Biplane fighter aces

Italy

Sergente Maggiore Adrio Gismondi

In November 1940, Adrio Gismondi 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 fames 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.

Later in the war, Sergente Maggiore Gismondi served in the 382a Squadriglia, 21o Gruppo.
The 21o Gruppo (356a, 361a, 382a and 386aSquadriglie) gradually replaced the 22o Gruppo in Russia during April-May 1942.

In the beginning of July, the CSIR was transformed into the ARMIR (Armata Italiana in Russia).
On 9 July, the Italian fighters moved to Makejewka airfield, the first to arrive were the aircraft of 382a and 386aSquadriglie. This was to take part in the advance across the Don.
The advance was so rapid that the 382a and 386aSquadriglie were moved moved still further forward and on 24 July they moved to Tanziskaja airfield.
Later they moved forward to Obliskaja.

On 26 July 1942, the 382a Squadriglia escorted German Ju 87s from 6./St.G. 2 heading for an attack on Kalatasch. Over the target, they met Soviet a reported 20 LaGG-3s, which in short time shot down three C.200s from the Squadriglia. Tenente Francesco Peroni and Sergente Arrigo Zoli were killed while Sergente Maggiore Gismondi was able to parachute. The Ju 87s also suffered several damaged aircraft.
No Soviet aircraft were lost.

Gismondi ended the war with 1 biplane victory.

Claims:
Kill no. Date Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  1940              
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.

Sources:
Air war for Yugoslavia, Greece and Crete - Christopher Shores, Brian Cull and Nicola Malizia, 1987 Grub Street, London, ISBN 0-948817-07-0
Ali Sulla Steppa: La Regia Aeronautica nella campagna di Russia Nicola Malizia, 2008 IBN Editore, Roma, ISBN 88-7565-049-7
Regia Aeronautica




Last modified 25 March 2012