Biplane fighter aces

Commonwealth

Lieutenant Colonel Brian John Lister ‘Piggy’ Boyle DFC, SAAF no. P102647V

24 January 1917 – 1993

South African ‘Piggy’ Boyle was born on 24 January 1917 at East London, Cape Province. He was a regular officer in the SAAF before the war being commissioned in 1938.

In February 1940, he joined 1 SAAF Squadron. The unit operated over Eritrea from July 1940. Boyle became flight commander in August 1940.

On 27 September, Captain Boyle and Lieutenant Robin Pare were detached to guard the rail junction at Atbara.

In the beginning of October, Captain Boyle took a detachment of six Gladiators to Azaza, near Gedaref. Only six mechanics accompanied the detachment to this rudimentary base, where the pilots even had to prepare their own belts of ammunition for their guns. Early warning was almost non-existent, consisting of a native in the bush with a field telephone, whose only words in English were ”Aircraft over Gallabat”.

After an early warning on 4 October, Captain Boyle led Lieutenants Servaas de K. Viljoen and Andrew Duncan scrambled from Azzoza. They were climbing over Metemma when they saw three CR.42s in line astern approaching them 500 feet higher. Climbing to meet them head-on, the Gladiators attacked and the six aircraft broke up into a dogfight. Lieutenant Servaas de K. Viljoen shot down one Fiat in flames, the pilot bailing out. Captain Boyle’s aircraft was hit and damaged but despite this he continued to attack one of the Fiats, seeing it fall away apparently out of control, trailing smoke.
Subsequently the ground forces sent in a report that this second aircraft had crashed, but the Italian recorded the loss of only one aircraft (that destroyed by Viljoen), claiming in return one of the Gladiators shot down. It is possible that Boyle’s victim force-landed in a repairable condition, or managed to struggle back to base. Almost certainly their opponents were from the 412a Squadriglia.

After an early warning on 4 October, three Gladiators were scrambled from Azzoza. They were climbing over Metemma when they saw three CR.42s in line astern approaching them 500 feet higher. Climbing to meet them head-on, the Gladiators attacked and the six aircraft broke up into a dogfight. Lieutenant S. de K. Viljoen shot down one Fiat in flames, the pilot bailing out. Captain Boyle’s aircraft was hit and damaged but despite this he continued to attack one of the Fiats, seeing it fall away apparently out of control, trailing smoke.
Subsequently the ground forces sent in a report that this second aircraft had crashed, but the Italian recorded the loss of only one aircraft (that destroyed by Viljoen), claiming in return one of the Gladiators shot down. It is possible that Boyle’s victim force-landed in a repairable condition, or managed to struggle back to base. Almost certainly their opponents were from the 412a Squadriglia.

On 18 October 1940 three Gladiators of 1 SAAF Squadron, flown by Captain Boyle, Lieutenant Pare and Lieutenant Duncan, approached Barentu airfield at 100 feet to see three CR.42s of the 412a Squadriglia about to take off, and dispersed around the field an S.79 and five Ca133s. Attacking the formation, the South Africans set all three fighters on fire and then broke up to strafe the bombers individually, claiming hits on all of them. A subsequent army report claimed that all six multi-engined aircraft were destroyed in addition to the fighters, but this is not confirmed from Italian records, although it is likely that some, or all, may have been slightly damaged. However, such damage could have not have been important, for no mention of it was made in the wire reporting the destruction of the CR.42s. To congratulate the fighter detachment at Azzoza, General Heath sent a present of champagne!

On 1 November three Gladiators (Captain Boyle and Lieutenants Robin Pare and Andrew Duncan) of 1 SAAF Squadron escorted bomb-carrying Gauntlets of 430 Flight to targets in the northern areas of Eritrea and Ethiopia. At the same time Italian Caproni Ca.133s were out to bomb British troops in the Gallabat area. One of the Ca.133s was spotted passing overhead by the South African fighters. Lieutenant Pare climbed unseen to make an astern attack, followed by a beam pass and the bomber dived steeply and crashed; two of the crew was seen to get out but both were wounded, as were all other members of the crew save one, who was killed.
The South African biplanes continued to their target, all of them attacking at low level in the face of heavy return fire. All of them were hit but they all returned safely to Azzoza.

On an early patrol on 4 November over Metemma three Gladiators from 1 SAAF Squadron were attacked from above by four CR.42s from 412a Squadriglia. The South Africans swiftly turned the tables, Lieutenant L. leC. Theron shooting down one from which the pilot baled out, while Captain Boyle and Lieutenant Andrew Duncan claimed two more (Duncan’s was not confirmed). The Italian pilots claimed to have shot down one Gladiator and reported the loss only of the aircraft shot down by Theron.

On 5 November Captain Boyle led one flight from 1 SAAF Squadron forward to a rough strip named ‘Heston’, 75 miles nearer to Gallabat to be ready for the first British offensive in East Africa.

On the 6 November, the British forces in Sudan launched an offensive to capture the Italian fort at Gallabat as well as occupy Metemma, which was just across the frontier. All that the RAF could provide in way of support was six Wellesleys, two Vincents, six Gauntlets, ten Gladiators (drawn from ‘K’ Flight and 1 SAAF Squadron) and four Hawker Hardys (from the Rhodesian Air Force). The Wellesleys were first into action bombing Gallabat, with the Gladiators requested to over fly the area in large formations. Three Gladiators of ‘K’ Flight arrived over the advancing troops at low level. They were patrolling to the east of Metemma when a formation of an estimated six or seven CR.42s from 412a Squadriglia led by the unit commander Capitano Raffi attacked them from out of the sun. The Gladiator pilots were taken by surprise; 24-year-old Flight Lieutenant Kenneth Howard Savage (RAF no. 37483) (L7614) was shot down and killed while Pilot Officer Kirk (K7969) was forced to take to his parachute; neither pilot saw their attacker. Flying Officer Jack Hamlyn evaded the initial onslaught but his aircraft (L7612) was badly damaged and he force-landed, returning later on foot.
Meanwhile Major Schalk van Schalkwyk (N5855) of 1 SAAF Squadron had also taken off from Azzoza, but on arriving over the front was also attacked by the CR.42s. Observers on the ground at once rang the strip at ‘Heston’ to report the lone Gladiator in combat with eight opponents, and despite thick mud caused by an unexpected downpour during the night, Captain Boyle at once took off, arriving just in time to see the commanding officer's Gladiator going down in flames, the pilot taking to his parachute with his clothes on fire; he did not survive. Immediately Boyle was also attacked, bullets entering the cockpit and wounding him in hands and legs; desperately he fought on until the engine of N5852 stopped, and he had to crash-land between the lines. Boyle was brought in by Indian troops and sent by ambulance to Wadi Seidna where he was hospitalised for some weeks. He was subsequently warded a DFC (1 SAAF Squadron’s first) on 7 January 1941 for his gallant action in going single-handed to van Schalkwyk’s assistance.
Capitano Raffi reported that four victories were claimed as a result of these engagements, but Sottotenente Rosmino's aircraft was hit and he returned with his parachute pack riddled with bullets.

On the morning on 27 January 1941, six Hurricanes and six Gladiators of 1 SAAF Squadron, using Sabderat as an advanced landing ground for refuelling, attacked Gura airfield during the day, many aircraft being seen there. While Major Wilmot, Lieutenant Theron and a third pilot remained above as top cover, the other nine strafed, claiming hits on nine S.79s, seven S.81s and three Ca.133s.
The Gladiators taking part in the strafe were led by Captain Boyle (Gladiator N5815) and the other five pilots were Lieutenants Servaas de K. Viljoen, Robin Pare, Andrew Duncan, John Coetzer and Taylor. Hurricane pilots included Major Wilmot, Captain K. W. Driver, Lieutenant John Hewitson and Lieutenant Leonard le Clues Theron.
It seems that the attack was contested since Tenente Luciano Cacciavillani (attached to 412a Squadriglia) reported in his logbook that he scrambled at 12:35 and fought against a couple of Hurricanes, with no results.
After the strafe at Gura, Captain Driver and Lieutenant Hewitson continued to Adi Ugri where Driver strafed four more S.81s, claiming damaged to two of them. Hewitson meanwhile strafed other ground target.
The Italians reported that three S.79s and four S.81 were substantially damaged.

