Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Leo Masina

Born  7 Jun 1918San Giorgio di Piano (Bologna)


  S.T.V.Sottotenente di Vascello
  T.V.Tenente di Vascello


  Croce di guerra al valore militare
12 Jan 1942 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
16 Nov 1942 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
10 May 1943 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
10 May 1947 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare

Career information

From 29.06.1939, served as G.M. of the heavy cruiser BOLZANO.
ARCHIMEDE (G.M. then S.T.V. Navigation Officer): from 11.06.1940 to July 1942+.
Promoted S.T.V. on ?
Promoted T.V. on ?
ARGENTO (T.V. C.O.): from 11.04.1943 to 03.08.1943 (sunk, Masina survived as PoW).

Commands listed for Leo Masina

Submarine Type Rank From To
Argento (AG)Coastal / Sea goingT.V.11 Apr 19433 Aug 1943

Ships hit by Leo Masina

No ships hit by this Commander.

War patrols listed for Leo Masina

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
1.Argento (AG)11 Apr 19432325Pozzuoli17 Apr 19430820Cagliari834Patrolled in the western Mediterranean, between 39°10'N and 39°30'N, and between 07°40'E and 08°00'E.
  12 Apr 1943083040° 13'N, 12° 30'EAt 0830 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  12 Apr 1943124039° 52'N, 11° 44'EAt 1240 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.

Argento (AG)30 Apr 19430820Cagliari30 Apr 19431145Cagliari28Exercises.

Argento (AG)16 May 19431919Cagliari18 May 19431615La MaddalenaPassage Cagliari-La Maddalena on only one engine (via Point C and course west as far as 07°40'E, then North as far as 41°00'N and then Punta Dello Scorno).
  17 May 19432225
2131 (e)
40° 23'N, 7° 48'EAt 2225 hours, under a full moon and with excellent visibility, a twin-engine bomber was sighted at a distance of 1,000 metres. At first it was thought to be Italian, but ten minutes later it came back and flew over the submarine at a height of 400 metres. It turned back again and this time strafed the submarine and dropped two bombs, which fell 100 metres astern. A second run was made and three bombs were dropped, missing the stern by about 30 meters on the starboard side. The submarine replied with her twin machine-guns and claimed to have certainly scored hits.

This was Hudson 'P' of 608 Squadron. It had detected the submarine by radar and attacked from 900 feet with three 100 lbs bombs on the first run and three 250 lbs depth charges on the second run, but results were not seen. The bombs exploded in a cluster 20-25 yards dead astern of the U-boat. The submarine altered course to port and opened fire with flak. The aircraft then attacked from port bow, releasing a stick of 3 depth charges from approximately 80 feet. These exploded within 15 feet on starboard quarter. Nothing further seen due to darkness.

Argento did not suffer any damage and dived after the second run.

Argento (AG)4 Jun 19432050La Maddalena5 Jun 19430755PortoferraioPassage La Maddalena-Portoferraio.

2.Argento (AG)17 Jun 19432230Portoferraio2 Jul 19431020La Maddalena?Sailed for a patrol between 37°40'N and the North African coast, and between 08°14'E and 08°54'E. On 22nd June, this was changed to an area between 38°00'N and 38°40'N, and between 06°20'E and 07°00'E. During the night of 30th June, this was changed again to an area between 37°08'N and 37°20'N, and between 06°20'E and 07°15'E.
  19 Jun 1943094538° 20'N, 9° 50'EAt 0945 hours, a four-engine aircraft was seen flying low and the submarine dived.
  20 Jun 19430148
0215 (e)
37° 24'N, 8° 30'EAt 0148 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.

This was probably Hudson 'W' (FK706) of /608 (FK706) piloted by Flying Officer F. Handsfordé. It gained a radar contact at 0215 hours and sighted what was probably a U-boat. No attack was possible.
  30 Jun 1943040537° 28'N, 6° 41'EAt 0405 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.

3.Argento (AG)10 Jul 19430215La Maddalena12 Jul 19430705La MaddalenaSailed with the submarine Acciaio for zone 102 [between 37°40'N and 38°00'N, and between 08°20'E and 08°40'E] (south of Sardinia). She had to turn back due to damaged accumulators.

4.Argento (AG)21 Jul 19432100La Maddalena3 Aug 19430030 or 0015BSunkSailed for a patrol off Catania. Sunk in 36°52.2'N, 12°03'E or off Pantelleria, by the destroyer USS Buck (DD-420). Four killed, forty-five survivors were recovered [Buck was herself sunk by the German submarine U-616 a few weeks later].
  23 Jul 19431525
1506 (e)
38° 37'N, 15° 44'E
(0) 090° - Cape Vaticano - 3 miles (Argento).
The following incident is not well documented as Argento was lost during this patrol.

At 1525 hours, she reported missed by three torpedoes astern.

The attack was actually carried out by HMS Unrivalled (P 45, Lieutenant H.B. Turner, DSC, RN). At 1459 hours, she sighted what she took for a German submarine escorted by an Italian motor launch, at a range of 4-5,000 yards. At 1506 hours, she fired four torpedoes at 9-second firing intervals from a distance of 4,000 yards. They apparently missed astern.
  2 Aug 1943
2245B-0028.5/3 (e)
36° 52'N, 12° 03'EAt 2245B hours on 2nd August, the destroyer USS Buck (DD-420) (Lt. Cdr George S. Lambert, USN) detected a submarine by radar at 5,500 yards. With the destroyer USS Nicholson (DD-442), she had been escorting a convoy of six Liberty ships from Licata to Oran: Washington (7,775 GRT, built 1941), Howell Cobb? (7,176 GRT, built 1943), Robert? Morris (7,176 GRT, built 1942), Charles? Piez (7,191 GRT, built 1943), Alexander Graham? Bell (7,176 GRT, built 1942) and Daniel Webster (7,176 GRT, built 1943).

At 2255B hours, the destroyer increased speed to 15 knots and ten minutes later obtained a sonar contact at 700 yards.

At 2301B hours, Buck dropped a first pattern of 5 depth charges set at 150 feet.

At 2311B hours, a second pattern of 11 depth charges was dropped set at 200 feet. Sound contact was lost and regained several times.

At 0026B hours on 3rd August, a third pattern of 11 depth charges was dropped set at 300 feet. According to the submarine survivors, the first two patterns had been ineffective, but the third was devastating.

At 0028B hours, the submarine broke surface astern of the destroyer at a range of 1,200 yards.

At 0028.5B hours, no. 3 5" inch gun opened fired, joined by the starboard 40mm and the after 20mm guns.

At 0029B hours, as the destroyer was turning to starboard she was missed by a torpedo fired by Argento. It passed fairly close to starboard. A minute later, the forward 5" guns and two 20mm forward guns had been brought to bear and were now also firing.

At 0030.5B hours, a second torpedo was fired by the submarine and also missed. Argento's crew began to abandon ship.

At 0031B, Buck attempted to ram the submarine but missed astern by 50 feet.

At 0037B hours, the destroyer stopped firing as Argento appeared disabled and with a 45° list to starboard. She had fired a total of 110 rounds of 5" ammunition, 338 of 40 mm and 707 of 20 mm.

At 0100B hours, as the submarine sank, Buck lowered a motor whaler and, after three trips, forty-six survivors were picked up (one later died), including T.V. Leo Masina. In all, four ratings perished.

On 9th October 1943, USS Buck was herself torpedoed and sunk by U-616 (OL Siegfried Koitschka).

11 entries. 7 total patrol entries (4 marked as war patrols) and 8 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines