Biplane fighter aces

Italy

Sergente Giuseppe Saracino

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

Early on 15 November 1941 five CR.42s of 23o Gruppo from Pantelleria were engaged in escorting some Ju 52/3m transports when they spotted three delivery Wellingtons of the OADU. The Italian fighters attacked and Sottotenente Gino Martini shot down Wellington Z8989 in flames south-west of the island. In the same combat claimed Sergente Saracino a second Wellington as a probable. However only one aircraft was lost, the crew surviving and subsequently being picked up by a floatplane from Kalafrana.

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 Luigi Sacchi, while Maresciallo Diego Fiorentini (of 75a Squadriglia) and Sergente 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.

Saracino ended the war 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
  1941              
  15/11/41 1 Wellington (a) Probable Fiat CR.42   SW Pantelleria 23o Gruppo
  11/12/41 Wellington (b) Shared destroyed Fiat CR.42   off Pantelleria 23o Gruppo

Biplane victories: 1 shared destroyed, 1 probable.
TOTAL: 1 shared destroyed, 1 probable.
(a) Only Wellington Z8989 of OADU shot down in flames. This aircraft was however shot down by Gino Martini.
(b) Wellingtons R1246 and R1250 lost during transit from Gibraltar to the Middle East.

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