Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Francesco D'Alessandro

Born  21 Jan 1914Teramo
Died  Aug 1942(28)Killed in action


  T.V.Tenente di Vascello


  Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare

Career information

MOROSINI (T.V. C.O.): from 05.04.1942 to 13.08.1942? (sunk, D'Alessandro was killed).

Commands listed for Francesco D'Alessandro

Submarine Type Rank From To
Morosini (MS, I.20)Ocean goingT.V.5 Apr 194213 Aug 1942

War patrols listed for Francesco D'Alessandro

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Morosini (MS, I.20)27 May 1942Date???Bordeaux28 May 19420900La PallicePassage Bordeaux-La Pallice.

1.Morosini (MS, I.20)3 Jun 19421700La Pallice13 Aug 1942Date approx.Sunk with all handsPatrolled northeast of Puerto Rico. She carried 300 rounds of 10 cm and sixteen torpedoes (eight forward and eight aft). Sunk on or after 8th August 1942, cause unknown (eight officers and fifty other ranks lost). A bomber from 311 Squadron (Czech) claimed a submarine probably sunk on 12th August 1942, 200 miles WSW of the mouth of the Loire (the attack was actually on U-406). On 13th August 1942, a bomber of 304 Sq claimed a submarine probably sunk 275 miles northwest of Cape Finisterre (the attack was actually on U-607). NOTE: Italian Grid Chart No.9 was in use from 1st July 1942 onward.
  4 Jun 1942180045° 00'N, 10° 00'W
(0) Approximately.
At 1800 hours, Morosini signalled BETASOM that she had crossed the 10° W meridian.
  4 Jun 19421845At 1845 hours, Morosini was informed that a convoy of three tankers and three corvettes had sailed westward from Gibraltar on 1 June.
  11 Jun 19420100At 0100 hours, Morosini signalled her position and that enemy traffic was nil.
  17 Jun 19420045Morosini signalled her position and that traffic was nil.
  25 Jun 19422200At 2200 hours, Morosini was informed of some changes in communications in zone K. She had also been informed that Finzi would cede her 15 tons of fuel on 1 July. At 0003 hours on 26th June, Finzi informed that she had 313 tons of fuel and that she could be at the rendezvous point at dawn on 29 June and this was changed accordingly. However, Morosini probably could not make it in time and the first rendezvous finally occurred on 1 July.
  30 Jun 19420707-
2303/29 or 0330-0500 (e)
25° 35'N, 58° 10'W
(e) 25° 33'N, 57° 33'W
At about 0700 hours, the Dutch steamer Tijsa (5327 GRT, built 1938) [aka Tysa] on a trip from Port Said to Baltimore via Capetown, described as 10,000 ton vessel on 325° course (also reported as 315°) was attacked by Morosini. According to her survivors, she was sunk by three torpedo hits and the submarine fired at least 23 100mm rounds. All forty-three of her crew were rescued (one lifeboat with seventeen Dutch and seven British landed at St. Kitts on 9 July).

