Italian submarines in World War Two
Luigi Torelli (TI, I.9, UIT.25)
Luigi Torelli (USMM)
|Laid down||15 Feb 1939||Odero-Terni-Orlando, Muggiano|
|Launched||6 Jan 1940|
|Commissioned||15 May 1940|
|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.|
|Commander||Date from||Date to||Command notes|
|C.C. Alberto Carlo Teppati||4 Jun 1940||27 Jul 1940|
|C.F. Alberto Ginocchio||29 Jul 1940||22 Aug 1940|
|C.F. Aldo Cocchia||23 Aug 1940||6 Oct 1940|
|C.F. Primo Longobardo||7 Oct 1940||27 Mar 1941|
|T.V. Antonio De Giacomo||27 Mar 1941||19 May 1942|
|T.V. Augusto Migliorini||19 May 1942||21 Sep 1942|
|T.V. Walter Auconi||22 Sep 1942||25 Jan 1943|
|C.C. Antonio De Giacomo||26 Jan 1943||3 Apr 1943|
|S.T.V. Sergio De Checchi||16 Mar 1943||16 Mar 1943|
|T.V. Enrico Groppallo||Jun 1943||9 Sep 1943|
|Date||Commander||Ship hit||Type||GRT||Nat.||Loss type|
|1.||15 Jan 1941||C.F. Primo Longobardo||Nemea||Cargo ship||5,101||Sunk|
|2.||15 Jan 1941||C.F. Primo Longobardo||Brask||Cargo ship||4,079||Sunk|
|3.||16 Jan 1941||C.F. Primo Longobardo||Nicolaos Filinis||Cargo ship||3,111||Sunk|
|4.||28 Jan 1941||C.F. Primo Longobardo||Urla||Cargo ship||5,198||Sunk|
|5.||22 Jul 1941||T.V. Antonio De Giacomo||Ida Knudsen||Tanker||8,913||Sunk|
|6.||20 Feb 1942||C.C. Antonio De Giacomo||Scottish Star||Cargo ship||7,224||Sunk|
|7.||26 Feb 1942||C.C. Antonio De Giacomo||Esso Copenhagen||Tanker||9,245||Sunk|
Patrols and events
|Commander||Date||Time||Port||Arr. date||Arr. time||Arr. port||Miles||Description|
|Teppati, Alberto Carlo||19 Jun 1940||0955||La Spezia||19 Jun 1940||1615||La Spezia||4,3||Exercises.|
|Teppati, Alberto Carlo||22 Jun 1940||0955||La Spezia||22 Jun 1940||1400||La Spezia||4||Exercises.|
|Teppati, Alberto Carlo||25 Jun 1940||1630||La Spezia||26 Jun 1940||1925||Naples||351||Passage La Spezia-Naples.|
|Teppati, Alberto Carlo||8 Jul 1940||1300||Naples||9 Jul 1940||1500||La Spezia||286||Passage Naples-La Spezia.|
|Teppati, Alberto Carlo||19 Jul 1940||1200||La Spezia||19 Jul 1940||1900||La Spezia||16||Exercises.|
|Ginocchio, Alberto||12 Aug 1940||0800||La Spezia||12 Aug 1940||1230||La Spezia||18||Exercises.|
|Ginocchio, Alberto||19 Aug 1940||0800||La Spezia||19 Aug 1940||1900||La Spezia||42||Trials.|
|Ginocchio, Alberto||21 Aug 1940||0700||La Spezia||21 Aug 1940||1200||La Spezia||16||Trials.|
|Ginocchio, Alberto||22 Aug 1940||0800||La Spezia||22 Aug 1940||1700||La Spezia||42||Trials.|
|Cocchia, Aldo||24 Aug 1940||0800||La Spezia||24 Aug 1940||1400||La Spezia||40||Trials.|
|Cocchia, Aldo||28 Aug 1940||0800||La Spezia||28 Aug 1940||1200||La Spezia||16||Trials.|
|Cocchia, Aldo||29 Aug 1940||0800||La Spezia||29 Aug 1940||1200||La Spezia||16||Trials.|
|1||Cocchia, Aldo||31 Aug 1940||1540||La Spezia||5 Oct 1940||1300||Bordeaux||4898||Passage 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 1940||2300|
(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 1940||0555||38° 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.
|27 Sep 1940||2348||38° 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.
|4 Oct 1940||1740|
(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 1940||0640|
(0) Gironde estuary.
|At 0640 hours, Torelli ran aground again. After several attempts the submarine managed to free herself and resumed her course.|
|2||Longobardo, Primo||9 Nov 1940||1530||Bordeaux||9 Nov 1940||1800||Pauillac||Passage Bordeaux-Pauillac. Longobardo had just returned from a patrol on U-99 (KK Otto Krestchmer) after joining her as an observer on 30th August.|
|2b||Longobardo, Primo||10 Nov 1940||0815||Pauillac||10 Nov 1940||1115||Le Verdon||Passage Pauillac-Le Verdon.|
|2c||Longobardo, Primo||10 Nov 1940||1145||Le Verdon||10 Nov 1940||2030||La Pallice||Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice.|
|2d||Longobardo, Primo||11 Nov 1940||AM||La Pallice||11 Nov 1940||1500||La Pallice||Trials at Le Pertuis d'Antioche.|
|2e||Longobardo, Primo||12 Nov 1940||1400||La Pallice||26 Nov 1940||1700||Bordeaux||1764||Sailed 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.|
|3||Longobardo, Primo||5 Jan 1941||1230||Bordeaux||5 Jan 1941||1500||Pauillac||Passage Bordeaux-Pauillac.|
|3b||Longobardo, Primo||9 Jan 1941||1130||Pauillac||9 Jan 1941||1700||Le Verdon||Passage Pauillac-Le Verdon and trials.|
|3c||Longobardo, Primo||9 Jan 1941||1700||Le Verdon||5 Feb 1941||Time?||Pauillac||4301||Sailed 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 1941||1130||At 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 1941||2120|
|52° 33'N, 24° 13'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.
|15 Jan 1941||2148|
|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 1941||2351|
|52° 33'N, 24° 13'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.
|20 Jan 1941||0635|
|59° 00'N, 19° 00'W|
|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 1941||0900|
0700 GMT (e)
|59° 00'N, 19° 00'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.
|27 Jan 1941||1445||54° 30'N, 15° 30'W|
|At 1445 hours, a submarine chaser was observed at 2,000 metres on an opposite course. Torelli took avoiding action.|
|28 Jan 1941||2100|
2042 or 2130 (e)
|54° 54'N, 19° 00'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.
|3d||Longobardo, Primo||6 Feb 1941||1200||Pauillac||6 Feb 1941||1530||Bordeaux||Passage Pauillac-Bordeaux.|
|4||De Giacomo, Antonio||14 Apr 1941||0930||Bordeaux||14 Apr 1941||1600||Le Verdon||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon and trials off Le Verdon.|
|4b||De Giacomo, Antonio||15 Apr 1941||0800||Le Verdon||15 Apr 1941||1600||La Pallice||Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice and trials at Le Pertuis d'Antioche.|
|4c||De Giacomo, Antonio||16 Apr 1941||0800||La Pallice||16 Apr 1941||1800||La Pallice||Trials at Le Pertuis d'Antioche.|
|4d||De Giacomo, Antonio||17 Apr 1941||2000||La Pallice||16 May 1941||1230||Bordeaux||5060,9||Sailed 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 1941||1845||46° 50'N, 6° 25'W|
(0) Italian Grid 6894/24.
|At 1845 hours, Torelli sighted an aircraft quite far and dived.|
|18 Apr 1941||2230||47° 00'N, 7° 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.|
|19 Apr 1941||0830||47° 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 1941||0945||48° 25'N, 13° 45'W|
(0) Italian Grid 6894/24.
|At 0945 hours, Torelli sighted a Sunderland and dived.|
|22 Apr 1941||0850||51° 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 1941||1100||51° 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 1941||1710||52° 25'N, 19° 00'W|
(0) Italian Grid 6894/24.
|At 1710 hours, Torelli sighted an aircraft at a distance and dived.|
|26 Apr 1941||1925||52° 20'N, 19° 30'W|
(0) Italian Grid 6894/24.
|At 1925 hours, Torelli sighted an aircraft at a distance and dived.|
|30 Apr 1941||1635||51° 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.|
|4 May 1941||1540||56° 55'N, 23° 35'W||At 1540 hours, a German submarine was sighted steering NW.|
|9 May 1941||1115|
(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 1941||1755||55° 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.
|11 May 1941||1935||52° 45'N, 21° 50'W||At 1035 hours, the submarine Cappellini was met and exchanged recognition signals.|
|5||De Giacomo, Antonio||29 Jun 1941||1000||Bordeaux||28 Jul 1941||1100||Bordeaux||5765||Sailed 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 1941||1045||At 1045 hours, BETASOM ordered the submarines to the following positions:|
Torelli in Grid 2533/36 or 36°58'N, 12°30'W
Morosini in 2511/33 or 36°30'N, 13°20'W
Cappellini in 8511/66 or 35°58'N, 14°00'W
Da Vinci in 8511/33 or 35°30'N, 13°20'W
Baracca in 8533/31 or 35°10'N, 12°30'W
Malaspina in 3972/51 or 33°00'N, 11°45'W.
|6 Jul 1941||0339||36° 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)
|6 Jul 1941||1245||At 1245 hours, the Morosini was sighted in the mist.|
|7 Jul 1941||1235||34° 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.|
|7 Jul 1941||1630||The conning tower of a submarine was sighted.|
|7 Jul 1941||1708|
|34° 55'N, 10° 00'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).
|8 Jul 1941||0800||34° 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).
|10 Jul 1941||1300||37° 55'N, 11° 55'W||At 1300 hours, a neutral tanker was sighted steering toward Lisbon.|
|13 Jul 1941||0330|
|35° 02'N, 16° 42'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.
|19 Jul 1941||1030||35° 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.|
|19 Jul 1941||1219||35° 40'N, 14° 27'W|
|At 1219 hours, a small submarine chaser (about 200 tons) was sighted. Torelli took avoiding action.|
|19 Jul 1941||1920||31° 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).|
|21 Jul 1941||1030||35° 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.|
|21 Jul 1941||2319|
|34° 42'N, 14° 38'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.
|6||De Giacomo, Antonio||5 Sep 1941||0715||Bordeaux||5 Sep 1941||1300||Le Verdon||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon and trials.|
|6b||De Giacomo, Antonio||5 Sep 1941||1950||Le Verdon||6 Sep 1941||1200||Pauillac||Sailed for patrol but defects forced an early return. Escorted back by Sperrbrecher 14.|
|6c||De Giacomo, Antonio||6 Sep 1941||1730||Pauillac||6 Sep 1941||2005||Bordeaux||Passage Pauillac-Bordeaux.|
|6d||De Giacomo, Antonio||7 Sep 1941||1000||Bordeaux||7 Sep 1941||1315||Le Verdon||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|6e||De Giacomo, Antonio||7 Sep 1941||1830||Le Verdon||25 Sep 1941||1500||Le Verdon||3782,6||Sailed 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 1941||0615||37° 50'N, 10° 42'W||At 0615 hours, a 4,000-ton Swiss ship was sighted proceeding toward Lisbon.|
|19 Sep 1941||0110||36° 14'N, 9° 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)
|19 Sep 1941||1740||36° 21'N, 12° 03'W||At 1740 hours, a biplane aircraft (Swordfish?) was seen and the submarine dived.|
|19 Sep 1941||1930||36° 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.|
|20 Sep 1941||0033||36° 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).
