A man

Luigi Ferraro took part in the Second World War as a Volunteer. Admitted to the Reserve Officer Training Course and commissioned as Second Lieutenant, he was assigned to the 20th Field Artillery Regiment. Later placed at the disposal of the Maritime Artillery Militia (Milmart), which was subordinate to the Italian Navy Ministry, in 1942 he was given command of a anti-ship shore battery. He applied and was admitted to the Diving School in Livorno and, after obtaining the qualification, he joined the "Gamma" Group in the X MAS, of which he subsequently became the Deputy Commander and Instructor.

In May 1943, he was deployed to Turkey entrusted with the task of carrying out sabotage actions against enemy merchant ships. From information received, it emerged that this country was supplying England with chrome, a material of military interest. As a result, it was decided to prevent this maritime provisioning. Because of the geographical position of the Port of Iskenderun, on the mainland opposite Cyprus, steamships had to anchor in the roads two or three thousand metres offshore. The idea was that a commando could take limpet mines to the ships and subsequently mine them.

The solution was to employ a "Gamma" member and the man chosen for this task was Luigi Ferraro. Without drawing attention, he was sent to Turkey under diplomatic cover, with suitcases full of explosive devices, to become an officer at the Italian Consulate in Iskenderun. And thus Operazione Stella, as it is known in the coded jargon of secret missions, began.
Between June and August 1943, he led four sabotage attacks against enemy merchant ships in the ports of Iskenderun and Mersina. In Iskenderun, on the evening of the 30th of June, he attached two limpet mines to the keel of the 7,000 grt Greek steamship Orion , loaded with chrome ore, which sank on the following morning, a few miles away from the port. On the 9th of July, working from the port of Mersina, he performed the same operation on the 10,000 grt steamship Kaituna, , which sustained severe damage and was beached on the coast of Cyprus to prevent it from sinking. Ferraro repeated the action once more, in Mersina, on the evening of the 30th of July, on the British steamship the Sicilian Prince, which did not suffer any damage as an underwater hull inspection enabled British divers to remove the limpet mines.

The attack carried out on the 1st of August against the 7,000 grt Norwegian motor-ship Fernplant, , had a more successful outcome. She was also loaded with chrome ore and was anchored in the port of Iskenderun. Fernplant ended up sinking in the waters of the Syrian coastline.
His actions earned Luigi Ferraro the Gold Medal for Military Valour.



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Luigi Ferraro wearing  light diving equipment
Luigi Ferraro wearing light diving equipment
A mock up of limpet mines with two original clamps
A mock up of limpet mines with two original clamps
Original clamp
Original clamp