On 3 February six Gladiators from 1 SAAF Squadron flew forward to a new landing strip called ‘Pretoria’ early in the morning where they refuelled. Five of them (Captain Boyle (N5824), Lieutenant Andrew Duncan, Lieutenant Robin Pare, Lieutenant Servaas de K. Viljoen and Lieutenant H. P. Smith) took off again at 11:45 to strafe airfields in the Gondar area, to the south. A landing site was spotted to the south of Azozo on which five Ca.133s were bombed up. The Gladiators attacked and claimed all five in flames. The Italians reported only one as actually destroyed in this attack.
Seeing CR.42s scrambling from Azozo, they flew over to investigate and Boyle, Pare, Viljoen and Smith claimed a shared damaged S.81 on the ground there when they reported that they had shot the wing off it while Lieutenant Duncan chased after a CR.42. The Gladiators were then attacked by Fiats and a big dogfight began. In the combat Captain Boyle claimed a Fiat shot down. Boyle reported that his claim was made towards the end of the dogfight and he was so close to the Fiat that he saw the enemy pilot clearly as he tried to bale out before crashing into the mountains.
Sergente Maggiore Enzo Omiccioli was shot down and killed in this combat. Reportedly he had scrambled alone.
The Gladiators then carried out a reconnaissance in the area, looking for reported Italian movements. On return, Lieutenant Smith crashed on landing at Azaza when starboard tyre burst and the aircraft slewed onto its side while Boyle suffered a flat tyre from the fight.

In the middle of month, the unit converted to Hurricanes.

On 4 February, four Hurricanes from 1 SAAF Squadron, in pairs, were ranging ahead of a Wellesley raid on Gura aerodrome when one pair saw what they took to be a two S.79s approaching Asmara in the glare of noon at 12:15. Captain Boyle (V7711) and Lieutenant Robin Pare, both by now experienced fighters, had already initiated firing passes when, to their horror, they identified them as RAF Blenheims! They broke off immediately, but one 14 Squadron Blenheim had been badly damaged, crash-landing at Port Sudan. Blenheim VI T2115 had taken-off from Port Sudan at 08:00 as one of three detailed to bomb Italian motor transports retreating along the Keren/Asmara road. It was attacked despite using correct recognition signals. It was badly damaged in the crash-landing when the landing gear failed to lower and it was was destroyed beyond repair but the pilot Flying Officer M. MacKenzie and his crew of Sergeants D. Farell and W. J. McConnell were safe.
30 minutes later, at 12:45, the four Hurricanes were bounced by four CR.42 over Asmara. Major Lawrence Wilmot pursued one over Asmara LG, firing a long burst at about 180m. It fell off to the left, towards the town. He broke right, losing sight of his victim, though a large cloud of dust was seen rising amongst the buildings between the LG and the town. Captain Boyle went after another, which evaded by steep turns before diving away. He had seen his fire enter the Italian aircraft, but no results were observed. Neither he nor Wilmot made any claim.

At 14:45 on 10 February, six 1 SAAF Hurricanes led by Captain K. W. Driver took off for an offensive patrol in the Asmara region, flying in two sections each of three aircraft. It was a cloudy day and five CR.42s were spotted climbing at Asmara. Captain Driver led the attack but the Italian aircraft escaped in the clouds. In the ensuing search, Captain Driver became separated from the rest. Finding three Blenheims under attack by a CR.42, he went to their assistance. The Fiat managed to get back into the clouds after one burst from Driver. 35 minutes after the initial sighting, Driver decided to make a last run over Asmara before coming home. Spotting four CR.42s, he attacked. His first target spun away and the second burst into flames before he lost sight of it. An explosive bullet had already hit his tailplane and, being low on fuel now, he had no option but to run for it. The remaining Fiats pursued him, one cutting him off and turning onto his tail. With insufficient fuel to both engage them and to get home, Driver had to weave at ground level. The Fiat fired approximately 10 bursts, inflicting considerable damage, but failed to bring the Hurricane down. Although hit in the tailplane and elevator, port gun bay, starboard fuel tank, the fairing behind the cockpit, and with one aileron jammed, Driver lost his attacker in the mountains and landed safely at Agordat. The Italians claimed his Hurricane as shot down.
Captain Boyle (V7711) had meanwhile led his section into the clouds, in pursuit of the climbing Fiats. Emerging above, he saw one and made an attack from the quarter. It half rolled away with Boyle in pursuit. He made several attacks from abeam and astern as it tried to get away, setting it on fire. The Italian pilot baled out.
During this combat only one Italian fighter was shot down and this was a CR.32 believed to have been flown by Maresciallo Arturo Martini of the 412a Squadriglia, who was attacked by Hurricanes from above in cloud and shot down. He baled out at low altitude as his fighter fell below the clouds, but was found dead near the wreckage of his fighter with his parachute unopened.

In the morning on 13 February 1941, five Hurricanes of 1 SAAF Squadron patrolled over Asmara, intercepting five fighters which they identified as CR.42s. Major Wilmot saw one evade a Hurricane and stall and he fired on this, causing the engine to stop and black smoke to issue forth. Captain Boyle then attacked this aircraft and set it on fire, the pilot baling out and the fighter crashing east of Asmara. Lieutenant Andrew Duncan saw another Fiat in cloud and dived vertically on it. From this too the pilot baled out, the aircraft crashing in flames 12 miles south-east of the town. Captain Driver attacked another, but lost it in cloud, while a fourth was attacked by other pilots but escaped.
One of the fighters shot down was indeed a CR.42 of the 412a Squadriglia, the pilot being badly wounded; he is believed to have been Tenente Luigi De Pol, who later died in hospital. The second aircraft lost was a CR.32 (the last available in Eritrea) from which the pilot, Tenente Bossi, baled out. However, it was reported that he was machine gunned in his parachute by a Hurricane, and on landing was rushed to hospital where an arm and a leg was amputated, but he died shortly afterwards (it is also very possible that he was seriously wounded before baling out). Three more CR.42 were damaged in this combat, and one had to force-land, the pilot having been slightly wounded.

On 15 February, Captain Boyle of 1 SAAF Squadron led Lieutenants Andrew Duncan, Robin Pare and van der Merwe on a patrol over the Gura area in support of a Wellesley of 47 Squadron on a reconnaissance mission over Mai Edaga. Three CR.42s were spotted flying towards Massawa and one of them attacked the Wellesley. Captain Boyle engaging one without result.
Later in the day Major Wilmot, Captain Boyle and Lieutenant Leonard le Clues Theron flew an offensive patrol to Gura though they took a circuitous route, as it was believed that the Italian fighters tended to make off on the SAAF's approach to the place. They found three CR.42s again, headed at low level for Massawa. This time Boyle shot one down, the pilot being seen to crawl out of his wrecked Fiat and to limp away.
It is possible that the CR.42 claimed by Boyle was in fact Tenente Luciano Cacciavillani of the 413a Squadriglia, who reported that he scrambled with five others at 16:30 against four Hurricanes, but his aircraft was hit during take-off and he made an emergency landing.

15 Wellesleys of 47 and 223 Squadrons raided Gura airfield on 16 February, escorted by six of 1 SAAF Squadron's Hurricanes flown by Major Laurence Wilmot, Captain Kenneth Driver, Captain Boyle, Lieutenant Andrew Duncan, Lieutenant Dirk Uys and Lieutenant Adriaan Botha. The escort also strafed the airfield and claimed two S.79s burnt on the ground.

After 10:00 in the morning on 19 February, Major Laurence Wilmot led an escort of five Hurricanes (Captain Kenneth Driver, Captain Boyle (V7711), Lieutenant Andrew Duncan, Lieutenant Dirk Uys and Lieutenant Adriaan Botha) from 1 SAAF Squadron to six Wellesleys bombing Asmara, following which the five Hurricanes went down to strafe, claiming three S.79s, two CR.42s and a pair of Ca.133s set on fire.
Actually it seems that one CR.42, one S.79 and two Ca.133s were burned.

Air reconnaissance had reported that new CR.42s being assembled at Massawa after delivery by transport aircraft, and at 08:00 on 21 February, Major Lawrence Wilmot from 1 SAAF Squadron took off from Kassala with Captain Boyle and Lieutenants Robin Pare, John Coetzer, Leonard le Clues Theron, Servaas de K. Viljoen and E. A. Jarvis. The Hurricanes refuelled en route at Agordat and took off at 11:00, attacking Massawa an hour later. A small number of aircraft was seen outside the hangars, but the number inside was not known, so all six hangars were attacked, the pilots approaching at zero feet and firing directly into them; all were left in flames, the roof of one being blown right off by Major Wilmot. Six Ca.133s and a CR.42 were strafed in the open, and claimed in flames, while Lieutenant Robin Pare wiped out an anti-aircraft position and crew, which were firing on Major Wilmot. His guns then jammed but he continued to make dummy runs on the AA posts, being the last to leave the area. Lieutenant Coetzer was however shot down and killed by AA fire, his Hurricane (V7658) was seen crashing in flames.
In fact, three Ca.133s and two S.81s, all of which had been damaged the previous day, were destroyed, and one more of each was damaged.

On 9 March, Captain Boyle's Hurricane V7711 was damaged by AA fire while strafing at Decamere and Asmara.
The aircraft was repaired.

On 11 March, Captain K. W. Driver and Lieutenant John Hewitson (V7688) set fire to a lone S.79 on the ground and then strafed an unidentified small biplane at Keren aerodrome while hunting for hidden CR.42s. Captain Boyle (V7711), having strafed a S.79, joined the other two in shooting up three goods train.
AA fire damaged Captain Driver's Hurricane.

On 19 March 1941, two 1 SAAF Squadron Hurricanes were patrolling over the Keren area when they were attacked by three 412a Squadriglia CR.42s, Maresciallo Aroldo Soffritti claiming to have shot down one of the South African fighters during a sortie between 15:00-17:20. Captain Boyle’s aircraft was damaged but he returned safely to base.

On 29 March 1941 he and Lieutenant Hewitson left 1 SAAF Squadron, together with two other pilots, who returned to the Union in a Ju 52/3m for a well-earned rest. Boyle was at the time one of the outstanding fighter pilots on the Northern Front and by this time he had flown 106 operational sorties in 163.50 hours.

On his return to the Union he became an instructor.

He returned to operations in 1944, arriving at 7 SAAF Wing in Italy in February, where he joined 4 SAAF Squadron on Spitfire Mk.Vs on 17 February, becoming commanding officer on 2 April.

On 28 July 1944 he left the Squadron and was posted to the MORU operations staff, by which time he had amassed 1479 flying hours. He then became commander of 4 Air School in 1945, moving to 64 Air School later.

Boyle ended the war with 3 biplane victories and a total of 5 victories.

Boyle remained in the SAAF after the war, finally retiring as a Brigadier.

He then ran a road haulage firm for a time, but died early in 1993.

Claims:
Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  1940                
1 04/10/40   1 CR.42 (a) Destroyed Gladiator II N5852 Metemma 1 SAAF Squadron
  18/10/40   1/3 CR.42 Shared destroyed on the ground Gladiator II N5830 Barentu 1 SAAF Squadron
  18/10/40   1/3 CR.42 Shared destroyed on the ground Gladiator II N5830 Barentu 1 SAAF Squadron
  18/10/40   1/3 CR.42 Shared destroyed on the ground Gladiator II N5830 Barentu 1 SAAF Squadron
  18/10/40   1/3 S.79 Shared damaged on the ground Gladiator II N5830 Barentu 1 SAAF Squadron
  18/10/40   1/3 Ca.133 Shared damaged on the ground Gladiator II N5830 Barentu 1 SAAF Squadron
  18/10/40   1/3 Ca.133 Shared damaged on the ground Gladiator II N5830 Barentu 1 SAAF Squadron
  18/10/40   1/3 Ca.133 Shared damaged on the ground Gladiator II N5830 Barentu 1 SAAF Squadron
  18/10/40   1/3 Ca.133 Shared damaged on the ground Gladiator II N5830 Barentu 1 SAAF Squadron
  18/10/40   1/3 Ca.133 Shared damaged on the ground Gladiator II N5830 Barentu 1 SAAF Squadron
2 04/11/40   1 CR.42 (b) Destroyed Gladiator II N5852 Metemma 1 SAAF Squadron
  1941                
  03/02/41 11:45- 1/5 Ca.133 (c) Shared destroyed on the ground Gladiator N5824 S Azozo 1 SAAF Squadron
  03/02/41 11:45- 1/5 Ca.133 (c) Shared destroyed on the ground Gladiator N5824 S Azozo 1 SAAF Squadron
  03/02/41 11:45- 1/5 Ca.133 (c) Shared destroyed on the ground Gladiator N5824 S Azozo 1 SAAF Squadron
  03/02/41 11:45- 1/5 Ca.133 (c) Shared destroyed on the ground Gladiator N5824 S Azozo 1 SAAF Squadron
  03/02/41 11:45- 1/5 Ca.133 (c) Shared destroyed on the ground Gladiator N5824 S Azozo 1 SAAF Squadron
  03/02/41 11:45- 1/4 S.81 Shared damaged on the ground Gladiator N5824 Azozo 1 SAAF Squadron
3 03/02/41 11:45- 1 CR.42 (d) Destroyed Gladiator II N5824 S Gondar 1 SAAF Squadron
4 10/02/41 14:45- 1 CR.42 (e) Destroyed Hurricane I V7711 Asmara area 1 SAAF Squadron
  13/02/41   ½ CR.42 (f) Shared destroyed Hurricane I V7711 E Asmara 1 SAAF Squadron
5 15/02/41   1 CR.42 (g) Destroyed Hurricane I V7711 Gura 1 SAAF Squadron
  16/02/41   1/6 S.79 Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane   Gura airfield 1 SAAF Squadron
  16/02/41   1/6 S.79 Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane   Gura airfield 1 SAAF Squadron
  19/02/41 10:00- 1/5 S.79 (h) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane V7711 Asmara airfield 1 SAAF Squadron
  19/02/41 10:00- 1/5 S.79 (h) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane V7711 Asmara airfield 1 SAAF Squadron
  19/02/41 10:00- 1/5 S.79 (h) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane V7711 Asmara airfield 1 SAAF Squadron
  19/02/41 10:00- 1/5 CR.42 (h) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane V7711 Asmara airfield 1 SAAF Squadron
  19/02/41 10:00- 1/5 CR.42 (h) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane V7711 Asmara airfield 1 SAAF Squadron
  19/02/41 10:00- 1/5 Ca.133 (h) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane V7711 Asmara airfield 1 SAAF Squadron
  19/02/41 10:00- 1/5 Ca.133 (h) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane V7711 Asmara airfield 1 SAAF Squadron
  21/02/41 12:00- 1/7 Ca.133 (i) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane   Massawa 1 SAAF Squadron
  21/02/41 12:00- 1/7 Ca.133 (i) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane   Massawa 1 SAAF Squadron
  21/02/41 12:00- 1/7 Ca.133 (i) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane   Massawa 1 SAAF Squadron
  21/02/41 12:00- 1/7 Ca.133 (i) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane   Massawa 1 SAAF Squadron
  21/02/41 12:00- 1/7 Ca.133 (i) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane   Massawa 1 SAAF Squadron
  21/02/41 12:00- 1/7 Ca.133 (i) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane   Massawa 1 SAAF Squadron
  21/02/41 12:00- 1/7 CR.42 (i) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane   Massawa 1 SAAF Squadron

