“Padio vante duo terco” (all ahead two-thirds), the Italian OOD ordered as the Dace (SS 2~7)
cleared her berth and headed for Long Island Sound. Dace was on her final day of operations
before being turned over to the Italian Navy. “Padio furmo” — and the Dace was slowed for the
railroad drawbridge at New London. The American crew of Dace hung close to the Italians they were
training and who would shortly have to operate Dace without any of this s e ~soned help. The radar
operator on the trip down the channel was still an American’ “Range to Race Rock r 600 yards. II Then
later came ranges to Montauk Point and Block Island in English before an Italian radar operator took over.
With Dace in her operating area and with the Italian crew at all diving stations but still being supervised by their U.S. counterparts, the diving klaxon was sounded. The bridge was cleared. Then the boat started down — the diving angle slowly increasing to 1 oo then more rapidly
to 150. “Adio rapido11 (blow negative fast!) was ordered, a bit frantically. Crunch! Dace hit the
bottom. And a report came from the forward room that the WFA sound head — which should have been rigged in, but wasn’t — was damaged, with flooding around the sound head shaft. Dace was
surfaced, and that was it for the day. As Dace made an early return to the Sub Base and nosed
back into her berth there were a lot of red faces.
Later, at the de-commissioning or Dace when the Stars and Stripes were lowered for the last
time on the old veteran of World War II we all had a lump in our throats.
I think that when the “Leonardo da Vinci” departed for Europe, a little of each of us
sailed with her.
Allan L. Windle