Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Mario Patanè

Born  11 May 1914Acireale (Catania)
Died  7 Sep 1943(29)Killed in action


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


6 Dec 1941 Croce di guerra al valore militare

Career information

MOCENIGO (S.T.V. officer): from 15.11.1939 to ?
Promoted to T.V. on ?
TOPAZIO: (T.V. C.O.): from 21.06.1942 to 29.06.1943.
VELELLA: (T.V. C.O.): from 09.06.1943 to 07.09.1943 (sunk, Patané was killed).

Commands listed for Mario Patanè

Submarine Type Rank From To
Topazio (TP)Coastal / Sea goingT.V.21 Jun 194229 Jun 1943
Velella (VL, I.27)Ocean goingT.V.9 Jun 19437 Sep 1943

Ships hit by Mario Patanè

No ships hit by this Commander.

War patrols listed for Mario Patanè

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Topazio (TP)24 Jun 19420840Fiume24 Jun 19421923Fiume66Trials.

Topazio (TP)26 Jun 19420630Fiume26 Jun 19421612Fiume44Trials.

Topazio (TP)28 Jun 19421008Fiume28 Jun 19421508Fiume8Trials with auxiliary Trau.

Topazio (TP)1 Jul 19420805Fiume1 Jul 19421555Fiume26Trials.

Topazio (TP)2 Jul 19420958Fiume3 Jul 19420005Fiume23Trials.

Topazio (TP)3 Jul 19421020Fiume4 Jul 19420310Fiume42Exercises.

Topazio (TP)4 Jul 19421400Fiume4 Jul 19421812Fiume18Trials.

Topazio (TP)6 Jul 19421010Fiume6 Jul 19421930Fiume7Trials.

Topazio (TP)7 Jul 19420832Fiume7 Jul 19421542Fiume25Exercises.

Topazio (TP)10 Jul 19420812Fiume10 Jul 19421600Fiume17Exercises.

Topazio (TP)11 Jul 19420500Fiume11 Jul 19421848Venice132Passage Fiume-Venice.

Topazio (TP)16 Jul 19420910Venice16 Jul 19421230Venice12Trials.

Topazio (TP)19 Jul 19420450Venice19 Jul 19421820Fiume132Passage Venice-Fiume.

Topazio (TP)23 Jul 19420630Fiume23 Jul 19420953Fiume6,5Trials.

Topazio (TP)25 Jul 19421335Fiume25 Jul 19421925Fiume20Trials.

Topazio (TP)28 Jul 19420710Fiume28 Jul 19421245Fiume34Trials.

Topazio (TP)29 Jul 19420840Fiume29 Jul 19421645Fiume43Trials.

Topazio (TP)30 Jul 19420740Fiume3 Aug 19420748Naples918Passage Fiume-Naples. Sighted only Italian ships. Topazio was sighted by HMS Traveller at 1930C hours on the 30th in 43°50'N, 14°55'E but out of attacking range.

Topazio (TP)4 Aug 19420425Naples4 Aug 19421350Naples58Trials.

Topazio (TP)6 Aug 19420835Naples6 Aug 19421610Naples36Exercises.

Topazio (TP)7 Aug 19420806Naples7 Aug 19421600Naples39Exercises.

Topazio (TP)8 Aug 19420825Naples8 Aug 19421606Naples44Exercises.

Topazio (TP)9 Aug 19420812Naples9 Aug 19421620Naples35Exercises.

Topazio (TP)16 Aug 19420635Naples16 Aug 19421245Naples33Trials.

Topazio (TP)20 Aug 19420707Naples20 Aug 19421200Naples24Exercises.

Topazio (TP)29 Aug 19421540Naples29 Aug 19421735Naples19Trials.

Topazio (TP)1 Sep 19420810Naples1 Sep 19421240Naples14Trials.

Topazio (TP)2 Sep 19420800Naples2 Sep 19421612NaplesExercises.

Topazio (TP)2 Sep 19421849Naples2 Sep 19422315Naples59Exercises.

Topazio (TP)8 Sep 19421130Naples8 Sep 19421615Naples24Trials.

Topazio (TP)9 Sep 19421152Naples9 Sep 19422320Naples61Trials.

Topazio (TP)10 Sep 19421530Naples11 Sep 19421050Messina173Passage Naples-Messina.

