Italian submarines in World War Two

Velella (VL, I.27)

Velella (USMM)

TypeOcean going 
ClassArgo (11) 
Laid down 31 Oct 1931 Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico, Monfalcone
Launched18 Dec 1936
Commissioned31 Aug 1937
End service
Loss date7 Sep 1943
Loss position40° 15'N, 14° 30'E
Fate Torpedoed and sunk on 7th September 1943 about 18 nautical miles east of Licosa Island, south of Salerno, in position 40°15'N, 14°30'E by British submarine HMS Shakespeare.


CommanderDate fromDate toCommand notes
T.V. Pasquale Terra15 Dec 193819 Dec 1941
Fernando Ubaldelli20 Dec 19412 Jan 1942
T.V. Giovanni Febbraro3 Jan 19428 Jun 1943
T.V. Mario Patanè9 Jun 19437 Sep 1943

Ships hit

No ships hit by this submarine.

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
1Terra, Pasquale5 Jun 19400535Brindisi20 Jun 19402040Leros1483,5Patrolled between Rhodes and the Turkish coast in 36°27'N, 28°40'E. Uneventful. Off Cerigo at 1300 hours on 9th June. At 1015 hours on the 11th in the Northern searched channel of Rhodes and arrived in patrol area at 0100 hours on the 12th. At 2100 hours on the 19th, left patrol for Leros.

2Terra, Pasquale3 Jul 19401950Leros15 Jul 19402400Alimnia Bay1193Patrolled on Crete-Alexandria route, in 33°05'N, 28°45'E, on a patrol line with Tricheco and Beilul then anchored in Alimnia Bay.

2bTerra, Pasquale16 Jul 19401205Alimnia Bay17 Jul 19400320LerosPassage Alimnia Bay-Leros.

3Terra, Pasquale19 Aug 19401200Leros26 Aug 19401200Leros663Patrolled east of Crete, laid two lines of sounding buoys at 500 metres interval, from Plati Island (Kaso) to Cape Plaka (Crete) and from Plati Island to Cape Sidero (Crete).
  21 Aug 19400118
(0) Off Cape Sidero.
At 0118 hours, a destroyer proceeding toward Cape Sidero was observed at a distance of 5-6,000 metres. She passed out of sight.

Terra, Pasquale6 Sep 19401634Leros14 Sep 19401815La Spezia1336Passage Leros-La Spezia. Uneventful.

Terra, Pasquale24 Oct 19400910La Spezia24 Oct 19401555La SpeziaExercises.

Terra, Pasquale25 Oct 19401630La Spezia25 Oct 19401700La SpeziaExercises? Escorted by the submarine H.2.

Terra, Pasquale30 Oct 19400820La Spezia30 Oct 19401230La SpeziaExercises.

4Terra, Pasquale1 Nov 19400730La Spezia8 Nov 19402200La Spezia1155Sailed for Gibraltar (and Bordeaux) but was then recalled when the fuel flow to one of her engines was interrupted.

Terra, Pasquale20 Nov 19400915La Spezia20 Nov 19401105La SpeziaExercises.

5Terra, Pasquale25 Nov 19400750La Spezia25 Dec 19401900Bordeaux4528Passage La Spezia-Bordeaux and patrol between 37°00'N and 40°00'N, between 09°00'W and 11°00'W. Crossed Gibraltar on 1st December, where she was seriously depth-charged by two British destroyers but escaped at a depth of 130 meters. From 4th to 20th December off Lisbon then to Bordeaux. Sighted several neutral vessels.
  15 Dec 19400900-1000
(0) Off Cape Roca.
At 0900 hours, a submarine, who proved to be Michele Bianchi, was encountered and exchanged recognition signals. Velella was informed that Brin was following her.
  17 Dec 19400340
(0) Off Cape Roca.
At 0340 hours, an illuminated vessel was sighted and the submarine took an intercepting course. At 0930 hours, the vessel was ordered to stop and requested to show her papers. An officer brought them aboard the submarine and she proved to be the Spanish Castillo Andrade (3,457 GRT, built 1914) of Cadiz, on passage from Las Palmas to Vigo with a cargo of fruit. She was allowed to proceed.

6Terra, Pasquale18 Feb 19411100Bordeaux18 Feb 19411500Le Verdon50Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

6bTerra, Pasquale19 Feb 19410830Le Verdon19 Feb 19411925La Pallice110Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice, escorted by the German minesweepers M-6, M-9 and M-21 and Sperrbrecher 16, the latter as far as Buoy 1.

6cTerra, Pasquale20 Feb 19410900La Pallice20 Feb 19411410La Pallice30Trials at Le Pertuis d'Antioche.

6dTerra, Pasquale23 Feb 19411750La Pallice21 Mar 19411410Pauillac4500Sailed for Atlantic patrol between 54°00'N and 55°00'N, and between 18°00'W and 25°00'W. On her return was met by Sperrbrecher III, the minesweepers M-9 and M-12, the submarine chaser UJ-K and the patrol vessel V-406 and escorted in.
  27 Feb 19411425At 1425 hours, a vessel was seen zigzagging steering 250°. The submarine attempted to intercept it but lost contact at 2030 hours.
  2 Mar 19411700At 1700 hours, Velella received a signal from BETASOM (1500/2) reporting a large convoy in Italian Grid 2781/46 steering 270° and was ordered to Grid 6124/41 to intercept. She complied by taking a 090° course at 7 knots, but due to the heavy weather it was impossible to reach the area in time.
  3 Mar 19411600At 1600 hours, two vessels were sighted at 8,000 metres. They turned out to be two three-funnel destroyers steering 070°. The submarine dived quickly and was not detected. At 2350 hours on 3rd March, Velellla received signals from BETASOM: the first (1650/3) ordering her to move north at 10 knots and, a second (2300/3) ordering her to patrol within a radius of 5 miles from Italian Grid 2767/66. At 1900 hours on 4th March, she received a signal (1740/4) ordering her to proceed to Grid 5324/63.
  9 Mar 19411855At 1855 hours, a submarine was sighted and, after exchanging recognition signals, identified as Brin.

6eTerra, Pasquale21 Mar 19411530Pauillac21 Mar 19411840Bordeaux30Passage Pauillac-Bordeaux. Then refit.

7Terra, Pasquale23 May 19410630Bordeaux23 May 19411730Le Verdon60Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

7bTerra, Pasquale24 May 19410220Le Verdon24 May 19410630Le Verdon60Sailed for patrol led by Sperrbrecher III but lost her in the darkness and had a slight collision with the Alsterufer who was proceeding to Bordeaux escorted by M-boats. She had damage to her forward tube and had to turn back for repairs. This delayed her departure by four days.
  24 May 19410430
(0) Off the Gironde (entrance of La Grande Passe de l'Ouest).
At 0430 hours, Velella collided with the German blockade-runner Alsterufer (2.729 GRT, built 1939), on her way to Bordeaux escorted by M-boats from the 8.MSFL. The submarine suffered slight damage which forced her to turn back and delay her departure by four days. T.V. Pasquale Terra was reprimanded for the accident.

7cTerra, Pasquale24 May 19410800 approx.Le Verdon24 May 19411800Bordeaux60Passage Le Verdon-Bordeaux for repairs.
  24 May 19410430
(0) Off the Gironde (entrance of La Grande Passe de l'Ouest).
At 0430 hours, Velella collided with the German blockade-runner Alsterufer (2.729 GRT, built 1939), on her way to Bordeaux escorted by M-boats from the 8.MSFL. The submarine suffered slight damage which forced her to turn back and delay her departure by four days. T.V. Pasquale Terra was reprimanded for the accident.

7dTerra, Pasquale28 May 19410857Bordeaux28 May 19411300Le Verdon60Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

