12 Aug 19400800La Spezia12 Aug 19401230La Spezia18Exercises.

Ginocchio, Alberto19 Aug 19400800La Spezia19 Aug 19401900La Spezia42Trials.

Ginocchio, Alberto21 Aug 19400700La Spezia21 Aug 19401200La Spezia16Trials.

Ginocchio, Alberto22 Aug 19400800La Spezia22 Aug 19401700La Spezia42Trials.

Cocchia, Aldo24 Aug 19400800La Spezia24 Aug 19401400La Spezia40Trials.

Cocchia, Aldo28 Aug 19400800La Spezia28 Aug 19401200La Spezia16Trials.

Cocchia, Aldo29 Aug 19400800La Spezia29 Aug 19401200La Spezia16Trials.

1Cocchia, Aldo31 Aug 19401540La Spezia5 Oct 19401300Bordeaux4898Passage La Spezia to Bordeaux and patrol off Azores. Cocchia left the boat to become Chief of Staff at BETASOM. Passed Gibraltar on 8th September. Patrolled between 37°00' and 38°40'N, and between 16°50'W and 25°10'W and as far as 30°05'W. Escorted in by the German minesweeper M-12.
  8 Sep 19402300
(0) West of Gibraltar.
At 2300 hours, a Greek vessel Griegi (no such name in Lloyds?), on passage from Casablanca to Seville carrying 940 tons of phosphate, was stopped by Torelli and examined. She was released as her documents were in order.
  21 Sep 1940055538° 09'N, 28° 15'WAt 0445 hours, a vessel well illuminated was sighted steering 270°.

At 0555 hours, a torpedo (533mm, S.I. type) was fired from a bow tube at 1,500 metres and missed ahead. C.F. Cocchia was about to renew the attack when she was recognised as neutral.
  27 Sep 1940234838° 29'N, 21° 58'WAt 2345 hours, in rough seas, a steamer was sighted at 1,500 metres steering 340°,

At 2348 hours, a torpedo (533mm, S.I. type) was fired from a bow tube at a distance of 600 metres. It veered off course and missed by 100 metres ahead.

At 2350 hours, Torelli presented her stern and fired a torpedo (533mm, S.I. type) from a distance of 600 metres. It also veered off course, but this time missing astern. The vessel escaped by emitting a heavy smoke.
  4 Oct 19401740
(0) Near Saint Yzans.
At 1740 hours, Torelli was proceeding to Bordeaux with a French pilot on board, escorted by the German minesweeper M-12, when she ran aground. After several attempts the submarine managed to free herself and resumed her course.
  5 Oct 19400640
(0) Gironde estuary.
At 0640 hours, Torelli ran aground again. After several attempts the submarine managed to free herself and resumed her course.

2Longobardo, Primo9 Nov 19401530Bordeaux9 Nov 19401800PauillacPassage Bordeaux-Pauillac. Longobardo had just returned from a patrol on U-99 (KK Otto Krestchmer) after joining her as an observer on 30th August.

2bLongobardo, Primo10 Nov 19400815Pauillac10 Nov 19401115Le VerdonPassage Pauillac-Le Verdon.

2cLongobardo, Primo10 Nov 19401145Le Verdon10 Nov 19402030La PallicePassage Le Verdon-La Pallice.

2dLongobardo, Primo11 Nov 1940AMLa Pallice11 Nov 19401500La PalliceTrials at Le Pertuis d'Antioche.

2eLongobardo, Primo12 Nov 19401400La Pallice26 Nov 19401700Bordeaux1764Sailed for Atlantic patrol in (1) between 56°20'N and 57°20'N, 19°00 W and 21°00'W. (2) between 55°20'N and 56°20'N and east of 20°10'W. Uneventful, except for the bad weather.

3Longobardo, Primo5 Jan 19411230Bordeaux5 Jan 19411500PauillacPassage Bordeaux-Pauillac.

3bLongobardo, Primo9 Jan 19411130Pauillac9 Jan 19411700Le VerdonPassage Pauillac-Le Verdon and trials.

3cLongobardo, Primo9 Jan 19411700Le Verdon5 Feb 1941Time?Pauillac4301Sailed for patrol west of Scotland (1) between 58°00'N and 59°30'N, and between 17°00'W and 20°00'W and from 2130 hours on 22nd January 1941 ordered to (2) between 54°00'N and 55°00'N, and between 17°00'W and 20°00'W. Following this patrol, Longobardo was awarded the Medaglia d'argento and left the boat. He took command of Calvi in 1942 and was lost with her.
  14 Jan 19411130At 1130 hours, Torelli was informed of a convoy of four or five unescorted ships steering 225° and altered course to 270° at 13 knots to intercept.

At 0900 hours on the 15th, the chase was abandoned when nothing was sighted.
  15 Jan 19412120
2100 (e)
52° 33'N, 24° 13'WAt 1625 hours, smokes were sighted on the horizon. As Torelli closed, it was determined that it was a convoy steering 230° at 8-9 knots.

At 2120 hours, she attacked the leading ship in the formation, firing a stern shot (533mm, S.I. type) from a distance of 400 metres. It hit somewhere between the bridge and the stem.

This was the Greek Nemea (5,101 GRT, built 1919) of convoy O.B. 272.

The vessel was initially abandoned but then boarded by twenty survivors from the Norwegian Brask and rejoined by the Greek survivors. They attempted to get her underway, but she was finally abandoned on 17th January 1940. Fourteen of the Greek crew were rescued and seventeen perished.
  15 Jan 19412148
2048 (e)
54° 00'N, 23° 58'W
(0) Italian Grid 2471/41
At 2148 hours, Torelli fired two torpedoes (1 x 533mm, S.I. type, 1 x 450mm, W 200 type) from bow tubes, aimed at the second ship in the convoy. Both were claimed to have hit, but survivors confirm only one. She sank.

This was the Norwegian Brask (4,079 GRT, built 1911) proceeding from Ardrossan to Table Bay and also dispersed from convoy O.B. 272.

The Master and twelve were missing. Survivors later boarded the abandoned Nemea (see previous entry). Twenty were rescued and landed at Londonderry.
  15 Jan 19412351
2100 (e)
52° 33'N, 24° 13'WAt 2351 hours, Torelli fired a torpedo (450mm, W 200 type) from a stern tube at 500 metres at a steamer. She took avoiding action and the torpedo missed.

This was the Greek Nicolaos Filinis (3,111 GRT, built 1904), also dispersed from convoy O.B.272.

At 0021 hours on 16th January, a second torpedo (533mm, S.I. type) was fired, this time from a bow tube, at 400 metres. It hit just ahead of the bridge. She was not sinking quickly, so Torelli pumped 27 100mm rounds into her to finish her off.

Three were killed and twenty-six were later rescued.

At 1000 hours, the submarine submerged to reload the five tubes.
  20 Jan 19410635
0535 (e)
59° 00'N, 19° 00'W
(0) Approximately.
At 0620 hours, Torelli was proceeding at a depth of 40 metres, when propellor noises were heard followed by the Hastings (ASDIC) pings. She went down to 60 metres.

At 0635 hours, the vessel was heard to pass directly above, followed by three very close explosions . A minute later, another six, more distant, detonations were heard. The submarine went down to 120 meters. She had only been slightly damaged.

This was the destroyer HMS Legion escorting the Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Salopian. They had been searching for the British steamer Zealandic (10,578 GRT, built 1928), sunk by U-106 on 16th January 1941 while sailing independently. She had sent an SOS reporting attacked in 58°28' N, 20°43' W.

At 0720 hours, (Rome time, there were still three hours of darkness left) the submarine surfaced, intending to attack one of the destroyers sighted at 1,200 meters, but she she was firing star shells and exploring the seas with her searchlights. The attack was abandoned.
  20 Jan 19410900
0700 GMT (e)
59° 00'N, 19° 00'WAt 0900 hours, a destroyer was sighted moving at 6-7 knots at a distance of 1,200 metres. Torelli closed to 600 metres and fired a single torpedo (533mm, S.I. type) from a stern tube. The torpedo had barely been launched when the vessel was observed to alter course and it missed. A second torpedo (450mm, W 200 type) was immediately fired, but also missed. Shortly after, a second destroyer appeared and the submarine fired a third torpedo from a stern tube (450mm, type W 200) at 1,000 metres. The destroyer appeared to slow down considerably and the torpedo missed ahead. Torelli went deep and the two destroyers appeared to carry a systematic search with their ASDIC. Eighteen depth charges were counted, but they exploded harmlessly at some distance from the submarine.

The first target was probably the destroyer HMS Somali (D.6) who attacked a U-boat unsuccessfully while in company with HMS Matabele, HMS Bedouin and HMS Tartar. They had screened the battleship HMS King George V during operation PARCEL, the visit of this battleship by Churchill at Scapa Flow and its departure for the USA carrying Lord Halifax as the new ambassador to Washington.
  27 Jan 1941144554° 30'N, 15° 30'W
(0) Approximately.
At 1445 hours, a submarine chaser was observed at 2,000 metres on an opposite course. Torelli took avoiding action.
  28 Jan 19412100
2042 or 2130 (e)
54° 54'N, 19° 00'WAt 1132 hours, a smoke was observed very far. Torelli trailed the vessel under frequent rain squalls.

At 2100 hours, a single torpedo )533mm, S.I. type) was fired from a bow tube at a distance of 400 metres. It hit amidship and the vessel sank rapidly bow first.

This was the British Urla (5,198 GRT, built 1924) on a voyage from Halifax to Manchester, a straggler of convoy HX 102. All forty-two crew members were later rescued.

3dLongobardo, Primo6 Feb 19411200Pauillac6 Feb 19411530BordeauxPassage Pauillac-Bordeaux.

4De Giacomo, Antonio14 Apr 19410930Bordeaux14 Apr 19411600Le VerdonPassage Bordeaux-Le Verdon and trials off Le Verdon.

4bDe Giacomo, Antonio15 Apr 19410800Le Verdon15 Apr 19411600La PallicePassage Le Verdon-La Pallice and trials at Le Pertuis d'Antioche.

4cDe Giacomo, Antonio16 Apr 19410800La Pallice16 Apr 19411800La PalliceTrials at Le Pertuis d'Antioche.

4dDe Giacomo, Antonio17 Apr 19412000La Pallice16 May 19411230Bordeaux5060,9Sailed for patrol off Ireland between (1) 55°00'N and 57°00'N, and between 25°00'W and 40°00'W. (2) between 51°00'N and 53°00'N, and between 16°00'W and 23°00'W (3) between 51°00'N and 52°00'N, and between 15°00'W and 20°00'W (4) between 56°00'N and 57°00'N, east of 25°00'W.
  18 Apr 1941184546° 50'N, 6° 25'W
(0) Italian Grid 6894/24.
At 1845 hours, Torelli sighted an aircraft quite far and dived.
  18 Apr 1941223047° 00'N, 7° 05'WAt 2230 hours, lights were seen on the horizon similar to British star shells. Torelli altered course toward them but, at 2350 hours, nothing was seen and she resumed her course toward the patrol area.
  19 Apr 1941083047° 30'N, 9° 30'W
(0) Italian Grid 6894/24.
At 0830 hours, Torelli sighted an aircraft close in the mist and dived.
  20 Apr 1941094548° 25'N, 13° 45'W
(0) Italian Grid 6894/24.
At 0945 hours, Torelli sighted a Sunderland and dived.
  22 Apr 1941085051° 10'N, 20° 25'W
(0) Italian Grid 6894/24.
At 0850 hours, Torelli sighted a biplane of the aircraft carrier type (Swordfish) and dived.
  22 Apr 1941110051° 25'N, 20° 50'W
(0) Italian Grid 6894/24.
At 1100 hours, a smoke was sighted on the horizon and closed.

