MESSINA, 16 APRIL 2012:
It is the morning of July 14, 1943, twenty-five Allied four-Enginer attack Messina at 10:37, followed, in successive waves, by other 212 aircraft which release tons of explosives on the city.
One of these bombs strikes a steamboat, flying the German flag, moated in port in front of the customs and loading of ammunition exploding with an impressive roar scattering the town of large scrap that end up at miles of Distance to the terraces of the seminar archiepiscopal of Giostra.
That steamboat, at that moment, bore the name of NORDA I but its original name was S.S. Patria. It was in fact one of the 26 Norwegian ships intered between 1940 and 1942 in the northwest of Africa. The homeland was interned in Oran (Algeria) on June 22, 1940, and was requisitioned on 6 September 1941, then renamed Sainte Christine, with the flag of the Vichy French government. The troubled history of the steamship continued in October 1942 when it was ceded back to the Norwegian puppet government which in turn placed it under German sovereignty for the shipping company Mittelmeer Reederei GmbH of Hamburg.
The wreck of this ship still lies at the bottom of our harbor in the same place where it exploded and sank during those tragic days of summer 1943. In collaboration with the Superintendency of the Sea of the Sicilian region and with the support of the agency defence Industries of Messina, the divers of the Ecosphere company have run a diving campaign aimed at finding concrete traces that can definitively establish identity.
NOTE: the acronym S.S. is going to steam ship i.e. steamer.