Italian submarine fates

Ships hit by Italian submarines

Eugene V.R. Thayer

CountryAmerican American

Date of attack10 Apr 1942Time0410-0505
FateSunk by submarine Pietro Calvi (C.C. Emilio Olivieri)
Position of attack2° 24'S, 39° 27'W
Complement37 (11 dead and 26 survivors)
Notes At 0120 hours, Pietro Calvi had now moved ahead of the American tanker and turned to fire two stern shots (450mm), but they missed under. Olivieri now ordered the gun crew to their station.

Between 0230 and 0250 hours and from a distance of 3,000 metres, closing down to 2,000 metres, Pietro Calvi opened fire on the American tanker. After 49 rounds of which some 12 appear to hit the vessel, it was now identified as Eugene V.R. Thayer (7,138 GRT, built 1920). Fire was temporarily checked to determine if the vessel was being abandoned. When this did not appear to be the case, fire was resumed with the forward gun at 0310 hours with another 44 rounds of which 28 were claimed hits.

At 0348 hours, the submarine now fired a stern shot (450mm) from a distance of 600 metres to finish off the tanker, but it missed.

At 0404 hours, Pietro Calvi turned for a bow shot (533mm) set at a depth of 2 metres and fired from a distance of 600 metres. This time it hit the target but the Eugene V.R. Thayer failed to sink.

From 0410 to 0505 hours, fire was now resumed with the stern gun with 30 rounds delivered, most of which hit the target and Eugene V.R. Thayer finally sank. Of the crew of thirty-seven, eleven were killed. Survivors took to two lifeboats. Thirteen crew members in one boat were rescued by two PBYs of VP-52 Squadron and the other thirteen reached the coast north of Aracati (100 miles east of Fortaleza, Brazil) two days later.

Position of attack

Ships hit by Italian submarines