Ivan Dalmonte

Italian Navy frigate

Grecale F571

Italian Navy Ensign


Hello, I served in Italian Navy during 1984-85 and I have now found at home some old Yarmouth's pictures, that I take in that period, during 1985 STANAVFORMED. My ship, Italian Navy frigate Grecale F571, joined the same exercise (with Yarmouth, the Turkish DDG Savastepe and USS frigate Garcia), then touched the same harbours (Gibraltar/La Spezia/Palermo/Alicante/Taranto).

I still can remember that during a close sailing of the two ships, one guy of your ship attempted to launch us a rope using a golf club (instead of the gun normally used for that purpose). He stood on top of the bridge, perfectly dressed as a golf player (I remember his squared blue-green trousers!). Unfortunately, he didn't manage to send the rope onboard my ship, it was a bit too distant. But he was really fun for all the crew, our captain had just shouted in the ship's PD system, ordering all of us to strictly behave, in order to avoid any nasty figure with a foreign ship.



Here are two of the best pictures, the first shot in Alicante harbour, the second at sea. I took several other pics.

I am pleased to know that my old pictures have been appreciated! the first is again in Alicante harbour, with Yarmouth berthed aside my ship. The second shows the Yarmouth's Wasp helicopter landing on the flight deck of my ship, during an exercise in open sea.

Third picture is the destroyer TCG Savastepe (D-348) former USS Meredith, DD-890, sailing close to my ship in open sea. I remember her crew carefully polishing the ship every day spent at harbour, so that she seemed a real "veteran ship" coming out from a WW2 movie!

Fourth picture is my ship (frigate Grecale F 571) berthed in Taranto arsenal. Unfortunately I didn't shot any picture to USS Garcia FF-1040, although I spent some interesting hours onboard at sea, during an interesting exchange of a few crew members - I was one, since I could speak a bit of English! For sure, I couldn't take any photos during the transfers to and from my ship and Garcia: the first trip was onboard of a small seat hooked to a big rope between the ships, with the waves excitingly close! Return trip, instead, was by helicopter, but since the Garcia had no flight deck I had to be retrieved using a life ring hanging from the helicopter's winch, up to some 10 meters, until I reached the cabin. Maybe a bit too exciting flight... my sons don't want to believe to my adventures, now, but they were absolutely true!

Last two are... me: the first one proudly portrayed close to the ship's AA missile launcher (at La Spezia Navy arsenal, in September 1985).

Last is how I look like now, at... 50.

Best regards and Happy New 2010!


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