Italian submarine fates

Ships hit by Italian submarines

St. Agnes

TypeCargo ship
CountryBritish British

Date of attack14 Sep 1940Time1932
FateSunk by submarine Emo (C.C. Carlo Liannazza)
Position of attack41° 27'N, 21° 50'W
Complement64 (no casualties, 64 survivors)
Notes At 0830 hours (dawn), a steamer was sighted at 6,000 metres on a northerly course. Emo submerged and closed to the attack. At 0900 hours, the submarine fired a torpedo (533mm, S.I.) at a distance of 4,000 metres. It hit. This was the British St. Agnes (5,191 GRT, built 1918) carrying 7,500 tons of oil seed and general cargo [also reported — in error — as AGRUS], from convoy SLS.46 (Freetown to Methil). She was damaged and made an SOS. Emo trailed her and was close enough to identify her as St. Agnes and observe that she was armed with a 120mm or 152mm gun and a smalller one.

At 1730 hours, the submarine surfaced and opened fire. At 1749 hours, fire was checked after 28 rounds (which caused no visible damage as most failed to detonate) as a second freighter appeared on the scene. Chief Officer C.S. Whitticombe reported that the submarine surfaced twice firing 12 rounds the first time and another 8 rounds the second time. None appeared to hit.

Emo altered course to deal with the newcomer but, at 1830 hours, she was identified as the American Excalibur, and the submarine returned to the first ship.

At 1932 hours, a second torpedo (450mm) was fired from a stern tube. St. Agnes was hit and sank. Her sixty-four (or sixty-three?) survivors were picked up by the American steamer Exochorda (not Excalibur as reported in some documents) and landed in Lisbon.

Position of attack

Ships hit by Italian submarines