Biplane fighter aces


Sergente Luigi Sacchi

In November 1941 Luigi Sacchi belonged to 23o Autonomo CT, based at Pantelleria off Sicily. This unit was at this time equipped with Fiat CR.42s.

On 15 November 1941 Pantelleria-based CR.42s from 23o Gruppo intercepted a passing Blenheim, Maresciallo Germano Gasperoni, Sergente Sacchi and Sergente Francesco Cuscuna claiming to have obtained hits on this. The damaged OADU Blenheim crash-landed on arrival at Luqa.

On 11 December Flight Lieutenant 'Ginger' Neil of 249 Squadron was sent off from Malta to escort a Wellington, which was reported to be under attack whilst on its way to Malta from Gibraltar, carrying aboard his replacement, Flight Lieutenant Sidney Brandt. The bomber had been intercepted by three 23o Gruppo CR.42s scrambled from Pantelleria, the pilots of which reported attacking four Wellingtons. One of these was claimed shot down into the sea by Sergente Sacchi, while Maresciallo Diego Fiorentini (of 75a Squadriglia) and Sergente Giuseppe Saracino attacked two others. Fiorentini was shot down by one of the rear gunners and he baled out of his stricken fighter but his parachute did not open.
It seems that two of the Wellingtons were lost, R1246 and R1250, both in transit from Gibraltar to the Middle East.

Sacchi ended the war with 1 victory, this one being claimed while flying Fiat CR.42s.

Kill no. Date Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  15/11/41 1/3 Blenheim (a) Shared damaged Fiat CR.42   off Pantelleria 23o Gruppo
1 11/12/41 1 Wellington (b) Destroyed Fiat CR.42   off Pantelleria 23o Gruppo

Biplane victories: 1 destroyed, 1 shared damaged.
TOTAL: 1 destroyed, 1 shared damaged.
(a) Damaged Blenheim from O.A.D.U.; crash-landed on arrival at Luqa.
(b) Wellingtons R1246 and R1250 lost during transit from Gibraltar to the Middle East.

Malta: The Hurricane Years 1940-41 - Christopher Shores and Brian Cull with Nicola Malizia, 1987 Grub Street, London, ISBN 0-89747-207-1