Topazio (TP)17 Sep 19421315Messina17 Sep 19421750Messina15Exercises, escorted by AS.17.

Topazio (TP)22 Sep 19420730Messina22 Sep 19421223Messina28Exercises.

Topazio (TP)24 Sep 19420730Messina24 Sep 19421210Messina15Exercises.

Topazio (TP)30 Sep 19421310Messina30 Sep 19421745Messina22Exercises.

Topazio (TP)1 Oct 19420816Messina1 Oct 19421020Messina12Trials.

Topazio (TP)3 Oct 19420802Messina3 Oct 19421012Messina10Trials.

Topazio (TP)14 Oct 19421335Messina14 Oct 19421745Messina21Exercises.

Topazio (TP)20 Oct 19421300Messina20 Oct 19421725Messina23Exercises.

1.Topazio (TP)24 Oct 19421410Messina11 Nov 19421342Messina2172,5Patrolled south of Balearic islands, between 37°40'N and 38°10'N, and between 02°20'E and 02°40'E. At 2201 hours on 6th November, patrol was shifted 20 miles south (to German Grid CH 8352, 8362, 8388 and 8398).
  27 Oct 19422400At 2400 hours, a hospital ship was sighted.
  7 Nov 1942101637° 02'N, 2° 23'EAt 1016 hours, as the submarine was listening to the radio, suddenly aircraft bombs were heard and Topazio was taken deep.
  7 Nov 1942210537° 05'N, 2° 41'EAt 2105 hours, a convoy of two steamers escorted by four destroyers proceeding to Algiers was sighted. Topazio fired one torpedo from a stern tube aimed at a destroyer from a distance of 1,100 metres. Another destroyer turned suddenly toward the submarine who escaped by going down to 70 metres. Depth charges were heard at 2110 and 2124 hours.
  9 Nov 1942122538° 10'N, 6° 49'EAt 1225 hours, an aircraft was seen at 5,000 metres and the submarine dived.
  9 Nov 1942143538° 15'N, 6° 58'EAt 1435 hours, an aircraft was seen at 7,000 metres and the submarine dived.
  10 Nov 1942092538° 43'N, 10° 32'EAt 0925 hours, an aircraft was seen at a distance of 6,000 metres and the submarine dived.
  10 Nov 1942123239° 06'N, 11° 13'EAt 1232 hours, an aircraft was seen very distant and the submarine dived.
  10 Nov 1942155839° 08'N, 11° 45'EAt 1558 hours, an aircraft was seen at a distance of 7,000 metres and the submarine dived.
  11 Nov 19420735At 0735 hours, a German four-engine aircraft was seen and exchanged recognition signals.

Topazio (TP)17 Nov 19421305Messina17 Nov 19421635Messina20Trials.

2.Topazio (TP)19 Nov 19420735Messina20 Nov 19421130Messina219Sailed for patrol east of Malta then recalled at 2130 hours on the 19th.

Topazio (TP)26 Nov 19420110Messina26 Nov 19422115Naples190Passage Messina-Naples.

Topazio (TP)28 Nov 19420810Naples28 Nov 19421155Naples19Trials.

Topazio (TP)29 Nov 19420830Naples29 Nov 19421150Naples19Trials.

Topazio (TP)7 Dec 19420820Naples7 Dec 19421150Naples17Exercises.

Topazio (TP)8 Dec 19421704Naples9 Dec 19421910Augusta252Passage Napoli-Augusta.

3.Topazio (TP)11 Dec 19421700Augusta17 Dec 19420730Augusta592Patrolled between 34°40'N and 35°00'N, and between 14°20'E and 14°40'E [or 35°00'N and 35°10'N, and between 14°30'E and 14°50'E?] to cover, with the submarine Uarsciek, the passage of a convoy from Naples to Tripoli. This was Foscolo escorted by the destroyer Freccia.
  14 Dec 1942014034° 49'N, 14° 35'EAt 0117 hours, a shadow was sighted. Ten minutes later, three cruisers in single file escorted by destroyers could be made out.

At 0140 hours, T.V. Mario Patanè ordered two bow torpedoes fired but inadvertently a third torpedo was fired as well at a range of 1,500 metres aimed at a destroyer. They all missed.

Topazio (TP)17 Dec 19421530Augusta17 Dec 19422228Messina70,5Passage Augusta-Messina.

Topazio (TP)8 Jan 19430805Messina8 Jan 19431208Messina16Trials.

Topazio (TP)16 Jan 19430810Messina16 Jan 19431345Messina18Trials.

Topazio (TP)24 Jan 19430820Messina24 Jan 19431306Messina17Trials.

Topazio (TP)25 Jan 19430804Messina25 Jan 19431229Messina15Trials.

Topazio (TP)27 Jan 19430842Messina27 Jan 19431258Messina21Exercises.

Topazio (TP)29 Jan 19430905Messina29 Jan 19431250Messina15Exercises.

Topazio (TP)30 Jan 19431323Messina30 Jan 19431850Messina21Exercises.

Topazio (TP)1 Feb 19431440Messina1 Feb 19432205Augusta70,5Passage Messina-Augusta.

Topazio (TP)4 Feb 19431421Augusta4 Feb 19431820Augusta18Trials.

Topazio (TP)11 Feb 19430830Augusta11 Feb 19431206Augusta13Exercises.

Topazio (TP)15 Feb 19431205Augusta15 Feb 19431755Augusta41Trials.

Topazio (TP)18 Feb 19431030Augusta18 Feb 19431155Augusta1Trials.

Topazio (TP)20 Feb 19430910Augusta20 Feb 19431205Augusta9Trials.

Topazio (TP)1 Mar 19430827Augusta1 Mar 19431205Augusta21Exercises.

4.Topazio (TP)2 Mar 19431905Augusta17 Mar 19430700Augusta1373Patrolled in Central Mediterranean between 31°54'N and 32°20'N, and between 15°50'E and 16°40'E. Uneventful.

Topazio (TP)25 Mar 19430130Augusta26 Mar 19430904Naples303Passage Augusta-Naples.

Topazio (TP)27 Mar 19431353Naples27 Mar 19431607Naples16Trials.

Topazio (TP)30 Mar 19431505Naples30 Mar 19431732Naples8Trials.

Topazio (TP)1 Apr 19430915Naples1 Apr 19431317Naples15Trials.

Topazio (TP)2 Apr 19431502Naples2 Apr 19431800Naples13Trials.

Topazio (TP)6 Apr 19430032Naples7 Apr 19431040La Maddalena235Passage Naples-La Maddalena.
  6 Apr 19430052
(0) Naples harbour.
At 0052 hours, Topazio had a slight collision with the torpedo boat Sagittario and suffered superficial damage.

Topazio (TP)11 Apr 19430830La Maddalena11 Apr 19431350La Maddalena5Trials.

Topazio (TP)12 Apr 19431330La Maddalena12 Apr 19431820La Maddalena7Trials.

5.Topazio (TP)15 Apr 19431710La Maddalena4 May 19431620La Maddalena1067Patrolled in Western Mediterranean, between 39°00'N and 39°40'N, and between 05°00'E and 05°40'E. On 16 April 1943, in 40°06'N, 06°24'E, proceeding to patrol area. Uneventful. Sirena should have gone on this patrol, but Topazio replaced her, perhaps because she had developed defects.
  29 Apr 1943060039° 23'N, 5° 39'EAt 0600 hours, the submarine Dandolo was sighted submerging. Topazio turned away.

Topazio (TP)14 May 19431850La Maddalena16 May 19430753Pozzuoli261,2Passage La Maddalena-Pozzuoli for refit.

Topazio (TP)20 May 19430805Pozzuoli20 May 19431510Castellammare di Stabia26Passage Pozzuoli-Castellammare di Stabia.

Velella (VL, I.27)10 Jun 19430555Bonifacio10 Jun 19430820La Maddalena21Passage Bonifacio-La Maddalena.

Velella (VL, I.27)14 Jun 19430750La Maddalena14 Jun 19431150La Maddalena11Exercises.

Velella (VL, I.27)16 Jun 19430713La Maddalena16 Jun 19431020La Maddalena10,5Exercises.

Velella (VL, I.27)17 Jun 19430800La Maddalena17 Jun 19431320La Maddalena17Exercises.

6.Velella (VL, I.27)18 Jun 19430614La Maddalena21 Jun 19430850La Maddalena673Sailed for patrol west of Sardinia from 40°18'N, 06°49'E to 34°35'N, 06°10'E (replacing Diaspro), then ordered off Bone between 37°20'N and Algerian coast, and between 05°40'E and 06°20'E, On a patrol line with Bronzo, but then recalled.
  18 Jun 1943160041° 07'N, 8° 09'EAt 1600 hours, an aircraft was seen approaching the submarine head on. Initially, it was mistaken as Italian. At a distance of 4,000 metres the submarine flashed a recognition signal which was not answered. The aircraft then turned to come from the stern and was identified as a Blenheim bomber (it was in fact a B.26 Marauder, one of two on a anti-shipping strike). Velella opened fire with her machine guns at a range of 1,500 metres as the bomber strafed her, making two runs. The submarine suffered only minor damage and the aircraft then flew toward the east.
  21 Jun 1943002541° 03'N, 7° 37'EAt 0025 hours, an unknown submarine was sighted at a distance of 7,000 metres. It appeared to suddenly reverse course and dived.
  21 Jun 1943010041° 04'N, 7° 45'EAt 0100 hours, a submarine was sighted at a distance of 5,000 metres on a parallel course. Velella made the recognition signal and was not answered but refrained from attack as Argo was known to be in the area.

Topazio (TP)21 Jun 19430600Castellammare di Stabia21 Jun 19430830Naples12Passage Castellammare di Stabia-Naples.

Velella (VL, I.27)25 Jun 19430508La Maddalena25 Jun 19431230Ajaccio71Passage La Maddalena-Ajaccio.

Velella (VL, I.27)29 Jun 19430740Ajaccio29 Jun 19431210Ajaccio17,5Exercises.

Velella (VL, I.27)5 Jul 19431355Ajaccio5 Jul 19432010La MaddalenaPassage Ajaccio-La Maddalena.

7.Velella (VL, I.27)10 Jul 19430240La Maddalena13 Jul 19430715Taranto885Initially sailed to patrol in zone 172 [between 38°25'N and 38°35'N, and between 12°20'E and 12°40'E], the order was quickly altered and she was sent to zones 82 [between 37°00'N and 37°10'N, and between 15°20'E and 15°40'E] and 83 [between 36°50'N and 37°00'N, and between 15°20'E and 15°40'E] (east coast of Sicily), but a few hours later she was ordered to the northern half of zone 81 to stop the Allied landings ("Z" order). At 2022 hours on the 11th, she was ordered to go to zone 83. At 0525 hours on the 12th, she was ordered to proceed to Taranto for repairs through 39°00'N, 17°40'E and Point A.2, then ordered at 1120 hours on the 12th to 40°14'N, 17°05'E.
  10 Jul 1943083840° 36'N, 10° 22'EA drifting mine was seen.
  10 Jul 1943162539° 58'N, 12° 10'EAt 1625 hours, an aircraft, believed to be a Blenheim bomber, was seen at a distance of 1,500 metres. It appeared to try making a stern attack but altered away at 800 meters as Velella opened fire with her machine guns.
  11 Jul 1943122538° 09'N, 15° 34'E
(0) 210° - Cape Peloro - 7 miles
A periscope was sighted at 1,500 metres and range was closed to 400 metres. Velella took avoiding action and made an enemy report. This was probably HMS Ultor.
  11 Jul 19431225
(0) 210° - Cape Peloro - 7 miles.
At 1225 hours, a periscope was sighted at 1,500 metres. Velella took avoiding action and made an enemy report at 1242 hours.
  11 Jul 1943204538° 15'N, 15° 30'E
(0) Approximately.
At 2045 hours, Velella was proceeding at a depth of 30 metres, when two very close explosions were heard . The submarine was undamaged and went down to 40-50 metres. Another pattern of depth-charges was heard at 2055 hours and the submarine went deeper to 100-120 meters. The A/S hunt went on until 0043 hours on the 13th. When she later surfaced,Velella appeared to have been leaking oil and the decision was made to abort the mission.
  12 Jul 19430335At 0335 hours, a submarine was sighted at 1,200 metres and Velella turned away.
  12 Jul 1943173538° 44'N, 17° 26'EAt 1735 hours, five survivors of a Savoia 79 torpedo bomber (41 Gruppo) were rescued.

