Italian submarines in World War Two

Ametista (AA)

TypeCoastal / Sea going 
ClassSirena (21) 
Laid down 16 Sep 1931 Odero-Terni-Orlando, Muggiano
Launched26 Apr 1933
Commissioned1 Apr 1934
End service
Loss date13 Sep 1943
Loss position43° 31'N, 13° 39'E
History Scuttled off Numana, Italy on 12th September 1943 to prevent her capture by the Germans (position is approximate).


CommanderDate fromDate toCommand notes
T.V. Virgilio Spigai24 Apr 194028 May 1942
C.C. Libero Sauro28 May 19426 Jun 1942
S.T.V. Giorgio Mogni6 Jun 19425 Jul 1942
T.V. Francesco Caprile6 Jul 194215 Mar 1943
T.V. Emerico Siriani8 Mar 19432 Jun 1943
S.T.V. Giorgio Mogni3 Jun 194323 Jun 1943
S.T.V. Giuseppe A. Ferrari24 Jun 19434 Jul 1943
T.G.N. Mario Nebbiai4 Jul 1943Sep 1943
S.T.V. Luigi Ginocchio9 Sep 194312 Sep 1943

Ships hit

No ships hit by this submarine.

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
1Spigai, Virgilio9 Jun 19400545Leros15 Jun 19400800Leros290Patrolled in Doro Channel between Attika and Bosphorus.

Spigai, Virgilio25 Jun 19400800Leros25 Jun 19400939Leros2,5Exercises.

2Spigai, Virgilio29 Jun 19401545Leros9 Jul 19400915Leros485Patrolled northeast of Rhodes in 36°30'N, 28°30'E. Uneventful.

3Spigai, Virgilio24 Jul 19401820Leros6 Aug 19400700Leros540Patrolled north of Doro Channel, Samos and limits Greek-Turkish coast in northern Aegean. Sighted vessels but refrained from attack.

Spigai, Virgilio8 Aug 19401500Leros8 Aug 19401615Leros?Trials.

Spigai, Virgilio26 Aug 19401035Leros26 Aug 19401145Leros?Trials.

Spigai, Virgilio30 Aug 19400845Leros30 Aug 19401120Leros?Trials.

Spigai, Virgilio31 Aug 19400859Leros31 Aug 19401201Leros?Trials.

Spigai, Virgilio24 Sep 19400845Portolago (Leros)24 Sep 19401025Portolago (Leros)4Exercises.

4Spigai, Virgilio30 Sep 19401550Portolago (Leros)10 Oct 19400800Portolago (Leros)511,5Patrolled north of Kaso Strait, in a point centered 10 miles NE of Cape Sidero for Operation C.V. (reinforcements for the Dodecanese). Following her return to Leros, two of her ratings were killed and two were wounded during an air raid on 13th October.
  8 Oct 19400125
(0) Off Scarpanto.
At 0125 hours, an explosion was sighted at far distance. This was the submarine Gemma who had just been torpedoed in error by Tricheco.

Spigai, Virgilio21 Nov 19400748Portolago (Leros)21 Nov 19401220Portolago (Leros)30Trials.

Spigai, Virgilio28 Nov 19400920Portolago (Leros)28 Nov 19401211Portolago (Leros)18Trials.

5Spigai, Virgilio1 Dec 19401640Portolago (Leros)9 Dec 19400940Portolago (Leros)484Patrolled off Cape Drepano (Sithonia), Jura and Aghios Efstratios Islands in Northern Aegean.

Spigai, Virgilio24 Dec 19401640Portolago (Leros)24 Dec 19400940Parteni8,5Passage Portolago-Parteni.

Spigai, Virgilio26 Dec 19401310Parteni26 Dec 19401430Portolago (Leros)2Trials.

Spigai, Virgilio27 Dec 19400920Portolago (Leros)27 Dec 19401030Portolago (Leros)8Passage Parteni-Portolago.

Spigai, Virgilio29 Dec 19402000Portolago (Leros)4 Jan 19411040Messina627Passage Portolago-Messina. Uneventful.

Spigai, Virgilio8 Jan 19410800Messina10 Jan 19411150La Spezia490Passage Messina-La Spezia. Uneventful.

