Biplane fighter aces


Capitano Amedeo Guidi

29 September 1915 -

Date Decoration Note
??/??/41 Medaglia d’argento al valor militare 1940-43
??/??/40 Croce di guerra al valor militare (1st) O.M.S.
??/??/40 Croce di guerra al valor militare (2nd) 1940-43

Amedeo Guidi was born on 29 September 1915 and was from Bologna.

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

On 26 October 1939, he was commissioned (in Servizio Permanente Effettivo).

On the last day of August 1940, the 151o Gruppo C.T. (366a, 367a and 368a Squadriglie) was ordered to move in Libya with 30 CR.42s as a reinforcement for the attack against Sidi Barrani.
The unit under the command of Maggiore Carlo Calosso was one of the first equipped with CR.42s in 1939 and was based in Caselle Torinese near Turin, with sections and Squadriglie detached in different airbases of North Italy for local defence duties.
They departed Caselle Torinese in the morning of 6 September and at 18:20 on 8 September, the whole Gruppo landed in Tripoli Castel Benito.
The 366a Squadriglia formation was composed of ten aircraft: Capitano Bernardino Serafini (CO), Tenente Mario Ferrero (the Gruppo Adjutant), Sottotenente Guidi, Maresciallo Giulio Cesare, Sergente Maggiore Fiorenzo Milella, Sergente Maggiore Dino Carta, Sergente Maggiore Roberto Marchi, Sergente Maggiore Cesare Chiarmetta, Sergente Antonio Camerini, Sergente Eugenio Cicognani. Tenente Piero Veneziani and Maresciallo Giovanni Accorsi followed in the unit’s hack Caproni Ca.133 together with five ground personnel.
The formation of 367a Squadriglia comprised the Gruppo Commander Maggiore Carlo Calosso, the 368a Squadriglia’s pilot Sergente Piero Hosquet and nine other pilots for a total of eleven. Among them were Capitano Simeone Marsan (the CO), Tenente Irzio Bozzolan, Tenente Aldo Bonuti, Sergente Maggiore Gino Bogoni and Sergente Tolmino Zanarini. The Squadriglia’s other six pilots were Tenente Giuseppe Costantini, Maresciallo Bruno Castellani, Sergente Maggiore Rodolfo Benco, Sergente Maggiore Bruno Celotto, Sergente Renato Mingozzi and Sergente Maggiorino Soldati.
The 368a Squadriglia formation was composed of nine aircraft: Capitano Bruno Locatelli (CO), Tenente Giuseppe Zuffi, Sottotenente Furio Lauri, Sergente Maggiore Davide Colauzzi, Sergente Maggiore Annibale Ricotti, Sergente Maggiore Alvise Andrich, Sergente Stefano Fiore, Sergente Ottorino Ambrosi, Sergente Mario Turchi. Tenente Orfeo Paroli and Maresciallo Guido Paparatti followed in the Ca.133 of the Squadriglia (Paroli and Fiore were just transferred from 367a Squadriglia).
On 25 September the 151o Gruppo transferred from Benghazi to El Adem where it replaced the 9o Gruppo C.T.

At 06:30 on 24 November, Sottotenente Guidi took off from Amseat A3 to patrol over Bardia.
After twenty minutes, when at 3000 metres over the town he saw the AA of Bardia and Menastir firing. Looking in the direction of the AA fire, he discovered an enemy aircraft 1000 metres below and immediately attacked. The enemy plane, a short nosed Blenheim, started a shallow dive towards the sea, returning fire from the dorsal turret. Guidi followed it, firing for twenty minutes and after exhausting his ammunition (1200 rounds) turned back. The Blenheim was smoking heavily from the right engine and was claimed as a probable. Guidi landed at 07:20.
Sottotenente Guidi had been in combat with a Blenheim Mk.I from 55 Squadron. A machine from this unit took off at 05:00 and attacked Bardia from 10,000 feet at 06:25. Results of the attack were impossible to appreciate because immediately after the bomb release an Italian fighter believed to be a CR.32 with exceptional speed attacked the Blenheim. The fighter kept up with the Blenheim for 30 minutes, once passing it and allowing the British pilot to get in a frontal gun attack. Other separate attacks were carried out from astern and lasted two minutes each. Then the Italian pilot waggled his wings and broke away. The Blenheim (L8531 flown by Flying Officer K. H. E. Ellis or perhaps L8514 flown by Sergeant E. P. Vignaux) landed at 07:40 and was slightly damaged without suffering any casualties. The Italian opponent was believed damaged by return fire.

At 09:00 on 9 December, two Blenheims were spotted over Amseat. Capitano Bernardino Serafini, Sottotenente Guidi, Sergente Maggiore Cesare Chiarmetta and Sergente Maggiore Roberto Marchi of the 366a Squadriglia scrambled immediately but the bombers were able to release their bomb on Sollum ridge, which however didn’t cause any damage.
While Chiarmetta and Marchi were pursuing the enemies, a British fighter (identified as a Spitfire) attacked from out of the clouds. The Italian pilots were able to evade and counterattack but the monoplane escaped into clouds after that Chiarmetta had fired a burst of 87 rounds after it. Sottotenente Guidi, who was following the combat from a higher altitude, started in pursuit of the enemy fighter and when the two aircraft were over British territory, south-east of Sidi Barrani, the British fighter turned around and attacked the Fiat CR.42 head-on from a higher altitude. Guidi was able to out-manoeuvre his opponent and hit it with a burst of fire from short distance, seeing the enemy fighter falling down, heavily smoking.
Guidi returned to base at 09:50, claiming a Spitfire shot down.

At 10:50 on 9 December, a formation of six CR.42s from the 366a Squadriglia (Capitano Bernardino Serafini, Tenente Piero Veneziani, Sottotenente Guidi, Maresciallo Giovanni Accorsi, Sergente Maggiore Roberto Marchi and Sergente Eugenio Cicognani) was ordered to attack enemy vehicles in the area between Bir Enba and Buq-Buq.
Over the target, Capitano Bernardino Serafini dived down and attacked, followed by the other five Fiats in line astern. All made six low-level filing passes and the pilots claimed an armoured car in flames and thirty other vehicles damaged. AA fire was reported as ineffective and they landed at 11:55.

At 14:55 on 11 December, the 151o Gruppo was out again to escort Ba.65s bound to attack British troops south of Buq-Buq.
One formation from the 366a Squadriglia included nine CR.42s (Capitano Bernardino Serafini, Tenente Guglielmo Chiarini, Sottotenente Guidi, Sergente Maggiore Dino Carta, Sergente Maggiore Fiorenzo Milella, Sergente Maggiore Roberto Marchi, Sergente Rosario Di Carlo, Sergente Antonio Camerini and Segente Eugenio Cicognani). Twenty-five minutes before this formation, the 367a Squadriglia (Capitano Simeone Marsan, Capitano Giuseppe Costantini, Sergente Maggiore Rodolfo Benco, Sergente Maggiore Bruno Celotto and Sergente Tolmino Zanarini) had taken off from A3 together with the 368a Squadriglia (Capitano Bruno Locatelli, Sergente Maggiore Davide Colauzzi, Sergente Stefano Fiore, Sottotenente Furio Lauri and Sergente Ernesto De Bellis), for the same type of mission. It seems that one of the formations escorted Ba.65/A80s from the 159a Squadriglia, 12o Gruppo, while the other escorted Ba.65/K14s from the 168a Squadriglia, 16o Gruppo.
The Bredas from the 159a Squadriglia (Tenente Adriano Visconti, Maresciallo Enio Sagliaschi, Sergente Maggiore Paolo Perno and Sergente Maggiore Pietro Scaramucci) were surprised by a bombing attack by reportedly twelve British aircraft while taxiing before take off at A3. The four pilots after a brief consultation decided to remain inside their aircraft and wait for the end of the bombardment and then took off, avoiding the holes in the runway. For this reason they received a written commendation from Colonnello Moresco together with their colleagues from the 16o Gruppo for their activity on 9-11 December. The attacking aircraft were eight Blenheims Mk.IVs from 55 Squadron led by Squadron Leader Dudgeon (T1995) that arrived over their intended target “a landing ground on the Capuzzo-Bardia road” (obviously Amseat) at 15:00. Weather was very poor and bombs were dropped from 10,000 feet through cloud (6/10 at 7000 feet). Results were difficult to appreciate due to the bad visibility but a fire was seen burning on ground with a long flame of black smoke. While the Blenheims were making out to sea, a reportedly twelve CR.42s were seen climbing below clouds and following the Blenheim formation although they didn’t catch up with it.
Visconti’s four Ba.65s finished the mission attacking the enemy near Buq-Buq and then returned directly to T2 since A3 had to be evacuated. They were all damaged by AA fire.
While the 366a Squadriglia was climbing over A3, a lone British monoplane came out of the clouds and attacked the last CR.42 in the formation, flown by Sergente Cicognani. The young Sergente was wounded in the leg, in the right arm and in the head and had to bale out. He was immediately taken to Bardia hospital but his arm couldn’t be saved and it was amputated. Later in the campaign, the 151o Gruppo put a rhomboidal badge on the fin of its CR.42s representing an iron arm drawing a bow made of a naked girl stretching her back, to commemorate Cicognani.
In the meantime, over Bardia, the other CR.42s of the formation were reacting with Sottotenente Guidi and Sergente Maggiore Carta starting in pursuit of the now fleeing Hurricane. After a brief period, Carta abandoned the chase because he was being distanced by the Hurricane but Guidi stubbornly continued. Bernardino Serafini and his men completed the escort and strafed enemy troops after the Breda’s attack.
Some miles away the Bredas escorted by the 367a and 368a Squadriglie had finished their attack. While the 367a Squadriglia returned directly to T2, two CR.42s from the 368a Squadriglia (Locatelli and Colauzzi) went down to finished the work and destroyed three trucks. While still at low altitude, they were attacked by a lone Hurricane but in a matter of minutes, they were able to turn the tables against their opponent with the help from Sottotenente Guidi, who was already following it and finally shot it down in flames. In the meantime, another Hurricane appeared and Sottotenente Lauri after being heavily damaged by it, succeeded in shooting it down (using 180 rounds of 12,7mm and 300 rounds of 7,7mm ammunition).
It seems that Locatelli, Colauzzi and Guidi had shot down Flying Officer Charles ‘Deadstick’ Dyson DFC (Hurricane P3726) from 33 Squadron. Dyson returned safely six days later with an amazing story. He later retold the ”Egyptian Mail” that while returning from a lone patrol to base at Mersa Matruh, in Egypt:

“I was alone, 12,000 feet up, between Bardia and Sollum, when I saw a flight of six Bread 65s.
I was going to attack the last three when, coming through the clouds, I saw two CR 42s in front of me and three more lower down. They were stepped up, escorting the Bredas. I at once attacked the two CR42s, giving each a burst, and both pilots, turning their aircraft on their backs, “baled out”.
I had dived to the attack and I carried on to the next three. With two bursts I got the leader and the starboard aircraft and each pilot “baled out”. Three of the four aircraft had long trails of smoke coming from them when their pilots jumped. For a moment I lost sight of the last of the three CRs but when I rolled off the top of a loop, I saw him a considerable distance bellow me, and travelling in the same direction as myself.
I dived at him and gave him a long burst. He too “baled out” – the fifth off the reel.”
As soon as he had disposed of his victim, he was attacked by three more CR.42s.
“I put everything forward and touched 400 miles an hour, and I got away. My dive brought me down to 3,000 feet and I was over Sollum Bay. There I saw two more CRs making their way homeward. The leader saw me manoeuvring and the parted. Both the leader and I stall-turned and we faced each other head on. I don’t think he had much ammunition left as I saw only small bursts of incendiaries pass me. I held my burst to a very short distance and just managed to clear him. Turning back I saw him going down vertically. I then managed to get a quick burst at the other enemy aircraft and I believe my bullets went into him.”
Deciding to call it a day, Dyson started for his base but was attacked by three more CR.42s, who got on his tail. Then he realised that his glycol tank was pierced. The glycol poured into the cockpit.
“I opened the hood and hung my head outside. I carried on, still pursued, hoping that my aircraft would not catch fire. I did not know whether I was over enemy or friendly territory. Suddenly we were fired upon from the ground and I believe this saved me, for my pursuers broke off. Owing to the smoke and fumes I had been flying blind for three or four minutes, but I managed to put my aircraft down in a cross wind.”
British troops in reconnaissance trucks appeared and he spent the night as the guest of a Brigadier General. The next day, from Tummar, where there was a big concentration of Italian prisoners, he led a convoy of Italians across the desert, using only a small field compass. The truck on which he was riding passed over a land-mine, without harm, but a car following immediately behind, blew up. When he returned to his Squadron on 17 December, he claimed six CR.42s and probably a seventh (not confirmed). This claim was at first treated with some scepticism, but the Army, which had witnessed the whole fight, more than confirmed his claim. Unseen by him, one of the falling CR.42s crashed into a Ba.65, bringing this down too, a total of seven confirmed in one sortie – a record that was never to be broken in the RAF. The Army also reported that three Italian pilots were taken to 64 General Hospital in Cairo, were by coincidence, Dyson’s wife worked as a nurse! For this performance, Dyson was awarded a Bar to his DFC, which he had won in Palestine in 1938.
Even if the Italian records for the day aren’t totally complete (in particular those of the 9o Gruppo), those of the 151o Gruppo are not only complete but also among the best kept and permit to reconstruct with a fair degree of certainty Dyson’s action, giving also the hour and place of the engagement: around 14:55 over A3 or somewhere east of Amseat. In particular some details (the lone British monoplane coming out of a cloud and attacking from aster the 366a Squadriglia formation) are in good accordance with the British description. Even if in this way six out of seven of Dyson’s claims have to be rejected this, should not result in a general discredit on accuracy of RAF claims (that remained fairly precise along all the campaign, particularly those of the Hurricanes) nor on Dyson himself, because he remains however a pilot brave enough to attack single handed nine (not only six) enemy planes and, while retreating from this attack, bold enough to try to attack two more found on his path. The first swift attack could have left him with the impression of having hit all the six CR.42s he was able to aim at (instead of only that of Cicognani), while the subsequent fast escape shouldn’t have left him with sufficient time to properly check the result of his attack. In this way, the only mistake of Dyson was to have claimed six destroyed instead of six probables or damaged.
It is possible that the Hurricane, which damaged Lauri’s fighter was the one flown by Pilot Officer Ernest Mason of 274 Squadron Pilot Officer Ernest Mason of 274 Squadron since at 14:45, ten Hurricanes from 274 Squadron took off to patrol the Barrani area. Involved pilots were Flying Officer Greenhill (Hurricane N2627), Lieutenant Talbot (P2652), Pilot Officer Garland (P2651), Pilot Officer Strange (P5176), Squadron Leader Patrick Dunn (P3723), Flying Officer Patterson (P3720), Flight Lieutenant Lapsley (V 7293), Flight Lieutenant Peter Wykeham-Barnes (V7300), Pilot Officer Mason (P 3722) and Pilot Officer Godden (N2624).
At 15:40, near Sollum, Mason claimed a CR.42. In his combat report, he wrote that he part of a three aircraft formation, which at 15,000 feet over Sollum discovered to the port side and 8 miles away a low flying CR.42 going towards Libya. Mason closed unobserved on his victim and delivered an astern attack from very close range.
“The enemy turned over and dived down and then pulled up into cloud. Followed and fired a/c [unreadable] and then flamed. Aircraft seen going down by P/O Godden who was behind me. No damage to own aircraft. Pilot of C.R. 42 showed little or no air nerve (verve) in that he allowed me to approach unobserved on a long chase.”
He later detailed the victory in a letter to his parents:
“…late in the afternoon three of us were on patrol when I saw a speck on the horizon going towards Libya. I chased after it, the other two following, and eventually saw it was a lone CR 42 making for home (probably after ground strafing our own troops). I chased behind him without him noticing me and waited until I was right behind him at point blank range and put a burst into him. The other two saw him going down burning”.
The identity of this fighter remains unknown even if at the hour and in the place recorded by Mason makes it probable that the fighter was from the 151o Gruppo, which was operating in the area at the same time.