At 1215 hours, a convoy of seventeen ships on NE course was sighted and reported by signal at 1300 hours: Italian Grid 6894/44, 10-20 ships, steering 025°, 8 knot.
The submarine kept in contact at a distance

At 1500 hours, Torelli made a further signal giving Grid 6894/24 , steering 045°, 7 knots.

At 2130 hours, only seven smokes were sighted, indicating the convoy had split earlier.

At 2400 hours, another signal gave Grid 6820, 8-10 ships, steering 240°, 13 knots. The smokes could no longer be seen in the darkness (Rome time, it was still dusk) and. by 0800 hours on 23rd April, it was evident that contact had been lost and BETASOM was so informed at 1030 hours.
  26 Apr 1941171052° 25'N, 19° 00'W
(0) Italian Grid 6894/24.
At 1710 hours, Torelli sighted an aircraft at a distance and dived.
  26 Apr 1941192552° 20'N, 19° 30'W
(0) Italian Grid 6894/24.
At 1925 hours, Torelli sighted an aircraft at a distance and dived.
  30 Apr 1941163551° 30'N, 19° 00'WAt 1635 hours, Torelli had dived to carry out repairs to the gyrocompass, when three explosions were heard, believed to be from aircraft bombs at 2-3,000 meters. The submarine was at a depth of 45 meters at the time and went down to 90 meters by precaution. At 1715 hours, another salvo of bombs fell at a distance of 1,000 meters and, by 1810 hours, a total of 37 explosions had been heard. In heavy mist, the submarine surfaced at 1825 hours and got away at 14 knots.
  4 May 1941154056° 55'N, 23° 35'WAt 1540 hours, a German submarine was sighted steering NW.
  9 May 19411115
(0) Approx. between 56° and 57° N east of 25°W.
At 1115 hours, Torelli was informed of a convoy 130 miles to the south and altered course to intercept.

At 0640 hours on 10th May, a new signal from Barbarigo put the convoy 150 miles further south and the chase was abandoned.
  10 May 1941175555° 15'N, 21° 50'WAt 1755 hours, two large steamers were sighted at 10,000 metres, unescorted,steering 260°, 13 knots.

Torelli maneuvered to attack, but at 2035 hours, intercepted a distress signal "S.S.S. PORT CAMPBELL 55°01' N, 23°01' W. Submarine sighted." and the two vessels turned away.

By 0130 hours on the 11th, contact had been lost.
  11 May 1941193552° 45'N, 21° 50'WAt 1035 hours, the submarine Cappellini was met and exchanged recognition signals.

5De Giacomo, Antonio29 Jun 19411000Bordeaux28 Jul 19411100Bordeaux5765Sailed for patrol off Gibraltar through (1) 43°00'N, 25°00'W (2) 33°30'N, 25°00 W (3) 33°00'N, 13°00 W for patrol in:

First area: between (1) 36°55'N, 12°25'W (2) 36°45'N, 11°45 W (3) 34°45'N, 10°05'W (4) 35°05'N, 10°55'W.

Second area: between (1) 35°55'N, 10°55'W (2) 37°55'N, 11°55'W (3) 34°45'N, 16°35'W (4) 37°05'N, 21°25'W.

Third area: between (1) 30°55'N, 15°05'W (2) 35°55'N, 13°45'W (3) 35°25'N, 15°55'W (4) 31°25'N, 15°35'W.
  30 Jun 19411045At 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.

Torelli proceeded.
  6 Jul 1941033936° 45'N, 11° 45'WAt 0314 hours, a shadow, which proved to be a destroyer, was sighted at 4,000 metres. Six minutes later a second destroyer appeared.

At 0320 hours, it was now established that the first ship was actually a cruiser and, two minutes later, an aircraft carrier was also observed.

At 0325 hours, the enemy squadron appeared to be formed with a SOUTHAMPTON class cruiser leading it, followed 2,000 metres in her wake by the aircraft carrier HMS Furious, with a DEFENDER class destroyer abeam and another 3,000 metres astern. They were steering 280° at 16 knots.

At 0339 hours, Torelli, who had remained on the surface, fired two torpedoes (one 533mm set at 46 knots and one 450mm set at 39 knots) from the bow tubes, aimed at the nearest destroyer from a distance of 1,300 metres. They missed. The submarine reverted course for a stern attack.

This was indeed HMS Furious escorted by the destroyers HMS Wishart, HMS Legion, HMS Lance and HMS Fury.

At 0340 hours, Torelli fired a torpedo (533mm, 46 knots) from a stern tube, again aimed at the destroyer. It missed ahead. The destroyer turned toward the submarine and dropped two depth charges some distance away. Torelli remained on the surface.

At 0500 hours, the submarine made an en enemy report, but ten minutes later had lost contact.

At 1120 hours, BETASOM ordered the submarines to the following positions:

Torelli in 9697/16 (34°55' N, 10°05' W)
Morosini in 8597/16 (35°55' N, 10°05' W) via 2597/13
Cappellini in 8597/13 (35°25' N, 10°05' W)
Da Vinci in 9697/56 (34°55' N, 10°45' W)
Malaspina in 3997/16 (33°55' N, 10°05' W)
Baracca in 9697/13 (34°25' N, 10°05' W)
  6 Jul 19411245At 1245 hours, the Morosini was sighted in the mist.
  7 Jul 1941123534° 45'N, 10° 05'WAt 1235 hours, a convoy of two steamers with three escorts was observed, steering 205°. Torelli tried to maintain conact and, at 1600 hours, reported the convoy in Italian Grid 8597/32. This was convoy O.G.66, which had sailed on 24th June from Liverpool for Gibraltar.
  7 Jul 19411630The conning tower of a submarine was sighted.
  7 Jul 19411708
1600A (e)
34° 55'N, 10° 00'WAt 1258 hours, Torelli had made contact at 5,000 metres with the convoy, but was forced to dive.

HMS Eridge, of the 13th Destroyer Flotilla, was on the starboard side of the heavily-escorted convoy O.G. 66 and, at 1155A hours, first sighted a submarine fine on the starboard bow at 5-6 miles. The destroyer HMS Farndale was on the port side of the convoy and joined at 1250A hours, but her ASDIC broke down and she could not get a contact. The A/S hunt went on.

At 1708 hours, Torelli had again made contact with the convoy, when an escort vessel fired two rounds, which fell 300 metres astern in the submarine's wake. Two minutes later she dived.

This was the destroyer HMS Farndale and, at 1600A hours, she had sighted the submarine at a range of 8 miles and fired four rounds from her no.1 4" gun at 13,000 yards. HMS Eridge closed, but it was now her turn to have her ASDIC fail.

Torelli managed to elude her two hunters, but kept on trailing the convoy.

At 2100 hours, she made an enemy report giving the position as Grid 3997/55 (33°45' N, 10°45' W).
  8 Jul 1941080034° 50'N, 10° 30'WAt 0800 hours, the submarine Malaspina was encountered and exchanged recognition signals.

At 1100 hours, BETASOM issued orders for new positions:

Bianchi in 2772/11 (36°05' N, 11°05' W)
Torelli in 8597/61 (35°05' N, 10°55' W)
Morosini in 8597/34 (35°35' N, 10°25' W)
Baracca in 9697/11 (34°05' N, 10°05' W)
Malaspina in 3997/54 (33°35' N, 10°45' W)
Da Vinci in 9697/25 (34°15' N, 10°45' W) (the BETASOM diaries give the position as 35°55' N, 19°15' W but this is a typographic error).
  10 Jul 1941130037° 55'N, 11° 55'WAt 1300 hours, a neutral tanker was sighted steering toward Lisbon.
  13 Jul 19410330
0243 (e)
35° 02'N, 16° 42'WAt 0330 hours, two shadows were sighted. Two minutes later, they were identified as submarine chasers and Torelli immediately dived to 125 metres.

At 0346 hours, five depth-charges exploded, followed at 0415 hours by two more and another six at 0430 hours.

The submarine was slightly damaged.

This was the escort destroyer HMS Avon Vale, steering 127° at 18 knots with HMS Farndale in company. She had sighted the submarine at 0235A hours. Fire was not opened from fear of the blinding effect from the flash, which was a mistake.
At 0243 hours, she dropped five depth charges set at 350, 250 and 150 feet.
Her commander was criticised for having lost an opportunity to destroy a U-boat.
  19 Jul 1941103035° 40'N, 14° 27'WAt 1030 hours, a shadow was sighted and initially thought to be a fishing vessel. The submarine attempted to close submerged but lost sight of it.
  19 Jul 1941121935° 40'N, 14° 27'W
(0) Approximately.
At 1219 hours, a small submarine chaser (about 200 tons) was sighted. Torelli took avoiding action.
  19 Jul 1941192031° 40'N, 14° 30'WAt 1920 hours, a ship was sighted which turned out to be the Spanish steamer Monte Banderas (1,597 GRT, built 1929).
  21 Jul 1941103035° 40'N, 14° 27'WAt 1030 hours, a small vessel was sighted, initially believed to be a fishing boat. Torelli dived and closed to investigate. At 1219 hours, she sighted a second vessel, and recognised both to be submarine chasers of about 200 tons. She took avoiding action.
  21 Jul 19412319
2210 (e)
34° 42'N, 14° 38'WAt 2134 hours, a large tanker (later identified as of the SCOTTISH AMERICAN class) was sighted, zigzagging and steering about 060°, 11 knots. Torelli maneuvered to intercept after dark.

At 2319 hours, a single torpedo was fired from a bow tube at a distance of 1,000 metres. Torelli quickly reverted course and fired a second torpedo from a stern tube. Both were claimed to hit, but survivors stated that only the first one hit the port quarter in the pump room, whereas the next two missed.

This was the Norwegian tanker Ida Knudsen (8,913 GRT, built 1925). She was carrying 13,000 tons of fuel oil from Port of Spain to Gibraltar.

At 2328 hours, Torelli fired another torpedo from a stern tube at 600 metres. At the moment of firing, the submarine was rocked by a large wave and the torpedo missed a few metres astern.

At 2335 hours, the target was observed to be shaken by a large explosion,. Probably a secondary explosion following the first torpedo hit. By this time, an SOS had been sent but was interrupted by the explosion. The crew began to abandon ship.

At 2340 hours, the submarine had reverted course to gain a more favourable position and, fired a fourth torpedo from a forward tube at 1,000 metres. It hit abaft the forecastle on the starboard side, causing further damage but the tanker remained afloat.

At 2356 hours, a fifth torpedo from a bow tube hit amidship.

At 0017 hours on 22nd July, a sixth torpedo finally sealed the fate of the tanker.

Five were killed. Fourteen survivors were rescued by the Portuguese trawler Altair and brought to Las Palmas. On 28th July, a lifeboat with seventeen survivors reached Agadir (Morocco). On 9th August 1941, two survivors reached Tenerife in a lifeboat.

6De Giacomo, Antonio5 Sep 19410715Bordeaux5 Sep 19411300Le VerdonPassage Bordeaux-Le Verdon and trials.

6bDe Giacomo, Antonio5 Sep 19411950Le Verdon6 Sep 19411200PauillacSailed for patrol but defects forced an early return. Escorted back by Sperrbrecher 14.

6cDe Giacomo, Antonio6 Sep 19411730Pauillac6 Sep 19412005BordeauxPassage Pauillac-Bordeaux.

6dDe Giacomo, Antonio7 Sep 19411000Bordeaux7 Sep 19411315Le VerdonPassage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

6eDe Giacomo, Antonio7 Sep 19411830Le Verdon25 Sep 19411500Le Verdon3782,6Sailed for patrol west of Gibraltar through 45°40'N until the 14°00'W meridian and then south. At 1900 hours on 18th September ordered to 38°05'N, 10°05'W thence to 37°55'N, 12°05'W. At 1050 hours on the 19th, ordered 36°15'N, 12°45'W. At 0955 hours on the 20th, ordered to 36°35'N, 15°35'W. At 1830 hours on the 20th, ordered to 36°55'N. 15°45'W. At 1930 hours on the 21st, ordered to 39°05'N, 21°55'W, etc.
  13 Sep 1941061537° 50'N, 10° 42'WAt 0615 hours, a 4,000-ton Swiss ship was sighted proceeding toward Lisbon.
  19 Sep 1941011036° 14'N, 9° 50'WAt 0110 hours, a large Spanish ship was sighted.

