Italian submarines in World War Two

Narvalo (NR)

TypeOcean going 
ClassSqualo (6) 
Laid down 17 Oct 1928 Cantiere Navale Triestino, Monfalcone
Launched15 Mar 1930
Commissioned6 Dec 1930
End service
Loss date14 Jan 1943
Loss position34° 08'N, 16° 04'E
Fate Sunk on 14th January 1943 in the central Mediterranean in position 34°08'N, 16°04'E by depth charges from British destroyer HMS Pakenham, British escort destroyer HMS Hursley and a RAF Beaufort from No.39 Squadron.


CommanderDate fromDate toCommand notes
C.C. Renato Lucchesini6 Jan 19406 Apr 1941
T.V. Raffaele Gigante6 Apr 194130 Apr 1941
T.V. Ugo Crosara1 May 194114 May 1941
T.V. Giuseppe Caito15 May 19419 Apr 1942
S.T.V. Alberto Volterri9 Apr 194220 Jun 1942
T.V. Lodovico Grion21 Jun 194214 Jan 1943

Ships hit

No ships hit by this submarine.

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Lucchesini, Renato10 Jun 1940Portolago (Leros)10 Jun 1940Portolago (Leros)At Portologao.

Lucchesini, Renato8 Jul 19400900Portolago (Leros)8 Jul 19401150Portolago (Leros)5,2Exercises.

Lucchesini, Renato11 Jul 19400840Portolago (Leros)11 Jul 19401250Portolago (Leros)12,3Exercises.

1Lucchesini, Renato24 Jul 19401807Portolago (Leros)6 Aug 19401115Portolago (Leros)902,1Patrolled south of Crete, between 34°40'N and coast of Crete, and between 24°00'E and 26°20'E. Uneventful.

Lucchesini, Renato24 Aug 19400935Portolago (Leros)24 Aug 19401215Portolago (Leros)2,5Exercises.

2Lucchesini, Renato16 Sep 19400815Portolago (Leros)26 Sep 19401530Portolago (Leros)772,1Patrolled in southeast Aegean in Kaso Strait, between Cape Spinolonga and Maria Island, on a patrol line with Beilul and Squalo. Uneventful.

Lucchesini, Renato10 Oct 19401102Portolago (Leros)10 Oct 19401250Portolago (Leros)3,4Exercises.

3Lucchesini, Renato27 Oct 19401604Portolago (Leros)7 Nov 19400735Portolago (Leros)1271,7Patrolled In 35°00'N, 27°00'E to cover the southern approaches of the Kaso Straits. Uneventful.

4Lucchesini, Renato26 Nov 19401737Portolago (Leros)27 Nov 19400400Portolago (Leros)Sailed for patrol In 35°00'N, 27°00'E to cover the southern approaches of the Kaso Strait but then recalled.

5Lucchesini, Renato27 Nov 19401715Portolago (Leros)29 Nov 19401210Portolago (Leros)320Sailed for patrol in 35°00'N, 27°00'E, to cover the southern approaches of the Kaso Strait, but returned because of defects.

6Lucchesini, Renato8 Dec 19401740Portolago (Leros)19 Dec 19400140Portolago (Leros)1107,1Patrolled in Aegean in zone D. On the night of 11/12th, was ordered to patrol between 31°40'N and 32°10'N, and between 25°25'E and 25°36'E (this was also given as 5' and 30'West of the meridian of Point Viola and 06°30' and 07°00' south of Point Viola. Point Viola was 35°40'N, 26°20'E). This was done from 0115 hours on the 14th to 0000 hours on the 17th. At dawn on the 17th, Rhodes and Stampalia were raided by aircraft from HMS Illustrious, on her way to Suda Bay with HMS Warspite and HMS Valiant, but no Italian submarine was within range to attack.

7Lucchesini, Renato13 Jan 19411845Portolago (Leros)21 Jan 19410705Portolago (Leros)737,1Patrolled in the Cyclades, 10 miles east of channel between Naxos and Mykonos. Uneventful.

Lucchesini, Renato21 Feb 19411810Portolago (Leros)26 Feb 19411949Brindisi1092Passage Portolago (Leros)-Brindisi.

Lucchesini, Renato1 Mar 19410920Brindisi2 Mar 19411734Pola381Passage Brindisi-Pola. Then refit.

Gigante, Raffaele6 Apr 1941Pola30 Apr 1941PolaRefit at Pola. Change in command.

Crosara, Ugo1 May 1941Pola14 May 1941PolaRefit at Pola. Change in command.

Caito, Giuseppe20 May 19410922Pola20 May 19411740Pola39Exercises with the submarine Speri.

Caito, Giuseppe24 May 19410808Pola24 May 19411705Pola123,8Exercises with the submarines Bausan, Pisani, Speri and Toti, escorted by the auxiliaries San Giorgio, Jadera and Morrhua.

Caito, Giuseppe30 May 19410743Pola30 May 19411632Pola17,8Exercises.

Caito, Giuseppe3 Jun 19410735Pola3 Jun 19411818Pola58Exercises.

Caito, Giuseppe7 Jun 19410748Pola7 Jun 19411810Pola50Exercises.

Caito, Giuseppe9 Jun 19410750Pola9 Jun 19411806Pola72,7Exercises.

Caito, Giuseppe10 Jun 19411345Pola11 Jun 19410230PolaExercises with the submarine Bausan, escorted by the torpedo boat Cantore.

Caito, Giuseppe12 Jun 19410755Pola12 Jun 19411705Pola58,3Exercises.

Caito, Giuseppe13 Jun 19410725Pola13 Jun 19411730Pola72Exercises.

Caito, Giuseppe14 Jun 19411858Pola15 Jun 19410225Pola52Exercises.

Caito, Giuseppe17 Jun 19410714Pola17 Jun 19411727Pola65,5Exercises.

Caito, Giuseppe18 Jun 19410716Pola18 Jun 19411525Pola55,7Exercises.

Caito, Giuseppe19 Jun 19411905Pola20 Jun 19410245Pola46Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary Jadera.

Caito, Giuseppe24 Jun 19410404Pola26 Jun 19411010Taranto530Passage Pola-Taranto. Sighted only Italian ships.

8Caito, Giuseppe30 Jun 19411435Taranto4 Jul 19411455Taranto578Sailed for patrol off Ras Azzaz, via point K (34°20'N, 23°00'E) and point Z (33°00'N, 27°10'E) then to area between 31°54'N and the Egyptian coast and between 27°00'E and 27°20'E but returned due to defects, despite repeated efforts to fix them. Repairs until September 1941.

Caito, Giuseppe17 Jul 19410830Taranto17 Jul 19411330Taranto6,7Exercises.

Caito, Giuseppe18 Jul 19410830Taranto18 Jul 19412000Taranto72Exercises.

Caito, Giuseppe19 Jul 19411625Taranto19 Jul 19412041Taranto25Exercises, escorted by the pilot vessel Limbara.

Caito, Giuseppe21 Jul 19410410Taranto21 Jul 19411454Taranto58,7Exercises.

Caito, Giuseppe24 Jul 19410735Taranto24 Jul 19411508Taranto65,6Exercises.

Caito, Giuseppe28 Jul 19410605Taranto28 Jul 19411708Taranto68,7Exercises.

Caito, Giuseppe1 Aug 19411101Taranto1 Aug 19411830Taranto47,3Exercises escorted by the pilot vessel Limbara.

Caito, Giuseppe3 Aug 19410830Taranto3 Aug 19411610Taranto51,6Exercises.

Caito, Giuseppe6 Aug 19410826Taranto6 Aug 19411725Taranto72Trials escorted by the pilot vessel Limbara.

Caito, Giuseppe8 Aug 19411215Taranto8 Aug 19411927Taranto53,2Exercises.

Caito, Giuseppe1 Sep 19410816Taranto1 Sep 19411920Taranto120,9Exercises.

Caito, Giuseppe3 Sep 19411039Taranto3 Sep 19411730Taranto48Exercises.

