Biplane fighter aces

Italy

Sergente Roberto Steppi

On 12 June, the 2o Stormo’s fighters were joined by those of the 10o Gruppo (84a, 90a and 91a Squadriglie) of the Gorizia based 4o Stormo C.T.. The Gruppo was commanded by Tenente Colonnello Armando Piragino and started the war at Tobruk T2 with 27 CR.42s.
At the beginning of the hostilities the 84a Squadriglia C.T. was composed of the following pilots: Capitano Luigi Monti (CO), Capitano Aldo Lanfranco, Tenente Vincenzo Vanni, Maresciallo Emiro Nicola, Maresciallo Mario Bandini, Sergente Maggiore Ugo Corsi, Sergente Domenico Santonocito, Sergente Steppi, Sergente Giuseppe Scaglioni, Sergente Corrado Patrizi and Sergente Narciso Pillepich. The eleven pilots had only eight Fiat CR.42s. It seems that Sergente Maggiore Corsi and Sergente Pillepich didn’t take part in the move of the unit from Gorizia on 7 June but were however in T2 with the unit from at least 13 June and 15 June.
On 12 June, the first fighter of the 10o Gruppo to arrive at El Adem T2 was that of Capitano Luigi Monti, who landed in the morning. His Squadriglia’s mates arrived later, obliged to turn back by the bad weather. Then the other Squadriglie followed.

At dawn on 21 June, a Short Sunderland appeared over Tobruk harbour. Sergente Steppi of the 84a Squadriglia took off immediately and intercepted the seaplane 20 kilometres north of Tobruk were it already was under attack of two CR.32s flown by Tenente Ranieri Piccolomini and Tenente Giorgio Savoja of the 92a Squadriglia, which had scrambled from Tobruk T2 at 04:30. Diving on the Sunderland, Steppi opened fire aiming at the cockpit but after two bursts of fire, his guns jammed and he was obliged to leave the pursuit.
Tenente Franco Lucchini of the 90a Squadriglia took off after Steppi and joined the fight, following the Sunderland far out over open sea and leaving it off coast with two engines smoking.
Neither Lucchini nor Steppi claimed any victory but, two days later, on 23 June, news arrived from the Navy base at Bardia, that the Sunderland, heavily damaged, had been forced to ditch in the sea off the coast and had been captured with all the crew dead except from the pilot, who was wounded. The victory was assigned to the four pilots collectively although it should be attributed to Lucchini.
This was the first reported Italian meeting with the lumbering Sunderland and its overall dimensions made a strong impression on them. Asked about his feelings during the combat, the “Archduke”, as Piccolomini was playfully nicknamed by his comrades, stated graphically – “That was not a plane, that was a tram”.
According to British records, the intruder on the evening on 20 June was a 228 Squadron Sunderland (N9025/Y) piloted by Acting Flight Lieutenant T. M. W. Smith DFC and Flying Officer D. R. S. Bevan-John. The British crew reported heavy AA during an evening reconnaissance of Tobruk’s harbour and landed at Alexandria by night, undamaged.
Then the attack of the Bombay followed and finally at 02:20, Sunderland L2160/X of 230 Squadron piloted by Wing Commander G. Francis and Flight Lieutenant Garside, took off from Alexandria for a reconnaissance of Tobruk’s harbour. Over Tobruk they were intercepted by a reportedly four CR.32s or CR.42s claiming one of them shot down while the others broke off after a 15 minutes engagement. L2160 was however heavily damaged by explosive bullets (0.52’’ diameter), principal damage being a large hole in hull (6’’ x 8’’). The fuel tanks were also extensively holed but these were stopped in air with plasticize.
From Alexandria L2166/U took off at 08:05 piloted by Flight Lieutenant Alington to escort L2160 as a safety aircraft in case it was unable to make it back. It was however unable to join with “X”, which in turn landed in Alexandria at 08:30 and was immediately put on the slipway of Imperial Airways for repairs (the aircraft was back in action on 9 July).
L2160 was undoubtedly the plane attacked by Piccolomini, Savoja, Steppi and Lucchini while there is the strong possibility that the aircraft ditched off Bardia was in fact the 216 Squadron’s Bombay (perhaps previously hit by AA fire and in fact the AA defences of Tobruk was credited with a victory during the day) that was incorrectly reported as a Sunderland and originated the Italian fighter’s claim.

The 10o Gruppo started the war at Tobruk T2 with twenty-seven CR.42s, and its aircraft suffered the wear of sand. On 30 June, in fact, after only twenty days of war, it received the order to return to Benghasi Berka K airfield to start the general revision of its fighters.
The 90a Squadriglia only managed to muster six flyable CR.42s, which with the unit’s Caproni Ca.133 flew back to Benghazi. Sergente Giovanni Battista Ceoletta was forced to make an emergency landing near Barce airfield caused by the total loss of the engine’s oil. The aircraft was not recovered; the other five aircraft also arrived at Berka without oil in their engines.
Two more CR.42s suffered accidents during the transport (Sergente Steppi of the 84aSquadriglia and Sergente Maggiore Lorenzo Migliorato of the 91a Squadriglia.
Finally, on 4 July, all the aircraft of the Gruppo met in Benghazi.
The 10o Gruppo rejoined operations from El Adem only on 22 July with sixteen Fiats on hand (the others were still under repair).

On 11 September, the 9o and 10o Gruppo were still employed in standing patrols over the troops. During the second patrol of the day, at 17:45 in the Sidi Omar – Bardia area, a Blenheim was discovered at 6000 metres.
The Italian formation was escorting three CR.32s and was led by Maggiore Carlo Romagnoli. It was composed of seven CR.42s from the 84a Squadriglia (Capitano Luigi Monti, Capitano Vincenzo Vanni, Tenente Giuseppe Aurili, Sottotenente Paolo Berti, Sergente Steppi, Sergente Narciso Pillepich and Sergente Domenico Santonocito), five CR.42s from the 91a Squadriglia (Capitano Giuseppe D’Agostinis, Sottotenente Ruggero Caporali, Sergente Maggiore Leonardo Ferrulli, Sergente Elio Miotto and Sergente Alessandro Bladelli) and six CR.42s from the 90a Squadriglia (Tenente Giovanni Guiducci, Tenente Franco Lucchini, Sottotenente Neri De Benedetti, Maresciallo Omero Alesi, Sergente Maggiore Angelo Savini and Sergente Bruno Bortoletti).
Capitano Vanni, Tenente Aurili and Sergente Steppi attacked first, followed by other pilots of the formation. During the combat Vanni’s aircraft was hit by return fire and with the compressed air piping pierced, he was forced to turn back. His wingmen continued the pursuit and claimed the Blenheim shot down.
The bomber however was assigned as a shared to all the 10o Gruppo pilots presents (even if , for example, it is known that 90a Squadriglia pilots totally used only 140 rounds of ammunition so possibly only one of them was able to use his guns).
This claim can’t be verified with RAF sources but it is possible that it was a Blenheim from 113 Squadron since this unit’s ORB is lacking.

At 08:00 on 11 December, a mixed formation of CR.42s from the 84a and 94a Squadriglie took off from Menastir for a covering patrol over Italian troops retreating from Bug Bug. Participating pilots from the 8o Gruppo were Tenente Vittorio Gnudi and Sottotenente Giacomo Maggi in the last African mission of their unit, while from the 10o Gruppo there were Capitano Luigi Monti, Sottotenente Paolo Berti, Sergente Onorino Crestani and Sergente Steppi.
Over the front, they were attacked by Hurricanes, which shot down Gnudi, killing the pilot. Maggi fought back expending 70 rounds while Steppi claimed damage to them when they were fleeing.
The four 10o Gruppo’s pilots landed directly at El Adem while Maggi came back alone to Menastir at 09:30.
The Hurricanes were probably from 33 Squadron, which claimed one or two and one probable CR.42s during the day.

At 11:10 on 12 December, a mixed formation from the 4o Stormo took off for a free sweep in the Ogerin Bir El Kreighat area. After the sweep, they were to ground strafe targets of opportunity. Participating pilots from the 91a Squadriglia were Maggiore Carlo Romagnoli (CO 10o Gruppo), Capitano Vincenzo Vanni, Sottotenente Andrea Dalla Pasqua, Sergente Maggiore Leonardo Ferrulli, Sergente Maggiore Natale Fiorito and Sergente Maggiore Giovanni Casero. From 84a Squadriglia came Capitano Luigi Monti, Sottotenente Paolo Berti, Sottotenente Luigi Prati, Sottotenente Bruno Devoto, Sergente Steppi and Sergente Onorino Crestani.
Sergente Giovanni Battista Ceoletta of the 90a Squadriglia was part of a formation taking off at 11:40 while his squadriglia mates Sergente Maggiore Angelo Savini and Sergente Alfredo Sclavo suffered accidents on take off, which prevented them to take part (and probably wrote off the plane of Sclavo). Tenente Aldo Gon and Sergente Gustavo Minelli from the 96a Squadriglia, 9o Gruppo also took part in this action.
Bad weather prevented the discovery of ground targets, so Romagnoli led his fighters to the Bir Enba area where a formation of Gladiators surprised the 84a Squadriglia formation. A long dogfight started after which the CR.42 of Onorino Crestani was missing and the remaining pilots claimed two victories. Crestani was taken prisoner.
According to the squadriglia diaries, the two confirmed victories were shared among the 91a Squadriglia pilots plus Ceoletta (who used 120 rounds of ammunition during the combat) and the pilots from the 9o Gruppo. Gon and Minelli in fact only claimed a shared probable in a combat against a reportedly six Gladiators, while the 10o Gruppo’s Diary downgraded the victories to two probables. Monti, Prati and Steppi were credited with a damaged each while Ceoletta also claimed two damaged Gladiators (according to some Italian historians one Gladiator was shared between Monti, Prati and Steppi and the second shared between Gon and Minelli, while one or two other Gladiators were considered probably shot down but there is however no trace of such claims in the official diaries).
They had run into five Gladiators from 3 RAAF Squadron, which had taken off from ALG 74 at 11:25 to carry out an offensive patrol around Sofafi. The patrol intercepted a reported 16 to 18 CR.42 six miles north-west of Sofafi. During the ensuing combat three of the Italian fighters were claimed shot down, one apiece being credited to Flying Officers Alan Boyd, Wilfred Arthur and Alan Gatward, without loss. The Gladiators returned to base at 13:05.