At 0910 hours, Morosini signalled the discovery of a convoy in 35°45' N, 11°15' W.

At 1050 hours, BETASOM ordered the submarines to take the following positions by dusk:

Torelli Italian grid 6711/61 (36°05' N, 12°55' W) (the BETASOM war diaries give it as 36°15' N, 12°45' W but this appears to be a mistake in translating the Grid)
Malaspina 0111/66 (35°55' N, 12°55' W)
Morosini 0111/64 (35°35' N, 12°55' W)
Baracca 6711/52 (36°15' N, 12°45' W)
Da Vinci 0111/63 (35°25' N, 12°55' W)
  19 Sep 1941174036° 21'N, 12° 03'WAt 1740 hours, a biplane aircraft (Swordfish?) was seen and the submarine dived.
  19 Sep 1941193036° 19'N, 12° 24'WAt 1930 hours, a convoy was sighted and reported by Torelli at 2100 hours, in 36°15' N, 12°45' W, steering 310°, 7 knots.
  20 Sep 1941003336° 42'N, 13° 04'WAt 0033 hours, an Italian submarine was encountered. She was believed to be either Da Vinci or Malaspina. As they were near the convoy, they did not exchange signals so as not to disclose their positions. The submarine was sighted again at 0048 and 0116 hours.

At 0955 hours, BETASOM ordered the submarines to take the following positions:

Torelli Italian grid 6792/44 (38°35' N, 15°35' W)
Malaspina 3476/41 (38°05' N, 14°35' W)
Morosini 2092/15 (37°45' N, 15°05' W)
Baracca 2092/32 (37°15' N, 15°25' W)
Da Vinci 3488/63 (38°25' N, 13°55' W)

This was revised at 1230 hours:

Torelli 6792/55 (36°55' N, 15°45' W)
Malaspina 2092/43 (37°35' N, 15°35' W)
Morosini 2092/42 (37°15' N, 15°35' W)
Baracca 2092/32 (37°15' N, 15°25' W, no change)
Da Vinci 2092/34 (37°35' N, 15°25' W).
  20 Sep 1941162237° 25'N, 15° 15'WAt 1622 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  20 Sep 1941193037° 05'N, 15° 42'W
(0) Italian Grid 6792/66.
At 1930 hours, the convoy (H.G. 73) was sighted steering 280°, 7 knots.

Torelli trailed the convoy and was ordered to attack after midnight. The visibility had suddenly dropped and the submarine tried to regain contact but could not do so.
  21 Sep 19410825 [dawn]37° 05'N, 18° 35'WAt 0825 hours (at dawn), Torelli regained visual contact at 2,500 metres. Due to the short distance De Giacomo decided to submerge to carry out his attack.

At 1930 hours, BETASOM had ordered the submarines to the following positions (if they were not already in contact):

Torelli Italian Grid 1366/61 (39°05' N, 21°55' W)
Malaspina 1366/43 (39°25' N, 21°35' W)
Da Vinci 1366/25 (39°45' N, 21°45' W)
Morosini 1556/42 (40°15' N , 20°35' W)
Baracca 1556/24 (40°35' N, 20°15' W)
  21 Sep 19412202
2110 (e)
37° 30'N, 19° 20'W
(0) Approximately.
Torelli had been able to maintain contact with the convoy, despite poor visibility caused by frequent rain squalls.

At 2103 hours, an escort vessel was sighted. C.C. De Giacomo believed his submarine had been spotted by the enemy. He decided to remain surfaced and keep its distance.

At 2200 hours, the vessel could be identified as a submarine chaser. The submarine signalled BETASOM that it had lost contact with the convoy.

At 2202 hours, the submarine chaser turned to starboard and despite the complete darkness, she opened fire. The shots were long but the submarine crash-dived to 130 meters, seven depth-charges exploded above her, causing slight damage.

At 2310 hours, another pattern of seven depth-charges was heard at a distance,

At 0030 hours on 22nd September, fifteen depth-charges exploded in the vicinity, causing serious damage to the batteries. The submarine went down to 150 meters.

At 0310 hours, Torelli surfaced and, fortunately, the submarine chaser was gone, but she had to abandon her patrol.

The destroyer hunting the submarine was HMS Vimy from convoy H.G.73 She had first sighted Torelli at 2005A hours and chased her, opening fire at 2103A hours from about 0.75 mile. Fourteen 4" rounds were fired, but no hits were claimed. At 2126A hours, she dropped a pattern of fourteen depth charges. A delay in operating the ASDIC prevented her from obtaining an accurate contact.
  22 Sep 1941081738° 34'N, 18° 30'WAt 0817 hours, a submarine chaser and another minor vessel were sighted and Torelli dived.
  24 Sep 1941085943° 05'N, 10° 06'WAt 0859 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  24 Sep 1941163043° 45'N, 7° 44'WAt 1630 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  24 Sep 1941170043° 45'N, 7° 30'WAt 1700 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  24 Sep 1941181643° 43'N, 7° 18'WAt 1816 hours, a German submarine with an escort vessel were sighted. Recognition signals were exchanged.

De Giacomo, Antonio25 Sep 19411630Le Verdon25 Sep 19411945BordeauxPassage Le Verdon-Bordeaux.

7De Giacomo, Antonio2 Dec 19410900Bordeaux2 Dec 19411705Le VerdonPassage Bordeaux-Le Verdon. Delayed by fog, which forced the submarine to drop anchor at Barbe de Squire.

7bDe Giacomo, Antonio5 Dec 19411750Le Verdon23 Dec 19411046St. Nazaire4995Sailed on a mission to rescue the survivors from the German raider Atlantis and her supply ship Python, northwest of Cape Verde (took 55 men from U-A). Four submarines participated in the operation: Finzi, Calvi, Torelli and Tazolli. The four commanders were decorated by Admiral Doenitz.
  14 Dec 19411730-213017° 15'N, 27° 35'WBetween 1730 at 2130 hours, the German submarine U-A was met and Torelli supplied her with food. The U-boat was carrying survivors from the raider Atlantis. Two officers and fifty-three ratings were transferred to the Italian submarine and brought to St. Nazaire.
  17 Dec 1941064127° 50'N, 23° 10'WAt 0641 hours, an 8,000-ton vessel was sighted, but was left alone. Torelli had orders to avoid all attacks to bring her passengers safely to St. Nazaire.
  22 Dec 1941094844° 00'N, 6° 20'WAt 0948 hours, a tanker was sighted and was apparently Spanish.

De Giacomo, Antonio23 Dec 19411930St. Nazaire24 Dec 19411500BordeauxPassage St. Nazaire-Bordeaux.

8De Giacomo, Antonio31 Jan 19420930Bordeaux31 Jan 19421300Le VerdonPassage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

8bDe Giacomo, Antonio1 Feb 19421840Le Verdon31 Mar 19421800Bordeaux9947Patrolled off Martinique (she carried fourteen torpedoes).
  4 Feb 1942130044° 50'N, 10° 50'WAt 1300 hours, a Sunderland aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  20 Feb 19420304
2105 ATS/19 (e)
13° 24'N, 49° 36'WAt 1115 hours on 19th February, a vessel was sighted in 16°06' N, 50°35' W, steering 170°. She was travelling fast and the submarine took the whole day to catch up.

At 0304 hours on the 20th, two torpedoes (533mm, S.I. type) were fired at a distance of 900 metres. Both hit the target.

At 0327 hours, Torelli fired 6 100mm rounds, but fire was checked as the ship was being abandoned (the survivors believed that fire had been directed at the W/T aerial) and she sank at 0405 hours.

This was the British Scottish Star (7,224 GRT, built 1916, ex Millais) on a voyage from London to Montevideo with 2,000 tons of general cargo. Her identity was revealed when she made an SOS.

Four were killed or missing. Sixty-nine (or 68?) were rescued (fifty-two by the light cruiser HMS Diomede). The remaining sixteen reached Barbados in lifeboat no. 2 at 1530 hours, local time, on 27th February.
  24 Feb 1942155611° 00'N, 53° 30'WAt 1556 hours, a two-funnel steamer was sighted proceeding at high speed.

At 1644 hours, Torelli gave up chasing the vessel on the surface, as her diesels were emitting too much smoke. She submerged. The vessel was steering 130° but still distant at 12,000 metres.

At 1715 hours, the range had dropped to 4,000 metres, but remained too far for a successful torpedo attack. C.C. De Giacomo waited until she was at some distance to surface and gave chase, intending to attack after dark.

At 2032 hours, a second ship was sighted and De Giacomo decided to switch attack to this new target.
  24 Feb 1942203210° 30'N, 53° 00'WAt 2032 hours, a steamer was sighted steering 275°. The submarine gave chase but lost it in a rain squall at 0530 hours, on 25th February.
  25 Feb 1942124810° 32'N, 53° 20'WAt 1104 hours (dawn), two tankers were sighted.

At 1248 hours, Torelli carried out a submerged attack, firing two torpedoes (450mm) from the stern tubes at a distance of 800 metres, aimed at one of the two tankers sighted earlier. They missed. Because her batteries were low, Torelli could not attempt another submerged attack and waited until the following night. She appeared to be a large modern tanker similar to W.B. WALKER of 10,500 tons, armed with a single 120 mm gun and six machine-guns.

It was the Panamanian tanker Esso Copenhagen (9,245 GRT, built 1939) carrying fuel from Aruba to Buenos Aires.

At 0043 hours on 26th February, one torpedo (533mm, S.I. type) was fired from a bow tube at a distance of 1,500 metres. It missed. Torelli maneuvered to get into a better position.

At 0142 hours, another bow torpedo (533mm) was fired from 1,300 metres. It hit the tanker but she remained afloat. A minute later, the submarine opened fire with her four machine guns to force the quick evacuation of her victim.

At 0150 hours, Toreilli opened fire with her stern gun, causing further damage. Having sighted seven survivors clinging to a capsized lifeboat, the submarine located another lifeboat which was not manned and towed it to the survivors who then boarded it. De Giacomo then waited for the ship to sink.

By 1555 hours, the tanker was still afloat. A stern torpedo (450mm, type A 115) was fired from close range, which hit amidship, provoking a large fuel leak but the ship refused to sink.

At 1630 hours, the submarine finished off the ship with a few rounds from her stern gun and she finally sank at 1720 hours.

One was killed. Thirty-eight survivors were rescued by the American Eastern Guide and the Dutch Notis and landed at Trinidad.
  9 Mar 194212179° 20'N, 56° 30'WAt 1217 hours, a small passenger ship was sighted, steering 330°. Torelli chased her until midnight when she turned out to be French vessel proceeding to Martinique.
  11 Mar 1942010913° 10'N, 56° 30'WAt 2320 hours on 10th March, a vessel was sighted zigzagging on a mean 070° course.

At 0109 hours, Torelli fired a torpedo (533mm, S.I. type) from a bow tube at 800 metres. It missed. The submarine was left with one defective torpedo in a forward tube. She attempted a stern attack, which was thwarted when the vessel escaped at high speed.

This was the British Orari (10,107 GRT, built 1931) who made an SOS.
  19 Mar 1942132529° 40'N, 43° 40'WAt 1325 hours, a steamer was sighted. Torelli gave chase until 1420 hours, when she was identified as Spanish.
  26 Mar 1942195545° 20'N, 19° 00'WAt 1955 hours, a periscope was sighted. Torelli turned away.

9Migliorini, Augusto25 May 19421500Bordeaux27 May 19421530La Pallice150Passage Bordeaux-La Pallice.