7eTerra, Pasquale28 May 19412000Le Verdon20 Jun 19410905Le Verdon4500Sailed for Atlantic patrol (1) between 34°45'N and 35°45'N, and between 12°50'W and 13°50'W (2) within 30 miles of 33°55'N, 14°50'W. Escorted out by Sperrbrecher III.
  30 May 1941114543° 42'N, 9° 24'WAt 1145 hours, many smokes were observed over the horizon. The submarine closed only to find out that they were fishing vessels.
  30 May 1941160043° 32'N, 9° 14'WAn Sunderland was seen and the submarine dived.
  30 May 19411935-204043° 11'N, 9° 34'WAt 1935 hours, a vessel was sighted. The submarine closed to attack, but then desisted when she proved to be a neutral.
  31 May 1941170040° 20'N, 10° 58'WAt 1700 hours a vessel was sighted on a 050° course. The submarine closed and at 1952 hours dived to attack. It proved to be small 300 to 400-ton neutral tanker and the attack was aborted.
  3 Jun 1941083035° 13'N, 13° 05'WAt 0830 hours, a steamer on a 055° course was sighted, but the submarine could not catch up and she disappeared in the distance.
  4 Jun 1941190535° 31'N, 13° 18'WAt 1905 hours, a steamer was sighted. At 2015 hours, she was identified as neutral and the attack broken off.
  5 Jun 1941041035° 03'N, 13° 38'WAt 0410 hours, a dark shadow was sighted. As the submarine closed, it was identified as a submarine chaser zigzagging steering 060-120°. A sudden change of course prevented Velella from carrying out an attack, but the submarine altered course to 270° on the supposition that this vessel was scouting ahead of a convoy.
  5 Jun 1941064035° 03'N, 13° 47'WAt 0640 hours, a destroyer was sighted at 2,500 metres proceeding on a 100° course. Velella turned with the intention of attacking it with a stern shot but then sighted a tanker in the distance.
  5 Jun 1941064535° 02'N, 13° 48'WA large tanker was sighted at a distance of 4-5,000 metres but the submarine could not close the range.
  5 Jun 1941182535° 07'N, 12° 58'WAt 1825 hours, Velella sighted a convoy steering 090° at 8 knots. The submarine turned to a parallel course hoping to intercept after dusk ahead of the convoy with the moon behind.
  5 Jun 1941223035° 07'N, 12° 10'WAt 2230 hours, the submarine Marconi was encountered and directed toward the convoy.
  6 Jun 1941060435° 06'N, 11° 20'WVelella, trailing the convoy [OG.63], had observed only small vessels on the starboard column. She moved to attack the vessels on the port column which appeared larger. At 0604 hours, a 12,000/14,000-ton tanker followed by a 7,000/8,000-ton steamer were sighted and T.V. Terra decided to attack both. Two torpedoes were fired from the bow tubes at a distance of 800 metres aimed at the tanker. Both were claimed hit and the tanker reported damaged, but this has not been confirmed.
  6 Jun 19410606
0605-0616 (e)
35° 00'N, 11° 00'W
(e) 35° 45'N, 10° 50'W
One torpedo aimed at the second ship was fired from 400-500 metres and simultaneously, the target fired two rounds at the submarine. This was the British Tintern Abbey (2479 GRT, built 1939) and although Terra reported her as sunk, she had not been hit. At 0652 hours, HMS Wellington opened fire on the submarine at a range of 14,000-13,600 yards. The submarine dived to 100 metres and was shaken by three explosions which caused minor damages.
  8 Jun 19411715
1610 (e)
35° 46'N, 12° 25'W
(e) 36° 02'N, 11° 52'W
At 1715 hours, the submarine sighted a reconnaissance aircraft approaching. At a range of 500-600 metres, Velella opened fire with her machine guns while taking evasive action. This was Catalina 'C' (AH538) of 202 Squadron, piloted by Flight Lieutenant R.W. Whittome and it dropped two 500lb bombs, which missed about 100 metres astern, according to Terra (30 feet according to Whittome). The Catalina was hit by a few 13.2mm rounds but not seriously damaged. The aircraft returned for a second run and dropped two more bombs, missing the bow by about 20 metres (15 feet according to the pilot). At 1745 hours, Velella dived and escaped.

7fTerra, Pasquale20 Jun 19411218Le Verdon20 Jun 19411700BordeauxPassage Le Verdon-Bordeaux.

8Terra, Pasquale12 Aug 19411000Bordeaux12 Aug 19411400Le Verdon50Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

8bTerra, Pasquale12 Aug 19411800Le Verdon12 Aug 19411930Le VerdonTrials.

8cTerra, Pasquale13 Aug 19410800Le Verdon13 Aug 19411915La Pallice110Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice.

8dTerra, Pasquale16 Aug 19411830La Pallice16 Aug 19412015La Pallice?Sailed for patrol, but turned back because of a defective gyrocompass.

8eTerra, Pasquale17 Aug 19411020La Pallice29 Aug 19411340Cagliari2230Passage La Pallice-Cagliari after four missions in the Atlantic. Passed Gibraltar on the surface during the night of 24/25th August 1941, finally diving at 0707 hours on the 25th.
  24 Aug 19412330
(0) West of Gibraltar.
At 2330 hours, as Velella was nearing the Straits of Gibraltar, a submarine chaser was sighted at 1,500 metres. Terra elected to remain on the surface and was not seen.

Terra, Pasquale7 Sep 19410900Cagliari8 Sep 19411030Naples265Passage Cagliari-Naples. Then refit until January 1942.

Ubaldelli, Fernando20 Dec 1941Naples2 Jan 1942NaplesRefit in Naples. Change in command.

Febbraro, Giovanni16 Jan 19420900Naples16 Jan 19421530Naples30,9Trials.

Febbraro, Giovanni20 Jan 19420900Naples20 Jan 19421645Naples15,9Trials.

Febbraro, Giovanni21 Jan 19420900Naples21 Jan 19421740Naples28,2Trials.

Febbraro, Giovanni23 Jan 19420730Naples23 Jan 19421510Naples45Exercises with torpedo boat Circe (S-Gerät and German depth-charges).

Febbraro, Giovanni27 Jan 19421535Naples31 Jan 19420415Ancona897Passage Naples-Pola via Ancona.
  28 Jan 19421930At 1930 hours, the submarine Ruggiero Settimo was encountered.
  29 Jan 19420210At 0210 hours, the submarine Ammiraglio Cagni was encountered on opposite course.

Febbraro, Giovanni3 Feb 19420715Ancona3 Feb 19421725Pola98Passage Ancona-Pola.

Febbraro, Giovanni13 Feb 19421300Pola13 Feb 19421800Pola36Exercises.

Febbraro, Giovanni15 Feb 19421300Pola15 Feb 19421700Pola25Exercises.

Febbraro, Giovanni23 Feb 19420830Pola23 Feb 19421600Pola22Exercises.

Febbraro, Giovanni25 Feb 19420745Pola25 Feb 19421445Fiume60Passage Pola-Fiume.

Febbraro, Giovanni27 Feb 19420800Fiume27 Feb 19421635Fiume29Exercises, escorted the auxiliary Trau.

Febbraro, Giovanni28 Feb 19420900Fiume28 Feb 19421600Fiume35Exercises escorted by the auxiliary Jadera.

Febbraro, Giovanni9 Mar 19420700Sussa (Fiume)9 Mar 19421200Sussa (Fiume)29Exercises, escorted by the auxiliaries Abbazia and Trau.

Febbraro, Giovanni17 Mar 19420925Fiume (Sussa)20 Mar 19421020Augusta691Passage Fiume-Augusta. Uneventful.

Febbraro, Giovanni3 Apr 19421100Augusta5 Apr 19421005Cagliari358Passage Augusta-Cagliari, escorted as far as Cape Vaticano by the auxiliary Lago Tana.

9Febbraro, Giovanni13 Apr 19420830Cagliari2 May 19421030Cagliari2155Sailed for patrol between 36°50'N and 37°30'N, and between 00°40'E and 01°00'E. On 22nd April, shifted to area between 38°00'N and 38°40'N, and between 01°10'E and 01°40'E. Ordered to Grids 8137 and 0137 (between 37°20'N and 38°00'N, and between 02°00'E and 02°20'E). Patrolled off east of Cape de Gata and south of Formentara (Spain).
  20 Apr 19420035At 0035 hours, a large dark shadow was sighted at 7-8,000 metres, but it was fast moving away and no attack was possible.
  20 Apr 19420450
0355A (e)
36° 45'N, 0° 12'W
(e) 36° 45'N, 0° 10'E
At 0440 hours, a lone destroyer was sighted on an easterly course at 18-20 knots. Ten minutes later, two torpedoes were fired at a range of 1,000 metres but missed. This was HMS Antelope on her way to rejoin Force H after refuelling at Gibraltar (during operation CALENDAR: USS Wasp flying off 47 Spitfires to Malta). One torpedo track was sighted by the destroyer and she tried to locate the submarine but could not obtain a contact.
  27 Apr 19420205At 0205 hours, Velella sighted a submarine steering 075° and made an enemy report at 0317 hours. Emo attempted to intercept it but could not make contact. MARICOSOM had informed submarines that a British submarine of the TRITON class had sailed from Gibraltar at 1830 hours on 22nd April [this was HMS Taku], followed by an 'O' class submarine at 2130 hours on the 25th [HMS Osiris]. The submarine seen was probably the latter.