Spigai, Virgilio21 Feb 19410850La Spezia21 Feb 19411530La Spezia40Exercises.

Spigai, Virgilio28 Feb 19410910La Spezia28 Feb 19411115La Spezia10Exercises.

Spigai, Virgilio4 Apr 19410915La Spezia4 Apr 19411350La Spezia37Exercises.

Spigai, Virgilio7 Apr 19410835La Spezia7 Apr 19411220La Spezia27Exercises.

Spigai, Virgilio8 Apr 19411515La Spezia8 Apr 19411726La Spezia8Exercises.

Spigai, Virgilio10 Apr 19411458La Spezia10 Apr 19411840La Spezia13,4Exercises.

Spigai, Virgilio19 Apr 19410850La Spezia19 Apr 19411400La Spezia19Exercises.

Spigai, Virgilio21 Apr 19411430La Spezia21 Apr 19411631La Spezia7Exercises.

Spigai, Virgilio23 Apr 19411413La Spezia23 Apr 19411709La Spezia7Exercises.

6Spigai, Virgilio26 Apr 19411830La Spezia29 Apr 19411650La Spezia211,5Sailed for a patrol in Gulf of Genoa, on a line starting with the submarine Colonna in 44°05'N, 08°40'E and with Da Procida and Ametista respectively 12 and 24 miles east from this point. On hydrophone watch in anticipation of an important naval force from Gibraltar. Uneventful.

Spigai, Virgilio8 May 19411245La Spezia8 May 19411625La Spezia19Exercises.

Spigai, Virgilio17 May 19411402La Spezia17 May 19411750La Spezia18Exercises.

Spigai, Virgilio11 Jun 19410820La Spezia11 Jun 19411645La Spezia23,5Exercises.

Spigai, Virgilio14 Jun 19411020La Spezia14 Jun 19411435La Spezia4Exercises.

Spigai, Virgilio21 Jun 19410505La Spezia23 Jun 19411415Augusta588,3Passage La Spezia-Augusta.
  22 Jun 1941
1229 (e)
40° 25'N, 14° 24'E
(0) 126° - Carena Point - 11.5 miles.
At 1206 hours, the submarine HMS Regent (Lieutenant Commander A.N.G. Campbell, RN) was lurking near Capri, when a submarine was sighted apparently steering 150° at 9 knots towards Messina.

At 1229 hours, two torpedoes were fired from 900 yards. They missed.

This was Ametista transferring from La Spezia to Augusta. The attack was not observed.

Spigai, Virgilio26 Jun 19410752Augusta26 Jun 19410955Augusta4Exercises.

7Spigai, Virgilio29 Jun 19412030Augusta17 Jul 19410955Augusta1685,5Patrolled off Ras Azzaz, between 32°15'N and 32°30'N, and between 25°00'E and 25°20'E.
  3 Jul 19412010
(0) Near Ras Azzaz.
At 2010 hours, two explosions were heard. This was actually Malachite's attack on HMS Defender.

At 0200 hours on 4th July, Ametista was informed of an enemy vessel distant of 35 miles, but with no indication of speed and course. The submarine altered to intercept but sighted nothing.

Spigai, Virgilio3 Aug 19410715Augusta3 Aug 19411430Augusta30,5Exercises.

Spigai, Virgilio8 Aug 19410805Augusta8 Aug 19411345Augusta32Exercises.

Spigai, Virgilio12 Aug 19410730Augusta12 Aug 19411130Augusta4Exercises.

Spigai, Virgilio17 Aug 19410737Augusta17 Aug 19411422Augusta33,5Exercises.

Spigai, Virgilio28 Aug 19410715Augusta28 Aug 19411205Augusta4Exercises.

Spigai, Virgilio29 Aug 19410830Augusta29 Aug 19411605Messina73,8Passage Augusta-Messina.

Spigai, Virgilio12 Sep 19410630Messina12 Sep 19411340Messina50,5Exercises.

Spigai, Virgilio16 Sep 19410712Messina16 Sep 19411455Messina53,4Exercises.

Spigai, Virgilio18 Sep 19410712Messina18 Sep 19411450Messina61Exercises with the submarine Zaffiro, escorted by the auxiliary Marzano (A.S.67).

