Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Virgilio Spigai

Born  24 Sep 1907La Spezia
Died  30 Jul 1976(68)Rome


  T.V.Tenente di Vascello
  C.C.Capitano di Corvetta


  Croce al merito di guerra
  Croce al merito di guerra
  Cavaliere dell'ordine coloniale della Stella d'Italia
  Cavaliere di gran croce dell'ordine della Republica Italiana
3 Sep 1947 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
14 Jan 1948 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
14 Jan 1948 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare

Career information

AMETISTA (T.V. C.O.): from 24.04.1940 to 28.05.1942.
Promoted to C.C. in January 1941.
Authored an interesting study of Italian submarines in the Mediterranean.
FRANCESCO RISMONDO (C.C. C.O.): from 28.05.1942 to 08.09.1942.
ANTONIO BAJAMONTI (C.C. C.O.): from 29.11.1942 to 30.11.1942.
From 19.01.1943, Head of 5° GRUPSOM (Leros).

Commands listed for Virgilio Spigai

Submarine Type Rank From To
Ametista (AA)Coastal / Sea goingT.V.24 Apr 194028 May 1942
Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)C.C.28 May 19428 Sep 1942
Antonio Bajamonti (ex-N.2, ex-Smeli) (BM)C.C.29 Nov 194230 Nov 1942

Ships hit by Virgilio Spigai

No ships hit by this Commander.

War patrols listed for Virgilio Spigai

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
1.Ametista (AA)9 Jun 19400545Leros15 Jun 19400800Leros290Patrolled in Doro Channel between Attika and Bosphorus.

Ametista (AA)25 Jun 19400800Leros25 Jun 19400939Leros2,5Exercises.

2.Ametista (AA)29 Jun 19401545Leros9 Jul 19400915Leros485Patrolled northeast of Rhodes in 36°30'N, 28°30'E. Uneventful.

3.Ametista (AA)24 Jul 19401820Leros6 Aug 19400700Leros540Patrolled north of Doro Channel, Samos and limits Greek-Turkish coast in northern Aegean. Sighted vessels but refrained from attack.

Ametista (AA)8 Aug 19401500Leros8 Aug 19401615Leros?Trials.

Ametista (AA)26 Aug 19401035Leros26 Aug 19401145Leros?Trials.

Ametista (AA)30 Aug 19400845Leros30 Aug 19401120Leros?Trials.

Ametista (AA)31 Aug 19400859Leros31 Aug 19401201Leros?Trials.

Ametista (AA)24 Sep 19400845Portolago (Leros)24 Sep 19401025Portolago (Leros)4Exercises.

4.Ametista (AA)30 Sep 19401550Portolago (Leros)10 Oct 19400800Portolago (Leros)511,5Patrolled north of Kaso Strait, in a point centered 10 miles NE of Cape Sidero for Operation C.V. (reinforcements for the Dodecanese). Following her return to Leros, two of her ratings were killed and two were wounded during an air raid on 13th October.
  8 Oct 19400125
(0) Off Scarpanto.
At 0125 hours, an explosion was sighted at far distance. This was the submarine Gemma who had just been torpedoed in error by Tricheco.

Ametista (AA)21 Nov 19400748Portolago (Leros)21 Nov 19401220Portolago (Leros)30Trials.

Ametista (AA)28 Nov 19400920Portolago (Leros)28 Nov 19401211Portolago (Leros)18Trials.

5.Ametista (AA)1 Dec 19401640Portolago (Leros)9 Dec 19400940Portolago (Leros)484Patrolled off Cape Drepano (Sithonia), Jura and Aghios Efstratios Islands in Northern Aegean.

Ametista (AA)24 Dec 19401640Portolago (Leros)24 Dec 19400940Parteni8,5Passage Portolago-Parteni.

Ametista (AA)26 Dec 19401310Parteni26 Dec 19401430Portolago (Leros)2Trials.

Ametista (AA)27 Dec 19400920Portolago (Leros)27 Dec 19401030Portolago (Leros)8Passage Parteni-Portolago.