Febbraro, Giovanni21 May 19420755Cagliari21 May 19420935Cagliari4Trials.

Febbraro, Giovanni23 May 19420820Cagliari23 May 19421255Cagliari16Trials.

Febbraro, Giovanni24 May 19420900Cagliari24 May 19421132Cagliari16Trials.

10Febbraro, Giovanni8 Jun 19420345Cagliari20 Jun 19420825Cagliari1680Patrolled south of Balearic Islands between 37°40'N and 38°00'N, and between 03°00'E and 03°40'E. On 10th June, shifted to 50 miles to the east. On 12th June, shifted to patrol area between 36°10'N and 36°40'N, and between 00°20'E and 01°00'E.
  12 Jun 19422020An unidentified aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  15 Jun 19420210At 0210 hours, two small vessels were seen which were probably MTBs. The submarine turned away.
  18 Jun 19420935An unidentified aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.

11Febbraro, Giovanni23 Jun 19420614Cagliari29 Jun 19420835Cagliari633Sailed to form a patrol line with Uarsciek, Malachite and Giada east of La Galite, between 37°20'N and 37°50'N, and between 09°00'E and 09°20'E.
  27 Jun 1942051137° 24'N, 9° 20'EAt 0345 hours, a small illuminated tanker was sighted steering 080°, 8 knots. At 0511 hours, Velella had closed to 500 metres but the nationality could not be ascertained and she fired two torpedoes. They both missed.
  27 Jun 1942051437° 24'N, 9° 20'EA third torpedo was fired at the same tanker from a bow tube, due to an error in drill. The tanker was later seen flying French colours. It was believed to have been Noroit (453 GRT, built 1935).

12Febbraro, Giovanni16 Jul 19420235Cagliari20 Jul 19420930Cagliari456Patrolled east of La Galite, between 37°20'N and 37°40'N, and between 09°20'E and 09°40'E on a line with Bronzo, Malachite and Dagabur. Uneventful.

13Febbraro, Giovanni5 Aug 19422110Cagliari9 Aug 19420630Cagliari310Patrolled north of Tunisian coast between 37°20'N and 37°50'N, and between 10°00'E and 10°20'E on a patrol line with Granito. Patrol plagued by engine defects.

Febbraro, Giovanni21 Aug 19420810Cagliari21 Aug 19421110Cagliari15Trials.

Febbraro, Giovanni24 Aug 19421700Cagliari25 Aug 19421510La Maddalena196Passage Cagliari-La Maddalena.

14Febbraro, Giovanni2 Sep 19421600La Maddalena16 Sep 19421235Cagliari1318Patrolled south of Balearic Islands, between 37°30'N and 38°00'N, and between 02°00'E and 02°20'E, on a patrol line with Asteria.
  3 Sep 19421144An unidentified aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  3 Sep 19421920An unidentified aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  3 Sep 19422330An illuminated vessel was seen and was believed to be French.
  9 Sep 19421330
1225 (e)
37° 53'N, 2° 08'E
(e) 38° 10'N, 1° 50'E
At 1330 hours, an aircraft, identified as a Saro London bomber, came from the sun and attacked Velella as she was preparing to dive. The aircraft strafed the submarine and dropped six bombs which missed her by 300 to 400 metres. This was in fact Hudson 'G' (FH398) of 233 Squadron piloted by Flying Officer W.E. Willits. It had sighted the submarine at a distance of 20 miles and dived from 3,500 feet. Only four depth charges were dropped and estimated to miss the submarine by 70 yards. Velella managed to dive and escape.

Febbraro, Giovanni21 Sep 19420800Cagliari21 Sep 19421455Cagliari20Trials and gyrocompass tests.

Febbraro, Giovanni25 Sep 19420800Cagliari25 Sep 19421140Cagliari16Trials.

Febbraro, Giovanni14 Oct 19420802Cagliari14 Oct 19421235Cagliari19Trials and exercises.

