Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Gaetano Di Meglio

Born  28 Jan 1908Genoa
Died  28 Jun 1942(34)Died from illness on board steamer PILO in Benghazi.


  T.V.Tenente di Vascello


21 Nov 1940 Croce di guerra al valore militare
6 Nov 1941 Croce di guerra al valore militare

Career information

LEONARDO DA VINCI (T.V. First Officer): from 08.03.1940 to ?
TOPAZIO (T.V. C.O.): from 30.11.1941 to 03.02.1942.
DANDOLO (T.V. C.O.): from 26.02.1942 to 11.05.1942.

Commands listed for Gaetano Di Meglio

Submarine Type Rank From To
Topazio (TP)Coastal / Sea goingT.V.30 Nov 19413 Feb 1942
Dandolo ( DO, I.16)Ocean goingT.V.26 Feb 194211 May 1942

Ships hit by Gaetano Di Meglio

No ships hit by this Commander.

War patrols listed for Gaetano Di Meglio

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Topazio (TP)3 Dec 19410907Messina3 Dec 19411600Messina32Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary Diversi.

Topazio (TP)5 Dec 19410810Messina5 Dec 19411130Messina33Exercises, escorted by the auxiliaries Marras and Diversi.

Topazio (TP)6 Dec 19410950Messina6 Dec 19411650Augusta74,5Passage Messina-Augusta.

Topazio (TP)11 Dec 19410837Augusta11 Dec 19411137Augusta21Exercises.

1.Topazio (TP)12 Dec 19411430Augusta22 Dec 19411050Augusta799,5Patrolled SSE of Malta between 34°00'N and 34°40'N, and between 15°20'E and 16°00'E. From 16th December was moved to area between 34°20'N and 35°00'N, and between 15°40'E and 16°20'E and finally on 20th December to area between 34°40'N and 35°20'N, and between 16°00'E and 16°40'E.

Topazio (TP)8 Jan 19420900Augusta8 Jan 19421210Augusta15,5Exercises.

Topazio (TP)20 Jan 19420915Augusta20 Jan 19421210Augusta15Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary minesweeper Tea.

2.Topazio (TP)21 Jan 19422115Augusta25 Jan 19421055Augusta317Patrolled southeast of Cape Passaro between 36°00'N and 36°20'N, and between 15°20'E and 15°40'E. Uneventful.

Topazio (TP)26 Jan 19420857Augusta26 Jan 19421815Messina70,5Passage Augusta-Messina.

Topazio (TP)7 Feb 19421435Messina7 Feb 19421638Messina15Exercises.

Dandolo ( DO, I.16)12 Mar 19420910Augusta12 Mar 19421141Augusta16Trials escorted by the auxiliary Nuovo Avvenire.

Dandolo ( DO, I.16)14 Mar 19420430Augusta15 Mar 19420940Cagliari440Passage Augusta-Cagliari.

3.Dandolo ( DO, I.16)16 Mar 19421855Cagliari3 Apr 19420900Cagliari2263Patrolled south of Balearic Islands between 37°00'N and 37°20'N, and between 00°00'E and 01°20'E. Despite several opportunities, the submarine could not carry out any attack.
  20 Mar 19421400The submarine was informed that a force consisting of two aircraft carriers, a battleship and a cruiser had sailed from Gibraltar [these were the aircraft carriers HMS Eagle and HMS Argus, the battleship HMS Malaya and the light cruiser HMS Hermione escorted by the destroyers HMS Whitehall, HMS Wishart, HMS Laforey, HMS Duncan, HMS Active, HMS Anthony and the escort destroyers HMS Blankney, HMS Croome and HMS Exmoor) for Operation PICKET I]. This was amplified by a signal from the submarine Mocenigo, which was received at 2315 hours. Dandolo proceeded to take an intercepting position, but did not hear or see anything and was informed the next afternoon that the force had apparently reverted course to Gibraltar [they actually returned on 23rd March].
  22 Mar 1942122637° 24'N, 0° 04'EDandolo detected with her hydrophones a naval force steering 230°, 16 knots. The submarine could not make visual contact but made an enemy report.
  25 Mar 19421400Dandolo was informed that the British steamer Empire Kestul (sic?) would sail from Valencia to Gibraltar. The submarine took an intercepting position off Cape Palos, but only sighted a Swiss ship believed to be Eiger, arriving from the Balearic Islands, at 0605 hours on the 26th.
  26 Mar 19421100
(0) Off Cape Palos.
Dandolo was informed that the British steamer Etrib (1943 GRT, built 1913) would sail from Valencia to Gibraltar. The submarine remained off Cape Palos in the hope of intercepting the ship and only sighted the French ship Providence at 0340 hours on the 27th and another French vessel at 0526 hours.
  27 Mar 19420705
0603 (e)
37° 30'N, 0° 30'W
(e) 37° 20'N, 0° 44'W
At 0705 hours, an unknown submarine was seen at 700 metres. Dandolo prepared to make a recognition signal, but the submarine turned away and dived at 0607 hours. This was HMS HMS Upright (Lt. J. S. Wraith, RN) on passage from Malta to Gibraltar, she carried only two torpedoes and prudently avoided action.
  28 Mar 1942085037° 07'N, 0° 16'EDandolo detected a naval force with her hydrophones. It was later believed to be five destroyers conducting an A/S search, three of which passed over the submarine. The submarine took evasive action by diving to 70 meters.
  29 Mar 1942123537° 12'N, 1° 04'EAt 1235 hours, Dandolo detected a naval force with her hydrophones. Earlier, she had been informed by a signal from the submarine Brin, that the naval force was returning to Gibraltar and had moved to an intercepting position. The submarine could not immediately make visual contact but, at 1535 hours, she sighted what appeared to be a cruiser at long range.
  30 Mar 19421400Dandolo was informed of an enemy cruiser off La Galite on a 260° course. She was ordered to move 20 miles to the south (off Cape Tenes). This was executed, but no contact was made.

Dandolo ( DO, I.16)14 Apr 19421500Cagliari14 Apr 19421740Cagliari20Trials.

Dandolo ( DO, I.16)15 Apr 19420915Cagliari16 Apr 19422047Naples282Passage Cagliari-Naples.

22 entries. 15 total patrol entries (3 marked as war patrols) and 8 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines