Italian submarines in World War Two

Asteria (AE)

TypeCoastal / Sea going 
ClassPlatino 1 (24) 
Laid down 16 Oct 1940 Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico, Monfalcone
Launched25 Jun 1941
Commissioned8 Nov 1941
End service
Loss date17 Feb 1943
Loss position37° 14'N, 4° 27'E
Fate Scuttled on 17th February 1943 north-west of Bougie, Algeria, in position 37°14'N, 04°27'E after being forced to surface by depth charges from the escort destroyers HMS Easton and HMS Wheatland.


CommanderDate fromDate toCommand notes
C.C. Benedetto Luchetti7 Nov 19413 Dec 1941
T.V. Marco Revedin4 Dec 19417 Dec 1941
T.V. Carlo Forni7 Dec 194128 Jun 1942
T.V. Pasquale Beltrame24 Jun 194220 Aug 1942
T.V. Dante Morrone20 Aug 194217 Feb 1943

Ships hit

No ships hit by this submarine.

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
8 Oct 19410850Pola8 Oct 19411830PolaTrials, escorted by the auxiliary Salvatore.

13 Oct 19410950Pola13 Oct 19411430MonfalconePassage Pola-Monfalcone.

Luchetti, Benedetto22 Nov 19411010Monfalcone22 Nov 19411620Monfalcone5Trials.

Luchetti, Benedetto23 Nov 19410935Monfalcone23 Nov 19411730Monfalcone5Trials.

Luchetti, Benedetto28 Nov 19410955Monfalcone28 Nov 19411612Pola75,6Passage Monfalcone-Pola.

Luchetti, Benedetto1 Dec 19410800Pola1 Dec 19411328Pola14Trials.

Luchetti, Benedetto2 Dec 19410834Pola2 Dec 19411633Pola36Trials, escorted by the auxiliaries Jadera and Trau.

Luchetti, Benedetto3 Dec 19410810Pola3 Dec 19411734Pola76,5Trials, escorted by the torpedo boat Audace and auxiliaries Trau, Jadera and San Giorgio.

Revedin, Marco4 Dec 19410807Pola4 Dec 19411637Pola33,8Trials, escorted by the torpedo boat Audace and the auxiliary Jadera.

Revedin, Marco6 Dec 19411405Pola6 Dec 19411657Pola2Trials.

Forni, Carlo11 Dec 19411007Pola11 Dec 19411625Monfalcone75,6Passage Pola-Monfalcone.

Forni, Carlo17 Dec 19410956Monfalcone17 Dec 19411425Monfalcone5Trials.

Forni, Carlo13 Jan 19421010Monfalcone13 Jan 19421620Monfalcone12Trials.

Forni, Carlo16 Jan 19421010Monfalcone16 Jan 19421620Pola73Passage Monfalcone-Pola.

Forni, Carlo19 Jan 19420845Pola19 Jan 19421850Pola14Gyrocompas tests.

Forni, Carlo21 Jan 19420830Pola21 Jan 19421844Pola76Gyrocompas tests.

Forni, Carlo23 Jan 19420850Pola23 Jan 19421720Pola69Exercises.

Forni, Carlo24 Jan 19421030Pola24 Jan 19421800Pola57Exercises.

Forni, Carlo4 Feb 19420905Pola4 Feb 19421833Pola15Gyrocompas tests.

Forni, Carlo7 Feb 19420945Pola7 Feb 19421655Pola37Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary San Giorgio.

Forni, Carlo16 Feb 19420930Pola16 Feb 19421825Pola16Gyrocompas tests.

Forni, Carlo17 Feb 19421330Pola17 Feb 19421840Pola33Exercises.

Forni, Carlo19 Feb 19420825Pola19 Feb 19421545Pola44Exercises.

Forni, Carlo20 Feb 19420840Pola20 Feb 19421625Pola16Gyrocompass tests.

Forni, Carlo22 Feb 19421245Pola22 Feb 19421856Pola34Exercises.

Forni, Carlo27 Feb 19421247Pola27 Feb 19421910Pola34Exercises.

Forni, Carlo1 Mar 19420835Pola1 Mar 19421730Pola34Exercises, escorted by San Giorgio.

Forni, Carlo3 Mar 19420825Pola3 Mar 19421415Pola41Exercises.

Forni, Carlo16 Mar 19420850Pola16 Mar 19421345Fiume66Passage Pola-Fiume.

Forni, Carlo17 Mar 19421340Fiume17 Mar 19422050Fiume36Trials.

Forni, Carlo18 Mar 19420945Fiume18 Mar 19421410Fiume20Exercises with the submarines Jalea and Manara, escorted by the auxiliaries Jadera and Abbazia.

Forni, Carlo1 Apr 19420845Fiume1 Apr 19421240Fiume19Exercises with the submarines Jalea and Manara, escorted by the torpedo boat Audace, the auxiliary Jadera and two motorboats.

Forni, Carlo2 Apr 19422010Fiume3 Apr 19420115Fiume26Exercises, escorted by the torpedo boat Audace, the auxiliary San Giorgio and the motorboat 6 F.

Forni, Carlo3 Apr 19422015Fiume3 Apr 19422235Fiume16Exercises.

Forni, Carlo4 Apr 19421200Fiume4 Apr 19421538Fiume10Exercises with the submarines Pisani and Manara, escorted by the torpedo boat Audace and the auxiliary Jadera.

Forni, Carlo6 Apr 19421615Fiume6 Apr 19421950Fiume13Exercises.

Forni, Carlo8 Apr 19421515Fiume8 Apr 19421745Fiume16Exercises, escorted by the auxiliaries Abbazia and Trau.

Forni, Carlo8 Apr 19422005Fiume9 Apr 19420114Fiume26Exercises.

Forni, Carlo9 Apr 19421635Fiume10 Apr 19420200Fiume47Exercises.

Forni, Carlo10 Apr 19421405Fiume10 Apr 19421710Fiume16Exercises with the submarines Pisani and Manara, escorted by the torpedo boat Insidioso and the auxiliary Trau.

Forni, Carlo11 Apr 19421307Fiume11 Apr 19421520Fiume14Exercises with the submarines Diaspro, Jalea and Manara, escorted by Insidioso and the auxiliary Jadera.

Forni, Carlo15 Apr 19421230Fiume15 Apr 19421550Fiume24Trials.

Forni, Carlo16 Apr 19420100Fiume18 Apr 19421145Augusta717Passage Fiume-Augusta. Escorted by the auxiliary Pola until 0600 hours on the 16th.
  16 Apr 1942190042° 37'N, 15° 51'EAt 1900 hours, a derelict mine was sunk by machine-gun fire.
  17 Apr 1942124039° 44'N, 18° 53'EAt 1240 hours, a periscope was sighted at a distance of 500 metres. Asteria turned away at full speed.
  17 Apr 19421320At 1320 hours, the corpse of an airman was sighted. The submarine does not appear to have recovered it.
  17 Apr 19421705At 1705 hours, a derelict mine was sighted but no attempt was made to dispose of it as the seas were too rough to fire the machine-guns with any precision.

Forni, Carlo21 Apr 19420825Augusta21 Apr 19422035Augusta3Gyrocompass tests.

Forni, Carlo22 Apr 19421420Augusta22 Apr 19421810Augusta7Trials.

Forni, Carlo26 Apr 19420820Augusta26 Apr 19421540Augusta5Gyrocompass tests.

Forni, Carlo30 Apr 19421500Augusta30 Apr 19421820Augusta19Trials.

1Forni, Carlo11 May 19422045Augusta27 May 19420600Augusta1719Patrolled off Cyrenaica between 33°40'N and 34°00'N and between 22°20'E and 22°30'E.
  15 May 1942195533° 50'N, 22° 22'EAt 1055 hours, a destroyer steering 270° was sighted. It turned toward the submarine, forcing a crash dive.
  15 May 19421955At 1955 hours, as the submarine surfaced, a destroyer was sighted at a distance of 5,000 metres. It had not been detected by the hydrophones. It must have detected the submarine and Asteria had to crash-dive.

