Biplane fighter aces


Tenente Walter Franchino

10 June 1914 - 7 November 1940

Date Decoration Note
??/??/38 Medaglia d'argento al valor militare (1st) O.M.S.
??/??/40 Medaglia d'argento al valor militare (2nd) 1940-43
??/??/40 Croce di guerra al valor militare O.M.S.

Walter Franchino was born in Lozzolo on 10 June 1914.

He served as a volunteer in the Spanish Civil War and was decorated for this.

In November 1940, Tenente Franchino served in 154o Gruppo Autonomo C.T., which was equipped with Fiat CR.42s. The unit was at this time operating over Greece.

On 7 November, six Wellingtons from 70 Squadron took off at daybreak to attack Valona.
Over the port the bombers were attacked by a number of 154o Gruppo CR.42s, the crews identifying their attackers as CR.42s and Breda 65s. Wellington T2734 exploded in mid air, Sergeant G. N. Brooks and his crew being killed, while T2731 went down in flames with the loss of Flight Lieutenant A. E. Brian's crew. Two more Wellingtons were hit and damaged, although returning crews claimed that they had shot down one CR.42 and probably a Ba.65. Three of the bombers were claimed shot down by the Italians, one each by fighter pilots Tenente Walter Franchino and Sergente Maggiore Adrio Gismondi, and one by AA. No losses were suffered by the Italians, but Franchino's CR 42 was apparently hit. That afternoon when he took off again, one wing broke off and he crashed to his death - unobserved combat damage during the morning's fight was considered to have been responsible.

At the time of his death, Franchino was credited with 1 biplane victory.

Kill no. Date Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 07/11/40 1 Wellington (a) Destroyed Fiat CR.42   Valona 154o Gruppo

Biplane victories: 1 destroyed.
TOTAL: 1 destroyed.
(a) 154o Gruppo and AA claimed three Wellingtons and two Wellingtons from 70 Squadron was shot down and two damaged. Wellingtons T2734 (Sergeant G. N. Brooks) and T2731 (Flight Lieutenant A. E. Brian) were lost with all crew.

Air war for Yugoslavia, Greece and Crete - Christopher Shores, Brian Cull and Nicola Malizia, 1987 Grub Street, London, ISBN 0-948817-07-0
Elenco Nominativo dei Militari dell' A. M. Decorati al V. M. Durante it Periodo 1929 - 1945 1 Volume A - L
Ministero della Difesa - Banca Dati sulle sepolture dei Caduti in Guerra

Last modified 06 September 2023