Ametista (AA)29 Dec 19402000Portolago (Leros)4 Jan 19411040Messina627Passage Portolago-Messina. Uneventful.

Ametista (AA)8 Jan 19410800Messina10 Jan 19411150La Spezia490Passage Messina-La Spezia. Uneventful.

Ametista (AA)21 Feb 19410850La Spezia21 Feb 19411530La Spezia40Exercises.

Ametista (AA)28 Feb 19410910La Spezia28 Feb 19411115La Spezia10Exercises.

Ametista (AA)4 Apr 19410915La Spezia4 Apr 19411350La Spezia37Exercises.

Ametista (AA)7 Apr 19410835La Spezia7 Apr 19411220La Spezia27Exercises.

Ametista (AA)8 Apr 19411515La Spezia8 Apr 19411726La Spezia8Exercises.

Ametista (AA)10 Apr 19411458La Spezia10 Apr 19411840La Spezia13,4Exercises.

Ametista (AA)19 Apr 19410850La Spezia19 Apr 19411400La Spezia19Exercises.

Ametista (AA)21 Apr 19411430La Spezia21 Apr 19411631La Spezia7Exercises.

Ametista (AA)23 Apr 19411413La Spezia23 Apr 19411709La Spezia7Exercises.

6.Ametista (AA)26 Apr 19411830La Spezia29 Apr 19411650La Spezia211,5Sailed for a patrol in Gulf of Genoa, on a line starting with the submarine Colonna in 44°05'N, 08°40'E and with Da Procida and Ametista respectively 12 and 24 miles east from this point. On hydrophone watch in anticipation of an important naval force from Gibraltar. Uneventful.

Ametista (AA)8 May 19411245La Spezia8 May 19411625La Spezia19Exercises.

Ametista (AA)17 May 19411402La Spezia17 May 19411750La Spezia18Exercises.

Ametista (AA)11 Jun 19410820La Spezia11 Jun 19411645La Spezia23,5Exercises.

Ametista (AA)14 Jun 19411020La Spezia14 Jun 19411435La Spezia4Exercises.

Ametista (AA)21 Jun 19410505La Spezia23 Jun 19411415Augusta588,3Passage La Spezia-Augusta.
  22 Jun 1941
1229 (e)
40° 25'N, 14° 24'E
(0) 126° - Carena Point - 11.5 miles.
At 1206 hours, the submarine HMS Regent (Lieutenant Commander A.N.G. Campbell, RN) was lurking near Capri, when a submarine was sighted apparently steering 150° at 9 knots towards Messina.

At 1229 hours, two torpedoes were fired from 900 yards. They missed.

This was Ametista transferring from La Spezia to Augusta. The attack was not observed.

Ametista (AA)26 Jun 19410752Augusta26 Jun 19410955Augusta4Exercises.

7.Ametista (AA)29 Jun 19412030Augusta17 Jul 19410955Augusta1685,5Patrolled off Ras Azzaz, between 32°15'N and 32°30'N, and between 25°00'E and 25°20'E.
  3 Jul 19412010
(0) Near Ras Azzaz.
At 2010 hours, two explosions were heard. This was actually Malachite's attack on HMS Defender.

At 0200 hours on 4th July, Ametista was informed of an enemy vessel distant of 35 miles, but with no indication of speed and course. The submarine altered to intercept but sighted nothing.

Ametista (AA)3 Aug 19410715Augusta3 Aug 19411430Augusta30,5Exercises.

Ametista (AA)8 Aug 19410805Augusta8 Aug 19411345Augusta32Exercises.

Ametista (AA)12 Aug 19410730Augusta12 Aug 19411130Augusta4Exercises.

Ametista (AA)17 Aug 19410737Augusta17 Aug 19411422Augusta33,5Exercises.

Ametista (AA)28 Aug 19410715Augusta28 Aug 19411205Augusta4Exercises.

Ametista (AA)29 Aug 19410830Augusta29 Aug 19411605Messina73,8Passage Augusta-Messina.