15Febbraro, Giovanni7 Nov 19420405Cagliari17 Nov 19422200Cagliari899Patrolled off Philippeville and Bone between 37°10'N and 37°30'N, and between 07°20'E and 08°00'E. but shortly after it was reached, she was shifted to 37°20'N and Algerian coast, and between 06°20'E and 07°00'E.
  8 Nov 1942033537° 15'N, 7° 51'EA submarine of the ASTERIA class was sighted but not identified.
  8 Nov 19420850An unidentified aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  8 Nov 1942214537° 29'N, 6° 40'EA submarine was sighted on a westerly course. This was probably Brin.
  9 Nov 1942012837° 27'N, 7° 03'EA submarine was sighted and Velella turned away. At 0040 hours on the 10th, she explored the anchorage of Philippeville and found no ships.
  10 Nov 1942025837° 00'N, 6° 48'EA submarine was sighted steering 070°.
  12 Nov 19422355At 2355 hours, the submarine heard H.E. of a submarine believed to be Mocenigo.
  13 Nov 1942035037° 12'N, 7° 01'EAt 0350 hours, two small vessels believed to be MTBs were sighted. Velella dived at 0358 hours. At 0215 hours on the 14th, the submarine closed the entrance of Philippeville but did not see anything
  13 Nov 1942042537° 13'N, 7° 01'EAt 0425 hours, two unknown fast vessels were sighted proceeding eastward. The submarine could not close to attack. At 0920 hours on the 14th, she was ordered to check the Bay of Bougie.
  15 Nov 1942181537° 15'N, 7° 08'EAt 1815 hours, two smokes were observed on the horizon proceeding eastward. The submarine could not catch up with them.
  16 Nov 1942044337° 18'N, 7° 12'EAt 0443 hours, one small vessel was seen proceeding slowly toward the submarine. Five minutes later, Velella dived.

Febbraro, Giovanni19 Nov 19421625Cagliari21 Nov 19420002Naples248Passage Cagliari-Naples. Then refit until February 1943.

Febbraro, Giovanni14 Feb 19430910Naples14 Feb 19431825Naples36Exercises.

Febbraro, Giovanni19 Feb 19430810Naples19 Feb 19431858Naples30Exercises.

Febbraro, Giovanni26 Feb 19430804Naples26 Feb 19432140Naples26Exercises.

Febbraro, Giovanni2 Mar 19431448Naples2 Mar 19431625Castellammare di Stabia12Passage Naples-Castellammare di Stabia.

Febbraro, Giovanni9 Mar 19431720Castellammare di Stabia9 Mar 19431930Naples12Passage Castellammare di Stabia-Naples.

Febbraro, Giovanni10 Mar 19430030Naples11 Mar 19430655La Maddalena.297Passage Naples-La Maddalena.

Febbraro, Giovanni13 Mar 19430826La Maddalena13 Mar 19431302La Maddalena29Exercises.

Febbraro, Giovanni16 Mar 19431300La Maddalena16 Mar 19431745La Maddalena36Exercises.

Febbraro, Giovanni22 Mar 19430906La Maddalena22 Mar 19431235La Maddalena25Exercises.

Febbraro, Giovanni23 Mar 19430900La Maddalena23 Mar 19431645La Maddalena44Exercises.

Febbraro, Giovanni1 Apr 19430956La Maddalena1 Apr 19431318La Maddalena12Exercises.

16Febbraro, Giovanni3 Apr 19431605La Maddalena20 Apr 19430948La Maddalena1656Patrolled between 38°40'N and 39°20'N, and between 05°40'E and 06°20'E on a patrol line with Acciaio, Axum and Argo. Uneventful.
  4 Apr 19430820A German aircraft was sighted and recognition signals were exchanged.

Febbraro, Giovanni28 May 19431450La Maddalena28 May 19431645Bonifacio18Passage La Maddalena-Bonifacio.

Patanè, Mario10 Jun 19430555Bonifacio10 Jun 19430820La Maddalena21Passage Bonifacio-La Maddalena.

Patanè, Mario14 Jun 19430750La Maddalena14 Jun 19431150La Maddalena11Exercises.

Patanè, Mario16 Jun 19430713La Maddalena16 Jun 19431020La Maddalena10,5Exercises.

Patanè, Mario17 Jun 19430800La Maddalena17 Jun 19431320La Maddalena17Exercises.