On 22 December, a formation of 23 fighters from the 10o Gruppo took off at 10:15 from Z1 to escort SM 79s bound to attack the usual British forces in the Sidi Omar-Sidi Azeiz area. The formation included six CR.42s from the 91a Squadriglia (Maggiore Carlo Romagnoli, Capitano Vincenzo Vanni, Sottotenente Andrea Dalla Pasqua, Sergente Maggiore Lorenzo Migliorato, Sergente Maggiore Natale Fiorito and Sergente Elio Miotto), seven from the 90a Squadriglia (Tenente Franco Lucchini, Sottotenente Alessandro Rusconi, Sottotenente Neri De Benedetti, Sergente Alfredo Sclavo, Sergente Bruno Bortoletti, Sergente Luigi Bagato and Sergente Luigi Contarini) and ten from the 84a Squadriglia (Capitano Luigi Monti, Capitano Mario Pluda (from the 91a Squadriglia but attached to the 84a Squadriglia), Tenente Antonio Angeloni, Sottotenente Luigi Prati, Sergente Domenico Santonocito, Sergente Steppi, Sergente Corrado Patrizi, Sergente Giuseppe Scaglioni, Sergente Piero Buttazzi and Sergente Luciano Perdoni).
Capitano Monti, Sottotenente Prati and Sergente Scaglioni were forced to turn back due to engine problems.
During the return journey, a British aircraft, identified as a “Battle”, tried to attack the formation but was attacked and damaged by Sergente Perdoni, Sergente Steppi and Tenente Angeloni. The 91a Squadriglia formation attacked enemy aircraft (of unspecified type) over the front and claimed one of them confirmed. AA fire damaged Sergente Steppi’s CR.42. At 12:10, all the fighters landed back at Z1.
The bombers were part of the biggest operation by the Regia Aeronautica since the beginning of Operation Compass, consisting of ten bombers from the 41o Stormo under Colonnello Pezzi and ten more from the 15o Stormo under Capitano De Cecco. Enemy vehicles around the border area were attacked by Pezzi, who after releasing his bombs went down to strafe from 50 metres altitude using 6000 rounds of ammo. The only damage suffered was from light AA on Tenente Pandolfi’s aircraft. The bombers returned at 12:15.
The 15o Stormo attacked the Sidi Azeiz area with 90 100kg bombs but was intercepted by aircraft identified as Battles (!). The Italian didn’t have any escort, which had remained with the 41o Stormo and had to accept combat. Nine SM 79 landed normally at 12:05 but the tenth was shot down, being forced to crash-land 30 kilometres south-east of Tobruk with a dead and two wounded among its crew.
It seems that they “Battles” in fact were Hurricanes from 33 Squadron, which reported that they flew offensive patrol together with 112 Squadron. During the day, they claimed two confirmed SM 79s shot down.

On 23 December, 17 CR.42s from the 10o Gruppo took off at 08:30 to escort ten bombers from the 15o Stormo, which had taken off from T4 and bound to attack armoured vehicles around Sidi Azeiz. The escort included five fighters from the 91a Squadriglia (Maggiore Carlo Romagnoli, Capitano Vincenzo Vanni, Maresciallo Giorgio Di Giulio, Sergente Maggiore Giovanni Casero and Sergente Luigi Ferrario), four from the 90a Squadriglia (Tenente Giovanni Guiducci, Tenente Franco Lucchini, Sergente Alfredo Sclavo and Sergente Luigi Contarini) and eight from the 84a Squadriglia (Capitano Luigi Monti, Tenente Antonio Angeloni, Sottotenente Luigi Prati, Sottotenente Bruno Devoto, Sergente Domenico Santonocito, Sergente Steppi, Sergente Corrado Patrizi and Sergente Piero Buttazzi).
The formation was attacked by six Hurricanes and the Italian pilots claimed one confirmed shot down, another as a probable and a third was obliged to force-land among its own armoured vehicles (the 90a Squadriglia’s pilots expended 455 rounds of ammo). The three victories were credited as shared among all the participating pilots. The Italian fighters landed back at Z1 at 11:05 with Sergente Ferrario’s aircraft damaged. The bombers (led by Colonnello Napoli) landed back at base at 10:30, with only one machine damaged by the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes were from 274 Squadron, which was out on a morning patrol to cover a line Sidi Omar-Sollum-Buq-Buq with twelve machines taking off with 15 minutes intervals. From the reports of the returning pilots, it seems that fighters from 73 Squadron were present even if this is not reported in 73 Squadron documents.
Pilots taking part were Pilot Officer Stanley Godden (P2638) (06:15-09:15), Pilot Officer Ernest Mason (P3722) (06:30-09:30), Second Lieutenant Bester (N2624) (06:45-09:35), Flying Officer Thomas Patterson (P2544) (07:00-09:45), Flight Lieutenant John Lapsley (V7293) (07:20-09:50), Sergeant Dean (V7423 (07:30-10:30), Second Lieutenant Robert Talbot (P3721) (07:45-11:05), Pilot Officer Garland (P 3977) (08:10-11:15), Sergeant John Clarke (N2627) (08:20-11.00), Flying Officer C. F. Greenhill (P5176), Pilot Officer Strange (N2628) (09:50-12:50) and Flight Lieutenant Peter Wykeham-Barnes (P2638) (10:00-13:00).
Pilot Officer Mason had a field day; firstly, he intercepted ten SM 79s in two vics of five at 07:30 (strangely enough he wrote 09:30 in his CFR) when he was 10 miles south-west of Gambut at the height of 12,000 feet. He discovered the ten bombers 2000 feet below and dived from above, past the escort on no. 4 of the rear vic. He reported:

“ no4 of rear vic dropped back but later observed to rejoin formation. Small a/c seen burning on ground (unreadable) miles south of Bir Chleta. Believed to be CR 42 claimed by 2nd Lieutenant Talbot. 12 CR 42s in 4s and 2s were on port flank 1000 feet above and behind. After carrying out this attack I climbed above and carried out another attack.”
Now he was at 10,000 feet and dived from above on four SM 79s of the rear vic. He reported:
“enemy aircraft damaged. Unable to observe further as I got involved with the escort and was also fired on by our own troops. Burning S79 observed on ground in this approximate position by Pilot Officer McFadden no 73 Squadron. 12 CR 42s in 2s and 4s were 1000 feet above on port flank. The escort had observed my approach as this was my second attack and closed in on main force that jettisoned bombs. After breaking off attack I got involved with 2 of the escort at 1000 feet and was considerably embarrassed by tracers and pom-pom fire from our own troops.”
Then at 09:15, 20 miles north-east of El Gubbi, when flying at 17,000 feet together with another Hurricane, he discovered a Caproni Ca.310 at ground level that he attacked from astern.
“port engine caught fire a/c climbed to 200 feet and then hit ground with wheels and flaps up. Bounced twice and went on nose. I circled a/c (E) and only one man (pilot) emerged from front exit.”
It is possible that the two claims made by Mason the previous days are included in these combat reports and that he thus claimed two SM 79s, one damaged and one additional Ca.310 (in fact it seems that no SM 79s were shot down).
Second Lieutenant Talbot claimed a CR.42. He was flying alone at 15,000 feet at 10:00 when he discovered ten SM 79s in two vics and 24 CR.42s stepped up on either side. 15 miles ahead and 2,000 feet below. He delivered a quarter attack on the no.5 bomber of the second vic and then an head on attack on a CR.42, which attacked while he was making a second pass. He reported:
“1 CR 42 shot down later burst in flames 1 S79 initial attack dropped out of formation and did not rejoin. Determined attacks from escort prevented me from observing results of combats with S 79. While the CR 42s attacked immediately the main formation increased speed but kept formation and opened fire.”
During the engagement, Flying Officer Greenhill force landed south of Taifa Rocks, reportedly with engine trouble. From the overall description of the combats, it seems likely that bullets from the escorting Fiats caused the engine trouble.

On 16 June 1941, the 10o Gruppo moved to Trapani, Sicily to take part in the attacks on Malta.

In the early morning on 22 June, the 10o Gruppo moved to Comiso for an indirect escort to an Can Z.1007bis that needs to make a photo reconnaissance over Malta. The mission is flown in collaboration with a group of the 54o Stormo. From Comiso, the 10o Gruppo climbs to 7,000 meters to await the Z.1007bis but, due to an engine failure, it doesn't arrive.
Tenente Colonnello Carlo Romagnoli decided to return with the 90a and the 91a Squadriglie while Capitano Luigi Monti led the 84o Squadriglia to a few miles from Malta before returning to Catania.
Maresciallo Luigi Bignami and Sergente Steppi, who have fallen behind because Sottotenente Bruno Devoto, their patrol leader, had to return due to problems with his aircraft, tried to catch up with Monti. Thus they arrived over Malta alone were they were surprised by five fighters. The rapid reaction of Steppi, whose Macchi suffered some hits, made it possible for him to claim one of the opponents shot down. Bignami was able to escape the attack by diving close to the water. When he returned Steppi landed at Gela. This was the Gruppos first combat during their new tour.
The RAF reported that during the early morning, 17 Hurricanes from 46 Squadron were sent off from Malta, Squadron Leader Alexander Rabagliati in Z2526 leading six to patrol at 19,000ft. Here Sing Sing Controller vectored them onto two bandits 10 miles north of Sing Sing, which turned out to be a pair of MC.200s.
Rabagliati dived onto their tails and attacked one of the fighters. He reported:

"I fired at the right-hand one which immediately half-rolled and dived to 500 feet. Bandit was lost for a few seconds in dive, then picked up when he flattened out. Followed him down and fired from dead astern a short burst, closing to 100 yards. Bandit rolled over straight into the sea."

During the afternoon on 25 June 1941, 69 Squadron's long-range Hurricane II reported sighting four 20,000 ton merchant ships with an escort of seven destroyers, to the south-east of Malta. At this time the Italians had just started using four 20,000 ton liners - Marco Polo, Neptunia, Oceania and Vulcania - to transport troops to Libya to relieve forward elements of the Afrika Korps. On receipt of the news of the sighting, a Maryland was sent off to shadow, with Flying Officer Bloxham at the controls and carrying Lieutenant H. E. H. Pain, Senior Observer from 830 Squadron, whilst a strike by Swordfish was planned and organized. But first all available Marylands were armed with two 500lb. bombs apiece, and were sent out to attack. From this unsuccessful mission, AR726 flown by 21-year-old Sergeant Brian Paul Hanson (RAF no. 758061) of 69 Squadron and his crew of 25-year-old Flight Sergeant Ernest William Gimson (RAF no. 541685) and Flight Sergeant Montague Harry Slade Bolton (RAF no. 565469) failed to return, last being heard on the R/T announcing they were bombing the ships.
It seems very probable that they were shot down by a MC.200 of the 84a Squadriglia flown by Sergente Roberto Steppi. He and Alessando Valignani had taken off to escort the convoy but were unable to find them. They separated to widen their search and Steppi found the convoy just as it was attacked by three Blenheims. He attacked them, claimed one of them shot down in flames, and a second damaged.
He returned and landed when it was almost dark.

Steppi ended the war with 3 shared biplane victories and a total of 2.

Claims:
Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  1940                
  21/06/40 04:30- 1/4 Sunderland (a) Shared destroyed Fiat CR.42   Bardia area 84a Squadriglia
  11/09/40 17:45- 1/19 Blenheim (b) Shared destroyed Fiat CR.42   Sidi Omar - Bardia area 84a Squadriglia
  11/12/40   1 Hurricane (c) Damaged Fiat CR.42   Bug Bug area 84a Squadriglia
  12/12/40 11:10- 1 Gladiator (d) Damaged Fiat CR.42   Bir Enba area 84a Squadriglia
  22/12/40 10:15-12:10 1/3 ”Battle” (e) Shared damaged Fiat CR.42   Sidi Omar-Sidi Azeiz area 84a Squadriglia
  23/12/40 08:30-11:05 1/17 Hurricane (f) Shared destroyed Fiat CR.42   Sidi Azeiz area 84a Squadriglia
  23/12/40 08:30-11:05 1/17 Hurricane (f) Shared probable Fiat CR.42   Sidi Azeiz area 84a Squadriglia
  23/12/40 08:30-11:05 1/17 Hurricane (f) Shared damaged Fiat CR.42   Sidi Azeiz area 84a Squadriglia
  1941                
1 22/06/41 morning 1 Hurricane (g) Destroyed MC.200   10m N Sing Sing 84a Squadriglia
2 25/06/41 p.m. 1 Blenheim (h) Destroyed MC.200   SE Malta 84a Squadriglia
  25/06/41 p.m. 1 Blenheim (h) Damaged MC.200   SE Malta 84a Squadriglia