Caito, Giuseppe12 Sep 19411022Taranto12 Sep 19412210Crotone127,5Passage Taranto-Messina but diverted to Crotone due to defects.

Caito, Giuseppe13 Sep 19410650Crotone13 Sep 19412000Messina138,3Passage Crotone-Messina.

Caito, Giuseppe15 Sep 19411447Messina16 Sep 19410800Trapani171,7Passage Messina-Trapani.

Caito, Giuseppe22 Sep 19410804Trapani22 Sep 19411130Trapani55,6Exercises with the auxiliary Petsamo.

9Caito, Giuseppe24 Sep 19411316Trapani5 Oct 19410900Trapani827,2Sailed for a patrol off Cape Bon in zone K.2 (between 36°53'N and 36°57'N, and between 11°00'E and 11°05'E) but very soon was diverted to zone K.1 (between 37°12'N and Tunisian coast, and between 11°00'E and 11°05'E) which she occupied from 25 September to 4 October,
  27 Sep 19410305
(0) Off Cape Bon (Italian Grid 5075).
A 10 to 12,000-ton steamer steering 160° was sighted at 0300 hours at 2,500 meters, possibly a vessel of Operation HALBERD, perhaps Melbourne Star (11,076 GRT, built 1936) which sailed from Malta for Gibraltar at 1130 hours on the 26th September. The submarine closed to about 1,200 metres and fired a single torpedo from a stern tube. It missed.
  27 Sep 19410306
(0) Off C Bon.
A second torpedo was fired from a stern tube from a distance of 1,500 metres and again missed.
  28 Sep 19412330
(0) 4 miles south of Ras Mustapha (Tunisia)
Two destroyers were sighted at a distance of 7 to 8,000 metres. The submarine dropped to the bottom at 68 metres and stopped her engines.

Caito, Giuseppe7 Oct 1941Trapani7 Oct 1941TrapaniAt Trapani. Squalo discharged her gun accidentally.
  7 Oct 19410840+
(0) At Trapani.
Following the accidental discharge of Squalo's deck gun, a rating was killed and two were wounded on Narvalo (in addition one rating was wounded on Squalo and another on Bandiera).

10Caito, Giuseppe17 Oct 19412250Trapani21 Oct 19411200Trapani443Patrolled off Ras Mustafa in zone K.2 (between 36°53'N and 36°57'N, and between 11°12'E and the Tunisian coast) with Squalo in zone K.1. Uneventful except for several aircraft sightings.
  18 Oct 1941080537° 03'N, 13° 07'EAn unidentified aircraft was sighted at 6,000 metres and the submarine dived.
  18 Oct 1941110537° 00'N, 13° 05'EA derelict mine was seen and the submarine fired three magazines of 13.2mm before the machine-gun jammed. The mine appeared to have been hit but did not sink.
  18 Oct 1941115336° 49'N, 13° 01'ETwo aircraft were sighted at 8,000 metres and the submarine submerged.
  18 Oct 1941141436° 48'N, 12° 51'EAn aircraft was sighted at 7,000 metres and the submarine submerged.
  18 Oct 1941145036° 47'N, 12° 47'EAn aircraft was sighted and the submarine submerged.
  18 Oct 19411635+36° 46'N, 12° 44'EAn aircraft was sighted at 5-6000 metres, this time the submarine remained on the surface and was not attacked.

Caito, Giuseppe27 Oct 19410901Trapani27 Oct 19411140Trapani25,2Exercises escorted by the auxiliary Petsamo.

11Caito, Giuseppe8 Nov 19412337Trapani19 Nov 19411500Trapani886,1Patrolled in Sicilian Channel, east of Linosa, between 35°40'N and 36°20'N, and between 13°00'E and 13°20'E. Uneventful.
  19 Nov 1941091536° 31'N, 12° 52'EA derelict mine was sighted, but it took 90 rounds of 13.2mm and 70 rounds of 6.5mm to sink it.

Caito, Giuseppe3 Dec 19410835Trapani3 Dec 19411104Trapani21,7Exercises escorted by the auxiliary Egusa.

