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Carlo Damerini - RN Vittorio Veneto

At the end of the license at the end of the Academy (April 15, 1943) I embarked in La Spezia on the battleship Vittorio Veneto, commanded by CV Corso Pecori Giraldi. The ship was the seat of the Command of the IX Battaglia Ships Division headed by AD Enrico Accorretti. I was assigned as a subordinate to the Navigator, who was TV Perricone.

Other Sharks embarked with me (among which I remember Brauzzi, Legnaioli, Ziliotto, Malusardi, Sansonetti, Rallo and, of the GN embarked in August, Gemignani and Majolino).

The situation aboard the battleships was calm, even if there was no lack of reasons for justified apprehension. In this regard, I intervened some time ago, with a letter to the Director of the Florence daily "La Nazione" to deny what was published by Folco Quilici about an alleged mutiny that took place in Rome; letter that was not published as it was preceded by another more authoritative intervention by the Chief of Staff of the Navy, pro tempore.

Of the historic navigation, which began on the night of 9 September with all the major units still efficient and located in La Spezia and Genoa, I cannot say anything that is not already known; However, I cannot fail to remember, with horror, the vision of Rome struck to death by German rocket bombs, a vision that I managed to fix in an unpublished photo.

On that dramatic September afternoon, Vittorio Veneto's behavior was magnificent. The ship was literally surrounded by bombs but the Commander maneuvered calmly and skillfully avoiding the fatal impact; he remained hours and hours on the bridge without ever resting (and the navigator TVPerricone had to give him an injection every hour). I was able to trace all the approaches of that meandering route: a few years later I took a copy of that chart to the Commander (who in the meantime became Admiral and then Chief of Staff of the Navy) but unfortunately I lost my copy!

I remained aboard the Vittorio Veneto until mid-October 1943, when the ship was transferred from Alessandria to the Bitter Lakes together with Italy while the other units were repatriated to begin the missions in a situation of co-belligerence. I returned to Taranto with one of these.

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