Ametista (AA)12 Sep 19410630Messina12 Sep 19411340Messina50,5Exercises.

Ametista (AA)16 Sep 19410712Messina16 Sep 19411455Messina53,4Exercises.

Ametista (AA)18 Sep 19410712Messina18 Sep 19411450Messina61Exercises with the submarine Zaffiro, escorted by the auxiliary Marzano (A.S.67).

8.Ametista (AA)21 Sep 19411300Messina22 Sep 19411235Messina136,5Anti-submarine patrol with the auxiliary Castiglia, in Messina Strait off Capo Dell'Armi. At 1535 hours on the 21st, received verbal communication from Castiglia, that an enemy submarine might be 5 miles southwest of Porto Melito di Salvo, but nothing was sighted or heard.

9.Ametista (AA)26 Sep 19410530Messina27 Sep 19410053Messina86,5Anti-submarine patrol in 38°26'N, 15°26'40'E, 38°55'N, 15°33'E and 38°28'20'N, 15°15'E in Messina Straits. Uneventful.

10.Ametista (AA)28 Sep 19411815Messina29 Sep 19410955Messina77,5Antisubmarine patrol with MAS 557 in Messina Straits, in area between 38°25 N parallel and the meridian 15°20'E and the coast of Calabria.

11.Ametista (AA)3 Oct 19412045Messina5 Oct 19411235Messina425,5Sailed for patrol 23 miles north of Ras Zebib on a line 5 miles west from this point (on a barrage line with Ambra 13 miles north, and Corallo 33 miles north of the Cape) via the north coast of Sicily, but then recalled. Uneventful.

Ametista (AA)14 Oct 19412355Messina15 Oct 19411235Palermo128,5Passage Messina-Palermo.

Ametista (AA)27 Oct 19412033Palermo28 Oct 19410935Messina130Passage Palermo-Messina.

Ametista (AA)6 Nov 19410920Messina6 Nov 19411151Messina12,5Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary Marras.

Ametista (AA)12 Nov 19411448Messina12 Nov 19411740Messina11,8Exercises.

Ametista (AA)13 Nov 19410840Messina13 Nov 19411150Messina14Exercises.

Ametista (AA)14 Nov 19410840Messina14 Nov 19411140Messina13,9Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary Marras.

12.Ametista (AA)26 Nov 19411612Messina7 Dec 19412255Portolago (Leros)1033,7Patrolled southeast of Gaudo. First ordered to relieve Zaffiro between 33°40'N and 34°20'N, and between 22°40'E and 23°20'E. At 1225 hours on the 29th, MARICOSOM ordered her to patrol between 34°00'N and 34°40'N, and between 24°00'N and 24°40'E. Uneventful.

Ametista (AA)29 Dec 19410930Portolago (Leros)29 Dec 19411120Portolago (Leros)11,2Trials.

Ametista (AA)7 Jan 19420750Portolago (Leros)7 Jan 19421140Portolago (Leros)16Exercises.

Ametista (AA)17 Jan 19420855Portolago (Leros)17 Jan 19421120Portolago (Leros)16Exercises.

13.Ametista (AA)18 Jan 19420907Portolago (Leros)25 Jan 19422210Portolago (Leros)911Patrolled between 33°00'N and 33°40'N, between 22°20'E and 22°40'E, in Grids 9128 and 1528. Uneventful. Early return due to defects. An ULTRA intercept indicates that she was to pass through 34°40'N, 26°40'E and 34°14'N, 26°32'E thence to her area. Returned via 34°28'N, 26°30'E.

Ametista (AA)6 Feb 19420800Leros6 Feb 19421322Leros21Exercises with the submarine Beilul.

Ametista (AA)13 Feb 19420850Leros13 Feb 19421140Leros4Trials.

Ametista (AA)16 Feb 19420850Leros16 Feb 19421449Leros32Trials.

14.Ametista (AA)4 Mar 19421421Leros24 Mar 19420630Leros1445Patrolled south of Cyprus, off Haifa and Beirut, between 33°10'N and 34°20'N, and between 33°00'E and 34°00'E.
  6 Mar 1942042035° 02'N, 29° 46'EAt 0420 hours, a Sunderland aircraft coming from Cyprus and flying low (100 meters) passed about 500 meters north of Ametista. The submarine dived.
  7 Mar 1942042034° 40'N, 30° 06'EAt 0420 hours, a Sunderland was seen and the submarine dived.
  12 Mar 1942040033° 35'N, 33° 29'EAt 0400, a Sunderland aircraft was seen coming from Haifa steering 300°, flying at an altitude of 300 meters. The submarine dived immediately.
  13 Mar 1942123535° 05'N, 34° 23'EAt 1225 hours, the Swedish Relief ship Radmanso (4,182 GRT, built 1914) was sighted. She had sailed from Haifa for Piraeus via Castellorizo and was carrying wheat. She had been given a safe conduct and Ametista was aware of her passage.
  15 Mar 19422145
(0) 28 miles east of Cape Andreas.
At 2145 hours, a submarine chaser was sighted at 600 metres and Ametista dived.
  16 Mar 19420200
(0) 46° - Cape Andreas - 30 miles.
At 0200 hours, a submarine chaser was sighted at 250 metres and Ametista dived.

Ametista (AA)8 Apr 19421855Leros14 Apr 19420745MessinaPassage Leros-Messina on her way to Naples. Sailed via (1) Kaso Straits (2) 35°00'N, 26°40'E (3) 34°20'N, 26°10'E (4) 34°20'N, 23°00'E (5) Point S1 (Messina). Sighted many aircraft and only Italian vessels.

Ametista (AA)16 Apr 19421855Messina17 Apr 19421540Naples957Passage Messina-Naples.

Ametista (AA)21 Apr 19420930Naples21 Apr 19421055Naples50Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)29 May 19420740La Spezia29 May 19421440La Spezia23,3Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)3 Jun 19421051La Spezia3 Jun 19421630La Spezia25,2Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)6 Jun 19421313La Spezia6 Jun 19421735La Spezia17,5Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)11 Jun 19420805La Spezia11 Jun 19421855La Spezia30,5Exercises, escorted by the sloop Diana [Diana was sunk by HMS Thrasher eighteen days later].

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)24 Jun 19421024La Spezia24 Jun 19421537La Spezia3Gyrocompass tests.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)25 Jun 19420708La Spezia25 Jun 19421720La Spezia37Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)28 Jun 19420910La Spezia28 Jun 19421224La Spezia10,6Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)1 Jul 19420740La Spezia1 Jul 19421725La Spezia21Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)3 Jul 19421340La Spezia3 Jul 19421748La Spezia15Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)31 Jul 19420700La Spezia31 Jul 19421750La Spezia60,3Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)4 Aug 19420830La Spezia4 Aug 19421840La Spezia32Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)6 Aug 19421326La Spezia6 Aug 19421849La Spezia28Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)8 Aug 19420603La Spezia8 Aug 19421646La Spezia43Exercises.

15.Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)12 Aug 19421021La Spezia14 Aug 19422101La Spezia322Offensive (actually defensive) patrol against an enemy force coming from the West, on a patrol line with H 1, H 4, H 6 and Bajamonti. Uneventful.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)22 Aug 19420959La Spezia22 Aug 19421600La Spezia30Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)23 Aug 19420824La Spezia23 Aug 19421233La Spezia22Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)27 Aug 19420709La Spezia27 Aug 19421632La Spezia41,5Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)30 Aug 19421048La Spezia31 Aug 19420845La Spezia36Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)30 Aug 19421048La Spezia31 Aug 19420845La Spezia36Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)2 Sep 19420715La Spezia2 Sep 19421225La Spezia22A/S exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)8 Sep 19420715La Spezia8 Sep 19421442La Spezia42,5Sonar trials.

Antonio Bajamonti (ex-N.2, ex-Smeli) (BM)29 Nov 19421535La Maddalena30 Nov 19421200La Spezia219Passage La Maddalena-La Spezia.

93 entries. 88 total patrol entries (15 marked as war patrols) and 9 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines