Biplane fighter aces


Tenente Colonnello Angelo Mastragostino

1 February 1904 -

Angelo Mastragostino was born on 1 February 1904.

On 20 February 1928, he was commissioned (in Servizio Permanente Effettivo).

Angelo Mastragostino took part in the Spanish Civil War where he served as Capitano and CO of 120a Squadriglia of XXII Gruppo "LINCI" flying Ro.37bis reconnaissance/light bomber biplanes from Recaja a Logrono Airfield.
He served in this role at least between October 1937 to January 1938 (in January 1937 the 120a Squadriglia CO was Capitano F. Sforza and in October 1938 the CO was Capitano D. Bongiorgi).

In November 1940 he belonged to 393a Squadriglia of 160o Gruppo Autonomo C.T., which was equipped with Fiat CR.42s. The unit was at this time operating from Koritza in the Greek campaign.

In the early afternoon on 2 November, ten Cant Z.1007bis, from the 50o Gruppo Autonomo B.T. approached Salonika. Six PZL P.24s from 22 Mira intercepted them, causing the bombers to jettison their bombs and turn for home. The Greek fighters claimed four bombers and two Italian bombers were lost and one was damaged. Two Greek fighters force-landed and a third flown by Sminagos John Kyriazes was hit and damaged during the engagement, or perhaps force-landed, the pilot being wounded.
Although not mentioned in the Greek account of this raid, escorting CR.42s were present over Salonika and twelve CR.42s from 363a led by Capitano Luigi Mariotti engaged eight PZLs. The Italian fighters reportedly intercepted “eight PZL 27” at around 14:30 and claimed four shot down jointly (two fighters were seen to fell in flames and two more were seen to fell as if they were out of control), while two CR.42s were damaged.
Maggiore Mastragostino of the 160o Gruppo claimed a PZL on this day, and may possibly have been flying with Mariotti’s unit on this occasion.
During the raids on Salonika on this day, the town suffered some 200 civilian casualties.

In the end of October and beginning of November the new 154o Gruppo Autonomo C.T. was formed at Berat under the command of Maggiore Mastragostino. From the beginning it consisted of the 361a Squadriglia, 24o Gruppo Autonomo C.T., which arrived from Tirana on 25 October and the 395a Squadriglia, 160o Gruppo Autonomo C.T., which arrived on 5 November (this unit was already based at Berat). The unit was equipped with Fiat CR.42s and G.50bis.

On 19 December Mastragostino force-landed his CR.42 near Bilishte while providing escort for a Ro.37bis. The reason for this has not been possible to verify.

Mastragostino was promoted to Tenente Colonnello on 18 March 1943.

Mastragostino ended the war with 1 biplane victory.
During his career, he was decorated with four Medaglie d’argento al valor militare, three Medaglia di bronzo al valor militare, the Medaglia a ricordo delle campagne d'Africa, the Croce al merito di guerra, the Medaglia commemoartiva operazoni militari in A.O.I., the Medaglia commemorativa della campagna di Spagna and the Medaglia di benemerenza per i volontari della guerra Spagna (alternatively A.O.I.).

Kill no. Date Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 02/11/40 1 PZL (a) Destroyed Fiat CR.42   Salonika 393a Squadriglia

Biplane victories: 1 destroyed.
TOTAL: 1 destroyed.
(a) Claimed in combat with PZLs from 22 Mira. Italian fighters claimed four aircraft and bombers several more. 22 Mira only lost one aircraft due to enemy aircraft.

53o Stormo - Marco Mattioli, 2010 Osprey Publishing, Oxford, ISBN 978-1-84603-977-5
Air war for Yugoslavia, Greece and Crete - Christopher Shores, Brian Cull and Nicola Malizia, 1987 Grub Street, London, ISBN 0-948817-07-0
Annuario Ufficiale Delle Forze Armate Del Regno D’Italia Anno 1943. Part III Regia Aeronautica – 1943 Istituto Poligrafico Dello Stato, Roma
Courage Alone - Chris Dunning, 1998 Hikoki Publications, Aldershot, ISBN 1-902109-02-3
Fiat CR.42 Aces of World War 2 - Håkan Gustavsson and Ludovico Slongo, 2009 Osprey Publishing, Oxford, ISBN 978-1-84603-427-5
Le Romeo Ro.37bis en Espagne - Juan Arraez Cerda, 2000 Avions No. 86, May 2000 kindly provided by Ondrej Repka
Additional information kindly provided by Stefano Lazzaro.

Last modified 03 April 2011