The time initially given by the survivors was that she had been torpedoed at 1930Z hours on the 29th, but this was later corrected to 0330 hours GMT on the 30th and she sank at 0500 hours GMT on the 30th. Italian Intelligence assumed, at the time, that she was Mosfruit (2,714 GRT) but she was reported to have been sunk by U-458 at 1626 hours on 30th June in 56°10' N, 23°40' W (Grid AL 4224).
  1 Jul 1942123123° 25'N, 55° 45'W
(0) Italian Grid 7373/15.
At 1231 hours (time given by Finzi), Morosini met Finzi but they had a minor collision. At 1620 hours, Morosini informed BETASOM that the fuelling attempt was postponed to 3 July (and at 1715 hours on 2nd July, this was further postponed to 4 July). At 1200 hours on 3 July, Morosini and Finzi were informed that traffic between New York and Brazil passed through Italian Grids 8950/36 and 0481/31.
  4 Jul 19420330
(0) Italian Grid 2126/41.
At 0330 hours, Finzi informed BETASOM that the refuelling of Morosini could not be completed and she was given freedom of action. At 0200 hours on 5th July, Morosini informed BETASOM of her remaing fuel and torpedoes.
  11 Jul 19420001At 0001 hours, Morosini was ordered by BETASOM to maintain a patrol line on the routes between New York, Capetown and South America in Italian Grids 0626/11 and 8235/16.
  14 Jul 19420245At 0245 hours, Morosini informed BETASOM of her position. On 17th July, Finzi was ordered to give Morosini 30 tons of fuel.
  19 Jul 1942023027° 55'N, 52° 55'W
(0) Italian Grid 1134/66. Position uncertain.
At 0230 hours, Morosini reported sighting and may have attacked a decoy ship steering 330°. On 20th July, Morosini was told to maintain a patrol in Italian Grids 1195 and 2377. At 2100 hours on 21st July, Morosini amplified that the decoy ship was probably a camouflaged gunboat.
  20 Jul 19421900At 1900 hours, BETASOM ordered Morosini to Italian Grids 1195 and 2377.
  24 Jul 19420130At 0115 hours, BETASOM ordered Finzi to give 30 tons of fuel to Morosini and fixed the rendezvous for 27th July. At 0130 hours, Morosini gave her position and fuel situation.
  27 Jul 19421050+30° 45'N, 52° 25'W
(0) Italian Grid 8293/53.
At 1050 hours, the submarines Finzi and Morosini met. Morosini took 25 tons of fuel and gave Finzi one ton of oil.
  28 Jul 19420900At 0900 hours, Morosini reported her position and that she had 85 tons of fuel and 15 days of provisions left. She was told to operate between Italian Grids 2301/15 and 5398/26 on the route North America to Freetown.
  31 Jul 19421830At 1830 hours, Morosini reported her position and was initiating her return trip.
  5 Aug 19420100At 0100 hours, Morosini reported her position. At 1200 hours on 7th August, BETASOM instructed her to stay submerged [by daylight] when west of 10° West.
  8 Aug 19421100At 1100 hours, Morosini signalled that she would be arriving at 0600 hours on 10th August by Route 2. BETASOM gave her the route to follow and at 2300 hours on 9th August, informed her that a German ship escorted by three torpedo boats, might be encountered (this was Uckermark, ex Altmark, code name HAMMER, escorted by three German torpedo-boats T-13, T-10 and T-14). At 2400 hours on the 10th, the three torpedo boats were to meet her in German grid BF 9917 (43°33' N, 01°50' W). They actually did so at 0730 hours on the 11th.

At 1850 hours on the 9th, the 4th Sicherungsdivision informed T-14, V-411, M-4413 and V-413 (DEFE3/186/542, TNA) that I-20 (Morosini) would be at point 446 at 0600 hours on the 10th, inward bound along HANDGEPAECK (route 2).
  13 Aug 1942
(0) Unknown.
Morosini disappeared without a trace. The exact date and cause of her loss are unknown. She made her final approach through Route 2, which apparently started 45°06' N, 02°32' W or 45°02' N, 02°28' W on course 049° for 50 miles and end at about 45°34' N, 01°34' W or about 20 miles west of Le Verdon. Possibly mined on Rubis' minefield of 7th July 1942 (8 mines laid in 45°07' N, 01°19.5' W). She reported at 0100 hours on 8th August that she would be arriving at dawn on the 10th and was ordered to proceed via Route 2 submerged when east of 10°W (ULTRA intelligence apparently located her by DF on 7th August. Message was probably around midnight 7/8th August). At 0100 hours on 8th August, Morosini had inforned BETASOM that she was making her final approach and would reach Le Verdon at dawn on 10th August. At 2300 hours on 9th August, she was informed of the possible encounter of a merchant ship (this was the outgoing Uckermark ex Altmark, code name HAMMER) escorted by three German torpedo-boats (T-13, T-10 and T-14 of 3. T-Flottille, KK Wilcke). She did not answer signals sent to her on the evening of 9th August neither another one on the 10th (ULTRA intelligence had intercepted them). She may have been mined. At 1000 hours on 10th August she had not arrived at the rendezvous and three German aircraft were sent to search but could not locate her. She was believed at the time to have probably been sunk by aircraft. ADM199/2060: a bomber from 311 Sq (Czech) claimed a submarine probably sunk on 12th August 1942 200 miles WSW of the mouth of the Loire (the attack was actually on U-406). On 13th August 1942, a bomber of 304 Sq claimed a submarine probably sunk 275 miles NW of C. Finisterre (the attack was actually on U-607).
Sunk on or after 8th August 1942, cause unknown, eight officers and fifty ratings were missing.

20 entries. 2 total patrol entries (1 marked as war patrols) and 19 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines