Biplane fighter aces


Capitano Annibale Sterzi Medaglia d’oro al valor militare

1 January 1915 – 26 May 1942

Date Decoration Note
??/??/40 Medaglia d’argento al valor militare (1st) O.M.S.
??/??/40 Medaglia d’argento al valor militare (2nd) O.M.S.
26/05/42 Medaglia d’oro al valor militare (Posthumous) 1940-43

Annibale Sterzi was born on 1 January 1915 and was from Salerno.

He served as a volunteer in the Spanish Civil War, where he served in the XXIII Gruppo.

At 09:30 on 1 February 1939, Tenente Vittorio Minguzzi of the 19a Squadriglia claimed a shared I-16 together with three other pilots over Palamos.
It’s possible that Tenente Sterzi from the same unit claimed one I-16 in the same combat since he’s credited with one during the day.

He was decorated with two Medaglie d’argento al valor militare for his service in Spain.

On 23 December 1940, the 358a Squadriglia C.T. commanded by Capitano Sterzi arrived from Italy to Castel Benito with nine Fiat G.50bis. Pilots of the Squadriglia were, apart from Sterzi, Tenente Bruno Mondini, Maresciallo Ottorino Muscnelli, Sergente Enzo Falcinelli, Sottotenente Leonardo Venturini, Sergente Maggiore Antonio Patriarca, Sottotenente Francesco Vichi, Sergente Alvinio Marinucci, Sergente Alfredo Di Spiezio. Three more pilots followed in the Caproni Ca.133 of the Squadriglia (Tenente Angelo Merati, Maresciallo Marco Aicardi and Sergente Fernando Giordano). Other pilots of the unit (Tenente Giorgio Gasperoni and Sergente Gastone Gambari) suffered accidents during their transfer. The Fiat G.50 of Gambari was written off while Gasperoni was forced to land back at Palermo.

The 358a Squadriglia started operations tasked with the defence of Tripoli on 25 December. During the evening five Fiat G.50s performed the first scramble of the unit.
The same evening Capitano Sterzi counted only seven machines combat ready left.

On 7 January 1941, the 358a Squadriglia received order to join the two Squadriglie of the 2o Gruppo at Derna. The Squadriglia was down to an efficiency of six G.50s. Five of them were planned to move to Cirenaica by Capitano Sterzi, Tenente Angelo Merati, Tenente Giorgio Gasperoni, Sergente Maggiore Antonio Patriarca and Sottotenente Francesco Vichi. In fact, because of engine breakdowns only three of them completed the first leg of their journey, landing at Uadi Tamet at 11:15. Tenente Merati had to turn back after 10 minutes of flight while Sottotenente Vichi crash-landed after 40 minutes, his fighter was declared RD. Sterzi, and his men remained in Uadi Tamet trying to fix the problems of their engines.

On 19 January, the 358a Squadriglia finally received order to move to Maraua and join the 2o Gruppo. Since its arrival at the end of December, it had been working on its Fiat G.50s, which had been unfit to fly because of the engines. Capitano Sterzi arrived at Maraua at 14:00 with six fighters. Four were the remaining machines of the 358a while the other two were G.50s from the150a and 152a Squadriglie that had been left behind in Tripoli.

On 25 January, four Gladiators of 3 RAAF Squadron flown by Flight Lieutenant D. Campbell (N5857), Flight Lieutenant Alan Rawlinson (K7963), Flying Officer Peter Turnbull (L9044) and Pilot Officer J. C. Campbell (K8022) took off from Tmini at 07:30 to carry out a protective patrol over the Armoured Brigades operating in the Mechili area. Whilst flying at 2,000 feet, 8 miles south-east of Mechili, five G.50s, which were flying at 10,000 feet, attacked and broke the Gladiators formation. During the combat was 22-year-old Pilot Officer James Chippindall Campbell (RAAF no. 634) shot down and killed, while D. Campbell was forced to make an emergency landing in the desert and the other two biplanes were damaged. Flying Officer Turnbull recalled:

“My position in the flight was astern of the vic formation. Each time I was attacked from astern and above, to avoid being hit I made a side-slipping turn back underneath. As the E/A passed overhead, it made a climbing turn to the left, and I was able to get well within range by turning right. I was attacked nine times, and each time I carried out the above action, but three of my guns ceased to fire owing to stoppages during the first attack and the fourth after the fifth attack. I could see bullets hitting E/A during the third, fourth and fifth attacks, which were at close range.