|20 Sep 1941||1622||37° 25'N, 15° 15'W||At 1622 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|20 Sep 1941||1930||37° 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 1941||0825 [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)
|21 Sep 1941||2202|
|37° 30'N, 19° 20'W|
|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 1941||0817||38° 34'N, 18° 30'W||At 0817 hours, a submarine chaser and another minor vessel were sighted and Torelli dived.|
|24 Sep 1941||0859||43° 05'N, 10° 06'W||At 0859 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|24 Sep 1941||1630||43° 45'N, 7° 44'W||At 1630 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|24 Sep 1941||1700||43° 45'N, 7° 30'W||At 1700 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|24 Sep 1941||1816||43° 43'N, 7° 18'W||At 1816 hours, a German submarine with an escort vessel were sighted. Recognition signals were exchanged.|
|De Giacomo, Antonio||25 Sep 1941||1630||Le Verdon||25 Sep 1941||1945||Bordeaux||Passage Le Verdon-Bordeaux.|
|7||De Giacomo, Antonio||2 Dec 1941||0900||Bordeaux||2 Dec 1941||1705||Le Verdon||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon. Delayed by fog, which forced the submarine to drop anchor at Barbe de Squire.|
|7b||De Giacomo, Antonio||5 Dec 1941||1750||Le Verdon||23 Dec 1941||1046||St. Nazaire||4995||Sailed 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 1941||1730-2130||17° 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.|
|17 Dec 1941||0641||27° 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.|
|22 Dec 1941||0948||44° 00'N, 6° 20'W||At 0948 hours, a tanker was sighted and was apparently Spanish.|
|De Giacomo, Antonio||23 Dec 1941||1930||St. Nazaire||24 Dec 1941||1500||Bordeaux||Passage St. Nazaire-Bordeaux.|
|8||De Giacomo, Antonio||31 Jan 1942||0930||Bordeaux||31 Jan 1942||1300||Le Verdon||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|8b||De Giacomo, Antonio||1 Feb 1942||1840||Le Verdon||31 Mar 1942||1800||Bordeaux||9947||Patrolled off Martinique (she carried fourteen torpedoes).|
|4 Feb 1942||1300||44° 50'N, 10° 50'W||At 1300 hours, a Sunderland aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|20 Feb 1942||0304|
2105 ATS/19 (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.
|24 Feb 1942||1556||11° 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.
|24 Feb 1942||2032||10° 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.|
|25 Feb 1942||1248||10° 32'N, 53° 20'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.
|9 Mar 1942||1217||9° 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.|
|11 Mar 1942||0109||13° 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.
|19 Mar 1942||1325||29° 40'N, 43° 40'W||At 1325 hours, a steamer was sighted. Torelli gave chase until 1420 hours, when she was identified as Spanish.|
|26 Mar 1942||1955||45° 20'N, 19° 00'W||At 1955 hours, a periscope was sighted. Torelli turned away.|
|9||Migliorini, Augusto||25 May 1942||1500||Bordeaux||27 May 1942||1530||La Pallice||150||Passage Bordeaux-La Pallice.|
|9b||Migliorini, Augusto||2 Jun 1942||1600||Bordeaux||4 Jun 1942||2300||Aviles (Spain)||510||Sailed 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 1942||0227|
|44° 43'N, 6° 46'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.
|9c||Migliorini, Augusto||6 Jun 1942||2330||Aviles (Spain)||7 Jun 1942||1100||Santander (Spain)||150||Sailed 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 1942||0650|
(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.