At 08:10 on 14 December, a formation from the 151o Gruppo took off from Tobruk T2 for a free sweep in the Sollum area. Participating pilots were Tenente Guglielmo Chiarini, Sottotenente Guidi, Maresciallo Giovanni Accorsi and Sergente Rosario Di Carlo (in the only four combat ready CR.42s of the 366a Squadriglia), Capitano Giuseppe Costantini, Tenente Aldo Bonuti and Sergente Maggiore Bruno Celotto (367a Squadriglia), Capitano Bruno Locatelli, Tenente Giuseppe Zuffi, Maresciallo Guido Paparatti and Sergente Piero Hosquet (368a Squadriglia).
The formation was climbing in direction towards Bardia when, slightly lower, a formation of reportedly nine Bristol Blenheims was discovered heading for Bardia. The British bombers were immediately attacked. One of them was hit by the precise fire of Sottotenente Guidi and fell in flames. Another bomber was shot down immediately after (possibly credited as a shared) and all the other bombers, which in the meantime had released their bomb load in the sea, were damaged. Then a long pursuit started with another bomber claimed as probable (possibly another shared). Tenente Chiarini followed three bombers 100 km out over open sea, expending all his ammunition on the left side bomber before returning to base. Sergente Di Carlo, while returning to base, discovered and strafed a group of armoured cars, claiming three in flames.
While returning after the pursuit, Sottotenente Guidi discovered another formation of nine Blenheims and attacked, claiming one in flames and another damaged with the little remaining ammunitions. Tenente Zuffi also discovered this formation (reported as seven strong) but was unable to engage.
The CR.42s were back at 10:00, claiming three Blenheims, one probable and many damaged (plus three armoured cars in flames). The 366a Squadriglia’s pilots had expended 2411 rounds of ammunition. Capitano Locatelli used 200 12,7mm and 350 7,7mm rounds, Tenente Zuffi used 200 12,7mm and 325 7,7mm, Maresciallo Paparatti used 240 12,7mm and 150 7,7mm and Sergente Hosquet 50 12,7mm rounds.
The Italian fighters had met eight Blenheim Mk.IVs from 55 Squadron together with one from 11 Squadron, which had taken off from Fuka for a daylight attack on Bardia at 08:55.
Over Bardia they were attacked by a reportedly 50 (!) CR.42s. 55 Squadron had usually been successful in its encounters with the CR.42s, chiefly because of the use of clever hit-and-run tactics and a good flight discipline in case of attack of the Italian biplanes, but this time things went differently. Owing to poor visibility, a number of CR.42s commenced their unwelcome attentions before the Squadron could assume battle formation. One of the fighters made an unsuccessful head on attack on the leading machine of No.3 flight (Flying Officer Ellis in Blenheim T1872), while the gunner’s attention was directed to eleven other Fiats attacking from astern, resulting in the loss of the starboard airscrew and other damage. The Italian fighters destroyed T1872 beyond repair but the crew (Flying Officer K. Ellis DFC, Sergeant I. Brownrigg and Sergeant J. Perkins) survived unhurt. One of the enemy relaxing from an attack on the leading flight, in which Flying Officer Potter sustained damage on the starboard engine of his aircraft (Blenheim T2113), went down in flames after a burst from the rear gunner of a machine of No.3 Flight. Two aircraft of No.3 Flight were able to assume formation on the two remaining machines of the leading flight after a hurried run-up on a last minute objective. The results were unobserved as were those of the other bombs, which were jettisoned over the town. No.2 Flight took independent evasive action, and Pilot Officer Blignaut was later forced to land his aircraft (possibly T2049) at Bir El Rahman Itmah, south of Matruh, due to holed petrol tanks. Blenheim L8395 (a Mk.I) flown by Sergeant Bailey of 11 Squadron was badly hit and with the port engine out of action it belly-landed at Derawla, near Ma’aten Bagush (the aircraft was damaged beyond repair and Struck off Charge on 6 January 1941). Blenheim L8790 was seen to dive into the sea killing the crew; pilot 25-year-old Flying Officer Millin Selby Singleton (RAF no. 41482), observer 30-year-old Sergeant Eric Percy Chapman (RAF no. 747802) and gunner 21-year-old Sergeant Bernard Joseph Fox (RAF no. 544933).
Three Italian fighters were claimed shot down (one unconfirmed) by the gunners on the Blenheims. AA fire of indifferent quality was also encountered over the target at 14,000 feet. With such odds, it is scarcely surprising that one aircraft only remained unscathed when after 20 minutes running fight the enemy broke away. Holes from fifty bullets were later counted in one aircraft, one of which apparently explosive, expanded itself on the pilot’s armour, others had been deflected by that of the rear gunner. Several of the bombers were indeed damaged as reported I.S.O. Playfair :

[During Compass casualties to aircraft were relatively light] but the rate of unserviceability was very high, due to the intensity of the air operations, to the climatic conditions of the desert, and to enemy’s use of explosive bullets. For example, during an attack on Bardia on December the 14th, nine Blenheims of No 55 Squadron encountered a patrol of some 50 enemy fighters and, although only one aircraft was lost [in fact they were three], no less than seven were severely damaged by these explosive bullets.”

Starting from 09:00 on 19 December, nine Hurricanes from 274 Squadron took off with fifteen minutes intervals during the morning. Then at least seven others took off for a second mission, this time taking off with 25 minutes intervals. Although explicitly ordered to keep clear of fighters they engaged CR.42s on two separate occasions during the day.
Second Lieutenant Talbot (P3721) claimed a confirmed victory over a CR.42. He was flying at 17,000 feet, 30 miles west of Bardia (Great Gambut) when at 13:05 he discovered two formations of six CR.42s stepped up to right and flying one mile to starboard. He approached unobserved and attacked a straggler of the formation. He reported:

“attacked by remainder of formation. 1 CR 42 spiralled down after attack and was later seen burning on the ground by Flying Officer Greenhill. CR 42s where on offensive patrol not escorting bombers.”
Flying Officer Greenhill (P3822) reported the height of the Fiats (around 15,000 feet) and added:
“the CR 42s were 11 or 12 in a bunch (no formation). I delivered an attack from astern and the enemy immediately attacked, 1 CR 42 was badly damaged (probably shot down), 6 holes in own aircraft through main spar. Enemy a/c on offensive patrol showing determination. Holes in own aircraft about 303 size (1 e/a seen burning after engagement by 2nd Lieutenant Talbot).”
They had met a formation from the 151o Gruppo, back in action after many days, out for an armed reconnaissance and to strafe targets of opportunity. The formation included four fighters from the 366a Squadriglia (Tenente Guglielmo Chiarini, Sottotenente Guidi, Maresciallo Giulio Cesare and Sergente Maggiore Roberto Marchi), four from the 367a Squadriglia (Capitano Simeone Marsan (leading the sortie), Capitano Giuseppe Costantini, Sergente Maggiore Renato Mingozzi, and Sergente Tolmino Zanarini), three from the 368a Squadriglia (Capitano Bruno Locatelli, Sergente Maggiore Davide Colauzzi and Sergente Maggiore Annibale Ricotti) and a single fighter from the 70a Squadriglia (Tenente Gino Battaggion), which had taken off from N1 at 12:15. At 4,000 meters, south of Sidi Azeiz, six-seven British monoplanes (described as Spitfires and Hurricanes) attacked with height advantage. The Italian pilots reacted but many pilots (in particular those of the 366a Squadriglia) were unable to fire their guns because of stoppages caused by the insufficient maintenance of the previous days. Capitano Locatelli used 55 12,7mm and 90 7,7mm rounds of ammunition on two Hurricanes and in the end one fighter was claimed as probable and two-three shared damaged by the whole formation. The formation landed at Z1 at 14:15 and no losses were suffered but Fiat CR.42 MM4325 piloted by Sergente Maggiore Ricotti was damaged and landed unserviceable, having the tanks holed (in fact it was so badly damaged that it was written-off). Three more CR.42s were lightly damaged including Tenente Battaggion’s who claimed a damaged Hurricane in return. The 366a Squadriglia didn’t suffered combat damages but three out of four of its planes once on land were found u/s, two of them for excessive oil consumption and the other for the broken propeller speed regulator.

At 10:55 on 5 February 1941, Tenente Carugno of the 217a Squadriglia took off from Agedabia to check the situation in Giarabub. Soon after take off a huge column of British motor transports was discovered in Antelat and ground strafed. When the SM 79 was leaving the scene, some Fiats were seen to join the action and start to strafe the same column. The S79 was back at 11:35 aborting its mission over Giarabub.
The Fiats were four 366a Squadriglia machines piloted by Tenente Mario Ferrero, Sottotenente Guidi, Sergente Antonio Camerini and Sergente Imberti and three 367a Squadriglia machines piloted by Tenente Ceccotti, Sergente Ugo Fraternali and Sergente Stefano Fiore. They reported the attack against a hundred mechanized and armoured vehicles when they landed back at 12:00.

He was promoted to Tenente on 27 March 1941.

On 2 May 1941, a pair of CR.42s from the 366a Squadriglia flown by Tenente Guidi and Sergente Arturo Imberti were involved in combat with three Blenheims. Sergente Imberti claimed a Blenheim while Tenente Guidi claimed a damaged.
It is possible that they had been involved in combat with Blenheims from 55 Squadron, which reported L8398 as struck off charge due to unknown reasons.

On 31 July 1941, 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.

After a short spell in Sardinia, the unit was ordered back to Africa on 18 November 1941, reaching Agedabia airfield on 25 November.

Nine CR.42s of the 151o Gruppo (four from the 366a Squadriglia and five of the 367a Squadriglia) took off from Agedabia at 15:15 on 26 November to escort CR.42 fighter bombers of the 160o Gruppo that were to attack the enemy’s motorised troop transports near the Oasis of Augila (Gialo area). One the CR.42s of the 160o Gruppo had reached the target, they dropped their bombs and went down to strafe the enemy vehicles.
Two 33 Squadron Hurricanes patrolling the area spotted the fighter bombers. Pilot Officer D. S. F. 'Bill' Winsland dived down for an attack but was immediately intercepted and shot down by the patrol from the 366a Squadriglia. The Hurricane went down in flames while Winsland (a veteran of the fighting in Greece and the Desert) parachuted. Flying Officer Clostre was also attacked and forced to abort his attack.
The Italian pilots thought that they had shot down both Hurricanes and were thus credited with both; the first was credited to Capitano Bernardino Serafini and Sergente Maggiore Antonio Camerini and the second to Tenente Guidi and Maresciallo Paolo Montanari. 250 rounds had been fired.
The pilots of the 367a Squadriglia didn’t intervene in view of the small numbers of attackers and the quick resolution of the clash.
Pilot Officer Winsland returned to base the following day with a Blenheim from El Eng.
Winsland’s aircraft may well have been the last Hurricane Mk.I to be shot down by a CR.42. Victor and vanquished were reunited in 1984, due to the efforts of British air historian and writer Brian Cull and Italian air historian Nicola Malizia, and Serafini and Winsland have remained firm friends ever since.

Guidi claimed one more victory before the Armistice in September 1943.

In April 1943, Tenente Guidi took command of the 366a Squadriglia, 151o Gruppo, after that Capitano Enrico Londei had become missing in action after a shipping escort on 31 March.
Tenente Guidi commanded the unit until the end of the war in September 1943.

After the Armistice, Capitano Guidi enrolled the Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana.

On 31 January 1944, he took command of the 2a Squadriglia of the Io Gruppo Caccia.

He claimed a P-47 at 8000 meters height around 12:00 on 11 March 1944 between Padua-Venezia.

Following five consecutive days of bad weather 600+ B-17s and B-24s attacked targets in northern Italy on 22 June 1944. The B-17s hit marshalling yards at Fornova di Taro, Modena and Parma while the B-24s hit six marshalling yards and two bridges in Italy, an automobile factory at Turin and an automobile depot at Chivasso. Escorting USAAF fighters flew 250+ sorties in support of the missions.
At noon, 1oand 2o Gruppi together with JG77 attacked 400 B-24s and 60 P-38s in the Bologna-Ferrara area. Four P-38s were sighted by 2a Squadriglia’s MC.205s while climbing to reach the Italians. Despite Capitano Guidi’s order to wait, Sergente Spartaco Petrignani, with Maresciallo Guido Fibbia close behind, dived and got on the tail of Lieutenant Tolmie (of the 97th FS, 82nd FG). At first his tracers fell between the P-38’s tail booms, but he tightened his turn and was beginning to score hits when he saw another American sitting on his tail. A sharp split-S followed by a vertical dive got Petrignani out of trouble just as Fibbia was announcing over the R/T that the first P-38 had exploded.
1o Gruppo claimed two of the escort shot down (claimed at 9500 meters altitude east of Modena at 12:10 by Fibbia and Capitano Guidi) and two probables, but in fact only Tolmie was missing.
Feldwebel Ullrich from 6./JG 77 claimed one B-24 at 11:40 south of Cesana while Feldwebel Staroste of 2./JG 77 claimed a B-17.
USAAF fighters claimed one probable MC.202 by First Lieutenant Merrill Adelson of 96th FS, one damaged Bf 109 by Lieutenant Richard Willsie of 96th FS and a damaged MC.202 by Lieutenant Rosier of 82nd FG. The claims were made between 11:45-12:00 south south-west of Ferrara.

Amedeo Guidi ended the war with 3 biplane victories and a total of 6.

Guidi continued to serve in the Air Force after the war.

Between 12 April 1965 and 11 September 1966, Colonnello Guidi served as commander of the 51o Gruppo.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  24/11/40 06:30-07:20 1 Blenheim (a) Probable Fiat CR.42   Bardia area 366a Squadriglia
1 09/12/40 09:00-09:50 1 ’Spitfire’ Destroyed Fiat CR.42   SE Sidi El Barrani 366a Squadriglia
  11/12/40 14:55- 1/3 Hurricane (b) Shared destroyed Fiat CR.42   Bardia area 366a Squadriglia
2 14/12/40 08:10-10:00 1 Blenheim (c) Destroyed Fiat CR.42   Bardia area 366a Squadriglia
3 14/12/40 08:10-10:00 1 Blenheim (c) Destroyed Fiat CR.42   Bardia area 366a Squadriglia
  14/12/40 08:10-10:00 1 Blenheim (c) Damaged Fiat CR.42   Bardia area 366a Squadriglia
  14/12/40 08:10-10:00 1/11 Blenheim (c) Shared destroyed Fiat CR.42   Bardia area 366a Squadriglia
  14/12/40 08:10-10:00 1/11 Blenheim (c) Shared probable Fiat CR.42   Bardia area 366a Squadriglia
  19/12/40 12:15-14:15 1/11 Hurricane (d) Shared probable Fiat CR.42   S Sidi Azeiz 366a Squadriglia
  19/12/40 12:15-14:15 1/11 Hurricane (d) Shared damaged Fiat CR.42   S Sidi Azeiz 366a Squadriglia
  19/12/40 12:15-14:15 1/11 Hurricane (d) Shared damaged Fiat CR.42   S Sidi Azeiz 366a Squadriglia
  02/05/41   1 Blenheim (e) Damaged Fiat CR.42   North Africa 366a Squadriglia
  26/11/41 15:15- 1/2 Hurricane (f) Shared destroyed Fiat CR.42   Augila area 366a Squadriglia
5 11/03/44 12:00 1 P-47 Destroyed     Padua-Venezia 2a Squadriglia
6 22/06/44 12:10 1 P-38 (g) Destroyed MC.205   E Modena 2a Squadriglia

Biplane victories: 3 and 3 shared destroyed, 1and 2 shared probable, 2 and 2 shared damaged.
TOTAL: 6 and 3 shared destroyed, 1 and 2 shared probable, 2 and 2 shared damaged.
(a) Claimed in combat with a Blenheim from 55 Squadron, which returned slightly damaged.
(b) Probably Flying Officer Charles ‘Deadstick’ Dyson DFC from 33 Squadron shot down. Dyson made an emergency landing and returned to his unit safe.
(c) Claimed in combat with Blenheims from 55 and 11 Squadrons. 151o Gruppo claimed three, one probable and many damaged Blenheims (plus three armoured cars in flames) without losses. 2 Blenheim from 55 Squadron was lost and 2 damaged while 11 Squadron lost 1 Blenheim. The RAF bombers claimed 2 and 1 probable CR.42s shot down.
(d) Claimed in combat with Hurricanes from 274 Squadron, which claimed 1 and 1 probable CR.42 without losses. 151o Gruppo claimed 1 probable and 2 damaged Hurricanes while suffering 1 badly damaged CR.42 and 2 lightly damaged. The 70a Squadriglia claimed 1 damaged Hurricane while suffering 1 damaged CR.42.
(e) Possibly claimed in combat with Blenheims from 55 Squadron, which reported L8398 as struck off charge due to unknown reasons.
(f) Claimed in combat with 2 Hurricanes from 33 Squadron of which 1 was shot down. 366a Squadriglia claimed 2 shot down.
(g) Claimed in combat with P-38s from 82nd FG, which lost one P-38 (Lieutenant Tolmie, 97th FS, MIA) while claiming one probable enemy fighter and two damaged. 2a Squadriglia claimed at least two P-38s without losses.

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
Air War Italy 1944-45 - Nick Beale, Ferdinando D'Amico and Gabriele Valentini, 1996 Airlife Publishing, Shrewbury, ISBN 1-85310-252-0
Annuario Ufficiale Delle Forze Armate Del Regno D’Italia Anno 1943. Part III Regia Aeronautica – 1943 Istituto Poligrafico Dello Stato, Roma
Desert Prelude: Early clashes June-November 1940 - Håkan Gustavsson and Ludovico Slongo, 2010 MMP books, ISBN 978-83-89450-52-4
Desert Prelude: Operation Compass - Håkan Gustavsson and Ludovico Slongo, 2011 MMP books, ISBN 978-83-61421-18-4
Diario Storico 366a Squadriglia kindly provided by Ludovico Slongo.
Elenco Nominativo dei Militari dell’ A. M. Decorati al V. M. Durante it Periodo 1929 - 1945 1 Volume A - L
Fighters over the Desert - Christopher Shores and Hans Ring, 1969 Neville Spearman Limited, London
Hurricanes over Tobruk - Brian Cull with Don Minterne, 1999 Grub Street, London, ISBN 1-902304-11-X
Italian Aces of World War 2 - Giovanni Massimello and Giorgio Apostolo, 2000 Osprey Publishing, Oxford, ISBN 1-84176-078-1
La Battaglie Aeree In Africa Settentrionale: Novembre-Dicembre 1941 – Michele Palermo, IBN, ISBN 88-7565-102-7
Luftwaffe Claims Lists - Tony Wood
Quelli del Gatto Nero - I 60 anni del 51o Stormo 1939-1999 - Nicola Malizia, 1998, Rimini
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
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
Additional information kindly provided by Ludovico Slongo.

Last modified 08 May 2023