The E/A appeared to be similar to that of a Breda 65 but the pilots cockpit was well back near the trailing edge of the main planes. This being the only outstanding point which could be seen at the time. They were very fast, and by the dust made by their fire on the ground, they appeared to be armed with two.5's."

Rawlinson claimed two more G.50s damaged. These three claims for damaged aircraft are, however, not officially credited in the unit’s ORB. After the smooth force landing, D. Campbell was able to inspect the plane and assessing the damage suffered as light, took off again and landed back in Tmini. The Gladiators were all back by 08:45.
The Italians were in fact four Fiat G.50s from the 358a Squadriglia, which had taken off from Maraua at 07:30 to fly a protective patrol over El Mechili. Capitano Sterzi (G.50bis MM6335) led the formation with Tenente Bruno Mondini (MM6346), Tenente Giorgio Gasperoni and Maresciallo Marco Aicardi (MM5455). Over Mechili they discovered four Glosters flying lower and bounced them claiming two by Tenente Mondini, one by Maresciallo Aicardi and one by Capitano Sterzi. The Italian fighters were back at 09:30 after having used 1130 rounds of ammunition. Damage suffered by the three surviving Gladiators should had been light indeed because they were repaired during the day and were able to fly to Martuba during the evening.

On 26 January, 274 Squadron had a field day. After an uneventful morning sortie, five Hurricanes took off in the afternoon for an offensive patrol from the Martuba-Mechili area to the coast. Pilots taking part were Flight Lieutenant Peter Wykeham-Barnes (P2638), Flying Officer Thomas Patterson (P3723), Flying Officer Ernest Mason (P3722), Flight Lieutenant J. D. Smith (V7477) and Pilot Officer Garland (V7484), which all took off at 13:45.
At about 15.10 when one mile south of Derna aerodrome, Flying Officer Patterson discovered a group of three Fiat G.50s 2000 feet below him that were ground strafing Commonwealth troops. The Italian aircraft were escorted by twelve CR.42s in four vic of three 8000 feet above them. Patterson was with Wykeham-Barnes, who reportedly drove off the escort while he attacked from astern, claiming two G.50s shot down and seen to burn out on ground and the third machine damaged by deflection shots (Wykeham-Barnes confirmed his victories).
In the meantime, Flying Officer Mason was flying alone at 6,000 feet, ten miles west of Martuba when he discovered seven CR.42s in two formations of five and two, ahead of him and at the same height. Mason attacked single handed, starting a general dogfight down to 2000 feet, which ended with himself claiming three CR.42s crashed into the ground without burning and confirmed by troops of 2/4 Battalion of the 19th Australian Brigade over whom the fight took place. In his C.F.R. Mason didn’t mention that he was shot down during the combat, however, in a letter to his parents he described the action in this way:

“I had a quick dogfight with them all round me. The first one I fired at went down and crashed without burning. The second and third each turned slowly over and dived straight in and exploded. All this was over in two or three minutes. By the time the third one was down the others had disappeared which was very fortunate as my motor cut and I had to force land (…) I landed next to a blazing CR 42 amidst crowds of wildly enthusiastic Australians (about 30 miles south-west of Gazala). Unfortunately the ground was very rough and I burst a tyre and went up on my nose, wrecking the poor old aircraft with which I had got all my victories.
After I force-landed I learnt that one of the CR42 pilots had tried to bale out but his parachute had not opened. So I had a look at him. He was about 200 yards from his still-blazing machine. I had got him in the right shoulder so he had not been able to open his chute. I went through his pockets and found a lot of interesting snapshots and a lot of letters. Before I left I covered him with his parachute and weighted it down with stones. I hitchhiked by road and air, back to the Squadron. When I arrived there I was accosted by several press representatives who made me pose for photographs.”
It seems possible that P3722 later was salvaged by the efficient recovery teams of the RAF because even if not more flown by 274 Squadron during February and March it is recorded as finally lost on El Adem on 22 April 1941 some days after that the Afrika Korps had invested that airbase.
The 274 formation had met a combined effort of Va Squadra Aerea against the Australians attacking Derna N1 airfield. In the afternoon at around 14:00, in fact nine SM 79s of the 15o Stormo and five CR.32s from the 12o Gruppo were ordered off under escort of seven CR.42s from the 368a Squadriglia (Tenente Giuseppe Zuffi, Sottotenente Alfonso Nutti, Sergente Maggiore Davide Colauzzi, Sergente Maggiore Annibale Ricotti, Maresciallo Guido Paparatti, Sergente Maggiore Ezio Masenti and Sottotenente Furio Lauri) and three from the 366a Squadriglia (Sergente Maggiore Fiorenzo Milella, Sergente Maggiore Roberto Marchi and Sergente Rosario Di Carlo) with three more G.50s from the 358a Squadriglia (Capitano Sterzi, Tenente Angelo Merati and Maresciallo Ottorino Muscinelli) flying indirect cover.
Following the orders received, the 151o Gruppo fighters first escorted the Savoia bombers following them out to the sea off Derna after the bombing and then came back to escort the CR.32s and to strafe with four fighters of the first section of the 368a Squadriglia. It was at this point that the Hurricanes arrived. The 358a Squadriglia’s G.50s discovered the Hurricanes high, at around 5000 metres, and saw them attacking the CR.42s. In the following dogfight, they went down to 1000 metres finding themselves in the middle of a heavy AA barrage coming from the ground. Maresciallo Muscinelli’s G.50 was reportedly hit from the ground and started to lose height in the direction of the British lines. Capitano Sterzi followed him for a while but then had to return. His plane had also been hit and landed unserviceable. Muscinelli was declared MIA and it seems possible that he had in fact been Patterson victim. The 368a formation recorded that the three G.50s went down to strafe instead of giving high cover. At the end of his last strafing pass at 15:45, Sergente Maggiore Ricotti saw a Hurricane in front of him, which was following another CR.42 (presumably that of Maresciallo Paparatti) and succeeded in shooting it down even if in the same moment he had to witness the demise of the CR.42 followed by the Hurricane. Tenente Zuffi was also attacked by a Hurricane but after its first pass he was able to fire at it from a short distance and the enemy aircraft was last seen escaping emitting a thick cloud of smoke. Zuffi was then engaged by another plane and couldn’t follow his victim. Back at base two Hurricanes were claimed by the Italian pilots; a confirmed by Sergente Maggiore Ricotti and a probable by Tenente Zuffi in exchange for two CR.42 and their pilots (Maresciallo Guido Paparatti (MM5564) and Sottotenente Nutti (MM6967), who was shot down at around 15:35. The 366a Squadriglia was unable to enter the combat and was back at 16:40. It seems not so improbable that Ricotti and Zuffi each unaware of each other, both shared in shooting down Mason, who’s fighter perhaps initially was damaged by Zuffi and then finished off by Ricotti after that the British ace had shot down Paparatti.
In the meantime, over Derna, Sottotenente Giuseppe Mezzatesta from the 12o Gruppo was hit in the throat by a stray bullet coming from the ground and force-landed on a beach close nearby. Here he was helped and brought to the local hospital. He died of this wound some days later in Benghazi hospital.

A heavy raid was launched on Tobruk at dawn on 22 April by around 30 Ju 87s, including five from the 236a Squadriglia, six Bf 110s plus about a dozen Bf 109Es and G.50bis providing escort.
Four Hurricanes from 73 Squadron got off, their pilots claiming one Ju 87 shot down, one probable and one damaged. Gunners in the Luftwaffe bombers claimed to have shot down a Hurricane, but none of the British fighters suffered any notable damage.
The same four fighters intercepted another incursion at 10:50, Flying Officer Richard Martin (V7372) claiming a Bf 109E shot down over Tobruk at around 11:30. Then half an hour later five more Hurricanes were scrambled, Sous Lieutenant Albert Littolf (V7353) also claiming a Bf 109 south-west of Tobruk at 11:25.
It seems likely that Littolf and Martin had in fact attacked the same aircraft, for JG 27’s loss was Oberfähnrich Heinrich Pompsch from 2./JG 27 in Bf 109E-7 WNr. 4112, who apparently managed to bale out, but died of his wounds next day.
Sergeant A. E. Marshall (V7353) had encountered the Italian fighters, meanwhile, shooting down Sergente Enzo Falcinelli from 358a Squadriglia (Fiat G.50bis MM5455), who was killed.
Capitano Salvatore Teja (CO 152a Squadriglia) claimed a Hurricane in return, shared with Sergente Rino Ricci (152a Squadriglia) and a second was claimed by Capitano Sterzi, CO of the 358a Squadriglia (09:40-11:10) but no 73 Squadron aircraft were lost or damaged.

Taking off at 15:15 on 16 June, Capitano Sterzi claimed a Hurricane in the Sidi Omar area.

The 2o Stormo Autonomo CT arrived on Sicily from mainland Italy on 4 May 1942, equipped with 18 of the new Re.2001s. They flew into Caltagirone airfield, in preparation for operations over Malta. The Reggiane, powered by the German Daimler-Benz DB601 A engine, was untried and untested, but its pilots were keen and confident. It included three squadriglie:
150a Squadriglia commanded by Capitano Roberto Fassi
152a Squadriglia commanded by Capitano Salvatore Teja
358a Squadriglia commanded by Capitano Sterzi

In late afternoon on 12 May 1942, a raid developed towards Malta. It was reported to comprise four Ju 88s and three Z.1007s escorted by two dozen Bf 109s and MC.202s. The Italian bombers were, in fact, three S.84s of the 4o Gruppo Aut AS, covered by 15 Re.2001s of the 2o Gruppo CT and 15 MC.202s of the 4o Stormo CT. Takali was attacked, where two Spitfires were damaged, and two airmen wounded. A total of 36 Spitfires and six Hurricanes were ordered off, as recalled by Pilot Officer F. J. ‘Johnny’ Sherlock (185 Squadron):

”Planes took off from different parts of the field in every direction, and what with the dust and the extreme hurry to get airborne, it was more dangerous at times of take-off than fighting the Jerries.”
In the mad scramble to get off BR136/3-C collided with BR350, but neither Pilot Officer J. R. Halford nor Pilot Officer A. A. McNaughton (both 185 Squadron) was hurt, although the latter’s aircraft was damaged beyond repair. In the confusion Flight Lieutenant D. W. Barnham was ordered to land, but in doing so found that his 601 Squadron flight had been left leaderless, so took-off again. On landing he was confronted by the two mangled Spitfires:
”As I went down on the runway, sweeping past the wreckage, I remembered the take-off fiasco. I don’t yet know who blundered the take-off. I have discovered that the Hal Far squadron [185 Squadron] usually take off on four red lights on their own aerodrome, the same as us, so someone ought to have changed the respective signals; of course, they may have done, but I was not informed about it.”
Meanwhile, the two units in the air had been heavily engaged. Pilot Officer M. A. ‘Mike’ Graves of 126 Squadron pursued a Ju 88 out to sea and claimed to have probably destroyed it, but the engine of his BP877 was hit by return fire and he was obliged to turn for base. As he crossed the coast at 275m, his engine caught fire and he baled out. Another 126 Squadron pilot, Flight Sergeant C. F. ‘Joe’ Bush, was wounded in both legs and belly-landed Spitfire Vc BR346 at Luqa, crashing through some stone walls at the perimeter of the airfield:
”I don’t know what hit me – Me109 or ack-ack shell – but a hole was blown in my port wing three feet [1m] from the cockpit. This blew off my flap and caused a spray of shrapnel through the unprotected side of the Spit. The petrol feeds were cut, the instrument panel smashed and about 30 pieces hit my legs. I switched off the engine and did a steep diving turn from 20,000 feet [6100m]. After deciding to try a landing, I put wheels down and came in fairly fast (about 120mph) [195km/h] because of no flaps, loss of lift from the wing and no air speed indicator. At the end of the runway was a pit where we kept crashed aircraft and, to avoid running into this, I put on a hard rudder and braked - wiping off the wheels! As I hit a small hill black smoke came out and I rapidly got out and tried to run but found that shrapnel had broken my right kneecap!”
