Biplane fighter aces

Italy

Tenente Renato Talamini

1 August 1917 – 10 April 1944

Renato Talamini was born in Venice on 1 August 1917.

On 1 October 1939, he was commissioned (in Servizio Permanente Effettivo).

He was promoted to Tenente on 10 June 1940.

At 10:40 on 8 December, eight MC.202s from the 9o Gruppo led by Capitano Ezio Viglione Borghese (96a Squadriglia) commenced a patrol of the Ain el Gazala-Trigh Capuzzo-Tobruk area. They were followed by eleven MC.202s from the 17o Gruppo (six from the 71a Squadriglia, two from the 72a Squadriglia and three from the 80a Squadriglia), which took off at 11:30 to protect the coastal road between Ain el Gazala and Tobruk. These Macchis flew in vics disposed in echelon right at the height of 4000 metres.
It seems that both formations encountered the same Allied formation, which comprised 18 Blenheims drawn from two squadrons, escorted by Hurricanes from 274 and 1 SAAF Squadrons.
The situation at this time was very confusing. However, at 10:30, 84 Squadron Blenheims took off, targeting a very important concentration of vehicles in the area of El Adem. Cover was granted by eleven Hurricane IIB from 274 Squadron (take-off at 11:30), together while others from 1 SAAF Squadron (take-off at 11:30) were up to escort 18 Blenheims targeting the area of El Adem. The mission was considered very successful because 53 vehicles (of some 250 reported) were thought to be destroyed.
5-10 miles south-west of El Adem, 274 Squadron pilots saw a reported 30 Axis fighters; Bf 109s, MC.200s and MC.202s, coming from south-east while 1 SAAF Squadron continued to fly towards base with the bombers without seeing the enemy fighters. 274 Squadron, even if they thought to be heavily outnumbered, engaged the enemies. The Commonwealth pilots reported that the Macchis preferred to dogfight with the Hurricanes while the Bf 109s dove continuously.
The 9o Gruppo attacked first and back at base, they reported they had met a dozen Hurricanes that were strafing Italian vehicles. The head of the Italian formation led the attack and Sottotenente
Jacopo Frigerio (97a Squadriglia) attacked four enemy fighters at several times; he then had to land at Z because his Macchi had run out of fuel. On spotting the enemy aircraft, Sottotenente Giovanni Barcaro (97a Squadriglia) closed in to Capitano Viglione to warn him and together they attacked and shot down one enemy aircraft in flames. He subsequently fired on four more aircraft (totally using 184 rounds) before landing at Z.2 for refuelling. Maresciallo Otello Perotti (97a Squadriglia) fired on two enemy aircraft (using 263 rounds) but couldn’t observe the effects. He landed at Z for refuelling and claimed a probable Hurricane. Another two enemy aircraft were claimed by Sergente Maggiore Bruno Spitzl (96a Squadriglia) and Vittorio Pozzati (96a Squadriglia). Tenente Fernando Malvezzi (96a Squadriglia) hit a P-40 with a long burst but couldn’t assess the result because he was attacked from behind by another P-40.
Altogether, the 9o Gruppo, which returned to base at 12:00, claimed four destroyed (Spitzl, Pozzati, Sergente Alfredo Bombardini (97a Squadriglia) and the shared between Capitano Viglione and Sottotenente Barcaro). Ten more Hurricanes were claimed as damaged (three by Sottotenente Barcaro, two by Maresciallo Perotti, four by Sottotenente Frigerio and one by Malvezzi). Sergente Bombardini’s fighter (MM7739) was damaged and had to land at Ain el Gazala but the airfield had to be evacuated and the Macchi had to be destroyed there.
As 274 Squadron sought to return to base, they were hit by the 17o Gruppo, which had taken off at 11:30 with eleven MC.202 (six from the 71a Squadriglia, two from the 72a Squadriglia and three from the 80a Squadriglia) for a protective patrol of Axis troops retreating along the coastal strip between Ain el Gazala and Tobruk. The Macchis, keeping a wedge patrol formation on the right wing at an altitude of 4,000m, reported that they at 12:00 met a formation of fighters, claiming six of them shot down (Tenente Talamini (80a Squadriglia) (Hurricane), Sottotenete Renato Bagnoli (80a Squadriglia) (Tomahawk), Tenente Mario Carini (72a Squadriglia) (Hurricane), Sottotenete Vittorio Bacchi Andreoli (71a Squadriglia) (Tomahawk), Maresciallo Achille Martina (71a Squadriglia) (Tomahawk) and Sottotenete Guido Modiano (72a Squadriglia) (Hurricane). Sottotenente Ottorino Capellini (71a Squadriglia) and Sergente Maggiore Mario Host (80a Squadriglia) claimed a probable Tomahawk each. Totally the 71a Squadriglia used 1270 rounds of ammunition while the 80a Squadriglia used 1870. Tenente Carini (MM7758), hit in the cooling system, crash-landed near Bir le Fa while Tenente Talamini’s MC.202 was damaged in the left wing. The Italian fighters were back between 12:50 and 12:55.
The hard-pressed 274 Squadron claimed one Bf 109, one MC.202 (both by Sergeant James Dodds (Hurricane Z2835)) and two probables (Sergeant Robert Henderson (Z5367) and Sergeant R. H. N. Walsh (Z5435) and five damaged (between Squadron Leader Sidney Linnard (Z5064) (two MC.200s), Pilot Officer Patrick Moriarty (Z4015) (two MC.202s) and Pilot Officer George Keefer (BD880) (one Bf 109)).
Three Hurricanes were lost with one being seen going down vertically and one in flames. 26-year-old Flight Lieutenant Owen Vincent Tracey (RAF no. 42774) (Hurricane IIb BD885) and Sergeant Haines (Hurricane IIb Z5066) were missing while Sergeant John Paterson McDonnell was hit during the combat and crash-landed at Tobruk writing off his Hurricane IIb BE347. A fourth Hurricane IIb (Z5130) flown by Pilot Officer Thompson was also forced to land in Tobruk. 84 Squadron recorded that the escort lost four aircraft of the twelve present.
It is necessary to point out that the combat area reported in the documents of 274 Squadron and the 17o Gruppo are different, however errors and misidentifications of locations were always possible and there were no matching German claims. For this reasons it seems likely that 274 Squadron fought against the 17o Gruppo. The identification of Italian fighters as the opponents of 274 Squadron during this combat seems to be corroborated also by the account of Squadron Leader Linnard who while engaged by a Bf 109, saw a MC.200 attacking a Hurricane, both aircraft making steep turns and losing height. Linnard shook free from his own combat and tried to shot the Macchi off the other Hurricane’s tail, but was too late, bullets from the Italian fighter, which was turning inside the Hurricane, striking the area of the cockpit. The stricken aircraft then turned over at low level and dived into the ground several miles south of El Adem, bursting into flames. A little later squadron personnel met South African soldiers who reported that they had found a grave beside a wrecked Hurricane, and that on this was a flying helmet and the identity disc of Flight Lieutenant Tracey; it therefore seems probable that he had been the victim of the Macchi. The 20o and 153o Gruppi, which flew radial engined fighters, didn’t meet any Commonwealth fighter during the day even if they escorted Stukas three times and the MC.202 was a new machine in North Africa skies, easy to be confused with other types. It is interesting that 1 SAAF Squadron wasn’t aware of the combat. The number of enemy fighters estimated by 274 Squadron leads to think that probably other Axis fighters were up together with the MC.202s, in fact they could had been 15 Bf 109s that at taken off at 11:45 to escort Ju 87 even if they didn’t record encounters with enemy fighters.
It is also possibly that 80 Squadron was involved in this combat since Hurricane IIs of 80 Squadron had taken off at 10:55 from LG 133 to attack axis vehicles in the Acroma area. 40 of them, going west, were discovered and bombed by all Hurricanes. Afterwards six of these dived for strafing while the rest of the formation remained high to give cover. This high section attacked a formation of twelve enemy fighters (Bf 109s and MC.202s) protecting fighter-bombers that could go on with their action. Back at base the returning pilots were very pleased by the outcome of the action where they had claimed two Bf 109Fs confirmed (Flying Officer R. Reynolds (Z4801) and Sergeant Frank Mason (Z4786)) and a MC.202 probable and two damaged (Sergeant G. H. Whyte (Z4714)) without suffering any loss. It is possible that these were in combat with the 9o Gruppo, which reported ground-strafing Hurricanes.

In April 1942, Tenente Renato Talamini served in 80a Squadriglia, 17o Gruppo C.T., in North Africa. This unit was at the time equipped with Macchi MC.202s.

On 3 April, both Gruppi of 1o Stormo scrambled to intercept a formation of bombers escorted by fighters heading for Derna.
Nine MC.202s of the 6o Gruppo (seven from the 79a Squadriglia, one of the 81a Squadriglia and one of the 88a Squadriglia) took off at 10:15 led by Capitano Domenico Camarda (CO of the 79a Squadriglia). Flying at the height of 4000 meters over Ain el Gazala, four Macchis reached the enemy formation and engaged the escort (whose planes were identified as P-46s – but obviously Kittyhawks). One of them was claimed shot down by Tenente Paolo Cattaneo (79a Squadriglia) who saw his opponent landing hurriedly in Gazala. Maresciallo Giovanni Collovini (81a Squadriglia) claimed a probable while Sergente Maggiore Amedeo Benati (79a Squadriglia) claimed a damaged. Maresciallo Italo Bertinelli (79a Squadriglia) in MM7860 was shot down in flames near the Gulf of Bomba and lost his life. The other pilots landed back between 10:50 and 11:15 after having used 1345 rounds of ammunition.
Eight MC.202s of the 17o Gruppo (three from the 71a Squadriglia and five of the 80a Squadriglia) led by Capitano Clizio Nioi, took off at 10:30. The five MC.202s from the 80a Squadriglia managed to engage twelve P-40s, claiming four shot down confirmed, one probable and one damaged. The confirmed victories went to Capitano Nioi, (who also claimed the probable), Maresciallo Bruno Castellani, Sergente Maggiore Mario Host and Sergente Maggiore Alvise Andrich. A sixth plane was claimed damaged by Tenente Talamini. The Italian pilots were back at 11:20 and they had expended 1690 rounds of ammunition.
With this victory Capitano Nioi qualified as an ace, as the first pilot of the Stormo to reach this status during the conflict.
Twelve Bostons of 12 SAAF Squadron were in action over Derna escorted by four Squadrons. 2 SAAF and 4 SAAF Squadrons, each with six Tomahawks formed the close cover, 94 Squadron acted as top cover (they had taken off between 10:30 and 10:45 and returned between 11:50 and 12:10); and finally eight Kittyhawks of 260 Squadron, which had taken off at 10:30, as an extra top cover. Additionally, twelve Kittyhawks of 450 Squadron had taken off at 10:40 to cover the returning bombers. They were divided in two formations, one at 19,000 feet and a second at 17,500 feet. They directed over Bu El Bergasi, Gazala then stationed over Menelao bay waiting for the bombers. Finally, ten Hurricane IIbs of 274 Squadron had taken off at 10:50 for a diversionary sweep over Gazala, two of them had to return early for engine problems.
4 SAAF Squadron recorded that the bombing attack, performed on an east-west course from the height of 14,000 feet was quite accurate. 45 well dispersed enemy aircraft were counted on the airfield. In particular in the north-eastern corner of Derna were more than 20 enemy aircraft dispersed and the bombs were seen to fall south of them.
During the attack, eight Bf 109s were seen to take off from the southwestern corner of Derna, apparently alerted by heliograph signals from Martuba. 2 SAAF Squadron also noted the take-off of enemy fighters from Martuba but the two South African units weren’t engaged.
Immediately after the bombing attack, 94 Squadron was engaged by three Bf 109 of I/JG27, and Pilot Officer G. L. Usher (AK741) claimed a destroyed Bf 109E and this was possibly the Messerschmitt of Leutnant Julius Wildau of 3./JG 27 (Bf 109F-4 trop WNr. 8411), who crashed to death 2km west of Casa Cantoniera on Via Balbia. The 94 Squadron didn’t suffer any loss.
Subsequently, over Menelao bay, five miles north-west of Bomba, 260 Squadron claimed two Bf 109s (one by Flight Sergeant Thomas Hindle and one shared between Squadron Leader Osgood Hanbury (AK867) and Sergeant J. V. Carlisle). Then Flight Sergeant Hindle engaged a MC.202, 12 miles south south-west of Gazala and claimed it probably shot down. The 6o Gruppo was possibly involved in this combat together with some Bf 109s, with the loss of Maresciallo Bertinelli while the Germans lost Leutnant Rainer who was obliged to force-land. After this, close to Gazala, Hindle was attacked by two Macchi MC.202s (probably from the 6o Gruppo); the first one, after the attack headed west while the second engaged in an inconclusive dogfight. Finally, over El Adem, Hindle was attacked by two Bf 109, being able to shot at one of them without claiming any damage.
The fighters of 260 Squadron landed at 12:15 without reporting any damage at all even if the ORB of 4 SAAF Squadron noted that a Kittyhawk of 260 Squadron was heavily shot up but succeeded in landing back at base.
In the Gazala area, 94 Squadron lost 19-year-old Pilot Officer Richard Warwick Martin Moon (RAF no. 106647) (Kitthawk Ia AK942), who failed to return and the fighter (AK769) of Sergeant Musker, who was wounded, while Sergeant Ray Matthews (AK735) was obliged to force-land near Gazala due to engine problems in a situation that matched that described by Tenente Cattaneo, a fact that suggest the presence of the 6o Gruppo in the combat.
In the meantime, 450 Squadron discovered the bombers that were coming back to base and saw higher two Bf 109s that failed to intervene. South of Gazala the Squadron headed south towards a combat already ongoing (possibly the already described action involving 260 and 94 Squadrons) and two of its pilots engaged two MC.202s and one was claimed damaged by Sergeant Ian Nursey (AK606/OK-B).
Between El Adem and Tobruk, 450 Squadron’s CO, Squadron Leader Gordon Steege (AK717/V), discovered three MC.202s flying lower and led his unit to attack. Two of the Italian fighters were claimed damaged; one by Steege and one by Sergeant Donald McBurnie (AK865/K. All the fighters of 450 Squadron returned unscathed even if one of them had been forced to return early with engine problems.
Then it was the turn of the Hurricane IIbs from 274 Squadron, which engaged Bf 109s and MC.202s, claiming three probables by Pilot Officer R. H. Hunter (Bf 109), Sergeant H. Garwood (Bf 109) and Sergeant William Marsh (MC.202), but suffering the loss of the plane of Sergeant A. E. Howell, who was wounded but was saved.
The diary of Sergeant William Marsh who was flying Hurricane IIb BD820/D recorded only Macchis (possibly the formation of the 17o Gruppo):

“1 Macchi 202 damage: engaged by 6+, one of which turned on to Sgt. Presse, my No. 1. Pukka dog-fight for ten minutes, 202 looping and rolling, got in snap shots at bottom of loops. Broke off combat when a second 202 appeared – my ammo finished too. Sgt. “Tiny” Howell shot down.”
This combat seems to be against the Macchis of the 17o Gruppo, so they should be responsible for the loss of Howell.
Totally it also seems that around 20 Bf 109s,were engaged, seven of them from I/JG27 and three from II/JG 27. They reported to have met 20-30 “Curtiss”. Luftwaffe pilots claimed four P-40s. These were claimed by Unteroffizier Johann Walchhofer of 6./JG 27, who claimed one at 10:30 south-west of Ain el Gazala and a second at 10:40 30km east of Ain el Gazala, one by Leutnant Karl von Lieres und Wilkau of 2./JG 27 west of El Adem at 10:40 and finally one by Gefreiter Otto Schwekutsch of 6./JG 27 south-west of El Alamein (?) at 10:32. Schwekutsch reported that his quarry had landed with the landing gear retracted. In the combats two Bf 109s were lost (Wildau and Rainer), who probably had met 260 Squadron and 94 Squadron together with the pilots of the 6o Gruppo.
It is interesting to note that documents of the opposing air forces reported the sudden landing of an aircraft (that of Sergeant Matthews) close to Gazala. It is possible to assume that Matthews has suffered engine problems while he was under attack from Tenente Cattaneo.
Despite the evident efforts of the pilots of the 1o Stormo it is possible to assign them with a certain degree of confidence only the shooting down of the plane of Howell even if it seems probable that they were able to obtain also some additional success.
It is also interesting to note the high number of Commonwealth units employed to protect the bombers and the fact that the close cover was not engaged as a proof of the efficiency of the disposition of the escort. It comes out that it was not so easy to reach the bombers for the Axis fighters, probably the number of interceptors should had been much higher to be able to efficiently engage the Bostons.

During the night between 26 and 27 May, Rommel launched his new offensive. The Folgore equipped units were in the forefront from the beginning. The 6o and 17o Gruppi escorted MC.200s of the 2o Stormo strafing enemy vehicles along the Balbia road, east of Gazala. The 6o Gruppo was up with ten fighters (three from the 79a Squadriglia, three from the 81a Squadriglia and four from the 88a Squadriglia) led by Maggiore Marco Larcher, which had taken off at 06:10 and landed at 07:20. The 17o Gruppo was up with eight planes (two from the 71a Squadriglia, two from the 72a Squadriglia and four from the 80a Squadriglia), which had taken off at 06:15 and landed back at 07:15.
At 06:30, south of Gazala, at the height of 4500 m. and despite the morning haze that hampered visibility, the 6o Gruppo was able to discover and engage around 15 fighters identified as P-40s and P-46s. The Italian pilots reported that their enemies were obliged to flee after having suffered the loss of three fighters and the damaging of the rest of the formation. It was not possible to pursue them because the Macchis were at the limit of their endurance. Victories went to Capitano Dante Ocarso, Maresciallo Natalino Stabile and Sergente Maggiore Alfredo Bordin (all from the 88a Squadriglia) with the use of 2730 rounds of ammunition.
17o Gruppo instead, flying at 5000 m., engaged 25 P-40s, claiming three shot down shared between three pilots; Tenente Talamini (who also claimed three damaged), Sergente Maggiore Alvise Andrich and Sergente Maggiore Mario Host (all from the 80a Squadriglia) with the use of 550 rounds of ammunition. The two Sergenti landed with their fighters heavily damaged including cannon hits on Host’s.
Major Daniel Wilhelm Human (AL186/DB-G), for the first time at the head of 2 SAAF Squadron led twelve Kittyhawks of his unit over Gazala. After taking off at 06:45 they engaged twelve enemy aircraft that were flying in small numbers. A general melee followed, where most of the pilots were able to shot at enemy fighters. Three pilots were forced to fight their way against the Macchis up to El Adem.
Lieutenant David Paddon and Lieutenant Norman Soames Ford failed to return, while a third fighter (‘T’) had to land at El Adem short of fuel. Major Human claimed a Bf 109 (first of his five victories), Lieutenant Gordon Derek Reynolds claimed a Macchi MC.202 probable while a Bf 109 was claimed damaged by an unknown pilot.
In the same area there were also four Bf 109 escorting a reconnaissance aircraft and Feldwebel Erich Krenzke of 6./JG 27 claimed a P-40 at 06:55, 20km. south of Gazala, but considering the circumstances and the development of the combat, a confused dogfight typical of the engagements that involved the Italian units it seems improbable that 2 SAAF Squadron was engaged by the Messerschmitts, so it seems more likely that the South Africans fought only against 1o Stormo.
Considering the number of enemy fighters estimated by the pilots of the 17o Gruppo it is not possible to discard the possibility that another Commonwealth unit was present.
It is also noticeable that despite the intensity of the combat the South Africans didn’t record any additional damage.

At 22:30 on 31 May 1942, Tenente Talamini scrambled in a CR.42, engaged a Wellington and claimed it shot down with the use of 350 rounds of ammunition. The aircraft was seen crashing burning into the ground. Then he was able to discover three more enemy planes but his guns jammed and he had to abort the mission.
Sergente Maggiore Host also scrambled and engaged enemy bombers; he shot at three different aircraft, claiming hits on one.
A second Wellington was claimed by a night-fighter Bf 110 flown by Oberleutnant Alfred Wehmeyer of 7./ZG 26 at 23:10 as his 13th and last victory.
13 Wellingtons from 148 Squadron, which had taken off from ALG 106, were in action over Derna. The bomber (Wellington II AD653/R) of Flying Officer W. Astell failed to return and Flying Officer Astell reported:

“...Whilst circuiting at about 0030 about 2 miles E. of L.G., height 3000’, our AC was attacked by a single-engined monoplane. Crew did not see EA approach, who attacked them from starboard quarter and below. First indication crew had was that they saw tracers going through starboard wing. As a result of this attack, hydraulics rear turret and rudder control were U/S and a fire started in the fuselage somewhere near the bed. Captain jettisoned the balance of bombs and turned for home whilst the navigator was busy extinguishing the fire. About two minutes later when heading for Martuba, EA attacked a second time from starboard quarter and below, starting a second fire in starboard wing and in the engine nacelle, hit the starboard airscrew and the rear gunner ammunition tank setting it on fire. Hit the WO who was operating beam guns in leg with cannon shell and hit second pilot in right arm. By this time AC was losing height rapidly and Captain ordered crew to bale out. WO and rear gunner baled out of escape hatch, second pilot owing to his wounded condition had to have his parachute put on by navigator and baled out through the door. Just before second pilot baled out, EA attacked on the port quarter and two cannon shells exploded on instrument panel and pitot head shot off making instruments US. The navigator let front gunner out of his turret who baled out immediately but it is not certain if AC had sufficient height for his parachute to open. By this time AC was well alight from navigator s cabin backwards and on starboard wing. It was too late for captain and navigator to bale out and AC crash landed at 00.45 about 1.5 miles S of Martuba L.G.s. …”
After having destroyed the IFF, they headed for home. Flying Officer Astell and Sergeant F. Mackintosh made it back while the rest of the crew (Pilot Officer A. W. Dodds, Sergeant B. J. Filby, Flight Sergeant F. Hooper and Sergeant I. E. Robinson) was taken prisoner.

At 13:55 on 5 July 1942, Tenente Talamini and Sottotenente Roberto Sparapani (88a Squadriglia) took off for a standing patrol over the airfield. They saw two smoke columns over the frontline and went towards them meeting a formation of ten P-40s that they attacked claiming five of them damaged. The Italian pilots came back at 14:50; Sparapani’s Macchi was damaged in the wing. It was probably a formation of eight Tomahawks of 4 SAAF Squadron that had taken off at 14:20 to indirectly cover Boston bombers. Over the target, they engaged at least three enemy planes and all the pilots were able to shot at them without apparent results. The Squadron was back at 15:55.

After the Italian surrender in September 1943, Talamini joined the A.N.R. (Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana) were he served in the 3a Squadriglia.

