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History

Mariscuola Taranto are associated with the period after the Armistice, when the Italian Navy began to rebuild the Armed Forces in southern Italy, already liberated by the Allies; specifically re-establishing the Admiralty (Navy Department A.E.) in Taranto in September 1943.

Only a month later, a call for the conscription of a limited number of volunteers was issued. Since the three pre-existing C.R.E.M. (Corpo Reali Equipaggi Marittimi) Schools located in the north had been closed, the Navy had to organise Basic Courses for the newly recruited personnel, as well as provide for the completion of the academic and military training of the personnel that had suffered an interruption because of the war.

As most of the military facilities in Taranto had been requisitioned by the Allies, lacking barracks ashore,the Navy decided to organise courses onboard larger ships able to host both the cadets and the crew: ITS Andrea Doria and Duilio, respectively moored at Syracuse and Taranto ports. This type of organisation, also involving other ships, lasted until the end of the conflict.

At the end of 1945, the war ended, the Italian Navy decided to use a "horizontal" teaching organization for the academic and military training of many Petty Officers. These training activities were concentrated at the newly established Petty Officer School in Venice, where all the career advancement classes for Petty Officers (both general military and professional training) and senior management training for Senior Petty Officers would be held. Whereas, aboard the ships moored in Taranto and Syracuse, the Navy would continue to hold all the Basic Courses for Chief Petty Officer cadets and for the volunteer personnel of the Italian Royal Navy C.R.E.M.

In the early months of 1947, when the former acronym C.R.E.M. had already been changed to C.E.M.M. (Corpo Equipaggi Militari Marittimi) to adjust it to the new republican State, the Basic Courses were carried out mostly in Taranto. Specifically:

  • at the former Submarine Command Farinati degli Uberti were held courses for Electricians, Torpedoists, Minemen, Wireless operators, Mechanics, Marine Engineer, Carpenters, Musicians and Ship's Cooks;
  • in two old air-ship hangars near Capo San Vito, headquarters of the Taranto Defence Command and Assault Vehicles Group, were held courses for Signalmen, Yeomen, Boatswains, Sick Attendants;
  • aboard the Italian cruiser Luigi Cadorna, berthed at a pier overlooking the Farinati degli Uberti, base, specialization courses for Shooters and all the Gunnery specializations were held.

 

This was the organisation of the C.E.M.M. Schools Command in Taranto, as provided for by a 1947 Ministerial Decree that marks the creation of the Naval Chief Petty Officer School. The Command was set up aboard the Italian ship Cadorna, whose commanding officer covered the double-hatted position of both Ship Commander and Commander of the Taranto C.E.M.M. School.

In 1949, the C.E.M.M. Schools Command in La Maddalena was established. Some courses for Chief Petty Officers were moved there (Boatswains, Signalmen, Yeomen, Ship's Cooks and Sick Attendants). Moreover, in 1949, the Gunnery School was moved from the Cadorna to Capo San Vito.

In fact, Capo San Vito was chosen to incorporate all the courses held in the Taranto area. For this purpose, new facilities were built to host all the Volunteer Regular Navy Cadets based in Taranto.

In the following two years, the courses that were still being held at the Farinati degli Uberti base were also moved to San Vito and from that moment on, only training for conscription was held at the Farinati base.

In 1952, the Navy abandoned the previous teaching methodology to adopt a "vertical" one. For each specialization or for similar specializations, a School was established that would provide all the progressive courses, that is, both the Basic Courses for cadets and the Advancement Courses for personnel being promoted.

The different Schools were grouped together on the same premises, under one Command and the former name "C.E.M.M. Schools Command " was replaced by C.E.M.M. Schools Group Command."

The Taranto C.E.M.M. School Group Command includes:

  • Gunnery School (all Armoury specializations and Physical Education Instructors);
  • Specialist School (Electricians Fire Control men, Torpedoists, Torpedo Gunners);
  • Telecommunications School (Signalmen, Wireless operators);
  • Radar operators School.


In La Maddalena, were grouped Seamanship/Deck specializations (Boatswains and Engineers/Machinists) logistics (Yeomen and Sick Attendants) courses. Whereas in Taranto were concentrated operational specializations schools for future electronic equipment and weapons systems operators.

This choice was made out of the need to optimise resources and considering that San Vito hosted several Italian Navy training centres. These centres had weapons systems and equipment already in a training configuration, similar to those installed aboard Italian ships.

In 1973, the fusion of these Training Centres led to the establishment of the Naval Air Training Centre (Maricentadd). An Institution that still today contributes to the personnel training in many specializations taught at Mariscuola, Taranto.

Back to1953; in that year a new programme for upgrading the infrastructure in San Vito was begun. This programme provided for the building of new mess-rooms and kitchens, hangars intended to host electronics labs, recreation rooms, a new room for Sonar Technicians, a building for Chief Petty Officers and a typography. These facilities were completed in about five years, the same time as the opening of the four signalling towers situated around the perimeter of the parade ground.

On 17 May 1957, the Schools Group Command C.E.M.M., until then known only by the name of the host city, San Vito, was dedicated to the memory of the Gold Medal of Honour Lieutenant Commander Lorenzo Bezzi, commander of the Italian Submarine Liuzzi.