Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Pasquale Terra

Born  25 Sep 1907Città Sant'Angelo (Pescara)
Died   1997(89)Rome


  T.V.Tenente di Vascello
  C.C.Capitano di Corvetta


22 Jan 1942 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
25 Jan 1943 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare
11 Apr 1946 Croce di guerra al valore militare
18 Dec 1947 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare

Career information

VELELLA (T.V. C.O.): from 15.12.1938 to 19.12.1941.
Promoted to C.C. on ?
NEREIDE (C.C. C.O.): from 22.04.1942 to 27.03.1943.

Commands listed for Pasquale Terra

Submarine Type Rank From To
Velella (VL, I.27)Ocean goingT.V.15 Dec 193819 Dec 1941
Nereide (NE)Coastal / Sea goingC.C.22 Apr 194227 Mar 1943

Ships hit by Pasquale Terra

No ships hit by this Commander.

War patrols listed for Pasquale Terra

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
1.Velella (VL, I.27)5 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.

2.Velella (VL, I.27)3 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.

3.Velella (VL, I.27)16 Jul 19401205Alimnia Bay17 Jul 19400320LerosPassage Alimnia Bay-Leros.

4.Velella (VL, I.27)19 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.

Velella (VL, I.27)6 Sep 19401634Leros14 Sep 19401815La Spezia1336Passage Leros-La Spezia. Uneventful.

Velella (VL, I.27)24 Oct 19400910La Spezia24 Oct 19401555La SpeziaExercises.

Velella (VL, I.27)25 Oct 19401630La Spezia25 Oct 19401700La SpeziaExercises? Escorted by the submarine H.2.

Velella (VL, I.27)30 Oct 19400820La Spezia30 Oct 19401230La SpeziaExercises.

5.Velella (VL, I.27)1 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.

Velella (VL, I.27)20 Nov 19400915La Spezia20 Nov 19401105La SpeziaExercises.

6.Velella (VL, I.27)25 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.

7.Velella (VL, I.27)18 Feb 19411100Bordeaux18 Feb 19411500Le Verdon50Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

8.Velella (VL, I.27)19 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.

9.Velella (VL, I.27)20 Feb 19410900La Pallice20 Feb 19411410La Pallice30Trials at Le Pertuis d'Antioche.

10.Velella (VL, I.27)23 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.

11.Velella (VL, I.27)21 Mar 19411530Pauillac21 Mar 19411840Bordeaux30Passage Pauillac-Bordeaux. Then refit.

12.Velella (VL, I.27)23 May 19410630Bordeaux23 May 19411730Le Verdon60Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

13.Velella (VL, I.27)24 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.

14.Velella (VL, I.27)24 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.

15.Velella (VL, I.27)28 May 19410857Bordeaux28 May 19411300Le Verdon60Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

16.Velella (VL, I.27)28 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.

17.Velella (VL, I.27)20 Jun 19411218Le Verdon20 Jun 19411700BordeauxPassage Le Verdon-Bordeaux.

18.Velella (VL, I.27)12 Aug 19411000Bordeaux12 Aug 19411400Le Verdon50Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

19.Velella (VL, I.27)12 Aug 19411800Le Verdon12 Aug 19411930Le VerdonTrials.

20.Velella (VL, I.27)13 Aug 19410800Le Verdon13 Aug 19411915La Pallice110Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice.

21.Velella (VL, I.27)16 Aug 19411830La Pallice16 Aug 19412015La Pallice?Sailed for patrol, but turned back because of a defective gyrocompass.

22.Velella (VL, I.27)17 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.

Velella (VL, I.27)7 Sep 19410900Cagliari8 Sep 19411030Naples265Passage Cagliari-Naples. Then refit until January 1942.

23.Nereide (NE)29 Apr 19421425Leros15 May 19420845Leros1187Sailed via Kasos Strait through (1) 34°40'N, 26°40'E (2) 33°40'N, 25°00'E, for patrol between 33°40'N and 34°00'N, and between 22°20'E and 23°20'E in Italian Grids 0225, 0273 and 0211, on a patrol line with Galatea. Following this patrol, several members of the crew reported lacking appetite and showing signs of physical deterioration which was attributed to the lack of fruits and vegetables. Similar signs were observed on Galatea of the same Submarine Group.
  2 May 19421930
2050C (e)
33° 58'N, 22° 58'EAt 1930 hours, a submarine's periscope was sighted and shortly after she surfaced. Nereide gained a favourable position and also surfaced. She made a recognition signal but the other submarine dived and C.C. Terra thought she was German.

This was actually the submarine HMS Porpoise (Lieutenant L.A.W. Bennington, RN) on passage from Malta to Alexandria. At 2050C hours, she sighted Nereide steering 090° and believed it was a German U-boat. She passed a warning to Captain S. One, in Alexandria. It was repeated to HMS Urge, who was expected to be astern of her some 50 miles to the west. HMS Urge had actually been mined off Malta.
  10 May 1942195634° 04'N, 23° 12'EAt 1956 hours, a submarine, believed to be German, was sighted at a distance of 1,200 metres. As a precaution, Nereide dived immediately.

Nereide (NE)1 Jun 19420800Leros1 Jun 19421345Leros30Exercises.

24.Nereide (NE)4 Jun 19421610Leros5 Jun 19421902Leros306Sailed with the submarine Sirena escorted by the destroyer Sella for a patrol in Aegean. Forced to interrupt mission when water reached the battery causing chlorine fumes.

Nereide (NE)22 Jun 19420845Leros22 Jun 19421124Leros20Exercises.

25.Nereide (NE)3 Jul 19420124Leros21 Jul 19420548Leros1453Sailed with Ondina for patrol on route to Alexandretta near Ras El Khanzir between 33°40'N and 36°00'N, and between 32°00'E and the Syrian coast
  9 Jul 1942210035° 38'N, 35° 26'EAt 2100 hours, a submarine was sighted. Nereide took avoiding action. This may have been Ondina who was lost two days later.
  11 Jul 19421515-1550From 1515 to 1550 hours, several explosions were heard very close. Nereide was submerged at the time. When she came to periscope depth, nothing was in sight. C.C. Terra believed he may have been bombed by an aircraft.
  13 Jul 19420107
(0) Off Ras El Khanzir.
At 0107 hours, information was received that two steamers had left Alexandretta for Port Said. Nereide altered course to intercept north of Ras El Khanzir. Nothing was sighted or heard.

Nereide (NE)17 Aug 19420815Leros17 Aug 19421210Leros12Exercises.

Nereide (NE)24 Aug 19420642Leros24 Aug 19420755Leros10Exercises.

26.Nereide (NE)23 Sep 19420642Leros11 Oct 19421924Leros2329Sailed with Ametista and escorted by the destroyer Sella until 1840 hours on the 23rd and patrolled between 32°50'N and 33°20'N, and between 26°35'E and 27°05'E.
  30 Sep 1942225533° 10'N, 26° 54'EAt 2255 hours, several flares were dropped by aircraft. Nereide dived.
  2 Oct 1942030033° 00'N, 27° 00'E
(0) Approximately.
At 0300 hours, an aircraft was sighted at close range. Nereide crash-dived and surfaced again at 0334 hours.

27.Nereide (NE)12 Dec 19420750Leros28 Dec 19421455Leros1854,5Patrolled in Aegean between 34°20'N and 36°00'N, and between 30°00'E and 30°40'E (Grid 8389). Uneventful.

28.Nereide (NE)8 Jan 19430614Leros22 Jan 19430840Augusta1564,5Patrolled in eastern Mediterranean then to Augusta. Uneventful. According to British intelligence the patrol was between 35°20'N (actually 34°20'N) and 36°00'N and 30°00'E and 30°40'E or Grids 5337, 5937, 5367, 5967.

29.Nereide (NE)7 Feb 19431627Augusta18 Feb 19430810Augusta1111,5Patrolled between 32°40'N and 33°30'N, and between 15°40'E and 16°00'E. On the evening of 13th February, she was moved to a new area between 31°50'N and 32°00'N, and between 15°50'E and 16°40'E. Uneventful.

Nereide (NE)22 Feb 19432243Augusta25 Feb 19430835Brindisi359Passage Augusta-Brindisi. She collided with the motor boat Marras (A.S.51) as she was leaving the quay at Augusta. The skipper of the motor boat was blamed for the collision. Then repairs and refit until May 1943.

61 entries. 40 total patrol entries (29 marked as war patrols) and 31 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines