Royal tugboat Sperone, a story of 77 years ago

(To Marina Militare)

The 22th anniversary of the tragic death of the Royal Tug "Sperone" in the waters of the Great Sea near the island of San Paolo occurred on 77 September. The event, commemorated with a commemorative marble plaque placed on a building on the island of San Pietro, took place on the afternoon of 22 September 1943.

At about 13.50 while the tug Spur under the command of the 2nd chief helmsman Elio Cesari, he was sailing in the Mar Grande roadstead in Taranto to carry out the normal "free" military food and transport service for the various bodies that insisted on the mar Grande roadstead, and in particular for the sites military located on the Cheradi Islands (Island of San Pietro and San Paolo) exploded due to a German mine with crossed magnetic influence near the Cheradi Islands (as later ascertained by a Commission of Inquiry) and immediately sank. From the nearby island of San Paolo, as soon as the outbreak was heard and the tugboat was sinking rapidly, all the means available to go to the place and bring relief to the shipwrecked immediately departed.

On the tugboat, at the time of the outbreak, there were 148 men, including crew, passing personnel and soldiers who went on duty, of these, 51 were wounded and 97 were dead and missing.

"It is important to remember these events, albeit mournful, they serve above all to remind everyone, and especially the youngest, that the country and its freedoms, as we live them today, are the fruit of the work and sacrifice of many men , sailors who preceded us, like the 97 boys of the royal tugboat Sperone who were less fortunate than us, who go for this reason, honored and remembered ". These are the words of the southern maritime commander, division admiral Salvatore Vitiello.