8.Velella (VL, I.27)20 Jul 19432110Taranto2 Aug 19430834La Maddalena?Patrolled off Syracuse and Augusta ("Z" order) between 36°30'N and 36°50'N, 15°07'E and 15°50'E.
  23 Jul 19431416-161536° 50'N, 15° 55'EFrom 1416 to 1615 hours, Velella was depth charged by two corvettes but escaped damage.
  23 Jul 1943221436° 47'N, 15° 55'EAt 2214 hours, an aircraft dropped flares over Velella and she dived.
  24 Jul 1943015536° 41'N, 15° 44'EAn unidentified aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  24 Jul 19430326
0200Z approx. (e)
36° 45'N, 15° 25'E
(e) 36° 48'N, 16° 23'E
The submarine sighted three flares at about 2,500 metres and dived. This was Hudson HZ.114 of 221 Squadron (Flying Officer E. Austin) which had detected a surfaced submarine, but the attack failed as "moonpath was insufficient".
  26 Jul 19431835-202536° 04'N, 16° 00'EThe submarine was hunted by two MGBs from 1835 to 2113 hours and reported that 90 depth-charges were dropped. Some explosions were very close to the submarine and later, it was realised that she was leaking fuel.
  26 Jul 1943222035° 45'N, 16° 08'EAt 2150 hours, Velella surfaced. Half an hour later a corvette was sighted at a distance of 5,000 metres and she had to submerge again.
  29 Jul 1943205536° 03'N, 13° 12'EAn lluminated hospital ship was observed at a distance of 6-7,000 metres.
  30 Jul 19430230
0230B (e)
36° 10'N, 12° 28'E
(e) 36° 40'N, 12° 28'E
At 0230 hours, Velella observed a Very light a some distance ahead and closed to attack. Two rounds fell near the submarine, which had to crash-dive to 80 metres. This was a convoy consisting of USS LST-307, USS LST-325, USS LST-335, USS LST-337, USS LST-338 and USS LST-400) escorted by USS PC-624 (Lt. Cdr. R.D. Lowther, USNR) and a disabled submarine chaser. They had sailed from Licata (Sicily) at 1530 hours on the 29th for Tunis carrying 1,700 PoWs. Earlier, Lowther had complained that his gyrocompass was unreliable. PC-624 had sighted the U-boat at 0205B hours and rushed to the attack. Lowther claimed the submarine had fired a torpedo before diving, but this is not confirmed by her patrol report. The submarine chaser now dropped five depth charges forcing the submarine and claimed it sunk. For a long time, PC-624 was attributed the loss of U-375, which disappeared with all hands at that time. The German submarine was probably mined in the Gela area. The convoy reached Tunis at 1630 hours on the 30th without further incident.
  1 Aug 1943103039° 10'N, 10° 46'EThe submarine was shaken by a bomb while proceeding at a depth of 60 meters. When she later surfaced, it was realised she was leaking fuel .
  2 Aug 1943010340° 33'N, 10° 13'EThe submarine was illuminated by an aircraft (apparently using a Leigh light) and dived. The submarine later surfaced and it was realised that she was leaking fuel.
  2 Aug 1943021040° 33'N, 10° 08'EFlares were sighted at about 4,000 metres and Velella prudently dived.

Velella (VL, I.27)20 Aug 19430717La Maddalena20 Aug 19431201La MaddalenaExercises.

Velella (VL, I.27)28 Aug 19430350La Maddalena28 Aug 19431025AjaccioPassage La Maddalena-Ajaccio.

Velella (VL, I.27)29 Aug 19431910Ajaccio31 Aug 19430900NaplesPassage Ajaccio-Naples.

9.Velella (VL, I.27)7 Sep 19431500Naples7 Sep 19432000Sunk with all handsSailed to attack allied landings in Salerno. Torpedoed and sunk by HMS Shakespeare on 7th September off Punta Licosa, in 40°15'N, 14°30'E. No survivors, six officers and forty-six ratings killed.
  7 Sep 1943
2003 (e)

(e) 40° 15'N, 14° 30'E
At 1953 hours, HMS Shakespeare was patrolling off Licosa, when the ASDIC revealed the presence of two U-boats. At 2003 hours, they were observed to be steering 135° at 10 knots and the British submarine fired a salvo of six torpedoes from a distance of 1,200 yards, claiming four hits. These were Velella and Brin and the latter observed her unfortunate companion disintegrated after three explosions. Velella had left Naples at 1500 hours on 7th September for a patrol off Salerno. There were no survivors, six officers and forty-six ratings were killed. The loss was particularly tragic as in a few hours the Italian Armistice would come into effect.

117 entries. 91 total patrol entries (9 marked as war patrols) and 34 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines