The ship KT12 was a project of the German War Marine (Deutsche Kriegsmarine)
who ordered it and had it constructed at the shipyards of OTO based in
Livorno-Italy. The ship was delivered on the 19th of May 1943. The original
project was of the German shipyard in Hamburg. The KT12 had a very low
hull and was intended to transport, Supplies, Automobiles and Fuel to
North Africa. On his first trip the 10th of July 1943 it was attacked
by the Safari, an English Submarine, who fired a torpedo at the ship which
front part sank immediately. But the remaining bigger part of the ship
was in flames and drifted for another 41 minutes before it sank also.
The Story told by an eyewitness from Orosei,Giovanni Mele
Giovanni was six years old and it was a beautiful June morning: At the
rumour of the explosion Giovanni's mum took them to the nearby hill not
knowing what has happened. We all thought the nearby barracks had been
bombed. I climbed on the top of an almond tree to have a better look at
the sea. It was calm as oil and the ship had already broken apart and
was drifting without command in a sea of flames. The fuel that was part
of the cargo had leaked and was burning on top of the water. All the adults
of the village run immediately to the beach, while the support aircraft
of the convoy attacked the English Submarine who placed the final torpedo.
The people of Orosei did their best to help eventual survivors. I remember
the arrival of two army trucks that transported each 8-10 survivors. That
was a way of saying because yes they where alive but covered in oil and
burned to their bones, you could see the raw flesh. For the next 15 days
the sea continued to return the corps of the sunken KT12 crew. They arrived
in closed trucks at the command of Orosei and then where buried on the
graveyard in our village. Some of them are buried without a name. The
Safari has fired 3 Torpedo's; one only has struck the ship the other two
ended up on the beach. The older boys played whit them and pretended to
ride them, until one day a few months lather the military command ordered
to keep doors and windows of our houses closed and both Torpedo's where
Disegno del Safari di Stefano Trainito
Dal diario di bordo del Safari
07.00 Vessel disappeared Northwards, haring apparently reached the end
of its boat. Continued
patrol off approaches to Olbia.
13.00 Altered course to East to open cut from area before surfacing.
22.10 Surfaced. Proceeded Southwards. (Having had 38 out of 41 hours dived)
04.15 Dived. Patrolled in the Gulf of Orosei.
11.55 Sighted 1200 ton fast coaster rounding Cape Comino, southbound ,
escorted by an
12.19 Fired 3 torpedoes at 600 yards. They hit centre of ship. Took usual
avoiding action after
12.26 At periscope depth. Engine room and after part of ship burning furious.
to be M.T. and cased petrol. Remainder of ship awash. Many small conflagrations
surface of the water up to 4 cables away, amid which the E-boat could
be seen rescuing
12.30 Stand by gun action. Closed E-boat.
12.35 E-boat turned out to be a grey rescue launch, unarmed except for
two machine guns.
Decided to leave them to their humanitarian occupation. Turned away to
seaward to seek
100 fathom line about 5 miles away.
12.40 Put periscope up at ½ speed group down. Hot machine fire
promptly opened on it by
13.00 Ship sank in position 40.21 N., 09.45 E. Proceeded southwards in
Gulf of Orosei.
14.15 Cant 506B, white painted, arrived over bay and dropped several bombs
five miles away.
22.15 Surfaced. Proceeded to seaward to charge.
04.00 Dived. Closed coast South of Arbatax and proceeded southward.
22.00 Surfaced. Proceeded southward to regain homeward route.
12.00 On passage. Position 38.17 N., 09.03 E.
12.00 On passage. Position 38.08 N., 08.42(?) E.
20.10 " FORMOSA " and " YARRAWONGA " passed astern
on approved routs.
Two parts of the KT 12 are resting on the sand in about 34 meters of
dept surrounded by fragments and parts of the cargo. The main part is
lying in direction of the original navigation with its upper part being
in about 24 meter dept, where the front is lying on the left side and
the upper part is about 26 meter under water.