R.Smg. Morosini under Francesco D’Alessandro June 1942 Bahamas patrol

R.Smg. Morosini

The Italian submarine Morosini was the next Axis vessel to intrude into the area under Tenente di Vascello Francesco D’Alessandro on the 28th of June 1942. Having begun its patrol on the 2nd of June in France, the sub entered the region between Bermuda and Anegada, on the southern end of the line, and spent the better part of July patrolling the southeastern area of the region north of Puerto Rico. On the 25th Morosini  fueled from the other Italian submarine the Finzi. On the 30th of June 1942 Morosini found and sank the 5,327-ton Dutch motor ship Tysanortheast of the Anegada at position 25° 33’ north by 57° 33’ west, with a combination of deck gun and torpedoes.

Amazingly the Tysa survivors were to literally run into the crew of the Potlatch, sunk two days before them, off Saint Martin. While Tysa informed that Potlatchcrew that they were only two days from landfall off Anguilla, the Potlatch’’s master insisted on sailing another several weeks to the west and landing in the Bahamas, whereas the Tysa survivors predictably landed on Dog Island and were taken to Saint Martin.

Three weeks later, on the 19th of July, the skipper claimed to have attacked an Allied Armed Merchant Cruiser (AMC) northeast of San Juan Puerto Rico and escaped. The “submarine attacked, without success, a small military ship, possibly a gun boat or an armed merchant ship which followed the submarine for a little while, without attacking.” (Regiamarina.net).

Overall Morosini would spend 28 days in the area, departing back to France on the 31st of July low on fuel. On its return to Europe Morosini was lost west of the Bay of Biscay at position 40N / 5W. Like all boats in the Betasom Flotilla it had left Bordeaux France on the Gironde River (Regiamarina.net). It would not return:

“On August 5th, the Morosini informed base that it was in position 41° 00’ N 33° 00’ W and that it would reach base on the 10th at around 14:15. On the 8th, it sent a confirmation signal to Betasom in reply to instructions for the approach to the Gironde. At 23:00 of the 9th, Betasom sent another message informing the Morosiniof the presence of a merchant ship and three German torpedo boats, but the submarine never confirmed receipt.
The boat never reached base and it was assumed that it had been lost between 8° 80’ W and 3° 00’ W after 14:50 of the 8th. Possibly it was sunk at night by a plane equipped with radar, but it has never been confirmed”. All her officers and crew are thus deemed to be on eternal patrol.  

SOURCES: Cristiano D’Adamo, www.regiamarina.net, 2011