Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders


Dante Morrone

Born  28 Jan 1914Ravenna

Ranks

  S.T.V.Sottotenente di Vascello
  T.V.Tenente di Vascello

Decorations

Career information

Had served as S.T.V. on heavy cruiser POLA from 20.11.1939 to ?
Promoted to T.V. on ?
ASTERIA (T.V. C.O.): from 20.08.1942 to 17.02.1943 (sunk, Morrone survived as a PoW).

Commands listed for Dante Morrone


Submarine Type Rank From To
Asteria (AE)Coastal / Sea goingT.V.20 Aug 194217 Feb 1943

War patrols listed for Dante Morrone

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Asteria (AE)22 Aug 19420430Trapani23 Aug 19420645La Maddalena282Passage Trapani-La Maddalena to join VII GRUPSOM.

Asteria (AE)1 Sep 19420720La Maddalena1 Sep 19421100La Maddalena22Exercises.

1.Asteria (AE)2 Sep 19421600La Maddalena16 Sep 19420930Cagliari1704Patrolled off Algeria between 37°00'N and 37°30'N and between 02°00'E and 02°20'E on a patrol line with the submarine Velella. Sighted only a French ship, a hospital ship and two Sunderland aircraft.

Asteria (AE)21 Sep 19420805Cagliari21 Sep 19421110Cagliari20Exercises.

Asteria (AE)29 Sep 19420805Cagliari29 Sep 19421625Cagliari74Exercises.

Asteria (AE)3 Oct 19421015Cagliari3 Oct 19421430Cagliari26Exercises.

Asteria (AE)5 Oct 19421400Cagliari5 Oct 19421730Cagliari20Exercises.

Asteria (AE)15 Oct 19421330Cagliari15 Oct 19421745Cagliari21Exercises.

Asteria (AE)21 Oct 19421335Cagliari21 Oct 19421655Cagliari22Exercises.

2.Asteria (AE)29 Oct 19420205Cagliari31 Oct 19420655Cagliari416Sailed for a patrol in 37°15'N, 08°35'E to form a patrol line with Argo, Porfido and Nichelio against a suspected naval force from Gibraltar. It was a false alarm and she was recalled at 2030 hours on the 30th. Uneventful.
  30 Oct 19420850At 0850 hours, a German aircraft was sighted and exchanged recognition signals.

3.Asteria (AE)7 Nov 19420310Cagliari19 Nov 19421210Cagliari1406Sailed for a patrol between 37°30'N and 37°40'N, and between 07°30'E and 08°00'E. She was then ordered to 37°10'N, 03°25'E (off Algiers). On 11th November, she was ordered to an area between 38°00'N and 38°20'N, and between 06°40'E and 07°00'E. On 13th November, she executed a reconnaissance of Bougie.
  8 Nov 1942033037° 35'N, 7° 56'EAt 0330 hours, a submarine was sighted on a westerly course. Asteria turned away.
  8 Nov 1942225837° 32'N, 6° 08'EAt 2258 hours, a submarine was sighted on a westerly course. Asteria turned away.
  9 Nov 1942205237° 12'N, 4° 18'EAt 2052 hours, a submarine was sighted on a westerly course.
  11 Nov 19422052At 2052 hours, two German aircraft were seen. One of them flashed recognition signals. Asteria could not respond as none of her signal flares worked.
  13 Nov 19420203
0105Z (e)
36° 46'N, 5° 08'E
(0) 050° - Cape Carbon - 3 miles (HMS Pentstemon).
At 0154 hours, a vessel was sighted in poor visibility, followed by a second vessel at 0200 hours and both appeared to be flashing signals.

At 0203 hours, a pair of torpedoes were fired aimed at the first vessel, believed to be a corvette or a torpedo boat. The torpedoes missed, probably due to their very visible phosphorescence. Two minutes later, the second vessel appeared to turn toward the submarine and Asteria dived to 90-100 metres. Two explosions shook the submarine at 0210 hours. Note: The Asteria report gives the position as 36°36' N but this is a typographical error, it also gives the position as 090° - Cape Bouak - 2 miles).

The target was the corvette HMS Pentstemon which reported missed by a torpedo.
  13 Nov 19420708
(0) Near Cape Carbon.
At 0708 hours, Asteria was proceeding on the surface toward her patrol area, when three aircraft where sighted. She crash-dived. She surfaced again at noon.
  13 Nov 19421245
1235A (e)
37° 13'N, 5° 54'EAt 1245 hours, a Hudson bomber was suddenly sighted flying at a height of 30 metres, attacking from the stern. There was no time to dive and Asteria barely had time to open fire with her machine-guns, letting off 25 13.2mm rounds, claiming the aircraft certainly hit. The aircraft dropped two A/S bombs and three depth charges. One of the A/S bomb exploded on the port side very close to the deck gun. Fortunately, there were no casualties and only minor damages to the superstructures. At 1247 hours, the submarine crash-dived.

The aircraft was Hudson 'C' of 500 Squadron, piloted by Sergeant W.M. Young. It sighted a submarine at a distance of 12 miles, steering 320° and dived to the attack from the port quarter. It strafed and dropped four depth charges which straddled the submarine forward of the conning tower. The U-boat was reported to have put up light antiaircraft fire and the bomber was not hit. After the explosions, the submarine was no longer seen but there were no debris or oil patch. After 5 minutes, an underwater explosion was observed but again without debris or any oil coming to the surface.
  16 Nov 19420120
(0) Off Bougie.
At 0120 hours, the submarine made a reconnaissance of the Bay of Bougie. According to her survivors, the submarine ran aground. However, her patrol report showed she followed the coast at a depth of 7-8 meters and, if she did ran aground, she managed to disengage herself.

4.Asteria (AE)24 Nov 19421643Cagliari6 Dec 19421045Cagliari1068She sailed for a patrol between 37°00'N and 37°20'N, and between 07°20'E and 07°40'E. On 26th November, she was ordered to an area between 37°20'N and the Algerian coast and between 02°40'E and 03°00'E. On 1st December, she was ordered to an area between 37°20'N and the Algerian coast, between 06°20'E and 06°40'E. Rammed and depth-charged by the minesweeper HMS Cadmus at 1830th on 4th December, but escaped.
  28 Nov 1942030237° 27'N, 4° 19'EAt 0302 hours, two transports of 5-10000-ton and a destroyer were sighted, steering 270°, 13 knots. They passed out of range.
  29 Nov 1942040036° 52'N, 2° 52'EAt 0400 hours, in poor visibilty, a warship was sighted at a distance of 4,000 metres, steering 090°, 10 knots. At 0425 hours, it was recognised as a JAVELIN class destroyer and shortly after, it altered course to 300°.

At 0435 hours, two destroyers of unknown type were sighted at 2,500 and 2,000 metres respectively.

At 0437 hours, the attack on the first destroyer was aborted and Asteria withdrew on the surface. At 0448 hours, the destroyers appeared to be catching up and she crash-dived. She reached a depth of 80 metres.

At 0509 hours, fifteen depth charges exploded near the submarine.

At 0531 hours, another ten depth charges exploded in the vicinity and Asteria moved away and finally surfaced at 1755 hours.
  30 Nov 1942005537° 18'N, 2° 55'EA submarine was sighted ahead, steering 280°. Asteria turned away.
  30 Nov 1942054037° 17'N, 2° 53'EA submarine was sighted ahead, steering 360°. Asteria turned away.
  30 Nov 19421405
(0) North of Algiers.
At 1405 hours, two aircraft were seen and the submarine dived.
  1 Dec 19421304
1305 (e)
37° 14'N, 2° 52'EAt 1304 hours, a Hudson bomber was sighted at a distance of 5,000 metres, Asteria crash-dived and heard three explosions. She escaped by going down to 70-80 metres.

This was Hudson 'C' of 500 Squadron, piloted by Squadron Leader Ensor, on convoy escort duty. It had sighted the submarine at distance of 5 miles. This was 20 miles from the convoy. Four Mark XI Torpex depth charges were released on the submarine from a height of 40 feet. It remained in the vicinity for 40 minutes after the submarine had dived.
  2 Dec 1942230037° 32'N, 5° 58'E
(0) Qu CH 9622 (307° - 34 Cape Bougaroni).
At 2300 hours, four destroyers were sighted at a distance of 4,000 metres, steering 230°, 18 knots. The submarine closed to attack. At 2313 hours, the distance had dropped to 1,000 meters and the destroyers turned toward the submarine, which crash-dived but was not attacked.
  4 Dec 19421830
1841 (e)
At 1830 hours, as she was surfacing, Asteria was rammed by the mineweeper HMS Cadmus escorting convoy T.E.7a and had to crash-dive. She was at a depth of 30 meters, when she was further damaged by depth charges but escaped by going down to 80 meters. However, she was forced to abort her patrol.
  5 Dec 1942023037° 58'N, 7° 07'EAt 0230 hours on 5th December, Asteria sighted a steamer with two destroyers but could only make an enemy report.

Asteria (AE)11 Dec 19420755Cagliari12 Dec 19420851Naples274Passage Cagliari-Naples for repairs (two months) following her collision on 4 December.

5.Asteria (AE)11 Feb 19431836Naples17 Feb 19430200SunkPatrolled northeast of Cape Bengut, between 37°20'N and the Algerian coast and between 04°40'E and 05°00'E. At 0259 hours on 17th February, she was detected by HMS Wheatland and attacked (later joined by HMS Easton). She attempted to escape going down to 175 meters. After repeated attacks, she was finally forced to surface at 0930 hours and scuttled herself 37°14'N, 04°27'E, an attempt at boarding failed. Six officers and forty-two ratings were picked up, four were drowned.
  16 Feb 1943194036° 57'N, 2° 21'EAt 1940 hours, a Swordfish bomber on A/S sweep with eight Hudsons of 500 Squadron reported a submarine.

This was Asteria and the escort destroyers HMS Easton and HMS Wheatland were sailed from Algiers to hunt the submarine.
  17 Feb 1943025937° 14'N, 4° 27'EAt 0259A hours, HMS Wheatland obtained an ASDIC contact at 1,300 yards, before sighting the conning tower of a submarine apparently diving toward the destroyer.

This was Asteria and she made desperate attempts to escape, going as deep as 175 metres.

At 0302 hours, a first pattern of five depth charges set at 50 feet was dropped ahead of the swirl.

At 0315 hours, a second pattern of ten depth charges set at 100 and 225 feet was released.

At 0415 hours, a third pattern of ten depth charges was set at 350 and 550 feet.

At 0509 hours, a fourth pattern followed, ten depth charges set at 100 and 225 feet.

At 0515 hours, HMS Easton joined in the hunt and released a first pattern set at 150 and 300 feet.

At 0734 hours, HMS Easton dropped a second pattern of ten depth charges set at 150 and 300 feet.

At 0806 hours, she dropped a third pattern of three depth charges set at 350 and 550 feet.

At 0819 hours, HMS Wheatland returned with a fifth pattern of ten depth charges set at 350 and 550 feet.

At 0916 hours, HMS Easton came back with her fourth pattern of two depth charges set at 100 and 225 feet.

At 0928 hours, HMS Wheatland dropped her sixth and final pattern of ten depth charges set at 350 and 550 feet.

At 0930 hours, Asteria surfaced in the middle of the last pattern and immediately came under fire from both destroyers. At 0940 hours, she sank after an attempt to board her failed. T.V. Dante Morrone, five officers and forty-two ratings were picked up. Five ratings were killed or drowned.

Three M.L.s and the British destroyer HMS Loyal and the Polish escort destroyer ORP Krakowiak were also sailed from Algiers to join the hunt but did not take part in the kill.

30 entries. 14 total patrol entries (5 marked as war patrols) and 20 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines