Italian submarines in World War Two

Ammiraglio Saint Bon (SB)
Saint Bon

TypeOcean going 
ClassCagni (18) 
Laid down 16 Sep 1939 Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico, Monfalcone
Launched6 Jun 1940
Commissioned12 Jun 1941
End service
Loss date5 Jan 1942
Loss position38° 22'N, 15° 22'E
Fate Torpedoed and sunk on 5th January 1942 North-East of Milazzo, Sicily in position 38°22'N, 15°22'E by the submarine HMS Upholder.


CommanderDate fromDate toCommand notes
C.C. Benedetto Luchetti4 Apr 19415 Apr 1941
C.C. Gustavo Miniero16 May 19415 Jan 1942

Ships hit

No ships hit by this submarine.

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
14 Nov 19400900Monfalcone14 Nov 19401600MonfalconeTrials escorted by the auxiliary Grado.

14 Nov 19400900Monfalcone14 Nov 19401600MonfalconeTrials.

23 Nov 19401000Monfalcone23 Nov 19401615MonfalconeTrials escorted by the auxiliary Grado.

28 Nov 19400940Monfalcone28 Nov 19401640MonfalconeTrials escorted by the auxiliary Grado.

2 Dec 19401000Monfalcone2 Dec 19401530?PolaPassage Monfalcone-Pola, escorted by the torpedo boat San Martino.

4 Dec 19400850Pola4 Dec 19401435PolaTrials, escorted by MAS 426.

5 Dec 19400940Pola5 Dec 19401700PolaTrials, escorted by the tug Tenace.

7 Dec 19400900Pola7 Dec 19401700PolaTrials, escorted by MAS 423.

8 Dec 19400855Pola8 Dec 19401715PolaTrials, escorted by the auxiliary San Giorgio.

9 Dec 19400915Pola9 Dec 19401620PolaTrials, escorted by the tug Nettuno.

12 Dec 19400855Pola12 Dec 19401230PolaTrials, escorted by the torpedo boat San Martino.

13 Dec 19400915Pola13 Dec 19401540PolaTrials, escorted by the torpedo boat San Martino.

14 Dec 19400925Pola14 Dec 19401730PolaTrials, escorted by the torpedo boat San Martino.

15 Dec 19400845Pola15 Dec 19401705PolaTrials, escorted by the torpedo boat San Martino.

17 Dec 19400910Pola17 Dec 19401645PolaTrials, escorted by the auxiliary Laurana.

27 Dec 19400925Pola27 Dec 19401405PolaDiving trials, escorted by Laurana.

28 Dec 19400905Pola28 Dec 19401110PolaDiving trials, escorted by the auxiliary Laurana.

29 Dec 19401030Pola29 Dec 19401700PolaTrials, escorted by the auxiliary Laurana.

30 Dec 19400910Pola30 Dec 19401700PolaTrials, escorted by the tug Tenace.

31 Dec 19400910Pola31 Dec 19401615PolaDiving trials, escorted by the auxiliary Laurana.

2 Jan 19410900Pola2 Jan 19411655PolaTrials escorted by the auxilary Laurana.

3 Jan 19410920Pola3 Jan 19411540MonfalconePassage Pola-Monfalcone, escorted by the torpedo boat San Martino.

Luchetti, Benedetto4 Apr 19410650Monfalcone4 Apr 19411900Venezia58Passage Monfalcone-Venezia.

3 May 19410900Venezia3 May 19411500Monfalcone72Passage Venezia-Monfalcone.

Miniero, Gustavo23 Jun 19411040Monfalcone23 Jun 19411850Pola67Passage Monfalcone-Pola.

Miniero, Gustavo26 Jun 19410623Pola26 Jun 19412250Pola158Sailed with the submarine Bausan for exercises.

Miniero, Gustavo3 Jul 19410815Pola3 Jul 19411800Pola50Exercises with the torpedo boat Audace.

Miniero, Gustavo8 Jul 19410902Pola8 Jul 19411940Pola24Trials, escorted by MAS 552.

Miniero, Gustavo16 Jul 19410853Pola16 Jul 19411547Fiume57Passage Pola-Fiume.

Miniero, Gustavo18 Jul 19410740Fiume18 Jul 19411333Fiume10Trials.

Miniero, Gustavo19 Jul 19411340Fiume19 Jul 19411630Fiume4Trials.

Miniero, Gustavo27 Jul 19410900Fiume27 Jul 19411428Pola57Passage Fiume-Pola.

Miniero, Gustavo29 Jul 19410800Pola29 Jul 19411800Pola56Exercises with the submarine Ammiraglio Cagni, escorted by the auxiliary Jadera and the torpedo boat Audace.

Miniero, Gustavo2 Aug 19410900Pola2 Aug 19411409Monfalcone67Passage Pola-Monfalcone.

Miniero, Gustavo24 Aug 19411015Monfalcone24 Aug 19411440Pola67Passage Monfalcone-Pola.

Miniero, Gustavo28 Aug 19410750Pola28 Aug 19411833Pola37Exercises with the auxiliary Salvore.

Miniero, Gustavo29 Aug 19410500Pola29 Aug 19411945Pola152Sailed for exercises with the submarine Ammiraglio Cagni.

Miniero, Gustavo30 Aug 19411030Pola30 Aug 19411900Pola42Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary Jadera.

Miniero, Gustavo3 Sep 19410713Pola3 Sep 19411740Pola59Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary Jadera for exercises with the torpedo boat Audace.

Miniero, Gustavo4 Sep 19410740Pola4 Sep 19412252Pola51Exercises.

Miniero, Gustavo5 Sep 19410510Pola5 Sep 19411610Pola40Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary Salvore.

Miniero, Gustavo7 Sep 19411218Pola7 Sep 19412210Pola15Exercises.

Miniero, Gustavo8 Sep 19410915Pola8 Sep 19411754Pola13Exercises.

Miniero, Gustavo9 Sep 19411751Pola11 Sep 19410807Taranto532Passage Pola-Taranto.

Miniero, Gustavo14 Sep 19410830Taranto14 Sep 19411245Taranto22Exercises, escorted by MAS 4 D.

Miniero, Gustavo21 Sep 19411330Taranto21 Sep 19411732Taranto19Exercises, escorted by the pilot vessel Limbara.

Miniero, Gustavo23 Sep 19410803Taranto23 Sep 19410930Taranto14Exercises.

Miniero, Gustavo1 Oct 19411330Taranto1 Oct 19411715Taranto31Exercises, escorted by MAS 4 D.

Miniero, Gustavo3 Oct 19410745Taranto3 Oct 19411230Taranto27Exercises, escorted by the pilot vessel Limbara.

1Miniero, Gustavo10 Oct 19411315Taranto13 Oct 19411825BardiaSupply mission via 32°40'N, 25°20'E (153 tons of petrol in 7,346 cans).
  12 Oct 1941094534° 00'N, 23° 50'EAt 0945 hours, an aircraft was sighted at 3,000 metres flying at an altitude of 500 metres. Millo did not have time to dive. The aircraft made a large circle and was identified as German. It flew away after 5 minutes.
  12 Oct 1941131533° 50'N, 24° 30'EAt 1315 hours, an aircraft, believed to be a Blenheim bomber, was sighted at a distance of 4,000 metres. It was flying at an altitude of 500 metres and dived from the sun to about 100 metres. As it flew over the submarine flashing a white light, the British cockades were clearly seen and Millo opened fire with her machine guns. The aircraft was believed to have been hit and did not try to attack. Millo submerged at 1322 hours.

This was probably Beaufort No.6504 of 39 Squadron piloted by Sergeant Harvey. It attacked a submarine in the afternoon.

1bMiniero, Gustavo14 Oct 19410015Bardia17 Oct 19411608Taranto1677Return trip from Bardia. Supply mission [mileage is for round trip].
  15 Oct 19411430
1426 or 1230 GMT (e)
34° 10'N, 22° 44'EAt 1430 hours, an enemy bomber was sighted at 1,000 metres. It came very quickly to the attack, dropping two depth charges which fell about 50 meters astern on the starboard side. They exploded a few seconds later. Millo did not have time to use her machine-guns and dived at 1431 hours.

This was Blenheim 'C' (Z9544) of 203 Squadron piloted by Pilot Officer Van der Water. It sighted a surfaced submarine on a course of 300 degrees at 10 knots (Millo was actually steering 284° at 12 knots). The bomber climbed to 3000 feet and made a diving attack, passing over the port quarter of the submarine at a height of 100 feet. One 250-lb GP bomb was dropped and observed to fall 10 feet astern of the submarine. The maneuver was repeated and a second bomb dropped on the now submerging submarine. A third attack was delivered in the same manner, this time with two bombs. The explosions raised a great mass of water just aft of the conning tower. The submarine disappeared and when the disturbance in the water had subsided bubbles were seen rising to the surface. It was considered that the submarine was destroyed. Millo had actually come out unscathed.

Miniero, Gustavo9 Nov 19410850Taranto9 Nov 19411100TarantoExercises, escorted by the auxiliary Sparviero.

Miniero, Gustavo11 Nov 19410901Taranto11 Nov 19411235TarantoExercises, escorted by the minesweeper R.D.13.

Miniero, Gustavo14 Nov 19411355Taranto14 Nov 19411738TarantoExercises, escorted by the minesweeper R.D.24.

2Miniero, Gustavo16 Nov 19411342Taranto19 Nov 19411730BardiaSupply mission to Bardia (136.3 tons: 133.4 tons of petrol in 7,021 cans and 2.9 tons of ammunition). Uneventful. The vapors of benzine from her cargo caused severe discomfort to the men who discharged the cargo [ULTRA intercept].

2bMiniero, Gustavo19 Nov 19412245Bardia22 Nov 19411400Taranto1490Return trip from supply mission to Bardia. Brought back twenty-two PoWs. She maintained a cruising speed of 14 knots. Uneventful [mileage is for round trip].

Miniero, Gustavo26 Nov 19411425Taranto26 Nov 19411645TarantoExercises.

3Miniero, Gustavo27 Nov 19411350Taranto29 Nov 19411830DernaSupply mission to Derna (139.7 tons: 136.7 tons of petrol, 3 tons of ammunition). Uneventful.

3bMiniero, Gustavo29 Nov 19412330Derna2 Dec 19411300Taranto1195Return trip from supply mission to Derna, through 33°40'N and 22°40'E, 34°10'N and 21°20'E, 38°00'N and 18°00'E [mileage is for round trip].
  1 Dec 1941103037° 34'N, 19° 00'EAt 1030 hours, a derelict mine was hit with rifle fire but did not sink.

Miniero, Gustavo8 Dec 19411050Taranto8 Dec 19411250TarantoExercises, escorted by MAS 5 D.

4Miniero, Gustavo8 Dec 19411405Taranto11 Dec 19410845BenghaziSupply mission to Benghazi (138.2 tons: 132.4 tons of Italian benzine, 5.8 tons of ammunition).
  9 Dec 1941100037° 18'N, 18° 59'EAt 1000 hours, an aircraft was seen at 5,000 metres flying at an altitude of 300 metres. It apparently maneuvered for an attack. Because the heavy seas prevented Millo from manning her machine guns efficiently, C.C. Miniero ordered the submarine to crash-dive, but no bombs were dropped.
  11 Dec 1941211032° 50'N, 20° 10'EAt 2110 hours, a submarine was sighted at 5,000 metres steering south.

4bMiniero, Gustavo11 Dec 19411550Benghazi13 Dec 19410845SudaReturn from supply mission to Benghazi.
  11 Dec 1941211032° 50'N, 20° 10'EAt 2110 hours, a submarine was sighted at 5,000 metres steering south.

5Miniero, Gustavo15 Dec 19411730Suda17 Dec 19411815DernaSailed, escorted out by the tug Voltaire [who returned to Suda at 1900 hours on the 15th] for supply mission to Derna through 34°00'N, 22°40'E and Benghazi (1140 tons of fuel, 5 tons of ammunition). Upon arrival, C.C. Miniero was told not to unload his cargo as the town was about to be evacuated and he communicated to MARICOSOM his intention to land his stores in Benghazi [ULTRA intercept].
  16 Dec 19410700
0700 (e)
34° 36'N, 22° 50'E
(0) German Grid CO 5262.
At 0700 hours, the conning tower of a submarine was sighted at 8,000 metres. This was U-652 (OL Georg-Werner Fraatz).

5bMiniero, Gustavo17 Dec 19412100Derna18 Dec 19411115BenghaziSupply mission to Derna and Benghazi (from Suda: 140 tons of fuel, 5 tons of ammunition). Uneventful.

5cMiniero, Gustavo18 Dec 19411830Benghazi21 Dec 19411330SudaReturn from supply mission to Derna and Benghazi, fifteen PoWs and two guards. Uneventful.

Miniero, Gustavo2 Jan 19421356Taranto2 Jan 19421702TarantoTrials escorted by the minesweeper R.D.30.

6Miniero, Gustavo4 Jan 19420845Taranto5 Jan 19420545SunkCarried only eight torpedoes during this trip. Supply mission (155.4 tons: 140 tons of petrol, 12 tons of lubricating oil, 3.4 tons of ammunition) from Taranto via Palermo to Tripoli (passing north of Sicily). Sunk by HMS Upholder.
  5 Jan 19420440
0538 (e)

(e) 38° 22'N, 15° 22'E
At 0530 hours, the submarine HMS Upholder (Lt. Cdr. M.D. Wanklyn, VC, DSO, RN) sighted what at first was believed to be a trawler, but later proved to be a two-gun submarine zig-zagging on course 260°-360° at 15 knots.

At 0538 hours, a single torpedo was fired at 1,000 yards. It was observed to hit just forward of the No. 1 gun. This was the last remaining torpedo and the first torpedo hit that Wanklyn actually watched.

This was Ammiraglio Saint Bon and she was hit amidship and this detonated her cargo and she sank very quickly. HMS Upholder picked up three survivors (an officer and two ratings). Eight officers and forty-nine ratings perished including C.C. Miniero.

The torpedo boat Centauro, two motorboats and an aircraft were sent to search for survivors, but none were found.

69 entries. 67 total patrol entries (6 marked as war patrols) and 9 events.

All Italian submarines