Salvatore Pelosi - Red Sea

Red Sea

In 1940 Pelosi commanded the Italian submarine Evangelista Torricelli which was part of the Red Sea Flotilla based in Massawa, Eritrea. The Toricelli was on patrol in the Gulf of Aden on 23 June 1940 when she was intercepted by a Royal Navy battle group comprising the destroyers HMS Kandahar, HMS Khartoum, HMS Kingston and the sloop HMS Shoreham. The Torricelli was trapped on the surface and unable to dive due to technical problems but fought a gun and torpedo action damaging the British before scuttling herself. A shell from the Italian submarine hit HMS Khartoum which suffered a fire resulting in an ammunition explosion sinking the ship. Pelosi was awarded the Gold Medal of Military Valor for this action and spent the rest of the war as a POW.

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