9bMigliorini, Augusto2 Jun 19421600Bordeaux4 Jun 19422300Aviles (Spain)510Sailed for patrol northeast of Bahamas but, on 4th June, was bombed and seriously damaged. She ran aground near Cape Penas and had to be towed by Spanish tugs to Aviles.
  4 Jun 19420227
0144-0205 (e)
44° 43'N, 6° 46'WAt 0227 hours, on a moonless night, Torelli was proceeding on the surface when she was suddenly surprised by an aircraft with a strong searchlight (Leigh light) at a distance of 300 metres. The Officer of the watch ordered full speed ahead and she turned hard to port. T.V. Migliorini came up and ordered everybody down except for him and three men, the boatswain and two men to man the machine guns. The aircraft returned for a second run and Torelli opened fire with her Breda guns as she turned hard to starboard.

Migliorini had just ordered a turn to port when the submarine was engulfed in columns of water as depth charges straddled her. Torelli was severely damaged with a multitude of defects and broken parts, including the compass, the steering gear, a damaged battery on fire causing chlorine fumes, and a fire in the forward compartments and in the radio room, which produced such a dense smoke that gas masks had to be worn. The helm could only be used manually. The Calzoni system broke down but was partially repaired by 0300 hours, enabling the submarine to be steered from the bridge.

The aircraft was Wellington 'F' of 172 Squadron piloted by Squadron Leader J.H. Greswell. It had detected the submarine with radar and switched on the Leigh Light from the distance of 1 mile. This was the first instance the Leigh Light being used. On the first run the aircraft was too high so could not attack. On the second run, four depth charges were released from 50 feet. One was observed to explode about 5 yards from the submarine's starboard quarter, the other two on port quarter. Two further strafing runs were carried out, the second of which was believed to have been on a second submarine, but was in fact still on Torelli. Search of the area following these attacks did not produce any further contacts.

Torelli was now in mortal danger. The fire was being fought with fire extinguishers and was finally controlled. She was now steering toward St. Jean De Luz.

At 0950 hours, the submarine managed to inform BETASOM of her predicament. There were only general maps of the area and Torelli was forced to follow the Spanish coast at a distance of about 6 miles. Luckily, the diesels had not been affected and she was managing a very credible 15 knots. Migliorini was exhausted and left his First Officer T.V. Mariano Dellino in charge on the bridge while he was taking a nap.

At 1040 hours, the submarine ran hard aground on an sand bank near Cape Peñas. A Spanish fishing vessel was in the vicinity and a midshipman was transferred on Torelli with the mission to reach the nearest harbour and summon all available tugs. About four hours later, two tugs arrived on the scene. They were followed by three smaller tugs, but these were waved away as were not necessary.

At 2100 hours, with the rising tide, the attempts to free her started. The larger tug proved useless and only succeeded to entangle a cable around the starboard propeller, to the great irritation of T.V. Migliorini. It was asked to leave. Torelli was finally freed with the help of the second tug and managed to proceed with her port propeller. She entered the harbour of Avilès at 2300 hours.

9cMigliorini, Augusto6 Jun 19422330Aviles (Spain)7 Jun 19421100Santander (Spain)150Sailed for St. Jean de Luz after brief repairs were carried out. On the way she was bombed again by two Sunderlands (one killed and Migliorini and eight more were wounded). Took refuge at Santander. Carried repairs from 8 June to 14 July and should have been interned, but escaped.
  7 Jun 19420650
0720-0742 (e)

(0) 5 miles from Santander (Spain)
The Italian Naval Attaché in Madrid, C.V. Bona, was informed that Torelli had to leave Avilés by midnight on 6th June or she would be interned. He immediately left for Avilès. The German Embassy in Madrid was also informed, so that adequate escort was provided for the submarine. The British Naval Attaché was informed that the Spanish Authorities had given the Italians 40 hours to execute repairs and leave.

C.F. Giuseppe Caridi (Chief of Staff, BETASOM and former Commanding Officer of Calvi), Maggiore G.N. Giulio Fenu (Capo Servizio G.N., BETASOM) and Maggiore Commissario Guido Villani (Capo Servizi Commisariato, BETASOM) left Bordeaux by car at 1100 hours on 5th June and drove to Avilès to get first hand information. They reached their destination at 1300 hours the following day. They examined the submarine to report on her condition.

At 2330 hours on 6th June, Torelli sailed from Aviles for St. Jean de Luz. She followed the Spanish coast at a distance of about 3 miles and managed to reach a speed of 14 knots. Some of the crew had to sleep on the casing, as the fire had reduced accommodation space.

At 0650 hours on 7th June, an aircraft was sighted and circled the submarine at about 2,000 metres at an altitude of about 200 metres. The submarine went to action station, the deck gun and machine guns were manned. The personnel on the casing assembled close to the conning tower, taking cover as best they could.

This was Sunderland 'X' of 10 Squadron (RAAF) piloted by Pilot Officer T.A. Egerton. The submarine was observed steering 078° from a distance of 5 miles and it ????

At about 0900 hours, the helm on the bridge broke down. It had to be handled manually and was not very responsive.

At 0930 hours, Torelli opened fire with its 100mm from about 3,000 yards, shortly joined by the 13.2mm Breda guns. Eight depth charges were released from a height of 50 feet, set to detonate at a depth of 25 feet. The Sunderland sprayed the submarine with its forward and rear machine guns and caused some casualties. Torelli's antiaircraft fire had also been dense and the aircraft was hit with two crew members wounded. It remained in the area until relieved by a second Sunderland. Torelli kept on proceeding along the coast at a distance of about 3 miles.

At 0945 hours, a second attack occurred. This was Sunderland 'A' also from 10 Squadron (RAAF) and piloted by Flight Lieutenant E.St C. Yeoman. It sighted the submarine from a distance of 6 miles and described her as of the Italian PISANI or DELFINO class. Initially it circled the submarine, but Torelli's deck gun scored a hit on the hull, causing a large hole and wounding a crewman. The Sunderland heavily strafed the submarine and released seven depth charges from a height of 80 feet, set to a depth of 25 feet, which exploded very near the submarine.

Torelli incurred more damage but kept on going. Her deck gun was disabled by the concussion of the depth charges and her crew wounded by splinters or machine gun rounds. In his report, Migliorini wrote that the gun was disabled before the attack of the second aircraft, but this must be a lapse in memory or the confusion of the action, as the second Sunderland reported being hit by the deck gun. One of the twin Breda mounts was also silenced by a direct hit from the aircraft machine guns, but the other Breda guns hit the Sunderland repeatedly, emptying two 13.2mm magazines. Migliorini ordered all the non-essential personnel on deck to jump in the sea to give the aircraft the impression that the submarine was sinking. This seemed to have worked as the aircraft left the scene. Migliorini then proceeded to recover all the men who had jumped overboard, except for seven who had actually been picked up by Spanish fishing vessels in the vicinity. Torelli took refuge in Santander, which was only five miles away. To prevent her from sinking, Migliorini beached his boat on a sand bank.

9dMigliorini, Augusto14 Jul 19421800Santander (Spain)15 Jul 19422100Bordeaux366Returned to Bordeaux for repairs (six months). The submarine had come out of docking with the help of two Spanish tugs, but a Spanish gunboat was blocking the channel to prevent an escape. Torelli had two Spanish officers and a pilot on board and they were told that Torelli had requested some fuel to carry out trials, but this was denied. On being told that she had only a few kgs of fuel, the gunboat was ordered to return to harbour. Suddenly, the submarine cut the towing cables and sailed away to the great fury of the Spaniards. Outside Santander, the Spanish officials were transferred to a fishing vessel. However, a British observer later reported that no fuel had been removed and suspected the harbour commandant of complicity in the escape.

Auconi, Walter23 Sep 1942Bordeaux25 Jan 1943BordeauxRepairs at Bordeaux. Change in command.

De Giacomo, Antonio11 Feb 19431045Bordeaux11 Feb 19431500Le VerdonPassage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

De Giacomo, Antonio11 Feb 19431645Le Verdon12 Feb 19430530Le VerdonTrials.

De Giacomo, Antonio12 Feb 19431400Le Verdon12 Feb 19431545Le VerdonTrials.

10De Giacomo, Antonio13 Feb 19431700Le Verdon15 Feb 19431520BordeauxSailed for patrol but turned because of a fuel leak. Equipped with Metox.
  14 Feb 1943001545° 07'N, 2° 21'WAt 0015 hours, an aircraft with a projector (Leigh Light) was sighted. It had not been detected by the Metox

At 0017 hours, the aircraft came back and the submarine crash-dived. Two bombs exploded. There was no apparent damage, but by daylight, it was noticed that Torelli was leaking fuel and C.C. De Giacomo decided to turn back.

The attacking aircraft has not been identified.

10bDe Giacomo, Antonio20 Feb 19431724Bordeaux20 Feb 19431952PauillacPassage Bordeaux-Pauillac. Had sailed for patrol earlier (0725/20) but turned back because of heavy fog.

10cDe Giacomo, Antonio21 Feb 19430745Pauillac3 Apr 19431730BordeauxPatrolled off Brazil. Equipped with Metox, which was not used all the time. More than half of her crew was substituted on this patrol, considerably reducing her efficiency. Upon her return, transformed as a transport submarine.
  23 Feb 1943231544° 30'N, 7° 47'WAt 2315 hours, an aircraft was detected with Metox and the submarine dived.
  24 Feb 1943215044° 00'N, 9° 40'WAt 2118 hours, an aircraft was detected with Metox and the submarine dived.
  25 Feb 1943022543° 32'N, 10° 15'WAt 0225 hours, an aircraft was detected with Metox and the submarine dived.
  25 Feb 1943073043° 25'N, 10° 20'WAt 0730 hours, an aircraft was suddenly sighted (it had not been detected by Metox) and the submarine dived.
  26 Feb 1943111039° 10'N, 14° 50'WAt 1110 hours, an aircraft was seen. It was probably a Clipper and the submarine dived.
  26 Feb 1943140538° 35'N, 15° 25'WAt 1405 hours, an aircraft was seen. It was probably a Clipper and the submarine dived.
  26 Feb 1943210038° 15'N, 16° 00'WAt 2100 hours, an aircraft was detected by Metox and the submarine dived.
  27 Feb 1943164735° 45'N, 18° 40'WAt 1647 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  27 Feb 1943225035° 10'N, 19° 10'WAt 2250 hours, an aircraft was detected by Metox and the submarine dived.
  11 Mar 19431635-21485° 50'N, 29° 13'WAt 1635 hours, the submarine Barbarigo was encountered. She was returning home and ceded 26 tons of fuel to Torelli. The refuelling was completed at 2148 hours.
  16 Mar 194318007° 15'S, 29° 10'WAt 1800 hours, an aircraft was seen and Torelli dived. The hatch was not closed properly and she was forced to surface but the aircraft did not spot her.
  16 Mar 19431910
1645 (e)
7° 15'S, 29° 10'WTorelli had problems with a defective valve in her diesel engines. She surfaced at 1815 hours.

At 1900 hours, a fighter aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm type was observed. Ten minutes, later it attacked, dropping a bomb which missed the submarine by 30 metres on the port side. The submarine's machine guns put up accurate antiaircraft fire.

This was a Dauntless (SBD) of VC-29 Squadron from the escort carrier USS Santee (CVE-29). It was piloted by Ensign E.M. Koos and he attacked a surfaced submarine with a single bomb which (he claimed) landed about 25 feet off the submarine's port beam. During the attack heavy flak hit the Dauntless, knocking out it's radio and wounding Ensign Koos, but he managed to land the aircraft on his carrier.

At 1940 hours, three aircraft of the same type were observed. Two came low and attacked, dropping one bomb each. The first, dropped a bomb which missed the starboard bow and caused no damage. The second, also dropped a bomb, narrowly missing the submarine on the starboard bean and covering the conning tower with fragments. The third did not attack leading C.C. DE Giacomo to believe it was the one which attacked earlier. Both planes were flying low (50-70 metres) and strafed the submarine. At 2005 hours, C.C. De Giacomo was wounded in the right arm and had to temporarily relinquish command to his First Officer. Two ratings were seriously wounded. He claimed that one aircraft was shot down and another set afire.

These aircraft were also from Santee. The first was a Dauntless, piloted by Ensign J. Oster. The other was an Avenger, piloted by Ensign W.R. Taylor and actually dropped two bombs. One was observed to narrowly missed the submarine on the port side (De Giacomo stated it dropped on the starboard side).

The submarine submerged at 2020 hours but had suffered damages and was leaking oil and air.

Attempts were made to repair the damages, but they were unsuccessful and, at 2105 hours on 17th March, De Giacomo signalled BETASOM that he had to abort his patrol.
  28 Mar 1943122535° 35'N, 22° 00'WAt 1225 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  29 Mar 1943040038° 00'N, 19° 30'WAt 0400 hours, an aircraft was detected with Metox and the submarine dived.
  29 Mar 1943224540° 35'N, 16° 30'WAt 2245 hours, an aircraft was detected with Metox and the submarine dived.
  31 Mar 1943083044° 02'N, 10° 25'WAt 0830 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  2 Apr 1943011044° 48'N, 5° 00'WAt 0110 hours, an aircraft was detected with Metox and the submarine dived.
  3 Apr 19430715At 0715 hours, the submarine Barbarigo was encountered and recognition signals were exchanged.

11Gropallo, Enrico14 Jun 19431400Bordeaux14 Jun 19431900Le VerdonPassage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

11bGropallo, Enrico16 Jun 19431000Le Verdon26 Aug 19431100SabangSailed for Singapore with a cargo of mercury and various weapons and to bring back a cargo of rubber (310 tons). Carried five passengers including Japanese Lt. Col. Kuizi Satake, a German engineer Heinrich Foders and three Italian officers. Her route was through (1) 35°00'N, 20°30'W (2) 15°00'N, 27°30'W (3) 20°00'S, 02°30'E (4) 41°00 S, 18°30'E (5) Point C (to be given by signal) (6) 00°00'S, 89°00'E (7) 05°40'N, 94°00'E.
  9 Jul 1943
2325 (e)
A USAAF bomber attacked a submarine with a Mark 24 mine. The submarine may have been Torelli, but her patrol report has not survived. T.V. Enrico Gropallo wrote an account from memory five years later and did not relate any air attack.
  10 Jul 1943
1620 (e)
At 1620 hours, a Mitchell (B-25) piloted by Lt. C.C. Carpenter of the 1st Composite squadron USAAF based in Ascension. It sighted a wake at 10 miles which proved to be a surfaced U-boat steering 130°. The Mitchell attacked from astern, releasing a stick of six depth charges from 175 feet, 20 seconds after the conning tower had disappeared. The depth charges fell along the submarine's estimated path, the middle of the stick about 300 feet ahead of the swirl. Only two of the depth charges were believed to have exploded, the others being duds. There were no surface results observed following the attack.

This may have been Torelli, but again her report has not survived and T.V. Gropallo's recollections were perhaps incomplete.
  1 Aug 194342° 27'S, 27° 15'ETorelli was to meet a German U-boat (U-178) to refuel. The attempt was abandoned due to bad weather and they were to meet again in Quadrat JA 22 (ca. 31°27' S, 42°48' E). This was later changed to JA 15 (ca. 32°21' S, 39°12' E) but by 7th August, the U-boat had not sighted Torelli and another rendezvous was given at 0800 hours on 12th August in KR 7855 (ca. 30°27' S, 50°00' E).
  12 Aug 194330° 27'S, 50° 00'ETorelli met U-178 (KK Wilhelm Dommes) to refuel. She was ordered to arrive off Penang at 0100 hours on 24th August, and later received orders not to be there until one hour after sunrise on 26th August.

11cGropallo, Enrico28 Aug 19431700Sabang31 Aug 19431300Singapore13500Passage Sabang-Singapore. Note: according to Captain Jannucci of the sloop Eritrea, the passage was made from 27-30th August.

Gropallo, Enrico9 Sep 1943Singapore9 Sep 1943SingaporeTaken over by the Germans as UIT-25 (OL Werner Striegler) and on 10th May 1945 taken over by the Japanese as I-504. After the Japanese surrender, she was scuttled by the Americans off Kobe (Japan).

132 entries. 53 total patrol entries (11 marked as war patrols) and 91 events.

Events

GH 09.03.2021: This table kept here until we make fix the possible missing events in table above

CommanderDateTimePositionDescription
Aldo Cocchia8 Sep 19402300(o) West of Gibraltar.At 2300 hours, a Greek vessel Griegi (no such name in Lloyds?), on passage from Casablanca to Seville carrying 940 tons of phosphate, was stopped by Torelli and examined. She was released as her documents were in order.
Aldo Cocchia21 Sep 1940055538.09 N, 28.15 W
At 0445 hours, a vessel well illuminated was sighted steering 270°.

At 0555 hours, a torpedo (533mm, S.I. type) was fired from a bow tube at 1,500 metres and missed ahead. C.F. Cocchia was about to renew the attack when she was recognised as neutral.
Aldo Cocchia27 Sep 1940234838.29 N, 21.58 W
At 2345 hours, in rough seas, a steamer was sighted at 1,500 metres steering 340°,

At 2348 hours, a torpedo (533mm, S.I. type) was fired from a bow tube at a distance of 600 metres. It veered off course and missed by 100 metres ahead.

At 2350 hours, Torelli presented her stern and fired a torpedo (533mm, S.I. type) from a distance of 600 metres. It also veered off course, but this time missing astern. The vessel escaped by emitting a heavy smoke.
Aldo Cocchia4 Oct 19401740(o) Near Saint Yzans.At 1740 hours, Torelli was proceeding to Bordeaux with a French pilot on board, escorted by the German minesweeper M-12, when she ran aground. After several attempts the submarine managed to free herself and resumed her course.
Aldo Cocchia5 Oct 19400640(o) Gironde estuary.At 0640 hours, Torelli ran aground again. After several attempts the submarine managed to free herself and resumed her course.
Primo Longobardo14 Jan 19411130At 1130 hours, Torelli was informed of a convoy of four or five unescorted ships steering 225° and altered course to 270° at 13 knots to intercept.

At 0900 hours on the 15th, the chase was abandoned when nothing was sighted.
Primo Longobardo15 Jan 19412120
2100 (e)
52.33 N, 24.13 W
(e) 52.57 N, 23.58 W
At 1625 hours, smokes were sighted on the horizon. As Torelli closed, it was determined that it was a convoy steering 230° at 8-9 knots.

At 2120 hours, she attacked the leading ship in the formation, firing a stern shot (533mm, S.I. type) from a distance of 400 metres. It hit somewhere between the bridge and the stem.

This was the Greek Nemea (5,101 GRT, built 1919) of convoy O.B. 272.

The vessel was initially abandoned but then boarded by twenty survivors from the Norwegian Brask and rejoined by the Greek survivors. They attempted to get her underway, but she was finally abandoned on 17th January 1940. Fourteen of the Greek crew were rescued and seventeen perished.
Primo Longobardo15 Jan 19412148
2048 (e)
54.00 N, 23.58 W
(e) 53.00 N, 24.00 W
(o) Italian Grid 2471/41
At 2148 hours, Torelli fired two torpedoes (1 x 533mm, S.I. type, 1 x 450mm, W 200 type) from bow tubes, aimed at the second ship in the convoy. Both were claimed to have hit, but survivors confirm only one. She sank.

This was the Norwegian Brask (4,079 GRT, built 1911) proceeding from Ardrossan to Table Bay and also dispersed from convoy O.B. 272.

The Master and twelve were missing. Survivors later boarded the abandoned Nemea (see previous entry). Twenty were rescued and landed at Londonderry.
Primo Longobardo15 Jan 19412351
2100 (e)
52.33 N, 24.13 W
(e) 53.00 N, 24.00 W
At 2351 hours, Torelli fired a torpedo (450mm, W 200 type) from a stern tube at 500 metres at a steamer. She took avoiding action and the torpedo missed.

This was the Greek Nicolaos Filinis (3,111 GRT, built 1904), also dispersed from convoy O.B.272.

At 0021 hours on 16th January, a second torpedo (533mm, S.I. type) was fired, this time from a bow tube, at 400 metres. It hit just ahead of the bridge. She was not sinking quickly, so Torelli pumped 27 100mm rounds into her to finish her off.

Three were killed and twenty-six were later rescued.

At 1000 hours, the submarine submerged to reload the five tubes.
Primo Longobardo20 Jan 19410635
0535 (e)
59.00 N, 19.00 W
(e) 58.54 N, 18.08 W
(o) Approximately.
At 0620 hours, Torelli was proceeding at a depth of 40 metres, when propellor noises were heard followed by the Hastings (ASDIC) pings. She went down to 60 metres.

At 0635 hours, the vessel was heard to pass directly above, followed by three very close explosions . A minute later, another six, more distant, detonations were heard. The submarine went down to 120 meters. She had only been slightly damaged.

This was the destroyer HMS Legion escorting the Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Salopian. They had been searching for the British steamer Zealandic (10,578 GRT, built 1928), sunk by U-106 on 16th January 1941 while sailing independently. She had sent an SOS reporting attacked in 58°28' N, 20°43' W.

At 0720 hours, (Rome time, there were still three hours of darkness left) the submarine surfaced, intending to attack one of the destroyers sighted at 1,200 meters, but she she was firing star shells and exploring the seas with her searchlights. The attack was abandoned.
Primo Longobardo20 Jan 19410900
0700 GMT (e)
59.00 N, 19.00 W
(e) 59.40 N, 17.52 W
At 0900 hours, a destroyer was sighted moving at 6-7 knots at a distance of 1,200 metres. Torelli closed to 600 metres and fired a single torpedo (533mm, S.I. type) from a stern tube. The torpedo had barely been launched when the vessel was observed to alter course and it missed. A second torpedo (450mm, W 200 type) was immediately fired, but also missed. Shortly after, a second destroyer appeared and the submarine fired a third torpedo from a stern tube (450mm, type W 200) at 1,000 metres. The destroyer appeared to slow down considerably and the torpedo missed ahead. Torelli went deep and the two destroyers appeared to carry a systematic search with their ASDIC. Eighteen depth charges were counted, but they exploded harmlessly at some distance from the submarine.

The first target was probably the destroyer HMS Somali (D.6) who attacked a U-boat unsuccessfully while in company with HMS Matabele, HMS Bedouin and HMS Tartar. They had screened the battleship HMS King George V during operation PARCEL, the visit of this battleship by Churchill at Scapa Flow and its departure for the USA carrying Lord Halifax as the new ambassador to Washington.
Primo Longobardo27 Jan 1941144554.30 N, 15.30 W
(o) Approximately.
At 1445 hours, a submarine chaser was observed at 2,000 metres on an opposite course. Torelli took avoiding action.
Primo Longobardo28 Jan 19412100
2042 or 2130 (e)
54.54 N, 19.00 W
(e) 54.00 N, 19.20 W
At 1132 hours, a smoke was observed very far. Torelli trailed the vessel under frequent rain squalls.

At 2100 hours, a single torpedo )533mm, S.I. type) was fired from a bow tube at a distance of 400 metres. It hit amidship and the vessel sank rapidly bow first.

This was the British Urla (5,198 GRT, built 1924) on a voyage from Halifax to Manchester, a straggler of convoy HX 102. All forty-two crew members were later rescued.
Antonio De Giacomo18 Apr 1941184546.50 N, 06.25 W
(o) Italian Grid 6894/24.
At 1845 hours, Torelli sighted an aircraft quite far and dived.
Antonio De Giacomo18 Apr 1941223047.00 N, 07.05 W
At 2230 hours, lights were seen on the horizon similar to British star shells. Torelli altered course toward them but, at 2350 hours, nothing was seen and she resumed her course toward the patrol area.
Antonio De Giacomo19 Apr 1941083047.30 N, 09.30 W
(o) Italian Grid 6894/24.
At 0830 hours, Torelli sighted an aircraft close in the mist and dived.
Antonio De Giacomo20 Apr 1941094548.25 N, 13.45 W
(o) Italian Grid 6894/24.
At 0945 hours, Torelli sighted a Sunderland and dived.
Antonio De Giacomo22 Apr 1941085051.10 N, 20.25 W
(o) Italian Grid 6894/24.
At 0850 hours, Torelli sighted a biplane of the aircraft carrier type (Swordfish) and dived.
Antonio De Giacomo22 Apr 1941110051.25 N, 20.50 W
(o) Italian Grid 6894/24.
At 1100 hours, a smoke was sighted on the horizon and closed.

At 1215 hours, a convoy of seventeen ships on NE course was sighted and reported by signal at 1300 hours: Italian Grid 6894/44, 10-20 ships, steering 025°, 8 knot.
The submarine kept in contact at a distance

At 1500 hours, Torelli made a further signal giving Grid 6894/24 , steering 045°, 7 knots.

At 2130 hours, only seven smokes were sighted, indicating the convoy had split earlier.

At 2400 hours, another signal gave Grid 6820, 8-10 ships, steering 240°, 13 knots. The smokes could no longer be seen in the darkness (Rome time, it was still dusk) and. by 0800 hours on 23rd April, it was evident that contact had been lost and BETASOM was so informed at 1030 hours.
Antonio De Giacomo26 Apr 1941171052.25 N, 19.00 W
(o) Italian Grid 6894/24.
At 1710 hours, Torelli sighted an aircraft at a distance and dived.
Antonio De Giacomo26 Apr 1941192552.20 N, 19.30 W
(o) Italian Grid 6894/24.
At 1925 hours, Torelli sighted an aircraft at a distance and dived.
Antonio De Giacomo30 Apr 1941163551.30 N, 19.00 W
At 1635 hours, Torelli had dived to carry out repairs to the gyrocompass, when three explosions were heard, believed to be from aircraft bombs at 2-3,000 meters. The submarine was at a depth of 45 meters at the time and went down to 90 meters by precaution. At 1715 hours, another salvo of bombs fell at a distance of 1,000 meters and, by 1810 hours, a total of 37 explosions had been heard. In heavy mist, the submarine surfaced at 1825 hours and got away at 14 knots.
Antonio De Giacomo4 May 1941154056.55 N, 23.35 W
At 1540 hours, a German submarine was sighted steering NW.
Antonio De Giacomo9 May 19411115(o) Approx. between 56° and 57° N east of 25°W.At 1115 hours, Torelli was informed of a convoy 130 miles to the south and altered course to intercept.

At 0640 hours on 10th May, a new signal from Barbarigo put the convoy 150 miles further south and the chase was abandoned.
Antonio De Giacomo10 May 1941175555.15 N, 21.50 W
At 1755 hours, two large steamers were sighted at 10,000 metres, unescorted,steering 260°, 13 knots.

Torelli maneuvered to attack, but at 2035 hours, intercepted a distress signal "S.S.S. PORT CAMPBELL 55°01' N, 23°01' W. Submarine sighted." and the two vessels turned away.

By 0130 hours on the 11th, contact had been lost.
Antonio De Giacomo11 May 1941193552.45 N, 21.50 W
At 1035 hours, the submarine Cappellini was met and exchanged recognition signals.
Antonio De Giacomo30 Jun 19411045At 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.

Torelli proceeded.
Antonio De Giacomo6 Jul 1941033936.45 N, 11.45 W
At 0314 hours, a shadow, which proved to be a destroyer, was sighted at 4,000 metres. Six minutes later a second destroyer appeared.

At 0320 hours, it was now established that the first ship was actually a cruiser and, two minutes later, an aircraft carrier was also observed.

At 0325 hours, the enemy squadron appeared to be formed with a SOUTHAMPTON class cruiser leading it, followed 2,000 metres in her wake by the aircraft carrier HMS Furious, with a DEFENDER class destroyer abeam and another 3,000 metres astern. They were steering 280° at 16 knots.

At 0339 hours, Torelli, who had remained on the surface, fired two torpedoes (one 533mm set at 46 knots and one 450mm set at 39 knots) from the bow tubes, aimed at the nearest destroyer from a distance of 1,300 metres. They missed. The submarine reverted course for a stern attack.

This was indeed HMS Furious escorted by the destroyers HMS Wishart, HMS Legion, HMS Lance and HMS Fury.

At 0340 hours, Torelli fired a torpedo (533mm, 46 knots) from a stern tube, again aimed at the destroyer. It missed ahead. The destroyer turned toward the submarine and dropped two depth charges some distance away. Torelli remained on the surface.

At 0500 hours, the submarine made an en enemy report, but ten minutes later had lost contact.

At 1120 hours, BETASOM ordered the submarines to the following positions:

Torelli in 9697/16 (34°55' N, 10°05' W)
Morosini in 8597/16 (35°55' N, 10°05' W) via 2597/13
Cappellini in 8597/13 (35°25' N, 10°05' W)
Da Vinci in 9697/56 (34°55' N, 10°45' W)
Malaspina in 3997/16 (33°55' N, 10°05' W)
Baracca in 9697/13 (34°25' N, 10°05' W)
Antonio De Giacomo6 Jul 19411245At 1245 hours, the Morosini was sighted in the mist.
Antonio De Giacomo7 Jul 1941123534.45 N, 10.05 W
At 1235 hours, a convoy of two steamers with three escorts was observed, steering 205°. Torelli tried to maintain conact and, at 1600 hours, reported the convoy in Italian Grid 8597/32. This was convoy O.G.66, which had sailed on 24th June from Liverpool for Gibraltar.
Antonio De Giacomo7 Jul 19411630The conning tower of a submarine was sighted.
Antonio De Giacomo7 Jul 19411708
1600A (e)
34.55 N, 10.00 W
(e) 4.36 N, 09.55 W
At 1258 hours, Torelli had made contact at 5,000 metres with the convoy, but was forced to dive.

HMS Eridge, of the 13th Destroyer Flotilla, was on the starboard side of the heavily-escorted convoy O.G. 66 and, at 1155A hours, first sighted a submarine fine on the starboard bow at 5-6 miles. The destroyer HMS Farndale was on the port side of the convoy and joined at 1250A hours, but her ASDIC broke down and she could not get a contact. The A/S hunt went on.

At 1708 hours, Torelli had again made contact with the convoy, when an escort vessel fired two rounds, which fell 300 metres astern in the submarine's wake. Two minutes later she dived.

This was the destroyer HMS Farndale and, at 1600A hours, she had sighted the submarine at a range of 8 miles and fired four rounds from her no.1 4" gun at 13,000 yards. HMS Eridge closed, but it was now her turn to have her ASDIC fail.

Torelli managed to elude her two hunters, but kept on trailing the convoy.

At 2100 hours, she made an enemy report giving the position as Grid 3997/55 (33°45' N, 10°45' W).
Antonio De Giacomo8 Jul 1941080034.50 N, 10.30 W
At 0800 hours, the submarine Malaspina was encountered and exchanged recognition signals.

At 1100 hours, BETASOM issued orders for new positions:

Bianchi in 2772/11 (36°05' N, 11°05' W)
Torelli in 8597/61 (35°05' N, 10°55' W)
Morosini in 8597/34 (35°35' N, 10°25' W)
Baracca in 9697/11 (34°05' N, 10°05' W)
Malaspina in 3997/54 (33°35' N, 10°45' W)
Da Vinci in 9697/25 (34°15' N, 10°45' W) (the BETASOM diaries give the position as 35°55' N, 19°15' W but this is a typographic error).
Antonio De Giacomo10 Jul 1941130037.55 N, 11.55 W
At 1300 hours, a neutral tanker was sighted steering toward Lisbon.
Antonio De Giacomo13 Jul 19410330
0243 (e)
35.02 N, 16.42 W
(e) 35.20 N, 16.33 W
At 0330 hours, two shadows were sighted. Two minutes later, they were identified as submarine chasers and Torelli immediately dived to 125 metres.

At 0346 hours, five depth-charges exploded, followed at 0415 hours by two more and another six at 0430 hours.

The submarine was slightly damaged.

This was the escort destroyer HMS Avon Vale, steering 127° at 18 knots with HMS Farndale in company. She had sighted the submarine at 0235A hours. Fire was not opened from fear of the blinding effect from the flash, which was a mistake.
At 0243 hours, she dropped five depth charges set at 350, 250 and 150 feet.
Her commander was criticised for having lost an opportunity to destroy a U-boat.
Antonio De Giacomo19 Jul 1941103035.40 N, 14.27 W
At 1030 hours, a shadow was sighted and initially thought to be a fishing vessel. The submarine attempted to close submerged but lost sight of it.
Antonio De Giacomo19 Jul 1941121935.40 N, 14.27 W
(o) Approximately.
At 1219 hours, a small submarine chaser (about 200 tons) was sighted. Torelli took avoiding action.
Antonio De Giacomo19 Jul 1941192031.40 N, 14.30 W
At 1920 hours, a ship was sighted which turned out to be the Spanish steamer Monte Banderas (1,597 GRT, built 1929).
Antonio De Giacomo21 Jul 1941103035.40 N, 14.27 W
At 1030 hours, a small vessel was sighted, initially believed to be a fishing boat. Torelli dived and closed to investigate. At 1219 hours, she sighted a second vessel, and recognised both to be submarine chasers of about 200 tons. She took avoiding action.
Antonio De Giacomo21 Jul 19412319
2210 (e)
34.42 N, 14.38 W
(e) 34.34 N, 14.40 W
At 2134 hours, a large tanker (later identified as of the SCOTTISH AMERICAN class) was sighted, zigzagging and steering about 060°, 11 knots. Torelli maneuvered to intercept after dark.

At 2319 hours, a single torpedo was fired from a bow tube at a distance of 1,000 metres. Torelli quickly reverted course and fired a second torpedo from a stern tube. Both were claimed to hit, but survivors stated that only the first one hit the port quarter in the pump room, whereas the next two missed.

This was the Norwegian tanker Ida Knudsen (8,913 GRT, built 1925). She was carrying 13,000 tons of fuel oil from Port of Spain to Gibraltar.

At 2328 hours, Torelli fired another torpedo from a stern tube at 600 metres. At the moment of firing, the submarine was rocked by a large wave and the torpedo missed a few metres astern.

At 2335 hours, the target was observed to be shaken by a large explosion,. Probably a secondary explosion following the first torpedo hit. By this time, an SOS had been sent but was interrupted by the explosion. The crew began to abandon ship.

At 2340 hours, the submarine had reverted course to gain a more favourable position and, fired a fourth torpedo from a forward tube at 1,000 metres. It hit abaft the forecastle on the starboard side, causing further damage but the tanker remained afloat.

At 2356 hours, a fifth torpedo from a bow tube hit amidship.

At 0017 hours on 22nd July, a sixth torpedo finally sealed the fate of the tanker.

Five were killed. Fourteen survivors were rescued by the Portuguese trawler Altair and brought to Las Palmas. On 28th July, a lifeboat with seventeen survivors reached Agadir (Morocco). On 9th August 1941, two survivors reached Tenerife in a lifeboat.
Antonio De Giacomo13 Sep 1941061537.50 N, 10.42 W
At 0615 hours, a 4,000-ton Swiss ship was sighted proceeding toward Lisbon.
Antonio De Giacomo19 Sep 1941011036.14 N, 09.50 W
At 0110 hours, a large Spanish ship was sighted.

At 0910 hours, Morosini signalled the discovery of a convoy in 35°45' N, 11°15' W.

