40 years after traveling around the world, the ex-crew of Nave Lupo returns to sail the waters of Lima

(To Marina Militare)
23/12/19

After forty years they returned to sail the waters of Callao, Peru, on board the same ship with which they began circumnavigation of the globe in 1979. This is the dream realized by some members of the Nave crew Wolf which today, under the name of BAP Palacios (FM-56), is in the service of the Peruvian Navy (MGP). The group met on December 19 in Lima to celebrate the anniversary of that extraordinary adventure forty years exactly since the passage of Italian unity in the port of Callao in Lima.

The initiative was made possible thanks to the passion and will of a group of officers and sailors now at rest - founders of the promoting committee, all former members of the crew of one of the most important frigates in the recent history of the Italian Navy.

the class Wolfin fact, it represents one of the most innovative and successful international projects of the post-war Italian shipbuilding industry.

The class leader unit, as soon as it reached full operation, at the turn of summer 1979, until February of the following year, carried out, together with the destroyer Ardito, a cruise around the world touching the main international ports, including Lima, Peru (at this link, in pdf format, the supplement of the Maritime Magazine dedicated to the Wolf campaign).

"During the mission" - explain the members of the Committee - "Nave Lupo was the spokesperson in the world of prestige, skills and traditions of the Italian Navy by means of its crew. Around the world provided the national industry with an unparalleled opportunity for promotion and growth in foreign markets, making the military and civilian authorities of foreign navies known and appreciated for the operational capabilities of the platform and the equipment with which the unit was equipped ". An all-Italian excellence, recognized even decades later, when Nave Wolf, which came to disarmament in 2003, in 2005 it was purchased and modernized from Peru, where it is experiencing its second youth in the service of the Peruvian Navy (MGP) together with the other three Italian twins of the same class (Perseo now Bolognesi, Orsa ora Aguirre and Sagittario now Quinones) and to the 4 units of the same class bought from Peru in the late 70s (Carvajal, Almirante Grau, Villavisencio and Mariategui).

The worthy celebration of the fortieth anniversary was possible thanks to the on-site organization by the Italian Embassy in Lima, through the defense officer in Peru, captain of vessel Massimo Pitarra and the enthusiastic participation of the MGP, with the top management of naval commands, including the deputy commander of the Pacific Operations, deputy admiral Polar Figari and the commander of the Surface Forces, Rear Admiral Bohorquez, and in particular of the officers who, in recent years, have alternated in command of the BAP Palacios (remember that the first commander of the BAP Palacios was the captain of vessel Gonzalo Rios Polastri, who later became general commander of the MGP, who arrived until last February to fill the position of deputy defense minister).

The central event of the program was the long-awaited return on board. The unit sailed the waters of Callao, in the District of Lima, exactly forty years after December 19, 1979. During the navigation a simple but touching ceremony was celebrated with the launch of a crown at sea, to remember the fallen of both navies. Subsequently, the crew members of Nve Wolf they visited the unit, remembering that adventure through a video composed mainly of historical images concerning the construction, launching and years of service of the naval unit under the banner of the Tricolor. The event was also attended by the Ambassador of Italy in Lima if Giancarlo Maria Curcio.

The celebrations then continued in the following days with meetings and visits to some installations of the MGP, such as the recently renovated "Naval Museum" and the "Escuela Naval" (the local Naval Academy), where the event's promoting committee was able appreciate the historical link and the roots of the friendship that characterizes the Peruvian Navy and the Italian Navy.