Italian submarine fates
Ships hit by Italian submarines
|Date of attack
|10 Aug 1942
|Sunk by submarine Reginaldo Giuliani (C.C. Giandomenico Bruno)
|Position of attack
|9° 45'N, 38° 25'W
|64 (no casualties, 64 survivors)
|At 0330 hours, a steamer was sighted at a distance of 1,000 metres. The submarine was in a prohibited zone and had to request authorisation to attack from BETASOM, which was granted at 0704 hours.
At 0831 hours, two torpedoes were fired from the forward tubes at a distance of 1,700 metres. C.C. Bruno decided to hurry his attack as dawn was breaking and he feared he might be spotted. One torpedo hit the vessel in the stern section, but she remained afloat and did not take a list. She made an SOS identifying her as the British Medon (5,915 GRT, built 1923). She had been zigzagging on a true 240° course at 10.75 knots, in ballast and bound from Capetown to New York via Trinidad. She had been struck in no. 5 hold and her crew had abandoned ship in four life boats. After two hours, the vessel did not appear to sink and some survivors reboarded her to take some stores.
A third torpedo (533mm) was fired from a bow tube at 800 metres. It had an irregular course and missed.
At about 1130 hours, as Medon was armed with a stern gun, Giuliani moved to a distance of 5,000 metres and began shelling her. The second round was observed to be a direct hit on the bridge. Thirty rounds were fired of which twenty-five were claimed to have hit.
A fourth torpedo (450mm, W 200 type) was fired from a stern tube at a distance of 500 metres. It appeared to hit amidship but missed under (according to survivors it passed under the bow).
At 1232 hours, a fifth torpedo (450mm, W 200 type) was fired from 700 metres. It hit the stern and Medon sank three minutes later.
The entire crew of sixty-four survived. Nineteen survivors from one lifeboat were rescued by the Norwegian Tamerlane (17th August), another lifeboat was picked up by the Panamanian Rosemont (18th August), a third lifeboat by the Portuguese Luso and the fourth by the British schooner Millie Masher.