Biplane fighter aces

Italy

Tenente Luigi Deggiovanni

In December 1941, Tenente Luigi Deggiovanni served in the 154a Squadriglia, 3o Gruppo CT, which was equipped with Fiat CR.42s and based in Libya.

On 17 December, two Blenheim IVs of 107 Squadron from Malta attacked motor vehicles between between Pisida and Zuara.
154a Squadriglia scrambled with four CR.42s between 13:45 and 14:50. Tenente Deggiovanni engaged two Blenheims in combat; they were part of a formation of three enemy aircraft that had made a hedgehopping attack on Sorman airfield.

I scrambled from Sorman airfield at 13.55 on 17.12.1941 and at an altitude of about 500 m, high over Sabratha, I noticed two aircraft below me at a distance of about a hundred metres one from the other. They were going along the coast at a low altitude in a direction opposite to mine. I changed direction and dived down on the second after I had seen the British markings. Therefore I opened fire and followed it down to the surface of the water.
I noticed that from the first bursts the enemy aircraft was leaving a trail of smoke from time to time and was slowing down so much that I managed to keep up with it. Then the other aircraft, which I had lost sight of, got near the other plane and started firing strong bursts from the machine gun in the top turret. In the meantime my guns had jammed and while I tried to rearm I continued the pursuit but after pulling up gaining height I saw only one of the two aeroplanes. It was quickly making off in a north east direction. As my guns were still jammed I returned to base where I landed at 14.50. I had fired 530 rounds from the 12.7mm calibre machine gun.
107 Squadron reported:
P.O. Williamson left the coast and was immediately attacked by a CR.42 who made repeated attacks, causing considerable damage to the aircraft and slightly wounding the observer. The Blenheim returned fire and probably obtained hits because the CR.42 broke off the combat. Sgt. Noseda on seeing that P.O. Williamson was being chased by E/A did not drop his fourth bomb, but set course for base.

Deggiovanni ended the war with one damaged biplane victory.

Claims:
Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  1941                
  17/12/41 13:45-14:50 1 Blenheim (a) Damaged Fiat CR.42   Sorman airfield 154a Squadriglia

Biplane victories: 1 damaged.
TOTAL: 1 damaged.
(a) Blenheim of 107 Squadron damaged.

Sources:
A History of the Mediterranean Air War 1940-1945: Volume One Christopher Shores and Giovanni Massimello with Russell Guest, 2012 Grub Street, London, ISBN 978-1908117076
La Battaglie Aeree In Africa Settentrionale: Novembre-Dicembre 1941 Michele Palermo, IBN, ISBN 88-7565-102-7




Last modified 17 August 2016