12Caito, Giuseppe7 Dec 19412303Trapani16 Dec 19410105Trapani751,6Patrolled east of Malta, between 35°20'N and 36°00'N, and between 16°00'E and 16°40'E, on a patrol line with Santarosa. Damaged at 0900-0930 hours on 14th December by A/S units and forced to return home.
  8 Dec 1941140036° 39'N, 14° 15'E
(0) Approximately.
Caito believed his submarine was attacked by an aircraft and ordered his machine gun crew to their stations. This was an error: the submarine Santarosa had actually just detonated a derelict mine.
  14 Dec 19410928-0940
(0) East of Malta.
Two enemy warships were detected by hydrophones and depth-charged the submarine. Narvalo suffered damage and had to abort her mission.

Caito, Giuseppe2 Jan 19420823Trapani2 Jan 19421240Trapani19,6Trials escorted by the minesweeper R.D.40.

Caito, Giuseppe4 Jan 19420920Trapani4 Jan 19421406Trapani35,4Trials escorted by the minesweeper R.D.12.

13Caito, Giuseppe15 Jan 19422004Trapani27 Jan 19420925Trapani859,7Within 8 miles from 35°02'N, 13°20'E, on a line east of Lampedusa with Squalo and Santarosa. On the night of 17 January was ordered to shift patrol 10 miles to the east (35°02'N, 13°32'E) and on the night of 18 January to the east as far as 15°05'E. On 20 January, she was moved to 34°35'N, 14°20'E.
  16 Jan 1942141535° 28'N, 13° 09'EA derelict mine was seen, but no action was taken.
  18 Jan 19421950The submarines were ordered by signal (1954/18) to form a patrol line to intercept the convoy from Alexandria reported in the afternoon: Santarosa in Italian Grid 0132 (34°30' N, 15°30' E), Squalo in Grid 8332 (probably 35°20' N, 15°30' E) and Narvalo in Grid 2732 (probably 35°02' N, 15°30' E). Narvalo proceeded to the new position but sighted nothing.

14Caito, Giuseppe10 Feb 19421725Trapani14 Feb 19421042Trapani329,9Patrolled off Cape Blanc (Tunisia), between 37°46'N and 38°00'N, and between 09°40'E and 10°00'E, on a patrol line with Santarosa and Delfino.
  11 Feb 19420130The submarine was informed of an enemy force sighted at 2100 hours on the 10th in 37°50' N, 07°30' E on an easterly course. The submarine listened on her hydrophones until 1000 hours, but nothing had been heard so she surfaced and resumed her course to her patrol position.

15Caito, Giuseppe14 Feb 19421430Trapani25 Feb 19421730Trapani1031,5Patrolled south of Malta, between 34°30'N and 34°50'N, and between 14°20'E and 14°40'E, on a line with Santarosa. Uneventful. Heard only distant explosions and H.E.

Caito, Giuseppe9 Mar 19420830Trapani9 Mar 19421257Trapani15,6Trials escorted by MAS 544 and MAS 548.

Caito, Giuseppe10 Mar 19420853Trapani10 Mar 19421210Trapani6,9Trials escorted by the auxiliary Terracina.

16Caito, Giuseppe28 Mar 19421920Trapani1 Apr 19421110Trapani372,3Patrolled off Cape Blanc in zone K.1 (between 37°12'N and Tunisian coast, and between 11°00'E and 11°05'E).
  30 Mar 19420557
(0) 030° - Ras Addar - 1.5 mile.
A light cruiser and a destroyer, on course 290, were sighted briefly at a distance of 800-1,000 metres in a rain squall and poor visibility. They disappeared before any action could be taken.

Caito, Giuseppe4 Apr 19420755Trapani4 Apr 19420945TrapaniExercises escorted by MAS 548.

Caito, Giuseppe7 Apr 19422005Trapani8 Apr 19421540Naples204,6Sailed for Naples escorted until point A.2 from Trapani by the steamer Mazzara at 2200 hours on the 7th. Stayed in company with the submarine Santarosa until 0010 hours on the 8th then proceeded alone to Naples. Refit in Naples until June 1942.

Volterri, Alberto11 Jun 19420905Naples11 Jun 19421530Naples34Trials.

Volterri, Alberto15 Jun 19420930Naples15 Jun 19421530Naples34,5Trials.

Grion, Lodovico21 Jun 19420905Naples21 Jun 19421535Naples26Gyrocompass tests.

Grion, Lodovico22 Jun 19420800Naples22 Jun 19421730Naples15Gyrocompass tests and exercises.

Grion, Lodovico23 Jun 19420800Naples23 Jun 19421420Naples18,5Exercises.

Grion, Lodovico25 Jun 19420830Naples25 Jun 19420902Naples1,5Exercises.

Grion, Lodovico27 Jun 19421205Naples30 Jun 19421830Taranto562,7Passage Naples-Taranto escorted by the torpedo boat Dezza.

Grion, Lodovico3 Jul 19420800Taranto3 Jul 19421022Taranto5,7Trials.

17Grion, Lodovico7 Jul 19421126Taranto10 Jul 19422040Derna (harbour entrance)Supply mission to Derna with 23 tons of petrol and 46 tons of ammunition but then diverted to Ras Hilal, and Tobruk. Uneventful.

17bGrion, Lodovico11 Jul 19420615Derna11 Jul 19422135Ras HilalPassage Derna-Ras Hilal. Uneventful.

17cGrion, Lodovico12 Jul 19422200Ras Hilal13 Jul 19420845TobrukPassage Ras Hilal-Tobruk. Uneventful. Diverted from Mersa Matruh due to the blowing up of the German steamer Brook.

17dGrion, Lodovico13 Jul 19421800Tobruk17 Jul 19421425Taranto1419,5Return trip from supply mission to Derna, Ras Hilal, and Tobruk. Uneventful [mileage is for round trip].
  16 Jul 19422010The submarine Galatea was seen at a distance of 10,000 metres.

18Grion, Lodovico27 Jul 19421055Taranto30 Jul 19420745TobrukSupply mission to Tobruk with 61.9 tons of stores (31.1 tons of ammunition, 20.5 tons of foodstuff, 9.9 tons of various stores).
  28 Jul 19420945Part of a paravane of British manufacture was seen and sunk by machine gun fire.

18bGrion, Lodovico30 Jul 19421800Tobruk2 Aug 19421155Taranto1343Return trip from supply mission to Tobruk [mileage is for round trip].
  31 Jul 19421345A German bomber was observed and recognition signals exchanged.
  31 Jul 19421550A German bomber was observed and recognition signals exchanged.

19Grion, Lodovico10 Aug 19421125Taranto13 Aug 19420715TobrukSupply mission to Tobruk with 70.1 or 71.4 tons of ammunition.
  11 Aug 19420920A German bomber was observed and recognition signals exchanged.
  11 Aug 19420950A derelict mine was sunk by machine gun fire.

19bGrion, Lodovico13 Aug 19421615Tobruk17 Aug 19421120Taranto1327Return trip from supply mission to Tobruk [mileage is for round trip].
  15 Aug 19421232A German aircraft was observed and recognition signals exchanged.

20Grion, Lodovico26 Aug 19421136Taranto29 Aug 19420650BenghaziSupply mission to Benghazi with 60.5 tons of Italian ammunition. Uneventful.

20bGrion, Lodovico29 Aug 19421040Benghazi31 Aug 19421323Taranto1004,6Return trip from supply mission to Benghazi. Uneventful [mileage is for round trip].

21Grion, Lodovico18 Sep 19421125Taranto21 Sep 19420702TobrukSupply mission to Tobruk with 58 tons of stores (55 tons of ammunition, 3 tons of assorted stores). Uneventful.

21bGrion, Lodovico21 Sep 19421455Tobruk24 Sep 19421807Taranto1495Return trip from supply mission to Tobruk [mileage is for round trip].
  24 Sep 19420630+39° 36'N, 18° 15'EA derelict Italian mine was sunk by machine gun fire.

22Grion, Lodovico6 Oct 19421112Taranto9 Oct 19421007BenghaziSupply mission to Benghazi with 74.1 tons of stores (72.6 tons of German ammunition, 1.5 ton of foodstuff). Uneventful.

22bGrion, Lodovico9 Oct 19421606Benghazi12 Oct 19421222Taranto1155Return trip after supply mission [mileage is for round trip].
  10 Oct 1942
1130 (e)

(e) 34° 52'N, 19° 15'E
The submarine was attacked by HMS Clyde (Lt. R.S. Brookes, RN) which fired two torpedoes at extreme range and claimed her sunk. The torpedoes missed and Narvalo did not notice the attack.
  12 Oct 1942004539° 15'N, 18° 20'EAn enemy submarine was seen at a distance of 3,000 metres, possibly HMS P 211 on her way back to Malta. Narvalo could not get into an attacking position and the opportunity was missed.

Grion, Lodovico24 Nov 19420602Taranto24 Nov 19421845Taranto118Trials.

23Grion, Lodovico26 Nov 19421105Taranto29 Nov 19421201TripoliSupply mission to Tripoli with 62.3 tons of stores (38.2 tons of German ammunition, 22.9 tons of petrol, 1.2 ton of lubricating oil). Uneventful.
  29 Nov 19421220-1235
(0) Tripoli harbour.
The harbour of Tripoli came under air attack and Narvalo was showered with bomb fragments.

23bGrion, Lodovico29 Nov 19422000Tripoli2 Dec 19421415Taranto1281,5Return trip from supply mission to Tripoli [mileage is for round trip].
  29 Nov 19421220-1235
(0) Tripoli harbour.
The harbour of Tripoli came under air attack and Narvalo was showered with bomb fragments.
  30 Nov 1942141334° 24'N, 16° 05'EA floating mine of the British type was observed and sunk by machine gun fire.

Grion, Lodovico9 Dec 19420937Taranto9 Dec 19421010Taranto0,5Entered dock.

24Grion, Lodovico9 Jan 19431200Taranto13 Jan 1943TripoliSupply mission (54.2 tons of stores: 30.662 tons of Italian ammunition and 23.666 tons of Italian petrol) to Tripoli via (1) 40°10'N, 17°05'E (2) 38°51'N, 18°12'E (3) 33°20'N, 15°40'E at 2100/12 (4) 32°55'N, 14°05'E at 0600 hours on the 13th, surface passage at 10 knots.

24bGrion, Lodovico13 Jan 19432000Tripoli14 Jan 19431430SunkReturn trip from supply mission to Tripoli with six Italian Miltary personnel and eleven allied PoWs. Passage through (1) Point B (2) 33°28'N, 13°40'E (3) 34°40'N, 17°30'E (4) Point P (Cape Colonne). Sunk near Malta by the destroyer HMS Pakenham and escort destroyer HMS Hursley in 34°08'N, 16°34'E after being attacked by Beaufort bombers from Malta in 136° - Malta - 137 miles (escorting convoy ME.15). Thirty-seven killed including one British and three American PoWs, twenty-nine survivors were picked up.
  14 Jan 19431430
1330.5 (e)
34° 08'N, 16° 04'ENarvalo was sighted by Beaufort 'Q' of 39 Squadron piloted by Flying Officer J.N. Cartwright who was flying a convoy escort mission and attacked at 1330 hours in position 34°08' N, 16°04' E. A stick of four depth charges were dropped and exploded across the bows. The front of the sub was lifted by explosions and it settled stationary with a list to starboard. A white flag was seen, but on passing over ton a second run the Beaufort was fired upon. The destroyer HMS Pakenham and the escort destroyer HMS Hursley of the convoy escort were directed to the scene. Narvalo, which had both engines damaged by the aircraft attack, was powerless and had to be scuttled under gunfire from the two escorts. Of her crew, twenty-nine survivors, including Grion, three Italian Army passengers and seven of the POWs were rescued. Thirty-five were missing: twenty-eight crew members, three Italian Army officers, a British and three American PoWs.

105 entries. 92 total patrol entries (24 marked as war patrols) and 31 events.

All Italian submarines