Biplane fighter aces


Tenente Aldo Marchetti

Date Decoration Note
??/??/41 Medaglia d’argento al valor militare 1940-43
??/??/42 Medaglia di bronzo al valor militare 1940-43
??/??/41 Croce di guerra al valor militare 1940-43

Aldo Marchetti was from Pietrasanta (Lucca).

In July 1941, Tenente Aldo Marchetti served in the 376a Squadriglia Autonomo, which was equipped with Fiat CR.42s and based at Castelbenito in Libya.

On 13 July, he claimed two Blenheims shot down over Tripoli.
No corresponding RAF losses have been found.

In November, in the 376a Squadriglia was based at Derna.

Between 15:35-17:05 on 21 November 1941, Tomahawks from 112 Squadron patrolled near El Adem when two CR.42s from 376a Squadriglia were encountered at a height of 500ft as the British fighters were returning to their base. One was shot down by Sergeant Rudolf Leu (AK509) and the other was despatched after a chase by three of the unit’s pilots; Sergeant Kenneth Carson (AK436), Pilot Officer Neville Duke (AK402/F) and Pilot Officer R. J. D. Jefferies (AK541). Pilot Officer Duke recorded:

“Encountered two Fiat CR.42s south of El Adem. Attacked same with Plt Off ‘Butch’ Jefferies and Sgt Carson. Did three attacks on one which was flying at about 500 ft. He did a few turns and then went to land. Turned over, after running a few yards, onto his back and the pilot was out like a shot. Butch and Carson started to shoot the poor devil up but I couldn’t do it, so I set the machine on fire.
I went down to look at the pilot who was running with his hands up. His face was full of fear and the next time I saw him he was lying on the ground. There was no need to murder the poor devil as our troops were coming up, and as we came back from patrol we came over the crash and the army had his parachute in pieces.”
The Italian fighters were CR.42s MM5036 and MM7942 flown by Tenente Marchetti and Sergente Luigi Bagato, who both survived the encounter to became POWs

Marchetti ended the war with two biplane victories.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 13/07/41   1 Blenheim (a) Destroyed Fiat CR.42   Tripoli 376a Squadriglia
2 13/07/41   1 Blenheim (a) Destroyed Fiat CR.42   Tripoli 376a Squadriglia

Biplane victories: 2 destroyed.
TOTAL: 2 destroyed.
(a) Not verified with RAF records.

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 2 Volume M - Z
Shark Squadron - The history of 112 Squadron 1917-1975 - Robin Brown, 1994 Crécy Books, ISBN 0-947554-33-5

Last modified 13 January 2023