Biplane victories: 3 destroyed, 8 shared destroyed on the ground, 7 shared damaged on the ground.
TOTAL: 5 and 1 shared destroyed, 24 shared destroyed on the ground, 7 shared damaged on the ground.
(a) Almost certainly claimed in combat with CR.42s from the 412a Squadriglia. 1 SAAF Squadron claimed two CR.42s for no losses while 412a Squadriglia claimed one Gladiator for the loss of one of their own.
(b) Claimed in combat with CR.42s from 412a Squadriglia, which lost one aircraft while claiming a Gladiator. 1 SAAF Squadron claimed three Fiats without losses (of which two were confirmed).
(c) The Italians reported only one as actually destroyed in this attack.
(d) Sergente Maggiore Enzo Omiccioli of 412a Squadriglia KIA.
(e) SAAF claimed two CR.42s shot down; Regia Aeronautica reported the loss of one CR.32s of 412a Squadriglia flown by Maresciallo Arturo Martini who was KIA.
(f) 1 SAAF Squadron claimed two aircraft in this combat. The Italians lost two aircraft; one CR.42 of 412a Squadriglia (Tenente Luigi De Pol died in hospital of his wounds) and one CR.32 of 411a Squadriglia (Tenente Bossi died in hospital of his wounds). Three more CR.42s were damaged.
(g) Possibly Tenente
Luciano Cacciavillani of the 413a Squadriglia.
(h) Totally during the day it seems that one CR.42, one S.79 and two Ca.133s were burned on the ground against claims by 1 SAAF Squadron on three S.79s, three CR.42s and two Ca.133s.
(i) Three Ca.133s and two S.81s, all of which had been damaged the previous day, were destroyed, and one more of each was damaged.

Sources:
Luciano Cacciavillani's personal logbook courtesy of Cacciavillani family (Luciano jr and Alberto)
Aces High - Christopher Shores and Clive Williams, 1994 Grub Street, London, ISBN 1-898697-00-0
Aces High Volume 2 - Christopher Shores, 1999 Grub Street, London, ISBN 1-902304-03-9
Dust Clouds in the Middle East - Christopher Shores, 1996 Grub Street, London, ISBN 1-898697-37-X
Gloster Gladiator Home Page - Alexander Crawford.
Springbok Fighter Victory: East Africa Volume 1 1940 – 1941 – Michael Shoeman, 2002 African Aviation Series No. 11, Freeworld Publications CC, ISBN 0-958-4388-5-4
Those Other Eagles – Christopher Shores, 2004 Grub Street, London, ISBN 1-904010-88-1
Additional information kindly provided by and.
Additional info kindly provided by Stefano Lazzaro, Andrea Melis, Michele Palermo, Ludovico Slongo and Ariella Soffritti.




Last modified 03 May 2011