|9d||Migliorini, Augusto||14 Jul 1942||1800||Santander (Spain)||15 Jul 1942||2100||Bordeaux||366||Returned 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, Walter||23 Sep 1942||Bordeaux||25 Jan 1943||Bordeaux||Repairs at Bordeaux. Change in command.|
|De Giacomo, Antonio||11 Feb 1943||1045||Bordeaux||11 Feb 1943||1500||Le Verdon||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|De Giacomo, Antonio||11 Feb 1943||1645||Le Verdon||12 Feb 1943||0530||Le Verdon||Trials.|
|De Giacomo, Antonio||12 Feb 1943||1400||Le Verdon||12 Feb 1943||1545||Le Verdon||Trials.|
|10||De Giacomo, Antonio||13 Feb 1943||1700||Le Verdon||15 Feb 1943||1520||Bordeaux||Sailed for patrol but turned because of a fuel leak. Equipped with Metox.|
|14 Feb 1943||0015||45° 07'N, 2° 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.
|10b||De Giacomo, Antonio||20 Feb 1943||1724||Bordeaux||20 Feb 1943||1952||Pauillac||Passage Bordeaux-Pauillac. Had sailed for patrol earlier (0725/20) but turned back because of heavy fog.|
|10c||De Giacomo, Antonio||21 Feb 1943||0745||Pauillac||3 Apr 1943||1730||Bordeaux||Patrolled 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 1943||2315||44° 30'N, 7° 47'W||At 2315 hours, an aircraft was detected with Metox and the submarine dived.|
|24 Feb 1943||2150||44° 00'N, 9° 40'W||At 2118 hours, an aircraft was detected with Metox and the submarine dived.|
|25 Feb 1943||0225||43° 32'N, 10° 15'W||At 0225 hours, an aircraft was detected with Metox and the submarine dived.|
|25 Feb 1943||0730||43° 25'N, 10° 20'W||At 0730 hours, an aircraft was suddenly sighted (it had not been detected by Metox) and the submarine dived.|
|26 Feb 1943||1110||39° 10'N, 14° 50'W||At 1110 hours, an aircraft was seen. It was probably a Clipper and the submarine dived.|
|26 Feb 1943||1405||38° 35'N, 15° 25'W||At 1405 hours, an aircraft was seen. It was probably a Clipper and the submarine dived.|
|26 Feb 1943||2100||38° 15'N, 16° 00'W||At 2100 hours, an aircraft was detected by Metox and the submarine dived.|
|27 Feb 1943||1647||35° 45'N, 18° 40'W||At 1647 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|27 Feb 1943||2250||35° 10'N, 19° 10'W||At 2250 hours, an aircraft was detected by Metox and the submarine dived.|
|11 Mar 1943||1635-2148||5° 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.|
|16 Mar 1943||1800||7° 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.|
|16 Mar 1943||1910|
|7° 15'S, 29° 10'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 S.T.V. Sergio De Checchi. 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 1943||1225||35° 35'N, 22° 00'W||At 1225 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|29 Mar 1943||0400||38° 00'N, 19° 30'W||At 0400 hours, an aircraft was detected with Metox and the submarine dived.|
|29 Mar 1943||2245||40° 35'N, 16° 30'W||At 2245 hours, an aircraft was detected with Metox and the submarine dived.|
|31 Mar 1943||0830||44° 02'N, 10° 25'W||At 0830 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|2 Apr 1943||0110||44° 48'N, 5° 00'W||At 0110 hours, an aircraft was detected with Metox and the submarine dived.|
|3 Apr 1943||0715||At 0715 hours, the submarine Barbarigo was encountered and recognition signals were exchanged.|
|11||Groppallo, Enrico||14 Jun 1943||1400||Bordeaux||14 Jun 1943||1900||Le Verdon||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|11b||Groppallo, Enrico||16 Jun 1943||1000||Le Verdon||26 Aug 1943||1100||Sabang||Sailed 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|
|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|
|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 1943||42° 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).|
|12 Aug 1943||30° 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.|
|11c||Groppallo, Enrico||28 Aug 1943||1700||Sabang||31 Aug 1943||1300||Singapore||13500||Passage Sabang-Singapore. Note: according to Captain Jannucci of the sloop Eritrea, the passage was made from 27-30th August.|
|Groppallo, Enrico||9 Sep 1943||Singapore||9 Sep 1943||Singapore||Taken 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.