Giuseppe Aonzo
Giuseppe Aonzo was an Italian sailor famous for his involvement in the Battle of Premuda.

Life and career

Born in Savona
Savona is a seaport and comune in the northern Italian region of Liguria, capital of the Province of Savona, in the Riviera di Ponente on the Mediterranean Sea....

 he become a sailor as a teenager, in 1907 he was drafted into the Italian Navy (Regia Marina
Regia Marina
The Regia Marina dates from the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 after Italian unification...

), after two years he was discharged from service and he started his career as sea captain. In 1915 with the entry of Italy into World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 he was called again in service as a naval officer and was soon named ensign
An ensign is a national flag when used at sea, in vexillology, or a distinguishing token, emblem, or badge, such as a symbol of office in heraldry...



In the night between 9th and 10th June 1918 he was the captain of a MAS
MAS (boat)
Motoscafo Armato Silurante , commonly abbreviated as MAS was a class of fast torpedo armed vessel used by the Regia Marina during World War I and World War II...

 (torpedo boat) and was patrolling together with Luigi Rizzo
Luigi Rizzo
Luigi Rizzo, Conte di Grado e di Premuda was an Italian naval officer. He is famous for sinking the Austro-Hungarian battleship SMS Szent István in June 1918.-Biography:...

 in the Adriatic Sea, near the shore of modern day Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, when a large Austrian Hungarian
Austro-Hungarian Navy
The Austro-Hungarian Navy was the naval force of Austria-Hungary. Its official name in German was Kaiserliche und Königliche Kriegsmarine , abbreviated as k.u.k. Kriegsmarine....

 fleet was discovered. Luigi Rizzo's MAS fired a torpedo that hit and sunk SMS Szent István
SMS Szent István
SMS Szent István was a dreadnought , the only one built in the Hungarian part of Austria-Hungary. The Ganz & Company's Danubius yard in Hungarian-owned Fiume was awarded the contract to build the battleship in return for the Hungarian government agreeing to the 1910 and 1911 naval budgets...

, Aonzo fired his torpedoes against SMS Tegetthoff
SMS Tegetthoff
SMS Tegetthoff was an Austro-Hungarian dreadnought battleship of the Tegetthoff class named after Wilhelm von Tegetthoff, a 19th-century Austrian admiral most notable for defeating the Italian Navy in the Battle of Lissa....

 that was hit but the torpedoes didn't exploded. For this action Aonzo received the Gold Medal of Military Valor
Gold Medal of Military Valor
The Gold Medal of Military Valor is an Italian medal established on 21 May 1793 by King Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia "....per bassi ufficiali e soldati che avevano fatto azioni di segnalato valore in guerra" .The face of the medal displayed the profile of the king, and on its reverse was a flag...

and promotion to Sottotenente di Vascello

Later life

In 1919 Aonzo left the navy and became the captain of various merchant ship. In 1940 he was recalled to service as a navy officer and served as captain of various merchant ship used for military transports. In 1945 he returned to his job as ship captain of merchant ships.
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