Biplane fighter aces

The Commonwealth

Captain Robin S. Pare DFC, SAAF no. P202945V

16 July 1919 – 3 June 1942

Robin Pare was born in Wynberg, Cape Province, on 16 July 1919, joining the South African Permanent Force in April 1939 and attending the Military College as a Cadet.

He was commissioned into the SAAF in April 1940 and received his wings on 25 April 1940.

He was posted to 1 SAAF Squadron on 1 May 1940, seeing action over East Africa.

On 2 July he was badly wounded in a flying accident during a low level exercise when his Gauntlet struck the ground and he ended up in hospital. Pare returned to the unit in September.

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 Brian Boyle and Lieutenants 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 the 6 November, the British forces in Sudan launched an offensive to capture the Italian fort at Gallabat as well as occupy Metema, 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 Metema when a formation of an estimated six or seven CR.42s from 412a Squadriglia led by the unit commander Capitano Antonio 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. Pilot Officer Jack Hamlyn evaded the initial onslaught but his aircraft (L7612) was badly damaged and he force-landed, returning later on foot. These three victories were claimed by Capitano Raffi, Tenente Niso Provinciali and Sergente Pietro Morlotti.
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 Brian 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.
It seems that Captain Boyle was credited to Sottotenente Fiorindo Rosmino.
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.
During the morning another ‘K’ Flight Gladiator was flown up to the front, and shortly after midday Flying Officer Jack Maurice Hayward (RAF no. 40111) joined four Gladiators of 1 SAAF Squadron from ‘Heston’, which took off at 13:20 in another patrol over the front. There, five Ca.133s were seen at 7,000 feet, 2,000 feet lower than the Gladiators, approaching the battle area. As the fighters prepared to attack, they were bounced from above by six CR.42s and 21-years-old Hayward’s aircraft (K7977) was seen to crash in flames, the pilot being KIA (possibly shot down at 15:30 by Tenente Mario Visintini of the 412a Squadriglia). The South Africans at once split up into pairs, Lieutenants John Coetzer and Pare taking on the fighters while Lieutenants Andrew Duncan and John Hewitson went after the bombers. The Caproni attacked by Duncan crashed on the Metema-Gondar road, while Hewitson’s fell out of control after he’d fired three burst and crashed; he also damaged a third bomber on the ground. The crew of one of the shot-down bombers survived, and was to return on foot several days later.
While this was going on, the two pilots fighting the CR.42s had managed to drive them off, each claiming one of the fighters shot down; no losses of CR.42s were recorded however, although either or both of those attacked may have been damaged, and force-landed.
By the end of the day, despite the loss of air superiority by the British forces, Gallabat Fort had been captured and the garrison virtually annihilated, only to be lost again the following day, under Italian ground counter-attacks supported by continuous hammering by Caproni and SIAI bombers, as in that moment the Regia Aeronautica had the main control of the air space.
Pare's victory was strangely shared with five other pilots and credited to the Squadron as a whole; it is not included in his total.

Early next morning four South African Gladiators were once more in the air to escort five Wellesleys of 47 Squadron over the front. Four CR.42s were seen and chased, Pare claiming one shot down; another four CR.42s then attacked him and he had to go into a long dive to evade them. Finally, after losing the fighters, he suffered engine trouble and had to force-land at Gherigana. Italian fighters patrolling over Metema during the morning failed to report any engagement, however.

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 Brian Boyle (Gladiator N5815) and the other five pilots were Lieutenants Servaas de K. Viljoen, 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 Brian Boyle (N5824), Lieutenant Andrew Duncan, Lieutenant 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.

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 Brian Boyle (V7711) and Lieutenant 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 12:30 on 20 February Lieutenants Pare, John Coetzer, Leonard le Clues Theron and Dirk C. Uys took off to attack Massawa aerodrome (and Decamere and Adi Ugri?). They found and damaged four CR.42s and a Ca.133.
It seems that in fact four CR.42s, two Ca.133 and two S.81s were damaged in this raid.

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 Brian Boyle and Lieutenants 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 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 17 March four Hurricanes of 1 SAAF Squadron were led on an offensive reconnaissance by the new CO, Major Ross Theron, during which Captain Driver shot up some lorries and Lieutenant Pare destroyed an S.82 on the ground at Danuba, also destroying some 30 drums of petroleum.

At 05.15 on 21 March three 1 SAAF Squadron Hurricanes took off on an offensive reconnaissance, and 15 minutes later four more followed to patrol over Keren, while a Lysander of 237 Squadron set out on an artillery observation mission. The Lysander, R1988, flown by Flight Lieutenant G. A. Smith, was attacked by five CR.42s and damaged, the pilot being slightly wounded. The gunner, Sergeant A. K. Murrell, DFM, claimed to have damaged one of the attackers in return.
The four Hurricanes on patrol spotted four CR.42s in line astern and attacked. Captain Driver hit the third aircraft in line and saw it crash. Lieutenant Pare meanwhile had chased the last fighter in the line, but it escaped. He them attacked the second, which crashed in flames, the pilot bailing out. The leading Fiat then attacked him head on, and they became involved in a dogfight, which ended with the CR.42 crashing four miles north of Kerena and bursting into flames.
The Italians reported that two CR.42s were shot down, while a third fighter was damaged. This returned to Asmara, but while landing was strafed by Captain Andrew Duncan in one of the three Hurricanes that had taken off first.
The Italian pilots claimed both Smith’s Lysander and Driver’s Hurricane shot down.
That evening Andrew Duncan’s DFC award was announced.

At 05.00 on 23 March Lieutenants Pare and W. J. A. White of 1 SAAF Squadron began a patrol over Keren but became separated at 19,000 feet. Pare then saw six CR.42s at 22,000 feet and climbed after them. Overtaking, he made a frontal attack on one, which he believed was damaged, but was attacked by all the others, which hit his aircraft. He managed, however, to return to base.

Gladiator N5853 of 237 Squadron was operating over Keren on 25 March and the pilot saw two CR.42s, but was himself attacked by a Hurricane at that point, the biplane being damaged.
1 SAAF Squadron engaged CR.42s twice during the day, once in the morning when one was hit by Lieutenant Irvine, but no result seen (possibly the 237 Squadron Gladiator). In the afternoon engagements Lieutenants Pare and White met two Fiat CR.42s from 412a Squadriglia at 15,000 feet, one of which Pare shot down in flames, but the other escaped from White. Pare went after this one also and caught it near Asmara where he reported that it blew up.
The Italians recorded one CR.42 shot down (Sergente Pietro Morlotti was killed) and a second so damaged as to be a write-off. Two more CR.42s were damaged in combat during the day, and both pilots were wounded. Two Hurricanes were claimed shot down. Lugi Baron claimed one of the Hurricanes before being shot down himself (probably by Pare) and safely baling out badly wounded in the calf of the left leg.

From Sudan 1 SAAF Squadron, having claimed 48 victories in the air and 53 aircraft destroyed on the ground for the loss of six pilots killed to all causes, took its Hurricanes to Egypt on 6 April 1941.

Pare left the squadron on 13 April 1941.

He was awarded a DFC on 29th of that month, having claimed six victories over Italian fighters.

Back in the Union he trained as a flying instructor at 62 Air School from May until June, and then instructed at 65 Air School until October 1941.

On 27 December he joined 5 SAAF Squadron, accompanying this unit to the Western Desert early in 1942.

At 16:00 on 5 March 1942, a section of two Tomahawks scrambled from LG. 121 for a patrol over LG. 14. The pilots in the section were Lieutenant Pare (Tomahawk AN383/N) and Lieutenant John Victor “Johnny” Lindbergh (455), which intercepted a Ju 88 over Maaten Bagush.
Lieutenant Pare reported:

“At 1600 hrs immediately after take off, I observed one J.U.88 2000 ft. above on starboard beam emerge from the clouds and drop bombs on L.G. 14. No.1 and 2 of section attacked from stern quarter below and fired three bursts at 500 yds before enemy disappeared in clouds. We tried to follow through thick clouds for 10 minutes unsuccessfully.
Entering a gap in the clouds at approximately 1615, observed the same or another J.U. 88 on the port front quarter 100yds ahead. I fired approx. 40 ½’ plus 80 .303 from dead astern before enemy entered the clouds 5 miles north of Ras el Kanayis and lost contact. I observed that the enemy was damaged.
Lieutenant Lindbergh reported that he used about 60 rounds of 0.5” ammunition.
This claim was credited as a shared damage between the two pilots, which landed at 17:20.

He was promoted ‘B’ Flight commander on 31 May.

At 12:15 on 3 June, Tomahawks of 5 SAAF Squadron were ordered off on a sweep, but Lieutenant Robert Cecil Hirst (Tomahawk AK366/GL-O) suffered from the bad visibility during take-off so he cut it, turned and taxied back to the take-off point to have another go. On the way back, he met Lieutenant P. C. F. Grobler (AN431/S) almost head on just as the latter was about to be airborne; both aircraft being damaged and Grobler suffering head injuries.
Ten aircraft from 5 SAAF Squadron took off from Gambut No. 2 Satellite for the fighter sweep, with Wing Commander Tristram Beresford leading Major “Jack” Frost (Tomahawk AN247/GL-K), Captain Robert Morrison (AK421/Z), Lieutenant V. S. “Viv” Muir (AN262/C), Second Lieutenant Cecil Golding (AN468/J), Captain Pare (AK384/V), Lieutenant H. G. Gaymans (345/M), Captain Louis Cecil “Cookie” Botha (AK448/H), Second Lieutenant John Mitchell Scott Martin (AM401/I) and Lieutenant Louis Botha van der Spuy (533). Another unknown Squadron flew as top cover to the South Africans.
Lieutenant van der Spuy returned at 12:45, returned at 12:45 probably with engine problems (“Moscowed” according to the ORB, i.e. recalled over RT to return to base immediately).
At 13:15 near Bir Hacheim at 7,000ft, they saw 12 Stukas escorted by about 20 Bf 109s and C.202s. The Ju 87s were from I./StG 3 and at the time the squadron was flying in line astern, and turned somewhat shakily to the attack, but hitting the Stukas squarely just after that they had dropped their bombs. Captain Botha claimed three and shared a fourth with Wing Commander Beresford, who shot down one himself. Major Frost, Lieutenant Gaymans, Lieutenant Muir and Second Lieutenant Golding each claimed one, Golding sharing a second with Captain Morrison.
Major Frost reported:

“I did an almost head-on attack on one Stuka which was above the rest of the formation. He turned on his side as I passed and when I turned I could not find him. Shots were seen to enter the fuselage just forward of the front cockpit. I then broke away from the Stukas and engaged some of the ME 109’s without result.”
Major Frost landed at 14:00.
Captain Botha reported:
“After flying for some time I saw about 15 Stukas and quite a number of ME 109’s as top cover.
My leader pulled away from me and when I caught up with him I saw him giving one a burst. As nothing happened when the Stuka pulled away to the left I closed in from quarter astern and gave him a good burst. He burst into flames and went down. I then picked one on the left of the formation and gave him a burst and he went down in flames. I then looked behind and saw a 109 diving down to attack and I escaped by going underneath the Stukas. I pulled to the left and then went to the right to get behind them. I picked another, gave him a burst and he also went down in flames. The next one I closed in from underneath gave a squirt and pulled up. The pilot pulled his stick back and we nearly collided and I failed to see what happened to him.
By this time the E/A were very low and split up.
I again pulled out to the left and up to gain height. This time I selected one in the centre. After giving him a second burst, smoke came out and he burst into flames. I then ran out of ammunition.
Had to land on account of engine heating. Waited a bit and took off again.”
Captain Botha landed at 14:45 after having used 700 rounds of .5 and 2,000 rounds of .303 ammunition.
Lieutenant Gaymans reported:
“After patrolling Bir Hacheim for about 30 mins., 12 Stukas escorted by about 20 ME 109’s and Macchi 202’s appeared. We attacked the Stukas soon after they had bombed. I made two attacks without visible result, but in my final attack I approached the formation more slowly and a Stuka pulled up in front of me flying straight. I gave him a long burst at a range of about 100 yards when he pulled up and seemed to hang momentarily in the air. I gave him another burst and saw him flick on to his back and disappear.”
Lieutenant Gayman landed at 14:45.
Two Stuka pilots (including Hans Deibl of 1./StG.3) and a gunner were killed, and one of each captured.
Six Bf 109s of I./JG 27 were flying escort, and one of these flown by Oberleutnant Hans-Joachim Marseille of 3 staffel, attacked the Tomahawks with great effect from above. Despite the fact that his cannon jammed after only ten shots, leaving him only his two machine-guns, Marseille’s masterly shooting ability enabled him to claim no less than six of the South African fighters (victories nos. 70-75). The first was claimed 12:22, 3km west of Bir Hacheim. The second and third were claimed 5km west of Bir Hacheim at 12:25 and 12:27 while the fourth was claimed 7km west of Bir Hacheim at 12:28. The fifth was claimed 10km west of Bir Hacheim at 12:29 while the sixth and last was claimed at 12:33, 7km west of Bir Hacheim. Marseille landed himself at 13:52.
Captain Pare went down in flames, being reported to have first shot down a Bf 109, Second Lieutenant Martin crashed slightly wounded, at Bir Hacheim, being reported safe with the Free French. Captain Morrison, Lieutenant Muir and Second Lieutenant Golding failed to return, all being reported in Tobruk hospital with injuries on 5 June. Captain Botha was recommended for an immediate DFC for his part in this combat. The last of the remaining P-40s landed at Gambut No. 2 Satellite at 14:45.
It seems that there were other British fighters accompanying the South Africans, as Marseilles reported initially meeting twelve to fourteen aircraft, and six Bf 109s of II./JG 53 also on the escort mission, attacked six fighters, claiming three. British records show that a Hurricane failed to return and another crash-landed in British lines, but the squadron is not known. These claims were made by Leutnant Ernst Klager of 7./JG 53, who claimed a P-40 at 12:20 and Hauptmann Helmut Belser of 8./JG 53, who claimed two P-40s at 12:25 and 12:28.
Four Bf 109s of II./JG 27 on a ‘Freie Jagd’ in the area a few minutes later encountered a Kittyhawk, which Unteroffizier Helmut Gierster of 5./JG 27 shot down at 13:35, 19km east of Bir Hacheim , causing it to crash-land. This loss seems to have been Sergeant Clark of 112 Squadron, which suffered Cat. 2 damage to his Kittyhawk AL121 in combat during the day; the aircraft was recovered.