Amongst the 601 Squadron pilots, Sergeant Jack McConnell claimed an MC.202 probably destroyed, and Sergeant K. J. ‘Ken’ Lusty a Bf l09 damaged, but Sergeant Charles ‘Ted’ Graysmark (BR196) was shot down into the sea and was badly wounded. He was probably shot down by Oberleutnant Franz Götz from 9./JG 53, who claimed a Spitfire at 15:06. Graysmark managed to get into his dinghy but had died by the time help arrived. Indeed, Flight Lieutenant Barnham and Sergeant F. S. Howard later took off to escort HSL 128 out to him and became engaged in holding at bay four Messerschmitts that attempted to strafe the craft. In consequence, it was believed at the time that Graysmark had been machine-gunned in his dinghy.
Three of the 2o Gruppo Reggianes had been hit – it would appear by McConnell and Lusty – Sergente Mario Marchio (358a Squadriglia) subsequently force-landing his burning aircraft near Noto (Syracuse) on the Sicilian coast; he had been seriously wounded and died a month later from his injuries. A second Reggiane (MM7342) force-landed near Ispica, its undercarriage having been damaged by a 20mm cannon shell. The pilot, Sergente Paolo Morcino, was unhurt and reported that he had shot down a Spitfire. Tenente Colonnello Aldo Quarantotti’s aircraft was also hit, and he belly-landed at Catania. A fourth Spitfire was claimed by Capitano Sterzi (CO 358a Squadriglia); three others were claimed as probables and two as damaged.
Half an hour behind the initial wave of Spitfires followed eight from 603 Squadron, just in time to catch the Italian bombers over the target area. Two were claimed shot down, one by Pilot Officer E. S. Dicks-Sherwood, the other jointly by Flight Lieutenant L. V. Sanders and Flying Officer R. A. ‘Mitch’ Mitchell.
The S.84 (MM23987) flown by Tenente Vinicio Vego Scocco went down before it had released its bombs, and crashed into a garden near Dingli, where one of the crew was found dead near the wreckage; four others were seen to bale out over the sea (only the second pilot Sergente Eugenio Rivolta survived).
The second S.84 (Tenente Panizzi’s MM23955) had been very badly damaged and several members of the crew wounded, but it managed to struggle back to Sicily.
The third S.84 was also damaged.
One of the escorting Macchi pilots, Sergente Mario Veronesi (84a Squadriglia), attacked a Spitfire that was following the damaged Savoia and reported that it force-landed at Luqa (possibly Flight Sergeant Bush of 126 Squadron). Sergente Teresio Martinoli’s Macchi was hit in the tail by a Spitfire, although he was able to claim another shot down (this claim isn’t included in his logbook).
Finally, at 17:45, eight 249 Squadron aircraft joined the fighting, Flight Sergeant J. W. Williams claiming a Ju 88 damaged and Flight Lieutenant N. W. Lee a Bf l09 damaged, while RAF ground defences at Takali reported strikes on another Messerschmitt. Oberleutnant Ernst Klager of 7./JG 53 claimed two Spitfires, one at 18:05 west of Malta at 5000m, and the other ten minutes later 10km west of Ta-Venezia (?) at 200m. A third Spitfire was credited to Leutnant Wolf Schaller of 9./JG 53 at 18:10.

