The wreck of the submarine, Katsonis (Y1), that had been torpedoed by a German warship during World War II north of the Sporadic island of Skiathos has been confirmed found after 75 years. The General Staff of the Navy Hydrographic Service issued a statement on Friday confirming that it had pinpointed the exact coordinates of the ship via visual means.
“The exact location of the historic wreck of the KATSONIS submarine was confirmed by optical means at a distance of 6 nautical miles northwest of Skiathos and at a depth of 253 meters”, the statement read.
The Hellenic Navy ship “Naftilos” (Nautilus) had initially located the wreck after a thorough research of the seabed on January 28, 2018 with the use of multibeam, sidescan sonar.
Naftilos identified the wreck from 4 to 6/5/2018 using submarine robotic cameras (ROVs) from the diving crew of K. Thoktaridis.
Katsonis was one of six submarines that belonged to the Greek Royal Navy during World War II.
The submarine had participated in the 1940-41 Greco-Italian War. It had sunk one Italian vessel and carried out four war patrols. Following the German invasion of Greece in April 1941, Katsonis fled to the Middle East with the rest of the fleet. On July 2, 1942, the submarine was damaged while exiting a dry dock at Port Said. Following an overhaul, the submarine went on a further three patrols in the Aegean.
On September 14, while trying to intercept a German troop transport, the submarine was attacked and sunk by the German submarine chaser UJ-2101 (ex Greek mine sweeper Strymon, Cdr Kptlt. Vollheim). Thirty-two men of the crew, including its commander, went down with the submarine, and 15 were captured. Among them was Konstantinos Stamoulis, a survivor who was considered dead for decades. However, Lt Elias Tsoukalas, the ship’s XO, and petty officers Antonios Antoniou and Anastasios Tsigros, managed to swim for 9 hours and reach Skiathos. There they hid and managed to return to Egypt and rejoin the Greek fleet.