Biplane fighter aces


Sottotenente Armando Marini

In May 1942, Marini belonged to 391a Squadriglia of 159o Gruppo, 50o Stormo Assalto, which was equipped with Fiat CR.42s.

On 20 May, the unit transferred from Aviano to Ciampino Sud. While landing here Marini damaged CR.42 MM8860 and had to remain there until two days later when he on 22 May made a fifteen minutes long test flight to 1000 meters altitude with CR.42 MM8891.

The unit reached North Africa in the end of May 1942.

On 14 June four CR.42s (Tenente Vodret, Maresciallo Scarpa, Sergente Maggiore Della Valle, Sottotenente Marini) attacks motor vehicles in the Acroma - El Gazala area meeting weak light anti-aircraft fire. Mariniís aircraft is however hit and damaged but he manages to return to base.

At 10:10 on 5 July five CR.42s from the unit attacks motor vehicles in the Gebel Kalakh area.
Marini in MM8891 became lost and was forced to make an emergency landing with a damaged engine. Fortunately this one was made behind Italian lines and he returned on foot.

On 10 July the Squadriglia was down to one operational CR.42 (MM5046). Two more were borrowed from 389a and 390a Squadriglie for a sortie during the day. The sortie was flown by Sottotenete Marini (MM5046), Sottotenente Jadanza and Sergente Rivalta and the target was motor vehicles east of El Alamein.
During the mission they became engaged by British fighters and in the combat Jadanza claims one P-40, one probable and one shared damaged with Marini, who also claims a probable. Sergente Rivalta is shot down and killed during the combat.

Between 14.10 and 15.05 on 27 October a formation of five CR.42s from the Squadriglia (equipped with three aircraft of their own and two borrowed from 389a and 390a Squadriglie) attacks armoured vehicles in the Tell el Tisa area. In this area the 9th Australian Division with support from 51st British Division and 1st British Armoured Division was attacked by the 164th German division at the Kidney Ridge. The 15th Panzer Division and the Littorio Division supported the German division.
The Squadriglia became heavily engaged by enemy fighters and in the ensuing combat one P-40 is claimed by Tenente Vodret who also claimed a second as a damaged. His aircraft was then hit in the oil cooler and he is forced to make an emergency landing at El Ostegia. Tenente Jadanza claimed a P-40 and a second as a damaged while Sottotenente Marini claimed a damaged.

This was the last successful combat of the Squadriglia, which was withdrawn to Italy on 15 January 1943 to be re-equipped with Fiat G.50bis

Marini ended the war with 1 probable biplane victory.

Kill no. Date Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  10/07/42 1 P-40 Probable Fiat CR.42 MM5046 E El Alamein 391a Squadriglia
  10/07/42 Ĺ P-40 Shared damaged Fiat CR.42 MM5046 E El Alamein 391a Squadriglia
  27/10/42 1 P-40 Damaged Fiat CR.42   Tell el Tisa area 391a Squadriglia

Biplane victories: 1 probable, 1 and 1 shared damaged.
TOTAL: 1 probable, 1 and 1 shared damaged.

La 391a Squadriglia Assalto da Bir Hacheim ad Augusta (1942-1943) - Ferdinando Pedriali, 1980 Aerofan Lug./Set. 1980.
Additional information kindly provided by Giovanni Massimello.

Last modified 27 April 2010