At 1050 hours, BETASOM ordered the submarines to take the following positions by dusk:

Torelli Italian grid 6711/61 (36°05' N, 12°55' W) (the BETASOM war diaries give it as 36°15' N, 12°45' W but this appears to be a mistake in translating the Grid)
Malaspina 0111/66 (35°55' N, 12°55' W)
Morosini 0111/64 (35°35' N, 12°55' W)
Baracca 6711/52 (36°15' N, 12°45' W)
Da Vinci 0111/63 (35°25' N, 12°55' W)
Antonio De Giacomo19 Sep 1941174036.21 N, 12.03 W
At 1740 hours, a biplane aircraft (Swordfish?) was seen and the submarine dived.
Antonio De Giacomo19 Sep 1941193036.19 N, 12.24 W
At 1930 hours, a convoy was sighted and reported by Torelli at 2100 hours, in 36°15' N, 12°45' W, steering 310°, 7 knots.
Antonio De Giacomo20 Sep 1941003336.42 N, 13.04 W
At 0033 hours, an Italian submarine was encountered. She was believed to be either Da Vinci or Malaspina. As they were near the convoy, they did not exchange signals so as not to disclose their positions. The submarine was sighted again at 0048 and 0116 hours.

At 0955 hours, BETASOM ordered the submarines to take the following positions:

Torelli Italian grid 6792/44 (38°35' N, 15°35' W)
Malaspina 3476/41 (38°05' N, 14°35' W)
Morosini 2092/15 (37°45' N, 15°05' W)
Baracca 2092/32 (37°15' N, 15°25' W)
Da Vinci 3488/63 (38°25' N, 13°55' W)

This was revised at 1230 hours:

Torelli 6792/55 (36°55' N, 15°45' W)
Malaspina 2092/43 (37°35' N, 15°35' W)
Morosini 2092/42 (37°15' N, 15°35' W)
Baracca 2092/32 (37°15' N, 15°25' W, no change)
Da Vinci 2092/34 (37°35' N, 15°25' W).
Antonio De Giacomo20 Sep 1941162237.25 N, 15.15 W
At 1622 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
Antonio De Giacomo20 Sep 1941193037.05 N, 15.42 W
(o) Italian Grid 6792/66.
At 1930 hours, the convoy (H.G. 73) was sighted steering 280°, 7 knots.

Torelli trailed the convoy and was ordered to attack after midnight. The visibility had suddenly dropped and the submarine tried to regain contact but could not do so.
Antonio De Giacomo21 Sep 19410825 [dawn]37.05 N, 18.35 W .
At 0825 hours (at dawn), Torelli regained visual contact at 2,500 metres. Due to the short distance De Giacomo decided to submerge to carry out his attack.

At 1930 hours, BETASOM had ordered the submarines to the following positions (if they were not already in contact):

Torelli Italian Grid 1366/61 (39°05' N, 21°55' W)
Malaspina 1366/43 (39°25' N, 21°35' W)
Da Vinci 1366/25 (39°45' N, 21°45' W)
Morosini 1556/42 (40°15' N , 20°35' W)
Baracca 1556/24 (40°35' N, 20°15' W)
Antonio De Giacomo21 Sep 19412202
2110 (e)
37.30 N, 19.20 W
(e) 37.46 N, 19.18 W
(o) Approximately.
Torelli had been able to maintain contact with the convoy, despite poor visibility caused by frequent rain squalls.

At 2103 hours, an escort vessel was sighted. C.C. De Giacomo believed his submarine had been spotted by the enemy. He decided to remain surfaced and keep its distance.

At 2200 hours, the vessel could be identified as a submarine chaser. The submarine signalled BETASOM that it had lost contact with the convoy.

At 2202 hours, the submarine chaser turned to starboard and despite the complete darkness, she opened fire. The shots were long but the submarine crash-dived to 130 meters, seven depth-charges exploded above her, causing slight damage.

At 2310 hours, another pattern of seven depth-charges was heard at a distance,

At 0030 hours on 22nd September, fifteen depth-charges exploded in the vicinity, causing serious damage to the batteries. The submarine went down to 150 meters.

At 0310 hours, Torelli surfaced and, fortunately, the submarine chaser was gone, but she had to abandon her patrol.

The destroyer hunting the submarine was HMS Vimy from convoy H.G.73 She had first sighted Torelli at 2005A hours and chased her, opening fire at 2103A hours from about 0.75 mile. Fourteen 4" rounds were fired, but no hits were claimed. At 2126A hours, she dropped a pattern of fourteen depth charges. A delay in operating the ASDIC prevented her from obtaining an accurate contact.
Antonio De Giacomo22 Sep 1941081738.34 N, 18.30 W
At 0817 hours, a submarine chaser and another minor vessel were sighted and Torelli dived.
Antonio De Giacomo24 Sep 1941085943.05 N, 10.06 W
At 0859 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
Antonio De Giacomo24 Sep 1941163043.45 N, 07.44 W
At 1630 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
Antonio De Giacomo24 Sep 1941170043.45 N, 07.30 W
At 1700 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
Antonio De Giacomo24 Sep 1941181643.43 N, 07.18 W
At 1816 hours, a German submarine with an escort vessel were sighted. Recognition signals were exchanged.
Antonio De Giacomo14 Dec 19411730-213017.15 N, 27.35 W
Between 1730 at 2130 hours, the German submarine U-A was met and Torelli supplied her with food. The U-boat was carrying survivors from the raider Atlantis. Two officers and fifty-three ratings were transferred to the Italian submarine and brought to St. Nazaire.
Antonio De Giacomo17 Dec 1941064127.50 N, 23.10 W
At 0641 hours, an 8,000-ton vessel was sighted, but was left alone. Torelli had orders to avoid all attacks to bring her passengers safely to St. Nazaire.
Antonio De Giacomo22 Dec 1941094844.00 N, 06.20 W
At 0948 hours, a tanker was sighted and was apparently Spanish.
Antonio De Giacomo4 Feb 1942130044.50 N, 10.50 W
At 1300 hours, a Sunderland aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
Antonio De Giacomo20 Feb 19420304
2105 ATS/19 (e)
13.24 N, 49.36 W
(e) 13.24 N, 49.36 W
At 1115 hours on 19th February, a vessel was sighted in 16°06' N, 50°35' W, steering 170°. She was travelling fast and the submarine took the whole day to catch up.

At 0304 hours on the 20th, two torpedoes (533mm, S.I. type) were fired at a distance of 900 metres. Both hit the target.

At 0327 hours, Torelli fired 6 100mm rounds, but fire was checked as the ship was being abandoned (the survivors believed that fire had been directed at the W/T aerial) and she sank at 0405 hours.

This was the British Scottish Star (7,224 GRT, built 1916, ex Millais) on a voyage from London to Montevideo with 2,000 tons of general cargo. Her identity was revealed when she made an SOS.

Four were killed or missing. Sixty-nine (or 68?) were rescued (fifty-two by the light cruiser HMS Diomede). The remaining sixteen reached Barbados in lifeboat no. 2 at 1530 hours, local time, on 27th February.
Antonio De Giacomo24 Feb 1942155611.00 N, 53.30 W
At 1556 hours, a two-funnel steamer was sighted proceeding at high speed.

At 1644 hours, Torelli gave up chasing the vessel on the surface, as her diesels were emitting too much smoke. She submerged. The vessel was steering 130° but still distant at 12,000 metres.

At 1715 hours, the range had dropped to 4,000 metres, but remained too far for a successful torpedo attack. C.C. De Giacomo waited until she was at some distance to surface and gave chase, intending to attack after dark.

At 2032 hours, a second ship was sighted and De Giacomo decided to switch attack to this new target.
Antonio De Giacomo24 Feb 1942203210.30 N, 53.00 W
At 2032 hours, a steamer was sighted steering 275°. The submarine gave chase but lost it in a rain squall at 0530 hours, on 25th February.
Antonio De Giacomo25 Feb 1942124810.32 N, 53.20 W
(e) 10.04 S, 52.28 W
At 1104 hours (dawn), two tankers were sighted.

At 1248 hours, Torelli carried out a submerged attack, firing two torpedoes (450mm) from the stern tubes at a distance of 800 metres, aimed at one of the two tankers sighted earlier. They missed. Because her batteries were low, Torelli could not attempt another submerged attack and waited until the following night. She appeared to be a large modern tanker similar to W.B. WALKER of 10,500 tons, armed with a single 120 mm gun and six machine-guns.

It was the Panamanian tanker Esso Copenhagen (9,245 GRT, built 1939) carrying fuel from Aruba to Buenos Aires.

At 0043 hours on 26th February, one torpedo (533mm, S.I. type) was fired from a bow tube at a distance of 1,500 metres. It missed. Torelli maneuvered to get into a better position.

At 0142 hours, another bow torpedo (533mm) was fired from 1,300 metres. It hit the tanker but she remained afloat. A minute later, the submarine opened fire with her four machine guns to force the quick evacuation of her victim.

At 0150 hours, Toreilli opened fire with her stern gun, causing further damage. Having sighted seven survivors clinging to a capsized lifeboat, the submarine located another lifeboat which was not manned and towed it to the survivors who then boarded it. De Giacomo then waited for the ship to sink.

By 1555 hours, the tanker was still afloat. A stern torpedo (450mm, type A 115) was fired from close range, which hit amidship, provoking a large fuel leak but the ship refused to sink.

At 1630 hours, the submarine finished off the ship with a few rounds from her stern gun and she finally sank at 1720 hours.

One was killed. Thirty-eight survivors were rescued by the American Eastern Guide and the Dutch Notis and landed at Trinidad.
Antonio De Giacomo9 Mar 1942121709.20 N, 56.30 W
At 1217 hours, a small passenger ship was sighted, steering 330°. Torelli chased her until midnight when she turned out to be French vessel proceeding to Martinique.
Antonio De Giacomo11 Mar 1942010913.10 N, 56.30 W
At 2320 hours on 10th March, a vessel was sighted zigzagging on a mean 070° course.

At 0109 hours, Torelli fired a torpedo (533mm, S.I. type) from a bow tube at 800 metres. It missed. The submarine was left with one defective torpedo in a forward tube. She attempted a stern attack, which was thwarted when the vessel escaped at high speed.

This was the British Orari (10,107 GRT, built 1931) who made an SOS.
Antonio De Giacomo19 Mar 1942132529.40 N, 43.40 W
At 1325 hours, a steamer was sighted. Torelli gave chase until 1420 hours, when she was identified as Spanish.
Antonio De Giacomo26 Mar 1942195545.20 N, 19.00 W
At 1955 hours, a periscope was sighted. Torelli turned away.
Augusto Migliorini4 Jun 19420227
0144-0205 (e)
44.43 N, 06.46 W
(e) 45.08 N, 06.15 W
At 0227 hours, on a moonless night, Torelli was proceeding on the surface when she was suddenly surprised by an aircraft with a strong searchlight (Leigh light) at a distance of 300 metres. The Officer of the watch ordered full speed ahead and she turned hard to port. T.V. Migliorini came up and ordered everybody down except for him and three men, the boatswain and two men to man the machine guns. The aircraft returned for a second run and Torelli opened fire with her Breda guns as she turned hard to starboard.

Migliorini had just ordered a turn to port when the submarine was engulfed in columns of water as depth charges straddled her. Torelli was severely damaged with a multitude of defects and broken parts, including the compass, the steering gear, a damaged battery on fire causing chlorine fumes, and a fire in the forward compartments and in the radio room, which produced such a dense smoke that gas masks had to be worn. The helm could only be used manually. The Calzoni system broke down but was partially repaired by 0300 hours, enabling the submarine to be steered from the bridge.

The aircraft was Wellington 'F' of 172 Squadron piloted by Squadron Leader J.H. Greswell. It had detected the submarine with radar and switched on the Leigh Light from the distance of 1 mile. This was the first instance the Leigh Light being used. On the first run the aircraft was too high so could not attack. On the second run, four depth charges were released from 50 feet. One was observed to explode about 5 yards from the submarine's starboard quarter, the other two on port quarter. Two further strafing runs were carried out, the second of which was believed to have been on a second submarine, but was in fact still on Torelli. Search of the area following these attacks did not produce any further contacts.

