Italian submarines in World War Two

Ondina (ON)

TypeCoastal / Sea going 
ClassSirena (21) 
Laid down 25 Jul 1931 Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico, Monfalcone
Launched2 Dec 1933
Commissioned19 Sep 1934
End service
Loss date11 Jul 1942
Loss position34° 30'N, 34° 48'E
Fate Sunk on 11th July 1942 to the north-west of Beirut in position 34°30'N, 34°48'E by depth charges from the South African A/S whalers HMSAS Southern Maid and HMSAS Protea and a Walrus aircraft from 700 Squadron (RAF).


CommanderDate fromDate toCommand notes
T.V. Vincenzo D'Amato5 Apr 194018 Nov 1940
T.V. Corrado Dal Pozzo18 Nov 194028 Feb 1942
T.V. Gabriele Andolfi28 Feb 194211 Jul 1942

Ships hit

DateCommanderShip hitTypeGRTNat.Loss type
1.23 Jun 1941T.V. Corrado Dal PozzoRefahCargo ship3,512TurkishSunk

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
D'Amato, Vincenzo8 Jun 19401238Brindisi8 Jun 19401604BrindisiExercises (16.7 miles).

1D'Amato, Vincenzo27 Jun 19400900Brindisi5 Jul 19400705Augusta865,5Sailed for patrol in 34°16'N, 23°24'E as part of patrol line with Anfitrite, Salpa and Uebi Scebeli from a point 15 miles southwest of Gaudo to a point 40 miles northeast of Derna.
  28 Jun 19401412
1405 (e)
At 1135 hours, a tall column of water was observed at 10,000 metres. An aircraft then was sighted in the same direction (this was probably the first attack on Anfitrite). Ondina dived to a depth of 40 metres.

From 1230 to 1250 hours, six distant explosions were heard.

At 1400 hours, the submarine was back at periscope depth when an aircraft was sighted and she was taken back down to 40 metres.

At 1412 hours, she was at a depth of 35 metres, when a loud explosion was felt near her starboard side. T.V. D'Amato took his submarine to 60 metres and was no more disturbed.

This was almost certainly Sunderland 'S' (L.5804) of 230 Squadron, piloted by Flight Lieutenant W.W. Campbell, attacking the submarine Anfitrite who was in the vicinity.
  28 Jun 1940231537° 21'N, 19° 51'E
(0) Approximately.
At 2315 hours, a submarine, believed to be enemy, was sighted at 200 metres, bearing 020° to port. Ondina turned to starboard in an attempt to fire a stern shot and the sterns of the two submarines missed each other by about 30 meters, Ondina dived immediately to 30 meters and attempted to detect the submarine with hydrophones, but all contact was lost at 0052 hours on the 29th. This was possibly Rubino who was lost the next day.
  29 Jun 19400615
0430 or 0630 (e)
38° 24'N, 18° 39'EAt 0615 hours, Ondina was proceeding at a depth of 40 meters when she was shaken by a violent explosion (probably an aircraft bomb as hydrophones had not picked up a contact). The submarine went down to 65 meters and escaped damage.

This was Sunderland 5806 'Q' of 228 Squadron attacking Sirena.
  29 Jun 19400640-065038° 24'N, 18° 39'E
(0) Approximately.
Between 0640 and 0650 hours, Ondina was attacked by a destroyer with fifteen depth-charges. The submarine was shaken but escaped serious damage.
  29 Jun 19400700-080538° 24'N, 18° 39'E
(0) Approximately.
Between 0700 and 0805 hours, Ondina was attacked by a destroyer who dropped eighteen depth-charges. The submarine was shaken but escaped briefly to 86 meters but could not maintain silent running below 40 meters. She finally escaped without further damage.
  29 Jun 1940144538° 24'N, 18° 39'E
(0) Approximately.
At 1445, Ondina was attacked by a destroyer who dropped two depth-charges. The submarine escaped damage.
  30 Jun 19401400-155036° 37'N, 20° 50'E
(0) Approximately.
At 1400 hours, Ondina Ondina was attacked by an aircraft which dropped two bombs. Two more bombs fell at 1550 hours. The submarine escaped damage.
  1 Jul 19401037-104735° 13'N, 20° 44'EAt 1037, 1045 and 1047 hours, Ondina reported being bombed by an aircraft. This probably refers to the attack on Bragadino at this time.
  1 Jul 1940132536° 37'N, 20° 50'E
(0) Approximately.
At 1325 hours, Ondina was attacked by a destroyer with five depth-charges. The submarine was shaken but escaped damage.
  1 Jul 1940200334° 45'N, 21° 42'EAt 2003 hours, two vessels were observed moving at high speed at a distance of 3,500 metre. One of them was described as similar to Principessa Maria. Ondina fired three warning shots, followed by seven rounds.

These were the Italians Principessa Giovanna and Piemonte, on passage from Tobruk to Bari and mistaken for enemy vessels. They reported attacked at 1952 hours.

AT 2050 hours, Ondina had to break off the action because of the heavy seas. She had also developed defects, which would force her to abort patrol the next day.

D'Amato, Vincenzo14 Jul 19400440Augusta15 Jul 19401226Taranto316Passage Augusta-Taranto.

D'Amato, Vincenzo31 Aug 19400722Taranto31 Aug 19401720Taranto67Exercises.

D'Amato, Vincenzo3 Sep 19400851Taranto3 Sep 19401831Taranto56Exercises.

D'Amato, Vincenzo4 Sep 19401400Taranto4 Sep 19401910Taranto33Exercises.

2D'Amato, Vincenzo6 Sep 19402321Taranto25 Sep 19401815Taranto2068,1Patrolled north of Mersa Matruh between 32°10'N and Egyptian coast, and between 27°00'E and 27°40'E, on a patrol line with Uarsciek.
  13 Sep 19401134
(0) Off Marsa Matruh.
At 1134 hours, Ondina was attacked by an aircraft with three bombs. The submarine was violently shaken but did not suffer significant damage. She heard more explosions at 1541 hours.
  17 Sep 19400530-0535
(0) Off Marsa Matruh.
At 0530 hours, Ondina was bombed by an aircraft and again at 0535 hours. The submarine was undamaged.
  17 Sep 19400632
(0) Off Marsa Matruh.
At 0632 hours, Ondina was depth charged by an enemy vessel. The submarine stopped her engines at 60-70 meters and, at 0833 hours, the vessel abandoned the hunt.
  17 Sep 19401420
(0) Off Marsa Matruh.
At 1420 hours, Ondina was proceeding submerged when she was suddenly bombed by an aircraft. A heavy bomb exploded very near the bow shaking the submarine violently, another bomb was dropped at 1450 hours and, yet another at 1540 hours.
  17 Sep 19401849-1858
(0) Off Marsa Matruh.
Between 1849 and 1858 hours, Ondina was depth charged by three enemy vessels. The submarine escaped despite the vessels using ASDIC as they passed over her.
  17 Sep 19402210
(0) Off Marsa Matruh.
At 2210 hours, Ondina attempted to attack one of the three vessels hunting her, but the vessel turned towards her and dropped depth-charges. The submarine escaped by diving to 60 meters.
  18 Sep 19400507
(0) Off Marsa Matruh.
At 0507 hours, Ondina was proceeding at a depth of 50 metres when bombs(apparently from an aircraft) exploded near her. Another salvo fell at 0535 hours.

At 0632-0634 hours, the submarine was depth-charged by a surface craft, the submarine had stopped all machines and remained at a depth of 60-70 metres. At 0833 hours, the vessel dropped more bombs and was gone.

D'Amato, Vincenzo24 Oct 19401330Taranto24 Oct 19401810Taranto24,9Exercises.