Biplane victories: 3 shared destroyed, 1 shared probably destroyed, 2 and 2 shared damaged.
TOTAL: 2 and 3 shared destroyed, 1 shared probably destroyed, 3 and 2 shared damaged.
(a) Sunderland L2160/X of 230 Squadron, which returned to base damaged.
(b) This claim can’t be verified with RAF sources.
(c) Probably claimed in combat with Hurricanes from 33 Squadron.
(d) Claimed in combat with Gladiators from 3 RAAF Squadron, which claimed 3 CR.42s without suffering losses. The 4o Stormo claimed 2 probables while losing one CR.42 (Sergente Crestani PoW).
(e) Possibly claimed in combat with Hurricanes from 33 Squadron, which didn't suffer any losses.
(f) Claimed in combat with Hurricanes from 274 Squadron, which claimed one CR.42 while suffering one damaged Hurricane. 10o Gruppo claimed one, one probable and one damaged Hurricanewhile suffering one damaged CR.42.
(g) Claimed in combat with Hurricanes from 46 Squadron, which claimed one victory without losses. 84a Squadriglia claimed one victory with one MC.200 damaged.
(h) Maryland AR726 of 69 Squadron shot down with the loss of the crew.

Sources:
2o Stormo - Note storiche dal 1925 al 1975 - Gino Strada, 1975 USSMA, Rome kindly provided by Ludovico Slongo.
Aces High - Christopher Shores and Clive Williams, 1994 Grub Street, London, ISBN 1-898697-00-0
Aces High Volume 2 - Christopher Shores, 1999, Grub Street, London, ISBN 1-902304-03-9
Desert Prelude: Early clashes June-November 1940 - Håkan Gustavsson and Ludovico Slongo, 2010 MMP books, ISBN 978-83-89450-52-4
Diario Storico 84a Squadriglia kindly provided by Ludovico Slongo
Diario Storico 90a Squadriglia kindly provided by Ludovico Slongo
Diario Storico 91a Squadriglia kindly provided by Ludovico Slongo
Gloster Gladiator Home Page - Alexander Crawford.
Gli Assi Italiani Della Caccia - Santi Corvaja kindly provided by Santiago Flores
Fighters over the Desert - Christopher Shores and Hans Ring kindly provided by Santiago Flores
Hurricanes over Malta - Brian Cull and Frederick Galea, 2001 Grub Street, London, ISBN 1-902304-91-8
Hurricanes over Tobruk - Brian Cull with Don Minterne, 1999 Grub Street, London, ISBN 1-902304-11-X
Italian Aces of World War 2 - Giovanni Massimello and Giorgio Apostolo, 2000 Osprey Publishing, Oxford, ISBN 1-84176-078-1
L’8oGruppo caccia in due conflitti mondiali - Giuseppe Pesce, 1974 S.T.E.M. Mucchi, Modena kindly provided by Ludovico Slongo.
Malta: The Hurricane Years 1940-41 - Christopher Shores and Brian Cull with Nicola Malizia, 1987 Grub Street, London, ISBN 0-89747-207-1
Quelli del Cavallino Rampante - Antonio Duma, Stato Maggiore dell'Aeronautica Ufficio Storico, Roma
Storia di 10.000 aeroplani – Franco Pagliano, 2003 Ugo Mursia, Milano kindly provided by Ludovico Slongo.
Sunderland Squadrons of World War 2 – Jon Lake, 2000 Osprey Publishing, Oxford, ISBN 1-84176-024-2 kindly provided by Ludovico Slongo.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Additional info kindly provided by Ferdinando D’Amico, Stefano Lazzaro and Ludovico Slongo.




Last modified 07 February 2012