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 Author  Topic: Night of 24-25 July 1943 off the coast of Palmi, Italy
Nuge210

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Nuge210   Send Email To Nuge210 Posted on: Jul 24, 2010 - 8:16am
Palermo had fallen to the Allied Forces July 23rd, and four Ron 15 boats arrived there on the morning of the 24th. The 209, 216 and 204, with division leader Lt. Ed Arbuckle in the 209, departed Palermo that evening for the area north of the Strait of Messina. Radar contact at 0145 revealed a 6000 ton transport and a small escort vessel a half mile off the coast of Italy at Palmi. After closing the targets, the 204 and 209 each fired two torpedoes and missed. Before the 216 fired two torpedoes, it was discovered that the transport was being towed, rather than escorted. Their first fish ran erratic but the second hit the transport in the stern. All boats then strafed the tug, and left it burning, dead in the water. Before leaving the scene, the transport was seen to sink by the stern.

This info is primarily from Ron 15 Action Report 7. The name of the Italian transport was 'Viminale' . I have read that she was anywhere from 6000 tons ( the Action Report ), 8800 tons ( At Close Quarters ) and 10000 tons so I'm not sure. Apparently she was "luxurious passenger ship" prior to WWII built in 1925.



Around ten years ago, an Italian underwater journalist and her team found and photographed the wreck. Through the internet she came across a website by Warren Ganter, who was an officer ( I believe ) on PT 185. He got her in touch with PT Boats HQ and finally to Cecil Sanders, the Skipper of the 216 and my father the Exec of the 216. It was all very interesting stuff and was very exciting to those that were there that night, now 67 years ago.

She did a book on the whole story, but I can only enjoy the photos, as I'm not very fluent in Italian ! And I understand there was a documentary made ( In Italian ? ) that I need to try to track down. Here are some artists views of the Viminale as she sits 100 meters down off Palmi.






Hope you enjoyed.

Steve Nugent

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Will Day

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Will Day   Send Email To Will Day Posted on: Jul 24, 2010 - 2:18pm
I had the pleasure of corresponding with the lady journalist a number of years ago. I found her to be very gracious, knowledgeable about the VIMINALE and her fate, and genuinely interested in the history of PT ops in the Med and particularly in the boats which took part in the attack.

Will

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newsnerd99

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Aug 16, 2010 - 6:37am
I don't know why, but I'm always surprised to see a ship of that size sitting on her keel on the bottom, like it was a controlled scuttle. Thanks for sharing Steve!

Grandson of James J Stanton
RON 15 PT 209 and RON 23 PT 243
Check out: www.pistolpackinmama.net

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John Snyder

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of John Snyder  Posted on: Aug 16, 2010 - 7:29pm
VIMINALE was operated by Lloyd Triestino. Built in 1925 as the British EMPIRE GOVERNOR, she was 8.700 gross tons, 5,400 net tons, and 10,300 deadweight tons, 16,100 displacement tons; 450' long, 57' beam, 27' 4" draft; oil engines, twin screw, 3,600 B.H.P. giving 13 knots. She carried 417,000 cubic feet of cargo, and 360 passengers.

Source: Talbot-Booth, Merchant Ships 1942.

Cheers,
John Snyder
White Ensign Models
http://WhiteEnsignModels.com

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Nuge210

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Nuge210   Send Email To Nuge210 Posted on: Aug 23, 2010 - 10:23am
Thanks for that info on the VIMINALE, John.

The lady journalist emailed me recently that there is a very nice dive on a tug ,somewhere in Liguria, and is very popular. Her friend did some investigating a found it was the tug COLOSSO, which was towing the VIMINALE that night. I wonder if she has photos............

Also my mistake, the Division Leader that night was Ernest Arbuckle.

Steve

Steve

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