D'Amato, Vincenzo26 Oct 19400836Taranto26 Oct 19401350Taranto43,7Exercises.

D'Amato, Vincenzo28 Oct 19400830Taranto28 Oct 19401222Taranto23,9Exercises.

3D'Amato, Vincenzo3 Nov 19402124Taranto4 Nov 19401051Taranto72,3Defensive patrol in Gulf of Taranto (hydrophone watch). Uneventful.

4D'Amato, Vincenzo5 Nov 19402115Taranto6 Nov 19401246Taranto84,5Defensive patrol off Taranto in point A. At 0550 hours on the 6th sighted intense AA barrage from Taranto.

5D'Amato, Vincenzo12 Nov 19400410Taranto13 Nov 19401726Taranto170Defensive patrol in 232° - Torre Ovo - 16'. At 1950 hours on the 12th, she sighted an intense AA barrage from Taranto.

6D'Amato, Vincenzo15 Nov 19400240Taranto15 Nov 19401055Taranto49,2Defensive patrol off Taranto. Uneventful.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado1 Jan 19411410Taranto1 Jan 19411752Taranto23Exercises.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado2 Jan 19411025Taranto2 Jan 19411825Taranto44Exercises.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado5 Jan 19411243Taranto5 Jan 19411919Taranto23,5Exercises.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado7 Jan 19411115Taranto7 Jan 19411532Taranto26Exercises.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado9 Jan 19410852Taranto9 Jan 19411618Taranto21,8Exercises with submarine chaser Vieste.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado10 Jan 19410807Taranto10 Jan 19411520Taranto53,6Exercises with the submarines Millelire and Speri.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado12 Jan 19410729Taranto12 Jan 19411600Taranto42,5Exercises.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado13 Jan 19410839Taranto13 Jan 19411031Taranto5Exercises with the torpedo boat Polluce.

7Dal Pozzo, Corrado20 Jan 19412115Taranto21 Jan 19411110Taranto75A/S patrol in 40°00'N, 17°20'E. Uneventful.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado23 Jan 19410916Taranto27 Jan 19410845Leros683Passage Taranto-Leros. Uneventful, except for the bad weather.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado5 Mar 19410850Leros5 Mar 19411637Leros34Exercises.

8Dal Pozzo, Corrado8 Mar 19410340Leros19 Mar 19410715Leros1040Patrolled SSE of Scarpanto within 20 miles from 34°20'N, 27°40'E on a NE-SW axis.
  13 Mar 19411420-1735
(0) Near Kasos Strait.
At 1420 hours, smokes were sighted on the horizon. At 1450 hours, the upper works of a destroyer could be discerned at 15,000 metres. Later, the convoy could be seen, consisting of eight merchant ships, escorted by a light cruiser of the CERES or CALEDON class and two destroyers, on a NNW course. This was most likely convoy AN.19 escorted by the antiaircraft cruiser HMS Coventry and the Greek destroyers Spetsai and Hydra.

Ondina vainly attempted to close, but gave up at 1735 hours as the distance was now 10 miles and she just made an enemy report.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado3 Apr 19412157Leros4 Apr 19410206Leros36Exercises.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado19 Apr 19410730Leros19 Apr 19411205Leros29Exercises.

9Dal Pozzo, Corrado19 Apr 19412226Leros28 Apr 19411530Leros804,5Patrolled in 35°30'N, 36°20'E then, from 24th April, in 33°20'N, 26°00'E, off Cape Plaka on Alexandria-Cape Sidero route and Kasos Straits.
  25 Apr 19411956
(0) Near Cape Plaka (or near Cape Kaso).
Several hydrophone effects had been heard since 1518 hours.

At 1956 hours, Ondina had just surfaced when a large MTB was sighted at a distance of 500 metres. The submarine dived immediately, but the hatch could not be properly closed until a rating managed to unblock it and the submarine dived to 85 meters.

Depth-charges exploded but high above the submarine. Other patterns of depth charges followed at 2023, 2024 and 2025 and a last one at 2320 hours, which caused some damage forcing the submarine to 130 meters. H.E. continued to be heard and oxygen was running out.

At 1830 hours on 26th April, Ondina finally surfaced with the gun crews at the ready, but fortunately the horizon was clear of enemy vessels. The damage inflicted by the depth-charging and S.T.V. Galletti who had been very sick with high fever since 22nd April forced the abandonment of the patrol.

10Dal Pozzo, Corrado11 May 1941Leros11 May 19411517LerosOnice was to have sailed during the day (or in the evening) for the "Dario" area (or area D, Kaso Strait) but apparently was recalled.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado9 Jun 19411643Portolago (Leros)9 Jun 19411304Portolago (Leros)24Exercises.

11Dal Pozzo, Corrado13 Jun 19411643Leros27 Jun 19411304Leros1066Patrolled between Alexandretta and Cape Andreas, Cyprus.
  23 Jun 1941213036° 08'N, 34° 44'EAt about 2000 hours, a vessel was sighted coming from the direction of Mersin (Turkey). At 2100 hours, Ondina began closing for the attack. The vessel was flying the Turkish flag and estimated at about 9,000 GRT.

At 2130 hours, two torpedoes (533mm) were fired from the bow tubes at a range of 1,000 metres, They missed ahead.

This was the Turkish Refah (3,512 GRT, built 1901) on her way from Mersin to Alexandria (or Port Said) carrying Turkish naval officers destined to England for a submarine course.

Ondina turned sharply to port to revert course and fired a stern torpedo (533mm) from 1,000 metres. It squarely hit the vessel, followed 30 or 40 seconds later by a secondary explosion, believed to be from boilers exploding. She sank at 2200 hours.

The sinking could have proven an embarrassment to the Italian government, as Turkey was sought as an ally in the war against the Soviet Union. The Italians were ready to deny their involvement. Dal Pozzo had refrained from using his gun so as not to reveal that the vessel had been sunk by a submarine and this was justified as British authorities attributed the sinking to a mine. Captain Christopher Michael Cadogan of SOE was travelling on this ship (he was drowned).

Of some 200 passengers and crew, 168 were missing and 32 survived.

12Dal Pozzo, Corrado4 Aug 19412305Leros17 Aug 19411110Brindisi881,5Patrolled between 36°00'N and 36°40'N, and between 25°00'E and 25°40'E, off Island of Thera and passage to Brindisi. Uneventful.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado22 Aug 19411800Brindisi24 Aug 19410635Pola360Passage Brindisi-Pola.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado26 Aug 19410511Pola26 Aug 19411125Monfalcone70Passage Pola-Monfalcone for repairs.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado11 Dec 19411007Monfalcone11 Dec 19411800Monfalcone29Exercises.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado15 Dec 19411045Monfalcone15 Dec 19411348Monfalcone10,5Exercises.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado17 Dec 19410940Monfalcone17 Dec 19411430Monfalcone7Exercises.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado18 Dec 19411015Monfalcone18 Dec 19411528Monfalcone14,5Exercises.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado20 Dec 19411031Monfalcone20 Dec 19411658Pola79Passage Monfalcone-Pola.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado23 Dec 19410907Pola23 Dec 19411710Pola24Diving trials, escorted by auxiliary San Giorgio.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado24 Dec 19410745Pola24 Dec 19411748Pola109,6Exercises.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado28 Dec 19411502Pola29 Dec 19411702Pola125,5Diving trials to 80 metres, escorted by the auxiliary Jadera.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado31 Dec 19410855Pola31 Dec 19411516Pola10Gyrocompass test. The following days were used for battery maintenance.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado4 Jan 19420819Pola4 Jan 19421650Pola57Exercises.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado5 Jan 19420811Pola5 Jan 19421626Pola37,5Exercises with the submarines Jalea, Des Geneys, Medusa and Speri, escorted by the torpedo boat Audace and the auxiliaries Jadera, San Giorgio and Trau.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado7 Jan 19420846Pola7 Jan 19421749Pola52Exercises.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado8 Jan 19420920Pola8 Jan 19421510Pola19Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary San Giorgio.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado12 Jan 19420840Pola12 Jan 19421428Pola12Exercises.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado13 Jan 19421621Pola14 Jan 19420114Pola58Exercises with the submarine Otaria, escorted by the auxiliaries San Giorgio and Jadera.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado14 Jan 19420909Pola14 Jan 19421545Pola41,5Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary Trau.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado15 Jan 19420838Pola15 Jan 19421520Pola51,1Exercises with the submarine Jalea, escorted by the auxiliary Jadera.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado16 Jan 19421603Pola16 Jan 19422235Pola59Exercises with the submarine Des Geneys, escorted by the auxiliary San Giorgio.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado19 Jan 19421649Pola20 Jan 19420130Pola47Exercises (night firing) with the auxiliary Grado.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado21 Jan 19420847Pola21 Jan 19421700Pola50,7Exercises.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado24 Jan 19422311Pola26 Jan 19421020Brindisi362Passage Pola-Brindisi.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado30 Jan 19420832Brindisi30 Jan 19421540Brindisi31,5Exercises.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado5 Feb 19420955Brindisi5 Feb 19421529Brindisi22Exercises.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado6 Feb 19420902Brindisi6 Feb 19421531Brindisi20Exercises.

Dal Pozzo, Corrado7 Feb 19420912Brindisi7 Feb 19421454Brindisi20Exercises.

13Dal Pozzo, Corrado8 Feb 19421430Brindisi18 Feb 19421630Brindisi1114Patrolled off Cyrenaica, within 8 miles on the meridian from 34°30'N, 21°10'E, on a patrol line with Sirena. On the evening of 13th February, she was shifted 20 miles to the south then back to her original position. Due to defects to her diesels, she had to interrupt her patrol.
  10 Feb 19421156-1235At 1156 hours, a derelict mine was sighted. It was an occasion for some firing exercises with light machine guns and rifles. It finally was exploded from a distance of 250 metres at 1235 hours.
  13 Feb 19422058At 2058 hours, a submarine was sighted on an opposite course. Ondina had just been ordered to change her patrol position to the south. Ondina turned away.
  14 Feb 1942085434° 11'N, 21° 10'EAt 0648 hours, hydrophones noises were heard but, when the submarine rose to periscope depth, nothing could be seen.

At 0854 hours, explosions were heard, believed to be from aircraft bombs. Ondina went down deep. At 1115 hours, another loud explosion occurred, but this time the hydrophones detected an antisubmarine vessel. More depth-charges followed at 1355, 1720 and 1830 hours.
  14 Feb 19422242At 2242 hours, information was received of a large convoy on easterly course.
Ondina steered 231° to intercept. Hydrophone effects were heard without sighting anything and defects finally forced her to return home.

Andolfi, Gabriele17 Mar 19420850Brindisi17 Mar 19421528Brindisi44Exercises.

Andolfi, Gabriele18 Mar 19421110Brindisi18 Mar 19421622Brindisi36,5Exercises.
  18 Mar 1942
1536 (e)
At 1535 hours, Ondina was returning from exercises when she was sighted by HMS Upholder (Lieutenant Commander M.D. Wanklyn, VC, RN). The famous British submarine could not close to less than 5,000 yards and gave up her attack. Two hours later, Tricheco would not be so fortunate. In less than a month, HMS Upholder would disappear with all hands.

Andolfi, Gabriele3 Apr 19421130Brindisi7 Apr 19421615Leros1059Passage Brindisi-Leros. Off Leros met the torpedo boat Lira who escorted her in.
  4 Apr 19420642At 0642 hours, a German aircraft was seen and exchanged recognition signals.
  4 Apr 19420930At 0930 hours, two German aircraft were seen and exchanged recognition signals.
  5 Apr 19421650At 1650 hours, several aircraft were seen flying northward at a distance of 12,000 metres. Five minutes later, Ondina dived
  6 Apr 19421130At 1130 hours, an object thought to be a periscope was seen at 1,000 metres and Ondina turned away.

14Andolfi, Gabriele17 Apr 19422030Leros4 May 19420635Leros1284,5Patrolled between 33°40'N and 34°00'N, and between 22°20'E and 23°20'E, in Grids 7224, 7248, 7232, off Cyrenaica then in 6581, 6523, 6571. Dived several times because of aircraft, but was not attacked.
  24 Apr 19421440At 1440 hours, an aircraft was seen at 3,000 metres and the submarine dived.

Andolfi, Gabriele21 May 19420900Leros21 May 19421237Leros16Exercises.

15Andolfi, Gabriele23 May 19421318Leros11 Jun 19420600Leros1469Sailed with the submarine Beilul and outward escort by the destroyer Sella and patrolled off Mersa Matruh and Ras Kenayis between 32°00'N and the Egyptian coast, and between 26°40'E and 27°20'E.
  26 May 19422200At 2200 hours, four aircraft were seen and the submarine dived.
  27 May 19420130At 0130 hours, two aircraft were seen and the submarine dived.
  4 Jun 19420325At 0325 hours, two aircraft were seen and the submarine dived.

Andolfi, Gabriele30 Jun 19420910Leros30 Jun 19421250Leros19Exercises.

16Andolfi, Gabriele3 Jul 19420100Leros11 Jul 19421645Sunk450Sailed with the submarine Nereide (parted company at 1200 hours on the 4th) for patrol off Cyprus, between 33°40'N and 36°00'N, and between 32°00'E and the Syrian coast. On 7th July 1942, was ordered with other submarines to intercept the Norwegian Invapaten (sic) of about 6,000 GRT with a cargo of 4,500 tons of nickel, who had sailed on the night of 6/7th July from Mersina probably heading for Limassol and Port Said. This was actually the Norwegian Inviken (4,171 GRT, built 1925) who had sailed from Mersin on 6th July for Iskanderun and Port Said. Sunk by South African armed trawlers HMSAS Protea and HMSAS Southern Maid and a Walrus RAF aircraft (five killed, forty-one survivors).
  11 Jul 1942
1400-1600 (e)

(e) 34° 30'N, 34° 48'E
At 1400 hours, two warships were seen steering westward. Ondina submerged immediately.

These were the armed whalers HMSAS Protea ((Lt. Gordon Burn Wood, RSAN) and HMSAS Southern Maid (Lt. J. Bangley, RSAN). They were proceeding from Beirut to Famagusta when, at 1500C hours, they sighted a submarine at a distance of 2-3 miles.

At 1610C hours, Southern Maid obtained a contact but, on the first run, the submarine passed very quickly under her, before depth charges could be dropped. Protea was then directed to the attack and she released a pattern of six depth charges but without result.

At 1635C hours, Protea was directed by Southern Maid for a second attack, again without result. A Walrus (W.2709) of 700 Squadron arrived on the scene. It was piloted by Sub-Lieutenant P.A. Jordan, under Lieutenant Cook who acted as an observer.

At 1650 hours, Protea dropped a third pattern and, two minutes later, the submarine surfaced about 1,200 yards from Southern Maid. The Walrus immediately dived and attacked with two 250" bombs. At the same time, the two vessels opened fire on Ondina. Southern Maid fired eleven 4" rounds and scored two direct hits, which put her gun out of action.

At 1700C hours, the submarine sank. Five officers and thirty-six ratings were picked up by Southern Maid and Protea. Five ratings were killed.

92 entries. 69 total patrol entries (16 marked as war patrols) and 34 events.

All Italian submarines