From 2013 and 2053 hours, eight patterns of depth charges were heard at a regular interval of about 4 minutes.
  26 May 1942192536° 18'N, 17° 23'EAt 1925 hours, a derelict mine was sunk by machine-gun fire.

Forni, Carlo7 Jun 19421540Augusta7 Jun 19421750Augusta3Gyrocompass tests.

Forni, Carlo9 Jun 19420510Augusta9 Jun 19421200Messina85Passage Augusta-Messina.

Forni, Carlo20 Jun 19421100Messina20 Jun 19421810Messina62Trials.

Forni, Carlo26 Jun 19421310Messina26 Jun 19421900Messina31Trials.

Forni, Carlo28 Jun 19421340Messina28 Jun 19421745Messina36Trials.

Beltrame, Pasquale29 Jun 19421330Messina29 Jun 19421815Messina34Trials.

2Beltrame, Pasquale2 Jul 19421900Messina21 Jul 19420700Messina2825Sailed escorted by the auxiliary Castiglia, which could only make 7 knots and was therefore left behind at 2000 hours on 2nd July, then patrolled between 33°40'N and 36°00'N, and between 32°00'E and the Syrian coast.
  3 Jul 19420740At 0740 hours, two aircraft were seen at a distance of 5,000 metres, flying toward Asteria who dived.
  3 Jul 19420830At 0830 hours, the Italian hospital ship Arno was sighted at a range of 10,000 metres. Asteria had been informed of her passage but the hydrophones did not detect her.
  3 Jul 19420945At 0945 hours, an aircraft was seen at a distance of 4,500 metres and the submarine dived.
  5 Jul 19421355At 1355 hours, an aircraft was seen at a distance of 4,000 metres and the submarine dived.
  11 Jul 1942092335° 17'N, 35° 28'EAt 0923 hours, a smoke was sighted on the horizon at a range of 14,000 metres. It turned out to be a patrol vessel, zigzagging, steering 320°, 16 knots and followed at a distance by two steamers. At 0955 hours, Asteria closed to a distance of 5,000 meters of the escort and at 1000 hours was still 9,500 meters from the steamers before breaking off the chase.
  11 Jul 1942102535° 16'N, 35° 24'EAt 1025 hours, a steamer was sighted at a range of 6,000 metres. An escort was also sighted at 1,000 meters. The submarine attempted to close the steamer before losing contact at 1110 hours.
  14 Jul 1942020833° 48'N, 34° 56'EAt 0205 hours, the mist on the horizon made it difficult to identify an indistinct shape sighted at a range of 1,500 metres. Asteria steered toward it and recognised it as a large destroyer.

At 0208 hours, a single torpedo (533mm, S.I. 270 type with S.I.C. pistol) was fired at a range of 2,000 metres. The destroyer altered course to port, presenting her stern.

At 0210.5 hours, a single torpedo (533mm, S.I. 270 type with S.I.C. pistol) was fired at a range of 2,500 metres. An explosion was heard after 151 seconds but the destroyer had disappeared in the dark side of the horizon. Both torpedoes apparently missed.

This was possibly the armed whaler HMSAS Protea, detached to assist the Dutch tanker Odinda who had just been torpedoed by U-371. Other warships in the general vicinity were the corvette HMS Gloxinia and the escort destroyers HMS Croome and HMS Tetcott. No attack appears to have been reported.
  14 Jul 19422245
2350 (e)
33° 52'N, 34° 26'EAt 2245 hours, a submarine was sighted at a range of 1,000 metres and believed to be Italian. Prudently, Asteria turned to starboard at maximum speed to move away.

This was actually HMS Turbulent (Commander J.W. Linton, DSC, RN) who, at about the same time, sighted a submarine for only about 50 seconds, before she dived and lost contact.

Beltrame, Pasquale10 Aug 19420800Messina10 Aug 19421230Messina24Exercises.