17Patanè, Mario18 Jun 19430614La Maddalena21 Jun 19430850La Maddalena673Sailed for patrol west of Sardinia from 40°18'N, 06°49'E to 34°35'N, 06°10'E (replacing Diaspro), then ordered off Bone between 37°20'N and Algerian coast, and between 05°40'E and 06°20'E, On a patrol line with Bronzo, but then recalled.
  18 Jun 1943160041° 07'N, 8° 09'EAt 1600 hours, an aircraft was seen approaching the submarine head on. Initially, it was mistaken as Italian. At a distance of 4,000 metres the submarine flashed a recognition signal which was not answered. The aircraft then turned to come from the stern and was identified as a Blenheim bomber (it was in fact a B.26 Marauder, one of two on a anti-shipping strike). Velella opened fire with her machine guns at a range of 1,500 metres as the bomber strafed her, making two runs. The submarine suffered only minor damage and the aircraft then flew toward the east.
  21 Jun 1943002541° 03'N, 7° 37'EAt 0025 hours, an unknown submarine was sighted at a distance of 7,000 metres. It appeared to suddenly reverse course and dived.
  21 Jun 1943010041° 04'N, 7° 45'EAt 0100 hours, a submarine was sighted at a distance of 5,000 metres on a parallel course. Velella made the recognition signal and was not answered but refrained from attack as Argo was known to be in the area.

Patanè, Mario25 Jun 19430508La Maddalena25 Jun 19431230Ajaccio71Passage La Maddalena-Ajaccio.

Patanè, Mario29 Jun 19430740Ajaccio29 Jun 19431210Ajaccio17,5Exercises.

Patanè, Mario5 Jul 19431355Ajaccio5 Jul 19432010La MaddalenaPassage Ajaccio-La Maddalena.

18Patanè, Mario10 Jul 19430240La Maddalena13 Jul 19430715Taranto885Initially sailed to patrol in zone 172 [between 38°25'N and 38°35'N, and between 12°20'E and 12°40'E], the order was quickly altered and she was sent to zones 82 [between 37°00'N and 37°10'N, and between 15°20'E and 15°40'E] and 83 [between 36°50'N and 37°00'N, and between 15°20'E and 15°40'E] (east coast of Sicily), but a few hours later she was ordered to the northern half of zone 81 to stop the Allied landings ("Z" order). At 2022 hours on the 11th, she was ordered to go to zone 83. At 0525 hours on the 12th, she was ordered to proceed to Taranto for repairs through 39°00'N, 17°40'E and Point A.2, then ordered at 1120 hours on the 12th to 40°14'N, 17°05'E.
  10 Jul 1943083840° 36'N, 10° 22'EA drifting mine was seen.
  10 Jul 1943162539° 58'N, 12° 10'EAt 1625 hours, an aircraft, believed to be a Blenheim bomber, was seen at a distance of 1,500 metres. It appeared to try making a stern attack but altered away at 800 meters as Velella opened fire with her machine guns.
  11 Jul 1943122538° 09'N, 15° 34'E
(0) 210° - Cape Peloro - 7 miles
A periscope was sighted at 1,500 metres and range was closed to 400 metres. Velella took avoiding action and made an enemy report. This was probably HMS Ultor.
  11 Jul 19431225
(0) 210° - Cape Peloro - 7 miles.
At 1225 hours, a periscope was sighted at 1,500 metres. Velella took avoiding action and made an enemy report at 1242 hours.
  11 Jul 1943204538° 15'N, 15° 30'E
(0) Approximately.
At 2045 hours, Velella was proceeding at a depth of 30 metres, when two very close explosions were heard . The submarine was undamaged and went down to 40-50 metres. Another pattern of depth-charges was heard at 2055 hours and the submarine went deeper to 100-120 meters. The A/S hunt went on until 0043 hours on the 13th. When she later surfaced,Velella appeared to have been leaking oil and the decision was made to abort the mission.
  12 Jul 19430335At 0335 hours, a submarine was sighted at 1,200 metres and Velella turned away.
  12 Jul 1943173538° 44'N, 17° 26'EAt 1735 hours, five survivors of a Savoia 79 torpedo bomber (41 Gruppo) were rescued.

