Sergente Alberto Bottazzi
Bottazzi was a pre-war pilot and in 1939, he served in the XVII Gruppo.
In October 1940, Sergente Bottazzi was serving in the 94a Squadriglia of the 8o Gruppo. This unit was at the time equipped with Fiat CR.42s and based at Menastir in North Africa.
At 11:25, Sergente Maggiore Danilo Billi from the 94a Squadriglia, 8o Gruppo scrambled from Menastir to intercept a lone reconnaissance aircraft identified as a Wellington. He was soon followed by Tenente Vittorio Gnudi and Sergente Bottazzi (also from the 94a Squadriglia). Sergente Maggiore Billi attacked immediately, starting a fire on the British aircraft. The three pilots were back between 12:20 and 12:45 and Billi was credited with the victory after having used 220 rounds of ammunition.
He had intercepted a reconnaissance Blenheim Mk.IV of 113 Squadron (T2063) piloted by Sergeant Price, which had taken off at 10:35. The Bristol landed back at base at 13:00 and was rendered U/S by the fire of intercepting CR.42s.
In the end of 1940 the 8o Gruppo returned to Italy.
During the spring of 1941, they re-equipped with Macchi MC.200s.
The Gruppo resumed operations in North Africa in December 1941.
In May 1942, they supported the offensive with armed reconnaissance, ground strafing, bomber escort and local defence.
28 May was a day with successive big sweeps from the Gruppo and during one of the sweeps, Bottazzi’s MC.200 was shot down, but the pilot safely parachuted.
During 1942-1943 he served at the Scuola Caccia (fighter school) at Gorizia.
2o Stormo - Note storiche dal 1925 al 1975 - Gino Strada, 1975 USSMA, Rome, kindly provided by Ludovico Slongo
Stormi d'Italia - Giulio Lazzati, 1975 Mursia, Milan, ISBN 88-425-1946-4
Additional information kindly provided by Ludovico Slongo