Biplane fighter aces

Italy

Sergente Mario Scagliarini

In November 1940 Scagliarini served in the 363a Squadriglia, 150o Gruppo Autonomo C.T., which was equipped with Fiat CR.42s. The unit was at this time operating over Greece.

In the early morning on 13 November, 84 Squadron's 'A' Flight attacked Valona and Argyrokastron. At the latter target a Meridionali Ro.37 and a Caproni 311 were destroyed, while one CR.42 was damaged.
Sottotenente Ernesto Trevisi and Sergente Scagliarini attacked, each claiming one Blenheim shot down. In fact only one suffered damage, and this made it back to Menidi.

On 24 December, five Blenheim Is from 211 Squadron bombed Valona airfield, destroying two 150o Gruppo CR.42s and damaged a third.
Three 363a Squadriglia CR.42s flown by Sottotenente Romeo Della Costanza, Sergente Enrico Micheli and Scagliarini were scrambled and duly caught the raiders. Costanza claimed a probable while Micheli fired at another.
It seems that Italian AA defenders also claimed one Blenheim probably shot down.
No bombers were lost by 211 Squadron. One of the observers, Pilot Officer Eric Bevington-Smith recalled:

"We assembled five crews and set off for Valona. The weather was appalling, with a cloud base below 2,000 feet and we flew along the Gulf of Corinth and up to Valona, where the cloud base was 1,700 feet ... we just managed to slip through in line astern, went up into cloud again, and by good luck came out of the cloud over Valona and dropped our bombs. The AA had not yet woken up, so we put our noses down and went flat out for the harbour entrance. When we were about 500 feet we met an Italian cruiser and destroyer coming in for Christmas. We turned our front machine guns on and dived on the ships, and as we passed our rear gunners sprayed the decks. It worked; we were at least two miles away before shellfire started bursting around us, and a quick change of course to the south got us away. If only those Italian gunners had not assumed that the entrance to the harbour of their home port, they were safe!"

Scagliarini ended the war with 1 biplane victory.

Claims:
Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  1940                
1 13/11/40   1 Blenheim (a) Destroyed Fiat CR.42   Argyrokastron 363a Squadriglia

Biplane victories: 1 destroyed.
TOTAL: 1 destroyed.
(a) Claimed in combat with Blenheims from 'A' Flight of 84 Squadron. 160o Gruppo Autonomo C.T. claimed two destroyed but in fact only one suffered damage, and this made it back to Menidi.

Sources:
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
Fiat CR.42 Aces of World War 2 - Håkan Gustavsson and Ludovico Slongo, 2009 Osprey Publishing, Oxford, ISBN 978-1-84603-427-5




Last modified 15 March 2011