On 28 March 1944, B-24s from the 15th AF attacked Maestre and Verona rail-yards and railroad and highway bridges at Fano and Cassano while B-17s attacked Verona rail-yards. They are escorted by P-47s from the 325 FG and P-38s from the 1st and 82nd FG.
At 11:35, the whole Io Gruppo (53 MC.205s in two groups), led by Maggiore Adriano Visconti, scrambled from Campoformido to intercept B-17s and B-24s over the Polesine area.
The bombers are intercepted over valli di Comacchio and since the bombers were separated into two distinct formations, a direct north and one north-west, the Macchis attacked in two groups. The 1a (Capitano Giuseppe Robetto), 2a (Capitano Amedeo Guidi) and 3a Squadriglie (Tenente Talamini) Squadriglie attacked the escorting P-38s while the Nucleo Comando (Visconti) attacked the bombers.
In the ensuing intercept Sergente Maggiore Mario Veronesi (12:15 at 7000-1000m in the Polesine area) and Sergente Maggiore Giuseppe Marconcini (12:20 at 5500m) each claimed a B-24. The fighters clashed violently with the escorting fighters and six P-38s were claimed by Tenente Talamini (12:20 at 5000m), Tenente Gianni Levrini (12:20 at 6000m), Tenente Giuseppe Rosati (12:18 at 7600m), Sottotenente Remo Lugari (12:15 at 9000m), Sottotenente Giovanni Sajeva (12:10 at 6000-200m) and Tenente Giovanni Pittini (12:20 at 3000m). A seventh P-38 was claimed by Francesco Tonello of the 2a Squadriglia but this one was claimed at 10:30.
Two MC.205s were lost when Sergente Maggiore Alverino ‘Nino’ Capatti and Tenente Giovanni Pittini were shot down. Capatti was killed when his MC.205 crashed at Argenta, not far from Dogato (his birth-place) while Pattini managed to parachute with a severely wounded right foot. He landed in a ploughed field where managed to stop the bleeding before he was taken to Codigoro Hospital where his foot was amputated. Pittini took up flying again post-war.
During the battle at 8000 meters, Sajeva had some troubles with his Drager Auer oxygen delivering system, so he had to descend to 4000 meters. At 5000 meters, however he intercepted a P-38, which probably had some troubles and was heading south to return home. The P-38 didn’t take any evasive action and Sajeva hit the right engine, which caught fire. The American made an emergency landing in a field near Massalombarda over-watched by Sajeva, who then returned home. The Germans took prisoner the pilot, a 20-years-old Canadian (?) Lieutenant.
Two P-38s were in fact lost when 2nd Lieutenant James L. Rodolff (42-67067/MACR3642) and 2nd Lieutenant Kenneth E. Hartwig (42-67035/MACR3580) of 27th FS, 1st FG, were shot down and taken PoWs. A third P-38 was also lost during this mission but this was probably due to engine problems when 2nd Lieutenant David V. Weber (O-753766) of 97th FS, 82nd FG crashed into water and drowned when returning on one engine.
20 miles north-west of Ferrara between 09:30-14:20, one MC.202 was claimed by 1st Lieutenant Arthur Larkin of 96th FS, 82nd FG, one Bf 109 was claimed by Captain John S. Litchfield of 97th FS, 82nd FG and one Bf 109 was claimed as a damaged by Lieutenant Alphonse J. Mikes of the 97th FS.

Talamini went missing on 10 April 1944, while intercepting heavy bombers.

At the time of his death, Talamini was credited with 1 biplane victory and a total of 5.
During his career, he had been awarded one Medaglia d’argento al valor militare and one Medaglia di bronzo al valor militare.

Claims:
Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  1941                
1 08/12/41 12:00-12:55 1 Hurricane (a) Destroyed MC.202   El Gazala-Tobruk 80a Squadriglia
  1942                
  03/04/42 10:30-11:20 1 P-40 (b) Damaged MC.202   Derna 80a Squadriglia
  27/05/42 06:15-07:15 1 P-40 (c) Shared destroyed MC.202   S Gazala 80a Squadriglia
  27/05/42 06:15-07:15 1 P-40 (c) Shared destroyed MC.202   S Gazala 80a Squadriglia
  27/05/42 06:15-07:15 1 P-40 (c) Shared destroyed MC.202   S Gazala 80a Squadriglia
  27/05/42 06:15-07:15 1 P-40 (c) Damaged MC.202   S Gazala 80a Squadriglia
  27/05/42 06:15-07:15 1 P-40 (c) Damaged MC.202   S Gazala 80a Squadriglia
  27/05/42 06:15-07:15 1 P-40 (c) Damaged MC.202   S Gazala 80a Squadriglia
3 31/05/42 22:30- 1 Wellington (d) Destroyed Fiat CR.42   Derna area 80a Squadriglia
  05/07/42 13:55-14:50 1/2 P-40 (e) Shared damaged MC.202   North Africa 80a Squadriglia
  05/07/42 13:55-14:50 1/2 P-40 (e) Shared damaged MC.202   North Africa 80a Squadriglia
  05/07/42 13:55-14:50 1/2 P-40 (e) Shared damaged MC.202   North Africa 80a Squadriglia
  05/07/42 13:55-14:50 1/2 P-40 (e) Shared damaged MC.202   North Africa 80a Squadriglia
  05/07/42 13:55-14:50 1/2 P-40 (e) Shared damaged MC.202   North Africa 80a Squadriglia
  1944                
  28/01/44 14:30 1/3 B-24 Shared destroyed MC.205   Cesara-Pordenone 3a Squadriglia
5 28/03/44 12:20 1 P-38 (f) Destroyed MC.205   Valli di Comacchio 3a Squadriglia

