Italian submarines in World War Two

FR 111 (ex-Phoque)
FR 111

TypeOcean going 
ClassRequin (36) 
Laid down 21 May 1924 Arsenal de Brest (Brest, France) 
Launched16 Mar 1926
Commissioned20 Jan 1943
End service
Loss date28 Feb 1943
Loss position36° 52'N, 15° 11'E
History French submarine Phoque. Captured by the Italians while disarmed at Bizerta on 8th December 1942. Sunk on 28th February 1943 in 220° - Cape Murro di Porco - 10 miles (Sicily) by rockets from Spitfires of 185 and 245 Squadrons (RAF).


CommanderDate fromDate toCommand notes
C.C. Antonio De Giacomo31 Dec 194212 Jan 1943
T.V. Giovanni Celeste1 Feb 194328 Feb 1943

Ships hit

No ships hit by this submarine.

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
BizertaBizertaCaptured by the Germans at Bizerta in December 1942. Allocated to Italian Navy.

De Giacomo, Antonio31 Dec 19421100Bizerta31 Dec 19421100BizertaThe submarine was taken over by an Italian crew.

De Giacomo, Antonio2 Jan 19430700Bizerta2 Jan 1943BizertaTrials.

De Giacomo, Antonio6 Jan 19431305Ferryville7 Jan 19432330Palermo215Passage Bizerta-Palermo with ex-Saphir and German Ruhr, escorted by the torpedo boat Animoso and Groppo.

De Giacomo, Antonio11 Jan 19430830Palermo12 Jan 19431130Naples180Passage Palermo-Naples with ex-Saphir, towed by Luni and Ursus. Converted to transport submarine at Castellammare di Stabia. The external tubes and the deck gun were removed.

Celeste, Giovanni1 Feb 19430915Naples1 Feb 1943Time???NaplesTrials.

Celeste, Giovanni9 Feb 1943Time???Naples1 Feb 19431750NaplesExercises.

Celeste, Giovanni12 Feb 19430940Naples12 Feb 19431325NaplesExercises.

Celeste, Giovanni14 Feb 19430836Naples14 Feb 19431545NaplesExercises.

Celeste, Giovanni23 Feb 19430155Naples24 Feb 19430637AugustaPassage Naples-Augusta.

Celeste, Giovanni26 Feb 1943PMAugusta26 Feb 1943AugustaTrials.

1Celeste, Giovanni27 Feb 19431551Augusta28 Feb 19431445SunkShe was carrying 38.3 tons of stores (28 tons of ammunition and 10.3 tons of petrol) to Lampedusa, via 37°00'N, 13°00'E. At 0745 hours on the 28th, the submarine informed MARICOSOM that she had defects and wished to turn back. This was accepted by MARICOSOM's 1041/28 signal. Sunk between Cape Passero and Cape Murro di Porco by enemy fighter bombers.
  28 Feb 19431445
1435 (e)

(0) 10 miles SW of Cape Murro di Porco
At 1145 hours, FR.111 was attacked by enemy bombers and sunk.

These were actually eleven Spitfire fighter bombers (six of 185 and five of 249 Squadrons with two escorting fighters from each squadron) returning from a raid on Cassabillo Power Station (9 miles SW of Syracuse). They reported attacking a U-boat with MG and cannon fire, five miles east of Avola. The submarine replied briefly with a machine gun and reported attacked by four aircraft.

The submarine was machine-gunned with all the personnel on deck killed or wounded and sank. An Italian seaplane picked up two survivors and Germans forces another twenty-five (including two wounded and a corpse). Five officers and eighteen ratings were killed. One Spitfire was slightly damaged by flying fragments from the submarine.

12 entries. 12 total patrol entries (1 marked as war patrols) and 1 events.

All Italian submarines