Pare had claimed 1 biplane victory and a total of 6 victories at the time of his death.

Claims:
Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  1940                
  18/10/40   1/3 CR.42 Shared destroyed on the ground Gladiator II   Barentu 1 SAAF Squadron
  18/10/40   1/3 CR.42 Shared destroyed on the ground Gladiator II   Barentu 1 SAAF Squadron
  18/10/40   1/3 CR.42 Shared destroyed on the ground Gladiator II   Barentu 1 SAAF Squadron
  18/10/40   1/3 S.79 Shared damaged on the ground Gladiator II   Barentu 1 SAAF Squadron
  18/10/40   1/3 Ca133 Shared damaged on the ground Gladiator II   Barentu 1 SAAF Squadron
  18/10/40   1/3 Ca133 Shared damaged on the ground Gladiator II   Barentu 1 SAAF Squadron
  18/10/40   1/3 Ca133 Shared damaged on the ground Gladiator II   Barentu 1 SAAF Squadron
  18/10/40   1/3 Ca133 Shared damaged on the ground Gladiator II   Barentu 1 SAAF Squadron
  18/10/40   1/3 Ca133 Shared damaged on the ground Gladiator II   Barentu 1 SAAF Squadron
1 01/11/40   1 Ca133 Destroyed Gladiator II   Gallabat area 1 SAAF Squadron
  06/11/40   1 CR.42 (a) Shared destroyed Gladiator II   Metema area 1 SAAF Squadron
2 07/11/40   1 CR.42 (b) Destroyed Gladiator II   Metema area 1 SAAF Squadron
  1941                
  03/02/41 11:45- 1/5 Ca.133 (c) Shared destroyed on the ground Gladiator   S Azozo 1 SAAF Squadron
  03/02/41 11:45- 1/5 Ca.133 (c) Shared destroyed on the ground Gladiator   S Azozo 1 SAAF Squadron
  03/02/41 11:45- 1/5 Ca.133 (c) Shared destroyed on the ground Gladiator   S Azozo 1 SAAF Squadron
  03/02/41 11:45- 1/5 Ca.133 (c) Shared destroyed on the ground Gladiator   S Azozo 1 SAAF Squadron
  03/02/41 11:45- 1/5 Ca.133 (c) Shared destroyed on the ground Gladiator   S Azozo 1 SAAF Squadron
  03/02/41 11:45- 1/4 S.81 Shared damaged on the ground Gladiator   Azozo 1 SAAF Squadron
  20/02/41   1/4 CR.42 (d) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane   Massawa 1 SAAF Squadron
  20/02/41   1/4 CR.42 (d) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane   Massawa 1 SAAF Squadron
  20/02/41   1/4 CR.42 (d) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane   Massawa 1 SAAF Squadron
  20/02/41   1/4 CR.42 (d) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane   Massawa 1 SAAF Squadron
  20/02/41   1/4 Ca.133 (d) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane   Massawa 1 SAAF Squadron
  21/02/41 12:00- 1/7 Ca.133 (e) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane   Massawa 1 SAAF Squadron
  21/02/41 12:00- 1/7 Ca.133 (e) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane   Massawa 1 SAAF Squadron
  21/02/41 12:00- 1/7 Ca.133 (e) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane   Massawa 1 SAAF Squadron
  21/02/41 12:00- 1/7 Ca.133 (e) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane   Massawa 1 SAAF Squadron
  21/02/41 12:00- 1/7 Ca.133 (e) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane   Massawa 1 SAAF Squadron
  21/02/41 12:00- 1/7 Ca.133 (e) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane   Massawa 1 SAAF Squadron
  21/02/41 12:00- 1/7 CR.42 (e) Shared destroyed on the ground Hurricane   Massawa 1 SAAF Squadron
  17/03/41   1 S.82 Destroyed on the ground Hurricane I   Danuba 1 SAAF Squadron
3 21/03/41   1 CR.42 (f) Destroyed Hurricane I   Keren 1 SAAF Squadron
4 21/03/41   1 CR.42 (f) Destroyed Hurricane I   Keren 1 SAAF Squadron
  23/03/41   1 CR.42 (g) Damaged Hurricane I   Keren 1 SAAF Squadron
5 25/03/41   1 CR.42 (h) Destroyed Hurricane I   Keren 1 SAAF Squadron
6 25/03/41   1 CR.42 (h) Destroyed Hurricane I   Keren 1 SAAF Squadron
  1942                
  05/03/42 16:00-16:15 ½ Ju 88 Shared damaged Tomahawk IIb AN383/N Ras el Kanayis 5 SAAF Squadron
  03/06/42 13:15 1 Bf 109 (i) Destroyed Tomahawk IIb AK384/GL-V Bir Hacheim area 5 SAAF Squadron

