Italian submarine fates
Ships hit by Italian submarines
Miguel De Larrinaga
|Date of attack||2 Dec 1941||Time||0716+|
|Fate||Damaged by submarine Comandante Alfredo Cappellini (T.V. Aldo Lenzi)|
|Position of attack||35° 34'N, 29° 52'W|
|Notes||At 0030 hours, a dark vessel was observed in 36°11' N, 30°22' W. She was on a zigzag course, steering 140°. The submarine trailed her at a distance of 4-5,000 metres.|
At 0712 hours, as the moon was low, Cappellini raced to take a position about 3,000 metres ahead of the enemy ship.
At 0716 hours, two torpedoes (533mm) were fired from the bow tubes at 500 metres. Although, they ran true, no explosions occurred. The freighter changed course and so did the submarine.
At 0720 hours, two torpedoes (533mm) were fired from the stern tubes from about 1,000-1,200 metres. After 61 seconds, a muffled explosion was heard, followed by two quick explosions and then three more.
This was the British Miguel De Larrinaga (5,231 GRT, built 1924), a straggler of convoy O.S.12. She had been hit by a torpedo and made an SOS but she was still moving although at a slower pace. The submarine opened fire from a range of 1,500-2,000 metres, claiming several hits, and then fired another torpedo from a stern tube. It missed. Cappellini dived and prepared to give her a coup de grace by loading a forward and an aft tube with a 450mm torpedo.
At 0756 hours, two shadows appeared at 3,500-4,000 metres, approaching fast. They were believed to be destroyers. The submarine fired a stern shot (450mm) from 1,800-2,000 metres. It missed. Cappellini escaped at full speed.
Following the freighter's SOS, the Portuguese destroyer Vouga sailed from Ponto Delgada to search for survivors but found nothing. Despite her damages, Miguel De Larrinaga reached Freetown on 14th December.