Torelli was now in mortal danger. The fire was being fought with fire extinguishers and was finally controlled. She was now steering toward St. Jean De Luz.

At 0950 hours, the submarine managed to inform BETASOM of her predicament. There were only general maps of the area and Torelli was forced to follow the Spanish coast at a distance of about 6 miles. Luckily, the diesels had not been affected and she was managing a very credible 15 knots. Migliorini was exhausted and left his First Officer T.V. Mariano Dellino in charge on the bridge while he was taking a nap.

At 1040 hours, the submarine ran hard aground on an sand bank near Cape Peñas. A Spanish fishing vessel was in the vicinity and a midshipman was transferred on Torelli with the mission to reach the nearest harbour and summon all available tugs. About four hours later, two tugs arrived on the scene. They were followed by three smaller tugs, but these were waved away as were not necessary.

At 2100 hours, with the rising tide, the attempts to free her started. The larger tug proved useless and only succeeded to entangle a cable around the starboard propeller, to the great irritation of T.V. Migliorini. It was asked to leave. Torelli was finally freed with the help of the second tug and managed to proceed with her port propeller. She entered the harbour of Avilès at 2300 hours.
Augusto Migliorini7 Jun 19420650
0720-0742 (e)
(e) 43.35 N, 03.45 W
(o) 5 miles from Santander (Spain)
The Italian Naval Attaché in Madrid, C.V. Bona, was informed that Torelli had to leave Avilés by midnight on 6th June or she would be interned. He immediately left for Avilès. The German Embassy in Madrid was also informed, so that adequate escort was provided for the submarine. The British Naval Attaché was informed that the Spanish Authorities had given the Italians 40 hours to execute repairs and leave.

C.F. Giuseppe Caridi (Chief of Staff, BETASOM and former Commanding Officer of Calvi), Maggiore G.N. Giulio Fenu (Capo Servizio G.N., BETASOM) and Maggiore Commissario Guido Villani (Capo Servizi Commisariato, BETASOM) left Bordeaux by car at 1100 hours on 5th June and drove to Avilès to get first hand information. They reached their destination at 1300 hours the following day. They examined the submarine to report on her condition.

At 2330 hours on 6th June, Torelli sailed from Aviles for St. Jean de Luz. She followed the Spanish coast at a distance of about 3 miles and managed to reach a speed of 14 knots. Some of the crew had to sleep on the casing, as the fire had reduced accommodation space.

At 0650 hours on 7th June, an aircraft was sighted and circled the submarine at about 2,000 metres at an altitude of about 200 metres. The submarine went to action station, the deck gun and machine guns were manned. The personnel on the casing assembled close to the conning tower, taking cover as best they could.

This was Sunderland 'X' of 10 Squadron (RAAF) piloted by Pilot Officer T.A. Egerton. The submarine was observed steering 078° from a distance of 5 miles and it ????

At about 0900 hours, the helm on the bridge broke down. It had to be handled manually and was not very responsive.

At 0930 hours, Torelli opened fire with its 100mm from about 3,000 yards, shortly joined by the 13.2mm Breda guns. Eight depth charges were released from a height of 50 feet, set to detonate at a depth of 25 feet. The Sunderland sprayed the submarine with its forward and rear machine guns and caused some casualties. Torelli's antiaircraft fire had also been dense and the aircraft was hit with two crew members wounded. It remained in the area until relieved by a second Sunderland. Torelli kept on proceeding along the coast at a distance of about 3 miles.

At 0945 hours, a second attack occurred. This was Sunderland 'A' also from 10 Squadron (RAAF) and piloted by Flight Lieutenant E.St C. Yeoman. It sighted the submarine from a distance of 6 miles and described her as of the Italian PISANI or DELFINO class. Initially it circled the submarine, but Torelli's deck gun scored a hit on the hull, causing a large hole and wounding a crewman. The Sunderland heavily strafed the submarine and released seven depth charges from a height of 80 feet, set to a depth of 25 feet, which exploded very near the submarine.

Torelli incurred more damage but kept on going. Her deck gun was disabled by the concussion of the depth charges and her crew wounded by splinters or machine gun rounds. In his report, Migliorini wrote that the gun was disabled before the attack of the second aircraft, but this must be a lapse in memory or the confusion of the action, as the second Sunderland reported being hit by the deck gun. One of the twin Breda mounts was also silenced by a direct hit from the aircraft machine guns, but the other Breda guns hit the Sunderland repeatedly, emptying two 13.2mm magazines. Migliorini ordered all the non-essential personnel on deck to jump in the sea to give the aircraft the impression that the submarine was sinking. This seemed to have worked as the aircraft left the scene. Migliorini then proceeded to recover all the men who had jumped overboard, except for seven who had actually been picked up by Spanish fishing vessels in the vicinity. Torelli took refuge in Santander, which was only five miles away. To prevent her from sinking, Migliorini beached his boat on a sand bank.
Antonio De Giacomo14 Feb 1943001545.07 N, 02.21 W
At 0015 hours, an aircraft with a projector (Leigh Light) was sighted. It had not been detected by the Metox

At 0017 hours, the aircraft came back and the submarine crash-dived. Two bombs exploded. There was no apparent damage, but by daylight, it was noticed that Torelli was leaking fuel and C.C. De Giacomo decided to turn back.

The attacking aircraft has not been identified.
Antonio De Giacomo23 Feb 1943231544.30 N, 07.47 W
At 2315 hours, an aircraft was detected with Metox and the submarine dived.
Antonio De Giacomo24 Feb 1943215044.00 N, 09.40 W
At 2118 hours, an aircraft was detected with Metox and the submarine dived.
Antonio De Giacomo25 Feb 1943022543.32 N, 10.15 W
At 0225 hours, an aircraft was detected with Metox and the submarine dived.
Antonio De Giacomo25 Feb 1943073043.25 N, 10.20 W
At 0730 hours, an aircraft was suddenly sighted (it had not been detected by Metox) and the submarine dived.
Antonio De Giacomo26 Feb 1943111039.10 N, 14.50 W
At 1110 hours, an aircraft was seen. It was probably a Clipper and the submarine dived.
Antonio De Giacomo26 Feb 1943140538.35 N, 15.25 W
At 1405 hours, an aircraft was seen. It was probably a Clipper and the submarine dived.
Antonio De Giacomo26 Feb 1943210038.15 N, 16.00 W
At 2100 hours, an aircraft was detected by Metox and the submarine dived.
Antonio De Giacomo27 Feb 1943164735.45 N, 18.40 W
At 1647 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
Antonio De Giacomo27 Feb 1943225035.10 N, 19.10 W
At 2250 hours, an aircraft was detected by Metox and the submarine dived.
Antonio De Giacomo11 Mar 19431635-214805.50 N, 29.13 W
At 1635 hours, the submarine Barbarigo was encountered. She was returning home and ceded 26 tons of fuel to Torelli. The refuelling was completed at 2148 hours.
Antonio De Giacomo16 Mar 1943180007.15 S, 29.10 W
At 1800 hours, an aircraft was seen and Torelli dived. The hatch was not closed properly and she was forced to surface but the aircraft did not spot her.
Antonio De Giacomo16 Mar 19431910
1645 (e)
07.15 S, 29.10 W
(e) 07.15 S, 29.17 W
Torelli had problems with a defective valve in her diesel engines. She surfaced at 1815 hours.

At 1900 hours, a fighter aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm type was observed. Ten minutes, later it attacked, dropping a bomb which missed the submarine by 30 metres on the port side. The submarine's machine guns put up accurate antiaircraft fire.

This was a Dauntless (SBD) of VC-29 Squadron from the escort carrier USS Santee (CVE-29). It was piloted by Ensign E.M. Koos and he attacked a surfaced submarine with a single bomb which (he claimed) landed about 25 feet off the submarine's port beam. During the attack heavy flak hit the Dauntless, knocking out it's radio and wounding Ensign Koos, but he managed to land the aircraft on his carrier.

At 1940 hours, three aircraft of the same type were observed. Two came low and attacked, dropping one bomb each. The first, dropped a bomb which missed the starboard bow and caused no damage. The second, also dropped a bomb, narrowly missing the submarine on the starboard bean and covering the conning tower with fragments. The third did not attack leading C.C. DE Giacomo to believe it was the one which attacked earlier. Both planes were flying low (50-70 metres) and strafed the submarine. At 2005 hours, C.C. De Giacomo was wounded in the right arm and had to temporarily relinquish command to his First Officer. Two ratings were seriously wounded. He claimed that one aircraft was shot down and another set afire.

These aircraft were also from Santee. The first was a Dauntless, piloted by Ensign J. Oster. The other was an Avenger, piloted by Ensign W.R. Taylor and actually dropped two bombs. One was observed to narrowly missed the submarine on the port side (De Giacomo stated it dropped on the starboard side).

The submarine submerged at 2020 hours but had suffered damages and was leaking oil and air.

Attempts were made to repair the damages, but they were unsuccessful and, at 2105 hours on 17th March, De Giacomo signalled BETASOM that he had to abort his patrol.
Antonio De Giacomo28 Mar 1943122535.35 N, 22.00 W
At 1225 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
Antonio De Giacomo29 Mar 1943040038.00 N, 19.30 W
At 0400 hours, an aircraft was detected with Metox and the submarine dived.
Antonio De Giacomo29 Mar 1943224540.35 N, 16.30 W
At 2245 hours, an aircraft was detected with Metox and the submarine dived.
Antonio De Giacomo31 Mar 1943083044.02 N, 10.25 W
At 0830 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
Antonio De Giacomo2 Apr 1943011044.48 N, 05.00 W
At 0110 hours, an aircraft was detected with Metox and the submarine dived.
Antonio De Giacomo3 Apr 19430715At 0715 hours, the submarine Barbarigo was encountered and recognition signals were exchanged.
Enrico Gropallo9 Jul 1943
2325 (e)
(e) 03.30 S, 13.00 W
A USAAF bomber attacked a submarine with a Mark 24 mine. The submarine may have been Torelli, but her patrol report has not survived. T.V. Enrico Gropallo wrote an account from memory five years later and did not relate any air attack.
Enrico Gropallo10 Jul 1943
1620 (e)
(e) 04.48 S, 11.54 W
At 1620 hours, a Mitchell (B-25) piloted by Lt. C.C. Carpenter of the 1st Composite squadron USAAF based in Ascension. It sighted a wake at 10 miles which proved to be a surfaced U-boat steering 130°. The Mitchell attacked from astern, releasing a stick of six depth charges from 175 feet, 20 seconds after the conning tower had disappeared. The depth charges fell along the submarine's estimated path, the middle of the stick about 300 feet ahead of the swirl. Only two of the depth charges were believed to have exploded, the others being duds. There were no surface results observed following the attack.

This may have been Torelli, but again her report has not survived and T.V. Gropallo's recollections were perhaps incomplete.
Enrico Gropallo1 Aug 194342.27 S, 27.15 E
Torelli was to meet a German U-boat (U-178) to refuel. The attempt was abandoned due to bad weather and they were to meet again in Quadrat JA 22 (ca. 31°27' S, 42°48' E). This was later changed to JA 15 (ca. 32°21' S, 39°12' E) but by 7th August, the U-boat had not sighted Torelli and another rendezvous was given at 0800 hours on 12th August in KR 7855 (ca. 30°27' S, 50°00' E).
Enrico Gropallo12 Aug 194330.27 S, 50.00 E
Torelli met U-178 (KK Wilhelm Dommes) to refuel. She was ordered to arrive off Penang at 0100 hours on 24th August, and later received orders not to be there until one hour after sunrise on 26th August.

All Italian submarines