Biplane fighter aces


Sottotenente Vincenzo Graffeo

21 June 1918 - 28 April 1943

Date Decoration Note
??/??/41 Medaglia di bronzo al valor militare 1940-43

Vincenzo Graffeo was born on 21 June 1918 and was from Genova.

In July 1941, Sergente Maggiore Graffeo served in the the 367a Squadriglia, 151o Gruppo. This unit was equipped with Fiat CR.42s and operated in North Africa.

In the afternoon on 21 July 1941, Sergente Maggiore Vincenzo Graffeo of the 367a Squadriglia chased a lone Blenheim IV reconnaissance aircraft from 110 Squadron over Tripoli harbor and damaged it. The aircraft made it back to Malta despite the wounds suffered by its pilot, Sergeant L. Ware. Fellow crewman 27-year-old Sergeant William Henry Sargent (RAF no. 745120) died of his wounds the next day, but Sergeant R. Lofthouse was unhurt.

On 31 July, the 151o Gruppo's first operational tour in North Africa ended.

Once back in Italy, the 151o Gruppo was deployed to Treviso airfield, where it flew CR.42s and MC.200s.

At 08:30 on 28 April 1943, two 53o Stormo MC.202s were jumped 15 miles west-south-west of Egadi Island by 19 P-38s from the 82nd FG that were escorting 310th BG B-25s. Sottotenente Vincenzo Graffeo of the 367a Squadriglia, 151o Gruppo shot down a P-38, but he was in turn shot down and killed.
The 95th FS reported several Axis aircraft in the air claiming 6. Second Lieutenant James R. Gant claimed a 2-seat radial Italian fighter, Second Lieutenant Richard F. Kenney claimed a Bf 109 as did Captain T. H. McArthur, First Lieutenant C. D. Powell and Second Lieutenant Charles W. Price while Second Lieutenant Robert W. Muir claimed a MC.202. The loss of two Lightnings was later acknowledged by the 82nd FG, which reported that Second Lieutenants Howell B. Coates of the 96th FS and Ben C. Pyle of the 97th FS had been killed.

At the time of his death, Graffeo was credited with 1 damaged biplane victory and a total of 1.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  21/07/41 afternoon 1 Blenheim (a) Damaged Fiat CR.42   Tripoli harbour 367a Squadriglia
1 28/04/43 08:30 1 P-38 (b) Destroyed MC.202   15m WSW Egadi Island 367a Squadriglia

Biplane victories: 1 damaged.
TOTAL: 1 destroyed, 1 damaged.
(a) Blenheim from 110 Squadron damaged.
(b) Claimed in combat with P-38s from 82nd FG.

53o Stormo - Marco Mattioli, 2010 Osprey Publishing, Oxford, ISBN 978-1-84603-977-5
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
Elenco Nominativo dei Militari dell' A. M. Decorati al V. M. Durante it Periodo 1929 - 1945 1 Volume A - L
Royal Air Force Bomber Losses in the Middle East and Mediterranean, Volume 1: 1939-1942 - David Gunby and Pelham Temple, 2006 Midland Publishing, ISBN 1-85780-234-9
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
USAAF (Mediterranean Theater) Credits For The Destruction Of Enemy Aircraft In Air-To-Air Combat World War 2 - Frank Olynyk, 1987 Victory List No.6

Last modified 17 May 2023