Biplane fighter aces

Italy

Tenente Italo Marchi

27 September 1915 - 23 June 1942

Italo Marchi was born on 27 September 1915 in Milan.

In June 1942, Tenente Italo Marchi served in the 355a Squadriglia on Sardinia. This unit was at the time equipped with Fiat G.50s and CR.42s. The biplanes were used for convoy escort duties and long rang escorts of S.79 and S.84 torpedo-bombers.

During Operation “Harpoon” between 12 to 17 June 1942 a British convoy sailed from Gibraltar with supplies for Malta. This convoy was heavily escorted by British Naval units including two carriers – HMS Eagle and HMS Argus.
The convoy became heavily attacked by German and Italian air and sea units including 24o Gruppo C.T.
At 10.20 on 14 June 19 CR.42s from 24o Gruppo C.T. took off from Sardinia together with MC.200s from 7o and 16o Gruppi to escort Italian bombers attacking the convoy for the second time of the day.
Over the convoy the escort became involved in combat with British carrier based fighters and Sottotenente Giorgio Moretti claimed one Hurricane while Tenente Marchi and Sergente Renato Casalini claimed a shared. Marchi and Casalini was also credited with a shared probable. Sergente Maggiore Ferruccio Corti and Sergente Angelo Rizzardo were also credited with one probable each.
The Italian fighter totally claimed three Hurricanes destroyed and three probables and one Defiant (probably a Fulmar) while the bombers claimed 14 Hurricanes shot down and six probables! It seems that two Fulmars from 807 Squadron was lost and one Sea Hurricane from 801 Squadron was lost and one was damaged.
The cruiser HMS Liverpool were damaged and the Dutch freighter Tanimbar was sunk during the attack.
807 Squadron claimed two S.79s while 801 Squadron claimed one S.79 shot down, one probable and four damaged. They also claimed two MC.200s and one CR.42 (MM7594). AA fire on the ships claimed five bombers. It seems that two MC.200s, one CR.42, two S.79, six S.84s and one Z.1007bis were lost while three S.79s were damaged.

It seems that Marchi was killed (unknown cause) on 23 June 1942.

At the time of his death, Marchi was credited with 1 shared victory, this one being claimed while flying Fiat CR.42s.

Claims:
Kill no. Date Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  1942              
  14/06/42 ˝ Hurricane (a) Shared destroyed Fiat CR.42   off Sardinia 355a Squadriglia
  14/06/42 ˝ Hurricane (a) Shared probable Fiat CR.42   off Sardinia 355a Squadriglia

Biplane victories: 1 shared destroyed, 1 shared probable.
TOTAL: 1 shared destroyed, 1 shared probable.
(a) In this combat the Italian fighter totally claimed three Hurricanes destroyed and three probables and one Defiant (probably a Fulmar) while the bombers claimed 14 Hurricanes shot down and six probables! It seems that two Fulmars from 807 Squadron was lost and one Sea Hurricane from 801 Squadron was lost and one was damaged.

Sources:
Ministero della Difesa - Banca Dati sulle sepolture dei Caduti in Guerra
Courage Alone - Chris Dunning, 1998 Hikoki Publications, Aldershot, ISBN 1-902109-02-3
Malta: The Spitfire Year 1942 - Christopher Shores and Brian Cull with Nicola Malizia, 1991 Grub Street, London, ISBN 0-948817-16-X




Last modified 06 December 2010