8Spigai, Virgilio21 Sep 19411300Messina22 Sep 19411235Messina136,5Anti-submarine patrol with the auxiliary Castiglia, in Messina Strait off Capo Dell'Armi. At 1535 hours on the 21st, received verbal communication from Castiglia, that an enemy submarine might be 5 miles southwest of Porto Melito di Salvo, but nothing was sighted or heard.

9Spigai, Virgilio26 Sep 19410530Messina27 Sep 19410053Messina86,5Anti-submarine patrol in 38°26'N, 15°26'40'E, 38°55'N, 15°33'E and 38°28'20'N, 15°15'E in Messina Straits. Uneventful.

10Spigai, Virgilio28 Sep 19411815Messina29 Sep 19410955Messina77,5Antisubmarine patrol with MAS 557 in Messina Straits, in area between 38°25 N parallel and the meridian 15°20'E and the coast of Calabria.

11Spigai, Virgilio3 Oct 19412045Messina5 Oct 19411235Messina425,5Sailed for patrol 23 miles north of Ras Zebib on a line 5 miles west from this point (on a barrage line with Ambra 13 miles north, and Corallo 33 miles north of the Cape) via the north coast of Sicily, but then recalled. Uneventful.

Spigai, Virgilio14 Oct 19412355Messina15 Oct 19411235Palermo128,5Passage Messina-Palermo.

Spigai, Virgilio27 Oct 19412033Palermo28 Oct 19410935Messina130Passage Palermo-Messina.

Spigai, Virgilio6 Nov 19410920Messina6 Nov 19411151Messina12,5Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary Marras.

Spigai, Virgilio12 Nov 19411448Messina12 Nov 19411740Messina11,8Exercises.

Spigai, Virgilio13 Nov 19410840Messina13 Nov 19411150Messina14Exercises.

Spigai, Virgilio14 Nov 19410840Messina14 Nov 19411140Messina13,9Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary Marras.

12Spigai, Virgilio26 Nov 19411612Messina7 Dec 19412255Portolago (Leros)1033,7Patrolled southeast of Gaudo. First ordered to relieve Zaffiro between 33°40'N and 34°20'N, and between 22°40'E and 23°20'E. At 1225 hours on the 29th, MARICOSOM ordered her to patrol between 34°00'N and 34°40'N, and between 24°00'N and 24°40'E. Uneventful.

Spigai, Virgilio29 Dec 19410930Portolago (Leros)29 Dec 19411120Portolago (Leros)11,2Trials.

Spigai, Virgilio7 Jan 19420750Portolago (Leros)7 Jan 19421140Portolago (Leros)16Exercises.

Spigai, Virgilio17 Jan 19420855Portolago (Leros)17 Jan 19421120Portolago (Leros)16Exercises.

13Spigai, Virgilio18 Jan 19420907Portolago (Leros)25 Jan 19422210Portolago (Leros)911Patrolled between 33°00'N and 33°40'N, between 22°20'E and 22°40'E, in Grids 9128 and 1528. Uneventful. Early return due to defects. An ULTRA intercept indicates that she was to pass through 34°40'N, 26°40'E and 34°14'N, 26°32'E thence to her area. Returned via 34°28'N, 26°30'E.

Spigai, Virgilio6 Feb 19420800Leros6 Feb 19421322Leros21Exercises with the submarine Beilul.

Spigai, Virgilio13 Feb 19420850Leros13 Feb 19421140Leros4Trials.

Spigai, Virgilio16 Feb 19420850Leros16 Feb 19421449Leros32Trials.

14Spigai, Virgilio4 Mar 19421421Leros24 Mar 19420630Leros1445Patrolled south of Cyprus, off Haifa and Beirut, between 33°10'N and 34°20'N, and between 33°00'E and 34°00'E.
  6 Mar 1942042035° 02'N, 29° 46'EAt 0420 hours, a Sunderland aircraft coming from Cyprus and flying low (100 meters) passed about 500 meters north of Ametista. The submarine dived.
  7 Mar 1942042034° 40'N, 30° 06'EAt 0420 hours, a Sunderland was seen and the submarine dived.
  12 Mar 1942040033° 35'N, 33° 29'EAt 0400, a Sunderland aircraft was seen coming from Haifa steering 300°, flying at an altitude of 300 meters. The submarine dived immediately.
  13 Mar 1942123535° 05'N, 34° 23'EAt 1225 hours, the Swedish Relief ship Radmanso (4,182 GRT, built 1914) was sighted. She had sailed from Haifa for Piraeus via Castellorizo and was carrying wheat. She had been given a safe conduct and Ametista was aware of her passage.
  15 Mar 19422145
(0) 28 miles east of Cape Andreas.
At 2145 hours, a submarine chaser was sighted at 600 metres and Ametista dived.
  16 Mar 19420200
(0) 46° - Cape Andreas - 30 miles.
At 0200 hours, a submarine chaser was sighted at 250 metres and Ametista dived.

Spigai, Virgilio8 Apr 19421855Leros14 Apr 19420745MessinaPassage Leros-Messina on her way to Naples. Sailed via (1) Kaso Straits (2) 35°00'N, 26°40'E (3) 34°20'N, 26°10'E (4) 34°20'N, 23°00'E (5) Point S1 (Messina). Sighted many aircraft and only Italian vessels.

Spigai, Virgilio16 Apr 19421855Messina17 Apr 19421540Naples957Passage Messina-Naples.

Spigai, Virgilio21 Apr 19420930Naples21 Apr 19421055Naples50Exercises.

Sauro, Libero28 May 1942Naples6 Jun 1942NaplesRefit in Naples.

, 24 Jun 19420920Naples24 Jun 19421515Naples24Trials.

, 27 Jun 19421320Naples27 Jun 19422010Naples20,5Trials.

, 29 Jun 19420900Naples29 Jun 19421645Naples16Gyrocompass tests.

Caprile, Francesco7 Jul 19420852Naples7 Jul 19421830Naples47Trials.

Caprile, Francesco8 Jul 19421503Naples8 Jul 19422330Naples38,7Exercises.

Caprile, Francesco11 Jul 19420917Naples11 Jul 19421051Naples6Trials.

Caprile, Francesco11 Jul 19421424Naples11 Jul 19421925Naples16,5Trials.

Caprile, Francesco13 Jul 19421015Naples13 Jul 19421035Naples0,1Immersion in dock.

Caprile, Francesco14 Jul 19420945Naples14 Jul 19421225Naples5,2Trials.

Caprile, Francesco15 Jul 19420700Naples15 Jul 19420740Naples1,6Changed moorings.

Caprile, Francesco18 Jul 19421403Naples18 Jul 19421605Naples6,3Trials.

Caprile, Francesco18 Jul 19421800Naples18 Jul 19421835Naples1,6Changed moorings.

Caprile, Francesco21 Jul 19421525Naples21 Jul 19421717Naples8,8Trials.

Caprile, Francesco21 Jul 19422130Naples26 Jul 19421600Portolago (Leros)1044,2Passage Naples-Portolago (Leros). Escorted by a MAS until 0100 hours on 22nd, then from 1400 to 2040 hours by the patrol boat A.S.51 (to Capo Dell'Armi). From 0530 hours on the 26th, escorted to Leros by the auxiliary Orsini.
  24 Jul 19421006At 1006 hours, a transport escorted by two destroyers was sighted at 16,000 metres. This was the steamer Unione (6,070 GRT, built 1942) escorted by the destroyers Pigafetta and Premuda and were proceeding from Benghazi to Taranto. Pigafetta closed to a thousand meters of Ametista and exchanged recognition signals. Shortly after, a German aircraft was sighted and they also exchanged recognition signals.
  24 Jul 19421525At 1525 hours, an Italian convoy was sighted at 20,000 metres. Ametista dived to 35 meters to avoid an incident and to test her hydrophones but heard nothing. Before midnight the submarine intercepted two signals from the torpedo boat Lince reporting a convoy under attack.

Caprile, Francesco6 Aug 19421413Portolago (Leros)6 Aug 19421820Portolago (Leros)10,8Trials.

Caprile, Francesco11 Aug 19420807Portolago (Leros)11 Aug 19421215Portolago (Leros)14,5Exercises.

Caprile, Francesco14 Aug 19421030Portolago (Leros)14 Aug 19421124Portolago (Leros)0,7Trials.