Biplane victories: 1 destroyed.
TOTAL: 5 and 4 shared destroyed, 4 and 5 shared damaged.
(a) Possibly claimed in combat with Hurricanes from 80 and or 274 Squadron, which claimed 4 enemy fighters, 3 probables and 7 damaged while losing 4 aircraft. The 9 and 17o Gruppi claimed 10 fighters, 2 probables and 10 damaged while losing 1 MC.202 and getting two damaged.
(b) Claimed in combat with P-40s from 2 SAAF, 4 SAAF, 94, 260 and 450 Squadrons and Hurricanes from 274 Squadron. The Allied fighters claimed 3 destroyed, 4 probables, 3 damaged for the loss of 3 aircraft (1 pilot KIA) and three damaged. Axis fighter from the 1o Stormo and JG 27 claimed 9 destroyed, 2 probables and 2 damaged for the loss of 3 fighters (2 pilots KIA).
(c) Possibly claimed in combat with P-40s from 2 SAAF Squadron, which claimed 1, 1probable and 1 damaged while losing two aircraft. 6o and 17o Gruppi claimed 6 and many damaged while two MC.202s were damaged.
(d) Probably claimed in combat with Wellingtons from 148 Squadron, which lost one aircraft against Axis claims for two shot down.
(e) Probably claimed in combat with P-40s from 4 SAAF Squadron, which didn’t suffer any losses.
(f) Claimed in combat with P-38s from 1st and 82nd FG, which claimed two enemy aircraft destroyed and one damaged while losing two P-38s from 27th FS. Io Gruppo claimed six P-38s while losing two MC.205s.

Sources:
A History of the Mediterranean Air War 1940-1945: Volume One – Christopher Shores and Giovanni Massimello with Russell Guest, 2012 Grub Street, London, ISBN 978-1908117076
A History of the Mediterranean Air War 1940-1945: Volume Two – Christopher Shores and Giovanni Massimello with Russell Guest, Frank Olynyk & Winfried Bock, 2012 Grub Street, London, ISBN-13: 9781909166127
Ali d'Africa - Michele Palermo and Ludovico Slongo, 2009 IBN Editore, ISBN 88-7565-060-8
Annuario Ufficiale Delle Forze Armate Del Regno D’Italia Anno 1943. Part III Regia Aeronautica – 1943 Istituto Poligrafico Dello Stato, Roma
Assi Italiani Della Caccia 1936-1945 - Giovanni Massimello, 1999 Aerofan no. 69 apr.-giu. 1999, Giorgio Apostolo Editore, Milan
Eagles over Gazala: Air Battles in North Africa May-June 1942 – Michele Palermo, IBN Editore, ISBN (10) 88-7565-168-X
La Battaglie Aeree In Africa Settentrionale: Novembre-Dicembre 1941 – Michele Palermo, IBN, ISBN 88-7565-102-7
Luftwaffe Claims Lists - Tony Wood
Royal Air Force Bomber Losses in the Middle East and Mediterranean, Volume 1: 1939-1942 - David Gunby and Pelham Temple, 2006 Midland Publishing, ISBN 1-85780-234-9
Additional information kindly provided by Ferdinando D’Amico, Michele Palermo and Ludovico Slongo.




Last modified 03 April 2017