Biplane fighter aces

Italy

Sergente Leonzio Bicego

In November 1941, Leonzio Bicego belonged to 23o Autonomo C.T., based at Pantelleria off Sicily. At this time the unit was equipped with Fiat CR.42s.

Blenheims were out from Malta on 11 December 1941, three of them attacking a 5,000 ton vessel in Argostoli harbour. The aircraft of Flight Lieutenant E. G. Edmunds of 18 Squadron failed to return, and it would seem that this fell afoul of two 23o Gruppo CR.42s flown by Maresciallo Germano Gasperoni and Sergente Bicego. They had taken off during the morning to escort some S.82 transport aircraft to Tripoli, and claimed a Blenheim shot down between them. Gasperoni returned with his aircraft damaged and a wound in his left arm.

On 3 February 1943, nine B-24s of the 376th BG set out to attack Palermo harbour, (three of which returned early).
The Regia Aeronautica recorded that a raid by heavy bombers was made on Sicily. At Palermo three MC.202s of the 377a Squadriglia were scrambled, Sottotenente Luigi Torchio (MC.202 MM7712/377-1) reporting to have engaged three P-38, claiming one shot down (17:10-18:15) and one probable (17:30). Sergente Leonzio Bicego then attacked three four-engine bombers, claiming hits on the leading aircraft, between the cockpit and the inner left engine, noting this as probably shot down at 17:30. Finally, Sergente Maggiore Giordano Migliavacca made repeated attacks on an aircraft on the left of the formation which he claimed to have shot down at 17:45, reportedly two members of the crew being seen to bale out. However, it seems that this claim only was credited as a probable.
Sottotenente Torchio was wounded in this combat and his aircraft being damaged, forcing him to belly-land at Palermo.
No Allied losses seems to have been recorded at this time.

Bicego ended the war with 1 shared biplane victory, this one being claimed while flying Fiat CR.42s.

Claims:
Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  1941                
  11/12/41   1/2 Blenheim (a) Shared destroyed Fiat CR.42   Mediterranean area 23o Gruppo
  1943                
  03/02/43 17:30 1 4-engined aircraft (b) Probably destroyed MC.202   over Palermo 377a Squadriglia

Biplane victories: 1 shared destroyed.
TOTAL: 1 shared destroyed, 1 probably destroyed.
(a) Blenheim of 18 Squadron flown by Flight Lieutenant E. G. Edmunds shot down.
(b) Canít be verified with any Allied losses.

Sources:
A History of the Mediterranean Air War 1940-1945: Volume Three Ė Christopher Shores and Giovanni Massimello with Russell Guest, Frank Olynyk & Winfried Bock, 2016 Grub Street, London, ISBN-13: 9781910690000
Malta: The Hurricane Years 1940-41 - Christopher Shores and Brian Cull with Nicola Malizia, 1987 Grub Street, London, ISBN 0-89747-207-1




Last modified 27 February 2024