R. Smg. Ametista

In the early 1940s the Ametista, a costal submarine of the Sirena class,”600″ series, type Bernardis, was used to test the release of SLCs at sea.

Muggiano  (La Spezia), April 24th, 1933 – The launch of the Ametista
(Istituto Luce B025601)

Bracing was placed on the deck on which three of the craft were placed, then secured with cables. The boat then dived into the outer harbor of La Spezia and released the three SLCs that, as part of the demonstration,  reached and mined the old explorer Quarto; however, the timing and complexity of the operation made it clear that the solution adopted was not the best solution for the transport of SLCs (cylindrical containers were adopted on later submarines).

The Ametista in the early years

In the first months of the war, the Ametista operated in the Aegean Sea, without achieving any result. On October 13th, 1940, during a bombardment of the base of Leros, crew members of the Ametista were killed: Carmine Cantone, Enrico Castellato and Luigi Martano. In 1941 the commanding officer was Lieutenant Commander Virgilio Spigai. In September of that year, the boat was sent to the Kasos Channel along with the submarines Gemma and Tricheco on patrol.

In December 1942 it was subjected to an in-depth inspection after which it was estimated to be mostly efficient: the main problems were the noise from the pumps and shaft lines, thus facilitating detection, and the fact that the hydrophones were in a state judged to be “mediocre” (while the other equipment, such as acoustic signaling devices and ultrasonic soundings, was judged to be in good condition).

On September 9th, 1943, following the armistice, the Ametista left Rijeka (Fiume) under the command of Sub-Lieutenant (Res.) Luigi Ginocchio, arriving in Ancona the morning of two days later. Captain Ginocchio then left to move to Brindisi towing the pocket submarine CB. 11, but off the coast of Numana, not too far to the Conero, the captain decided to scuttle the boat as the other submarine Serpente had already done.   The two CBs – the Serpente was towing CB12 – continued sailing with their own means, arriving on the 13th at the Tremiti Islands and leaving on the 17th, the first for Brindisi and the other for Taranto.

Both Ginocchio and Allegri, once ashore, headed north, where they later joined the Italian Social Republic, enlisting in the National Republican Navy. After the war, the two captains were tried by a military court for the crime of “loss of ship”. Ginocchio was found to be young and still a “trainee” – he was an office in the reserve – and had been influenced in his choice by the behavior of his superior in rank at the command of the Serpente.

The wreck of the Ametista was resurfaced after the war and scrapped in the port of Ancona.

Operational Records

Patrols (Med.)Patrols (Other) NM Surface NM Sub. Days at SeaNM/DayAverage Speed
27 15,619 3,246 19596.744.03



Crew Members Lost

Last NameFirst NameRankItalian RankDate
CastellatoEnricoChief 2nd ClassCapo di 2a Classe9/12/1943
MartanoLuigiChief 2nd ClassCapo di 2a Classe9/12/1943