19Patanè, Mario20 Jul 19432110Taranto2 Aug 19430834La Maddalena?Patrolled off Syracuse and Augusta ("Z" order) between 36°30'N and 36°50'N, 15°07'E and 15°50'E.
  23 Jul 19431416-161536° 50'N, 15° 55'EFrom 1416 to 1615 hours, Velella was depth charged by two corvettes but escaped damage.
  23 Jul 1943221436° 47'N, 15° 55'EAt 2214 hours, an aircraft dropped flares over Velella and she dived.
  24 Jul 1943015536° 41'N, 15° 44'EAn unidentified aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  24 Jul 19430326
0200Z approx. (e)
36° 45'N, 15° 25'E
(e) 36° 48'N, 16° 23'E
The submarine sighted three flares at about 2,500 metres and dived. This was Hudson HZ.114 of 221 Squadron (Flying Officer E. Austin) which had detected a surfaced submarine, but the attack failed as "moonpath was insufficient".
  26 Jul 19431835-202536° 04'N, 16° 00'EThe submarine was hunted by two MGBs from 1835 to 2113 hours and reported that 90 depth-charges were dropped. Some explosions were very close to the submarine and later, it was realised that she was leaking fuel.
  26 Jul 1943222035° 45'N, 16° 08'EAt 2150 hours, Velella surfaced. Half an hour later a corvette was sighted at a distance of 5,000 metres and she had to submerge again.
  29 Jul 1943205536° 03'N, 13° 12'EAn lluminated hospital ship was observed at a distance of 6-7,000 metres.
  30 Jul 19430230
0230B (e)
36° 10'N, 12° 28'E
(e) 36° 40'N, 12° 28'E
At 0230 hours, Velella observed a Very light a some distance ahead and closed to attack. Two rounds fell near the submarine, which had to crash-dive to 80 metres. This was a convoy consisting of USS LST-307, USS LST-325, USS LST-335, USS LST-337, USS LST-338 and USS LST-400) escorted by USS PC-624 (Lt. Cdr. R.D. Lowther, USNR) and a disabled submarine chaser. They had sailed from Licata (Sicily) at 1530 hours on the 29th for Tunis carrying 1,700 PoWs. Earlier, Lowther had complained that his gyrocompass was unreliable. PC-624 had sighted the U-boat at 0205B hours and rushed to the attack. Lowther claimed the submarine had fired a torpedo before diving, but this is not confirmed by her patrol report. The submarine chaser now dropped five depth charges forcing the submarine and claimed it sunk. For a long time, PC-624 was attributed the loss of U-375, which disappeared with all hands at that time. The German submarine was probably mined in the Gela area. The convoy reached Tunis at 1630 hours on the 30th without further incident.
  1 Aug 1943103039° 10'N, 10° 46'EThe submarine was shaken by a bomb while proceeding at a depth of 60 meters. When she later surfaced, it was realised she was leaking fuel .
  2 Aug 1943010340° 33'N, 10° 13'EThe submarine was illuminated by an aircraft (apparently using a Leigh light) and dived. The submarine later surfaced and it was realised that she was leaking fuel.
  2 Aug 1943021040° 33'N, 10° 08'EFlares were sighted at about 4,000 metres and Velella prudently dived.

Patanè, Mario20 Aug 19430717La Maddalena20 Aug 19431201La MaddalenaExercises.

Patanè, Mario28 Aug 19430350La Maddalena28 Aug 19431025AjaccioPassage La Maddalena-Ajaccio.

Patanè, Mario29 Aug 19431910Ajaccio31 Aug 19430900NaplesPassage Ajaccio-Naples.

20Patanè, Mario7 Sep 19431500Naples7 Sep 19432000Sunk with all handsSailed to attack allied landings in Salerno. Torpedoed and sunk by HMS Shakespeare on 7th September off Punta Licosa, in 40°15'N, 14°30'E. No survivors, six officers and forty-six ratings killed.
  7 Sep 1943
2003 (e)

(e) 40° 15'N, 14° 30'E
At 1953 hours, HMS Shakespeare was patrolling off Licosa, when the ASDIC revealed the presence of two U-boats. At 2003 hours, they were observed to be steering 135° at 10 knots and the British submarine fired a salvo of six torpedoes from a distance of 1,200 yards, claiming four hits. These were Velella and Brin and the latter observed her unfortunate companion disintegrated after three explosions. Velella had left Naples at 1500 hours on 7th September for a patrol off Salerno. There were no survivors, six officers and forty-six ratings were killed. The loss was particularly tragic as in a few hours the Italian Armistice would come into effect.

140 entries. 87 total patrol entries (20 marked as war patrols) and 71 events.

All Italian submarines