Caprile, Francesco18 Aug 19420800Portolago (Leros)18 Aug 19421200Portolago (Leros)13Exercises.

Caprile, Francesco23 Aug 19420635Portolago (Leros)23 Aug 19420854Portolago (Leros)20,3Exercises.

Caprile, Francesco5 Sep 19420740Portolago (Leros)5 Sep 19421123Portolago (Leros)14Exercises.

Caprile, Francesco15 Sep 19420711Portolago (Leros)15 Sep 19421115Portolago (Leros)16,5Exercises.

15Caprile, Francesco23 Sep 19420610Portolago (Leros)11 Oct 19421615Portolago (Leros)1658,4Sailed with the submarine Nereide and escorted by destroyer Sella 1840 hours on the 23rd. Patrolled south of Crete, 90 miles south of Kaso Island, between 33°40'N and 34°00'N, and between 26°35'E and 26°50'E. On her return, she was escorted by MAS 542 then by MAS 555, which took over until Leros.
  29 Sep 1942034033° 47'N, 26° 42'EAt 0340 hours, an aircraft was seen at 500 metres and the submarine dived.
  3 Oct 1942233033° 41'N, 26° 44'EAt 2330 hours, an aircraft was seen at 600 metres and the submarine dived.

Caprile, Francesco16 Oct 19420900Portolago (Leros)16 Oct 19420920Portolago (Leros)0,2Changed moorings?

Caprile, Francesco21 Oct 19420925Portolago (Leros)21 Oct 19420940Portolago (Leros)0,2Changed moorings?

Caprile, Francesco28 Oct 19420825Portolago (Leros)28 Oct 19421200Portolago (Leros)12Trials.

Caprile, Francesco29 Oct 19420735Portolago (Leros)29 Oct 19421110Portolago (Leros)8Trials.

Caprile, Francesco30 Oct 19420948Portolago (Leros)30 Oct 19420956Portolago (Leros)4Trials.

Caprile, Francesco5 Nov 19420850Portolago (Leros)5 Nov 19421146Portolago (Leros)13Trials.

Caprile, Francesco6 Nov 19421400Portolago (Leros)6 Nov 19421415Portolago (Leros)0,5Changed moorings?

Caprile, Francesco10 Nov 19420800Portolago (Leros)10 Nov 19421145Portolago (Leros)16Trials.

Caprile, Francesco11 Nov 19421347Portolago (Leros)11 Nov 19421715Portolago (Leros)15Trials.

Caprile, Francesco14 Nov 19420634Portolago (Leros)14 Nov 19421305Portolago (Leros)24Trials.

Caprile, Francesco15 Nov 19420920Portolago (Leros)15 Nov 19421128Portolago (Leros)11Trials.

Caprile, Francesco20 Nov 19420917Portolago (Leros)20 Nov 19421215Portolago (Leros)14Trials.

Caprile, Francesco3 Dec 19420848Portolago (Leros)3 Dec 19421200Portolago (Leros)11Trials.

Caprile, Francesco22 Dec 19420848Portolago (Leros)22 Dec 19421200Portolago (Leros)11,5Trials.

16Caprile, Francesco26 Dec 19420806Portolago (Leros)10 Jan 19431820Portolago (Leros)1183Patrolled west of Cyprus, relieving Nereide in Grids 8389, between 35°20'N and 36°00'N, and between 30°00'E and 30°40'E. Departure known to British Intelligence through ULTRA. Uneventful patrol in very poor visibility marred by the death of one of the crew.
  2 Jan 19430825At 0825 hours, tragedy struck the submarine when Sergeant R.T. Carmine Cantone, who had developed a high fever, passed away. His body was confined to the deep at 1745 hours. Ametista was disinfected upon arrival at Leros.

17Caprile, Francesco12 Feb 19430805Portolago (Leros)27 Feb 19431332Portolago (Leros)1475Patrolled west of Cyprus, between 35°20'N and 36°00'N, and between 30°00'E and 30°40'E. Uneventful.

Caprile, Francesco12 Mar 19430835Portolago (Leros)12 Mar 19431130Portolago (Leros)7,5Trials.

Siriani, Emerico15 Mar 19430905Portolago (Leros)15 Mar 19431114Portolago (Leros)6,7Trials.