3Beltrame, Pasquale11 Aug 19421200Messina17 Aug 19421810Trapani702Escorted by the auxiliary Mazzei until 2150 hours on the 11th, she sailed for a patrol west of Malta between 35°40'N and 36°00'N and between 13°20'E and 13°40'E.
  14 Aug 1942205635° 33'N, 13° 53'EAt 2056 hours, an aircraft was seen and Asteria dived. The submarine was at a depth of 29 meters when four groups of bombs (three or four each) were heard, but she escaped damage.

The aircraft has not been identified.

4Beltrame, Pasquale18 Aug 19420110Trapani19 Aug 19420730Trapani183Sailed with Ascianghi and Alagi escorted by an R.D. (minesweeper) vessel until 0245/18. She was to patrol between 37°20'N and 37°50'N, and between 09°20'E and 10°20'E, north of Tunisia, but was recalled at 1300 hours on the 19th.

Morrone, Dante22 Aug 19420430Trapani23 Aug 19420645La Maddalena282Passage Trapani-La Maddalena to join VII GRUPSOM.

Morrone, Dante1 Sep 19420720La Maddalena1 Sep 19421100La Maddalena22Exercises.

5Morrone, Dante2 Sep 19421600La Maddalena16 Sep 19420930Cagliari1704Patrolled off Algeria between 37°00'N and 37°30'N and between 02°00'E and 02°20'E on a patrol line with the submarine Velella. Sighted only a French ship, a hospital ship and two Sunderland aircraft.

Morrone, Dante21 Sep 19420805Cagliari21 Sep 19421110Cagliari20Exercises.

Morrone, Dante29 Sep 19420805Cagliari29 Sep 19421625Cagliari74Exercises.

Morrone, Dante3 Oct 19421015Cagliari3 Oct 19421430Cagliari26Exercises.

Morrone, Dante5 Oct 19421400Cagliari5 Oct 19421730Cagliari20Exercises.

Morrone, Dante15 Oct 19421330Cagliari15 Oct 19421745Cagliari21Exercises.

Morrone, Dante21 Oct 19421335Cagliari21 Oct 19421655Cagliari22Exercises.

6Morrone, Dante29 Oct 19420205Cagliari31 Oct 19420655Cagliari416Sailed for a patrol in 37°15'N, 08°35'E to form a patrol line with Argo, Porfido and Nichelio against a suspected naval force from Gibraltar. It was a false alarm and she was recalled at 2030 hours on the 30th. Uneventful.
  30 Oct 19420850At 0850 hours, a German aircraft was sighted and exchanged recognition signals.

7Morrone, Dante7 Nov 19420310Cagliari19 Nov 19421210Cagliari1406Sailed for a patrol between 37°30'N and 37°40'N, and between 07°30'E and 08°00'E. She was then ordered to 37°10'N, 03°25'E (off Algiers). On 11th November, she was ordered to an area between 38°00'N and 38°20'N, and between 06°40'E and 07°00'E. On 13th November, she executed a reconnaissance of Bougie.
  8 Nov 1942033037° 35'N, 7° 56'EAt 0330 hours, a submarine was sighted on a westerly course. Asteria turned away.
  8 Nov 1942225837° 32'N, 6° 08'EAt 2258 hours, a submarine was sighted on a westerly course. Asteria turned away.
  9 Nov 1942205237° 12'N, 4° 18'EAt 2052 hours, a submarine was sighted on a westerly course.
  11 Nov 19422052At 2052 hours, two German aircraft were seen. One of them flashed recognition signals. Asteria could not respond as none of her signal flares worked.
  13 Nov 19420203
0105Z (e)
36° 46'N, 5° 08'E
(0) 050° - Cape Carbon - 3 miles (HMS Pentstemon).
At 0154 hours, a vessel was sighted in poor visibility, followed by a second vessel at 0200 hours and both appeared to be flashing signals.

At 0203 hours, a pair of torpedoes were fired aimed at the first vessel, believed to be a corvette or a torpedo boat. The torpedoes missed, probably due to their very visible phosphorescence. Two minutes later, the second vessel appeared to turn toward the submarine and Asteria dived to 90-100 metres. Two explosions shook the submarine at 0210 hours. Note: The Asteria report gives the position as 36°36' N but this is a typographical error, it also gives the position as 090° - Cape Bouak - 2 miles).

The target was the corvette HMS Pentstemon which reported missed by a torpedo.
  13 Nov 19420708
(0) Near Cape Carbon.
At 0708 hours, Asteria was proceeding on the surface toward her patrol area, when three aircraft where sighted. She crash-dived. She surfaced again at noon.
  13 Nov 19421245
1235A (e)
37° 13'N, 5° 54'EAt 1245 hours, a Hudson bomber was suddenly sighted flying at a height of 30 metres, attacking from the stern. There was no time to dive and Asteria barely had time to open fire with her machine-guns, letting off 25 13.2mm rounds, claiming the aircraft certainly hit. The aircraft dropped two A/S bombs and three depth charges. One of the A/S bomb exploded on the port side very close to the deck gun. Fortunately, there were no casualties and only minor damages to the superstructures. At 1247 hours, the submarine crash-dived.

The aircraft was Hudson 'C' of 500 Squadron, piloted by Sergeant W.M. Young. It sighted a submarine at a distance of 12 miles, steering 320° and dived to the attack from the port quarter. It strafed and dropped four depth charges which straddled the submarine forward of the conning tower. The U-boat was reported to have put up light antiaircraft fire and the bomber was not hit. After the explosions, the submarine was no longer seen but there were no debris or oil patch. After 5 minutes, an underwater explosion was observed but again without debris or any oil coming to the surface.
  16 Nov 19420120
(0) Off Bougie.
At 0120 hours, the submarine made a reconnaissance of the Bay of Bougie. According to her survivors, the submarine ran aground. However, her patrol report showed she followed the coast at a depth of 7-8 meters and, if she did ran aground, she managed to disengage herself.

8Morrone, Dante24 Nov 19421643Cagliari6 Dec 19421045Cagliari1068She sailed for a patrol between 37°00'N and 37°20'N, and between 07°20'E and 07°40'E. On 26th November, she was ordered to an area between 37°20'N and the Algerian coast and between 02°40'E and 03°00'E. On 1st December, she was ordered to an area between 37°20'N and the Algerian coast, between 06°20'E and 06°40'E. Rammed and depth-charged by the minesweeper HMS Cadmus at 1830th on 4th December, but escaped.
  28 Nov 1942030237° 27'N, 4° 19'EAt 0302 hours, two transports of 5-10000-ton and a destroyer were sighted, steering 270°, 13 knots. They passed out of range.
  29 Nov 1942040036° 52'N, 2° 52'EAt 0400 hours, in poor visibilty, a warship was sighted at a distance of 4,000 metres, steering 090°, 10 knots. At 0425 hours, it was recognised as a JAVELIN class destroyer and shortly after, it altered course to 300°.

At 0435 hours, two destroyers of unknown type were sighted at 2,500 and 2,000 metres respectively.

At 0437 hours, the attack on the first destroyer was aborted and Asteria withdrew on the surface. At 0448 hours, the destroyers appeared to be catching up and she crash-dived. She reached a depth of 80 metres.

At 0509 hours, fifteen depth charges exploded near the submarine.

At 0531 hours, another ten depth charges exploded in the vicinity and Asteria moved away and finally surfaced at 1755 hours.
  30 Nov 1942005537° 18'N, 2° 55'EA submarine was sighted ahead, steering 280°. Asteria turned away.
  30 Nov 1942054037° 17'N, 2° 53'EA submarine was sighted ahead, steering 360°. Asteria turned away.
  30 Nov 19421405
(0) North of Algiers.
At 1405 hours, two aircraft were seen and the submarine dived.
  1 Dec 19421304
1305 (e)
37° 14'N, 2° 52'EAt 1304 hours, a Hudson bomber was sighted at a distance of 5,000 metres, Asteria crash-dived and heard three explosions. She escaped by going down to 70-80 metres.

This was Hudson 'C' of 500 Squadron, piloted by Squadron Leader Ensor, on convoy escort duty. It had sighted the submarine at distance of 5 miles. This was 20 miles from the convoy. Four Mark XI Torpex depth charges were released on the submarine from a height of 40 feet. It remained in the vicinity for 40 minutes after the submarine had dived.
  2 Dec 1942230037° 32'N, 5° 58'E
(0) Qu CH 9622 (307° - 34 Cape Bougaroni).
At 2300 hours, four destroyers were sighted at a distance of 4,000 metres, steering 230°, 18 knots. The submarine closed to attack. At 2313 hours, the distance had dropped to 1,000 meters and the destroyers turned toward the submarine, which crash-dived but was not attacked.
  4 Dec 19421830
1841 (e)
At 1830 hours, as she was surfacing, Asteria was rammed by the mineweeper HMS Cadmus escorting convoy T.E.7a and had to crash-dive. She was at a depth of 30 meters, when she was further damaged by depth charges but escaped by going down to 80 meters. However, she was forced to abort her patrol.
  5 Dec 1942023037° 58'N, 7° 07'EAt 0230 hours on 5th December, Asteria sighted a steamer with two destroyers but could only make an enemy report.

Morrone, Dante11 Dec 19420755Cagliari12 Dec 19420851Naples274Passage Cagliari-Naples for repairs (two months) following her collision on 4 December.

9Morrone, Dante11 Feb 19431836Naples17 Feb 19430200SunkPatrolled northeast of Cape Bengut, between 37°20'N and the Algerian coast and between 04°40'E and 05°00'E. At 0259 hours on 17th February, she was detected by HMS Wheatland and attacked (later joined by HMS Easton). She attempted to escape going down to 175 meters. After repeated attacks, she was finally forced to surface at 0930 hours and scuttled herself 37°14'N, 04°27'E, an attempt at boarding failed. Six officers and forty-two ratings were picked up, four were drowned.
  16 Feb 1943194036° 57'N, 2° 21'EAt 1940 hours, a Swordfish bomber on A/S sweep with eight Hudsons of 500 Squadron reported a submarine.

This was Asteria and the escort destroyers HMS Easton and HMS Wheatland were sailed from Algiers to hunt the submarine.
  17 Feb 1943025937° 14'N, 4° 27'EAt 0259A hours, HMS Wheatland obtained an ASDIC contact at 1,300 yards, before sighting the conning tower of a submarine apparently diving toward the destroyer.

This was Asteria and she made desperate attempts to escape, going as deep as 175 metres.

At 0302 hours, a first pattern of five depth charges set at 50 feet was dropped ahead of the swirl.

At 0315 hours, a second pattern of ten depth charges set at 100 and 225 feet was released.

At 0415 hours, a third pattern of ten depth charges was set at 350 and 550 feet.

At 0509 hours, a fourth pattern followed, ten depth charges set at 100 and 225 feet.

At 0515 hours, HMS Easton joined in the hunt and released a first pattern set at 150 and 300 feet.

At 0734 hours, HMS Easton dropped a second pattern of ten depth charges set at 150 and 300 feet.

At 0806 hours, she dropped a third pattern of three depth charges set at 350 and 550 feet.

At 0819 hours, HMS Wheatland returned with a fifth pattern of ten depth charges set at 350 and 550 feet.

At 0916 hours, HMS Easton came back with her fourth pattern of two depth charges set at 100 and 225 feet.

At 0928 hours, HMS Wheatland dropped her sixth and final pattern of ten depth charges set at 350 and 550 feet.

At 0930 hours, Asteria surfaced in the middle of the last pattern and immediately came under fire from both destroyers. At 0940 hours, she sank after an attempt to board her failed. T.V. Dante Morrone, five officers and forty-two ratings were picked up. Five ratings were killed or drowned.

Three M.L.s and the British destroyer HMS Loyal and the Polish escort destroyer ORP Krakowiak were also sailed from Algiers to join the hunt but did not take part in the kill.

100 entries. 72 total patrol entries (9 marked as war patrols) and 36 events.

All Italian submarines