Italian submarines in World War Two
|Type||Coastal / Sea going|
|Laid down||3 Sep 1935||Odero-Terni-Orlando, Muggiano|
|Launched||30 Jul 1936|
|Commissioned||6 Nov 1936|
|Loss date||22 Aug 1940|
|Loss position||32° 16'N, 23° 14'E|
|History||Sunk on 22nd August 1940 in the Bay of Bomba (between Derna and Tobruk), by a torpedo from a Swordfish aircraft of 824 Squadron (belonging to the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle, but temporarily based at Dekheila, west of Alexandria).|
|Commander||Date from||Date to||Command notes|
|C.C. Francesco Brunetti||7 Jun 1940||22 Aug 1940|
Ships hitNo ships hit by this submarine.
Patrols and events
|Commander||Date||Time||Port||Arr. date||Arr. time||Arr. port||Miles||Description|
|Brunetti, Francesco||1300||Sunk||Sunk by FAA Swordfish.|
|Brunetti, Francesco||7 Jun 1940||0935||La Spezia||7 Jun 1940||1830||La Spezia||47||Exercises.|
|Brunetti, Francesco||9 Jun 1940||0815||La Spezia||9 Jun 1940||1000||La Spezia||8||Exercises.|
|Brunetti, Francesco||11 Jun 1940||1650||La Spezia||11 Jun 1940||2050||La Spezia||10||Exercises.|
|Brunetti, Francesco||12 Jun 1940||1345||La Spezia||12 Jun 1940||2000||La Spezia||36||Exercises with the submarine Zoea.|
|Brunetti, Francesco||14 Jun 1940||0830||La Spezia||14 Jun 1940||1200||La Spezia||6||Exercises.|
|1||Brunetti, Francesco||14 Jun 1940||1935||La Spezia||19 Jun 1940||1015||La Spezia||349||Sailed to form a patrol line with Scirè in 135° - Capo dell'Arma - 10 miles, between Cape Noli and Capo dell'Arma (French border).|
|2||Brunetti, Francesco||20 Jun 1940||2015||La Spezia||28 Jun 1940||1120||La Spezia||896||Patrolled in 43°00'N, 05°05'E, off Marseilles.|
|23 Jun 1940||0315||42° 30'N, 5° 05'E||At 0305 hours, a shadow was sighted at a distance of 2,500 metres. It appeared to be a large armed vessel steering on a northerly course (toward Marseilles).|
At 0315 hours, a torpedo (533mm) was fired from a bow tube at a range of 700 metres, followed ten seconds later by a second one. Both torpedoes missed. Iride was now withdrawing by steering 090° at a depth of 30 metres, when she was shaken by an explosion followed by four more. She escaped by going down to 80 metres.
|Brunetti, Francesco||3 Jul 1940||0820||La Spezia||3 Jul 1940||1335||La Spezia||?||Exercises.|
|Brunetti, Francesco||4 Jul 1940||1400||La Spezia||5 Jul 1940||1100||La Maddalena||214||Passage La Spezia-La Maddalena.|
|3||Brunetti, Francesco||10 Jul 1940||0050||La Maddalena||12 Jul 1940||0705||La Maddalena||?||Patrolled 310° - Asinara Point - 65 miles. On a patrol line with Argo, Scirè and Diaspro.|
|Brunetti, Francesco||14 Jul 1940||0730||La Maddalena||15 Jul 1940||1415||La Spezia||214||Passage La Maddalena-La Spezia.|
|Brunetti, Francesco||22 Jul 1940||0830||La Spezia||22 Jul 1940||1830||La Spezia||Exercises.|
|Brunetti, Francesco||31 Jul 1940||1830||La Spezia||31 Jul 1940||2000||La Spezia||Exercises.|
|Brunetti, Francesco||2 Aug 1940||0620||La Spezia||3 Aug 1940||0145||La Spezia||Exercises.|
|Brunetti, Francesco||5 Aug 1940||0825||La Spezia||5 Aug 1940||1820||La Spezia||Exercises.|
|4||Brunetti, Francesco||12 Aug 1940||1100||La Spezia||14 Aug 1940||1850||Messina||Passage La Spezia-Messina.|
|4b||Brunetti, Francesco||16 Aug 1940||1620||Messina||21 Aug 1940||Menelao Bay (Gulf of Bomba)||Passage from Messina to Menelao Bay (Gulf of Bomba).|
|4c||Brunetti, Francesco||22 Aug 1940||Menelao Bay (Gulf of Bomba)||22 Aug 1940||1200||Sunk||The submarine was anchored in Menelao Bay and was expected to sail the next day for operation GA.1, an attack by the Decima Flottiglia MAS on Alexandria. She was torpedoed by a Swordfish from HMS Eagle (but based at Dekheila, near Alexandria) and sunk.|
|22 Aug 1940||1200|
|32° 16'N, 23° 13'E|
(0) 85° - 1.5 mile from Ras Megara (Gulf of Bomba).
|At 1200 hours, Iride was anchored in the bay of Ain El Gazala (AKA Menelao Bay) in the Gulf of Bomba, when she came under air attack from Swordfish of 824 Squadron, belonging to HMS Eagle but based at Dekheila (west of Alexandria). Air reconnaissance of the previous day had reported the presence of the submarine. Swordfish torpedo bombers were moved from Dekheila to the airstrip of Ma'aten Bagush near Sidi Barrani, to be able to get within striking range.|
Three aircraft took off on 22nd August, they were piloted by Captain Oliver Patch, RM (leader), Lieutenant (A) Neville Addison Fyers Cheesman, RN and Lieutenant (A) John Walter George Wellham, RN. The flight navigator was Midshipman (A) Gordon John Woodley, RNVR who exhibited great skill as the flight came over the sea and was in sight of land only when the attack occurred.
At 1258C hours, the three Swordfish attacked from the northwest, flying at a height of only 30 feet. The main target was Iride, cruising at the time 4 miles off the coast. She was observed to open fire with two twin-mounted machine guns. The other ships present also opened fire. Captain Patch launched his torpedo, which squarely hit the submarine and broke her in half. She sank in 14-16 metres of water. Lieutenant Wellham launched his torpedo at the auxiliary minelayer Monte Gargano from a distance of 500 yards. The ship had opened fire, hitting the aircraft with a single bullet causing minor damage. She was also struck, caught fire and sank. Lieutenant Cheesman is reported to have launched his torpedo at a second submarine alongside a destroyer and she also sank. In fact, there were no second submarine present (an Italian report mentions that two torpedoes struck Iride). At the time it was claimed that four ships had been sunk or seriously damaged with three torpedoes when in fact only Iride and Monte Gargano (three wounded) had been sunk but the raid had nevertheless been very successful. The torpedo boat Calipso had been present but was only slightly damaged (two killed or missing, four wounded).
Iride was in the process of taking the SLCs from the torpedo boat Calipso who had brought them from La Spezia. Of her crew, five men were picked up and six men were rescued from the sunken submarine (three officers and thirty ratings were killed). Rescue efforts were soon under way with the assistance of the torpedo-boat Calipso and the tugs Egadi and Luigi Rizzo. Eight men had been located in the submarine and eventually seven made their escape, the eighth was too scared to leave the submarine but S.T.V. Luigi Durand De La Penne (who later achieved fame for his Alexandria attack) entered the submarine and after 12 minutes managed to bring him out by lending him his own Davis apparatus. In all fifteen men of the crew of Iride survived including T.V. Brunetti.
19 entries. 19 total patrol entries (4 marked as war patrols) and 2 events.