Siriani, Emerico23 Mar 19431455Portolago (Leros)23 Mar 19431743Parteni13,5Passage Portolago-Parteni.

Siriani, Emerico1 Apr 19430930Parteni1 Apr 19431137Portolago (Leros)9,5Passage Parteni-Portolago (Leros).

Siriani, Emerico10 Apr 19430803Portolago (Leros)10 Apr 19431204Portolago (Leros)18,5Exercises.

Siriani, Emerico18 Apr 19430802Portolago (Leros)18 Apr 19431134Portolago (Leros)28Exercises. On 22nd April 1943, she was reported operational with two periscopes in working order.

Siriani, Emerico30 Apr 19430810Portolago (Leros)30 Apr 19431155Portolago (Leros)16,7Exercises.

18Siriani, Emerico6 May 19430903Portolago (Leros)27 May 19431356Brindisi1896,5Sailed with the submarine Onice until the Kaso Straits and patrolled in Gulf of Sirte, between 32°00'N and 32°50'N, and between 17°00'E and 17°40'E. Returned to Brindisi through 38°36'N, 18°48'E. She was instructed not to attack submarines.
  6 May 1943211535° 10'N, 26° 40'EAt 2115 hours, a Swedish relief ship was sighted at 20,000 metres.
  9 May 1943213033° 10'N, 18° 18'EAt 2130 hours, an illuminated ship was sighted at 20,000 metres steering 090°. Ametista closed to about 6,000 meters when the ship was identified as a hospital ship.
  24 May 1943082632° 44'N, 17° 36'EAt 0826 hours, a ship was sighted at 15,000 metres steering 090°. Ametista closed to 4,500 meters, when the ship was identified as a hospital ship. The submarine got as near as 3,000 metres before turning away.
  25 May 1943123035° 40'N, 18° 08'EAt 1230 hours, a squadron of eighteen four-engine bombers were sighted at 6,000 metres steering 330°. Ametista dived immediately to a depth of 50 meters.
  25 May 1943135035° 52'N, 18° 12'EAt 1350 hours, a large aircraft was seen at 8,000 metres and the submarine dived.
  25 May 1943145135° 53'N, 18° 12'EAt 1451 hours, a squadron of 18 four-engine bombers (probably the same squadron sighted before) was sighted at 6,000 metres on a southerly course. Ametista dived.
  26 May 1943015437° 40'N, 18° 38'EAt 0154 hours, a hospital ship was sighted steering 090°.
  27 May 1943110040° 52'N, 18° 16'EAt 1100 hours, the steamer Campidoglio (3,905 GRT, built 1932) was observed proceeding to Brindisi.
  27 May 1943112040° 56'N, 18° 15'EAt 1120 hours, a hospital ship and two "Protected" steamers were sighted. It was probably the hospital ship Gradisca sailing from Bari for Smyrna (Turkey) where a prisonner of war exchange was to take place.

Siriani, Emerico29 May 19431800Brindisi31 May 19431117Fiume400Passage Brindisi-Fiume for refit.

, 3 Jun 1943Fiume23 Jun 1943FiumeRefit in Fiume.

Ferrari, Giuseppe A.24 Jun 1943Fiume4 Jul 1943FiumeRefit in Fiume.

Nebbiai, Mario4 Jul 1943FiumeFiumeRefit in Fiume.

26 Aug 1943Time?Fiume26 Aug 19431950FiumeExercises.

2 Sep 19431400Fiume2 Sep 19431900FiumeExercises.

Ginocchio, Luigi9 Sep 1943EveningFiume11 Sep 1943MorningAnconaPassage Fiume-Ancona.

Ginocchio, Luigi12 Sep 19431500Ancona12 Sep 19431930ScuttledScuttled off Numana after armistice.
  12 Sep 19431930
(0) Off Numana (Ancona).
At 1930 hours, Ametista was on her way to Taranto, when S.T.V Luigi Ginocchio decided to scuttle her rather than surrender to the Allies. Two or three ratings were reported to have drowned. For his decision which ran counter to the Armistice conditions, Ginocchio was later court-martialed.

136 entries. 121 total patrol entries (18 marked as war patrols) and 24 events.

All Italian submarines