Biplane victories: 2 destroyed, 3 shared destroyed on the ground, 5 shared destroyed on the ground, 7 shared damaged on the ground.
TOTAL: 6 destroyed, plus 1 not confirmed due to his loss, 1 shared damaged, l and 20 shared destroyed on the ground, 7 shared damaged on the ground.
(a) Claimed in combat with CR.42s from 412a Squadriglia led by the unit commander Capitano Raffi. 1 SAAF Squadron claimed two aircraft but none were actually lost. Strangely shared by five pilots and credited to the Squadron as a whole; it is not included in his total.
(b) This claim can’t be verified with Italian sources.
(c) The Italians reported only one as actually destroyed in this attack.
(d) Four CR.42s, two Ca.133 and two S.81s damaged on the ground.
(e) 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.
(f) Hurricanes from 1 SAAF Squadron and a Lysander from 237 Squadron claimed three CR.42 and 1 damaged while getting only the Lysander damaged. The Italians claimed one Hurricanes and one Lysander shot down while losing two CR.42s and getting a third damaged.
(g) Although it is known that he damaged this CR42, he made no claim at the time, and it is not therefore included in his total. Pare’s aircraft was damaged in this action, suffering a jammed aileron.
(h) CR.42s from 412a Squadriglia Autonomo C.T. Sergente Pietro Morlotti killed. The second was probably flown by Lugi Baron, who bailed out safely.
(i) Probably claimed in combat with Bf 109s from I:/JG 27, which didn’t suffer any losses. It appears that this claim may not have been confirmed, and is not included on the Squadron's list.

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
Comando Aeronautica Africa Orientale war diary (June 1940) kindly provided by Stefano Lazzaro.
Dust Clouds in the Middle East - Christopher Shores, 1996 Grub Street, London, ISBN 1-898697-37-X
Fighters over the Desert - Christopher Shores and Hans Ring, 1969 Neville Spearman Limited, London
Gloster Gladiator Home Page - Alexander Crawford.
GORIZIA ed il QUARTO STORMO
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 info kindly provided by Stefano Lazzaro, Giovanni Massimello, Michele Palermo and Ludovico Slongo.




Last modified 15 November 2014