On 25 May, eight Spitfires of 249 Squadron were ordered off at 14:20, followed 40 minutes later by 16 more from 126 and 601 Squadrons. Their opponents on this occasion were three S.84s of 4o Gruppo Aut BT (misidentified by the Spitfire pilots as Z.1007bis), covered by 16 Re.2001s as close escort with a dozen Bf 109s as indirect cover. The 249 Squadron pilots intercepted first and became entangled with the escort, Flight Lieutenant R. ‘Ron’ West claiming a Reggiane shot down and Sergeant Paul Brennan (Spitfire Vc BR176) reporting strikes on another (credited as a damaged), while Flying Officer R. W. ‘Buck’ McNair (Spitfire V BR109/C-30) claimed a Bf 109 damaged (later upgraded to destroyed) and Sergeant C. S. G. De Nancrede (BR111) one damaged. Flying Officer McNair reported:

”As Green 3, when going to attack bombers, I saw an aircraft on my tail. I turned and found it to be a Messerschmitt. I gave fight and managed to get in two bursts on quarter astern attack; both seemed to be effective. The fight carried on until I lost him in cloud.
Claim Messerschmitt damaged.”
Sergeant De Nancrede was more laconic in his comment:
”McNair stole one from me and came within inches of killing me!”
Flight Lieutenant Norman Lee managed to penetrate the fighter screen and fired at one of the bombers, claiming it badly damaged. Flight Sergeant A. P. ‘Tim’ Goldsmith (BR290) of 126 Squadron engaged the same bomber and although his own aircraft was hit in the wing and engine, he was able to land safely. The Australian also claimed a Re.200l damaged, subsequently reporting:
”Fired at a Cant 1007 [sic], left it burning. Also had a dogfight with a Reggiane 2001.”
Squadron Leader W. G. ‘Bill’ New, who was flying with 126 Squadron while gaining experience over the Island prior to taking command of 185 Squadron, also claimed damage to a bomber while Pilot Officer M. A. ‘Mike’ Graves claimed a probable bomber. The 19-year-old New Zealander Pilot Officer Walter Alexander ‘Wally’ Caldwell (RNZAF no. 405229) was shot and killed in BR354, and another Spitfire sustained damage.
The 2o Gruppo pilots claimed four Spitfires shot down in this action, one each by Capitano Sterzi (CO 358a Squadriglia), Tenenente Carlo Seganti (358a Squadriglia), Maresciallo Albino Fabbri (152a Squadriglia) and Maresciallo Antonio Patriarca (358a Squadriglia). Capitano Salvatore Teja (CO 152a Squadriglia) claimed another shared with the crew of a bomber. Italian records also show that a further Spitfire was claimed by a Bf l09 pilot, but this has not been possible to verify with Luftwaffe records. No Italian or German fighters were recorded lost or seriously damaged; however, all three S.84s were hit, two returning with wounded on board.

In mid-afternoon on 26 May 1942, eight 603 Squadron Spitfires scrambled, followed by four each from 185 and 249 Squadrons. A fighter sweep by 13 Re.2001s from the 2o Gruppo was engaged by the 603 Squadron flight. Flying Officer Richard Mitchell and Pilot Officer Leslie Barlow each claimed one shot down, and Flight Lieutenant Lester Sanders another damaged.
Capitano Sterzi (CO 358a Squadriglia) was shot down, his aircraft going down in a screaming vertical dive to crash in a field near Ghaxaq. He managed to bale out but his parachute failed to open properly, and he fell to his death near Luqa. At least two other Reggianes returned seriously damaged, while one Spitfire was claimed in return by Tenente Giorgio Gasperoni. It would appear that he attacked Sergeant Yarra of 185 Squadron, whose aircraft (GL-B) was shot-up by a Re.2001, although the damage was not serious.

He was decorated with a posthumous Medaglia d’oro al valor militare.

At the time of his death, Sterzi was credited with 2 biplane victories and a total of 7.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 28/12/38   1 I-15 Destroyed CR.32   Spain 19a Squadriglia
2 01/02/39   1 I-16 Destroyed CR.32   Spain 19a Squadriglia
  ??/??/3?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed CR.32   Spain 19a Squadriglia
  ??/??/3?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed CR.32   Spain 19a Squadriglia
3 25/01/41 07:30-09:30 1 Gladiator (a) Destroyed G.50bis MM6335 Mechili area 358a Squadriglia
4 22/04/41 09:40-11:10 1 Hurricane (b) Destroyed G.50bis   Tobruk area 358a Squadriglia
5 16/06/41 15:15- 1 Hurricane Destroyed G.50bis   Sidi Omar area 358a Squadriglia
6 12/05/42 afternoon 1 Spitfire (c) Destroyed Re.2001   Malta 358a Squadriglia
7 25/05/42 15:00- 1 Spitfire (d) Destroyed Re.2001   Malta 358a Squadriglia

Biplane victories: 2 and 2 shared destroyed.
TOTAL: 7 and 2 shared destroyed.
(a) Claimed in combat with Gladiators from 3 RAAF Squadron, which claimed 3 G.50s damaged while losing 1 Gladiator and getting 3 lightly damaged. The 358a Squadriglia claimed 4 Gladiators without losses.
(b) Probably claimed in combat with Hurricanes from 73 Squadron, which claimed 1 G.50 without losses. The 2o Gruppo claimed 2 Hurricanes while losing 1 G.50bis (pilot KIA).
(c) Claimed in combat with Spitfires from 126, 185, 249, 601 and 603 Squadrons, which claimed 2 bombers, 1 Ju 88 probably destroyed, 1 damaged, 1 probable MC.202 and 1 damaged Bf 109 while losing 5 Spitfires. The 2o Gruppo, 4o Stormo and JG 53 claimed 10 Spitfires, 3 probables and 2 damaged while losing 2 Re.2001s (1 pilot DoW).
(d) Claimed in combat with Spitfires from 126 and 249 Squadrons, which claimed 2 fighters and 2 damaged while losing 1 Spitfire (pilot KIA) and 1 damaged. The 2o Gruppo claimed 5 Spitfires (1 shared with a bomber) without losses.

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Last modified 15 April 2024