Italian Air unit and ship info required

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Italian Air unit and ship info required

Post by Andy H » 17 May 2005 18:30

The British destroyer HMS Bedouin was completly disabled by the Italian cruiser's Eugenio di Savoia and Montecuccoli. However the ship was actually sunk sometime later by a Torpedo from a Italian aircraft (SM79). The aircraft itself wa shot down.

Does anyone know the identity of this aircraft?

Later on a Italian floatplane (ID unknown) and a small Italin hospital ship (ID unknown) appeared, and picked up 213 survivors. Can anyone ID either the floatplane unit or the hospital ship?
During the rescue operation, the hospital ship was bombed by Italian aircraft. Ironically, the pilot of the torpedo bomber which resulted in BEDOUIN'S sinking was also rescued
http://hmcshaida.ca/bedouin.html

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Andy H

Ron Klages
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Part of Answer

Post by Ron Klages » 21 May 2005 01:16

The following information comes from the book Malta: The Spitfire Year 1942 by Shores and Cull with alizia

Two S.79sil of 281a Squadriglia arrived while the helpless Bedouin was being shelled. The S.79sil flown by Martino Aichner put their torpedo into the Bedouin which sank in 10 minutes. Aichner's aircraft was shot up and he had to ditch the damaged aircraft [MM23942] near the sinking Beoudin and he and his crew were rescued along with the British sailors.

There is no mention in this book regarding the rescue. There is a float palne mentioned having been shot down while the Bedouin was being shelled. It was an Ro43 [MM27147] flown by Mario Sodi which had been catapulted from the Italian cruiser Eugenio di Savoia. A Beaufighter in the area flown by W.C. Wigmore promptly shot down the Ro43 killing the observer Vitaliano Marsigliana.

Hope this data helps,

best regards,

Ron Klages

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Post by Andy H » 27 May 2005 01:56

Thanks Ron.

I really should check out Shore's works before I post anymore threads along this line of enquiry

Again thank you.

Andy H

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DrG
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Post by DrG » 04 Jun 2005 00:16

Hi Andy H! :) I'm sorry for the delay, but I have been very busy recently. :(

The S.79 torpedo bomber was from the 281a Squadriglia, as already told by Ron Klages, of the 132° Gruppo based in Gerbini, Sicily.

A rescue ship (not hospital ship; the rescue ships were smaller and not recognized as hospital ships by UK, even though the international conventions didn't state a minimum tonnage for hospital ships), the Meta (243 grt), was attacked by British airplanes about at noon of 15 June 1942 while she was saving the men of the DD Bedouin.

I don't know the unit of the floatplane, sorry.

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Post by Andy H » 04 Jun 2005 23:56

A rescue ship (not hospital ship; the rescue ships were smaller and not recognized as hospital ships by UK, even though the international conventions didn't state a minimum tonnage for hospital ships), the Meta (243 grt), was attacked by British airplanes about at noon of 15 June 1942 while she was saving the men of the DD Bedouin.


Thank you yet again for the information provided.

I wonder why the RAF should attack such a (rescue) vessel, when it was obvious that it was saving RN personnel? I presume that the Meta survived this attack!

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Andy H

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DrG
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Post by DrG » 05 Jun 2005 13:26

Well, the battle of Mid June was a bit chaotic, it is quite possible that those airplanes didn't know whom that ship was rescuing (anyway, it would have been illogic to attack it also if the attackers had been Italian). Luckly the Meta, anyway, was not sunk.
For a few further info about Italian hospital ships in WW2 please see this older post of mine: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 286#410286.

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