Heroic Italian aviators!

Discussions on all aspects of Italy under Fascism from the March on Rome to the end of the war.
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Re: Heroic Italian aviators!

Post by tigre » 27 Aug 2018 23:03

Hello to all :D; more.....................................

Tenente pilota Francesco Di Bella.

In this regard I found the following: He was born in Roccalumera on July 7, 1914. In March 1937 he obtained a military patent, with the degree of sottotenente. In November of that year he left for Spain, as part of the Legionary Aviation, where he served until March 1939. For his service in Spain, he received the Military War Cross. Upon entering the war, on June 10, 1940, his squadron (253nd Squadriglia, 104th Gruppo, of 46th Stormo BT) was engaged first on the French front, and since October of that year in Greece. For his military activity carried out between June and November 1940, he was decorated with a Silver Medal for Military Valour.

After attending a training course he became part of the 283rd Squadriglia Aerosiluranti, created in July 1941. As a pilot of SM.79, Di Bella had his baptism of fire on July 23 when he launched a torpedo that impacted against the cruiser HMS Manchester damaging her seriously (second Silver Medal for Military Valour awarded in the field). For his activities between September and December 1941, he received a third Silver Medal for Military Valour.

On October 7, 1942 he was transferred as instructor to the 3º Nucleo Addestramento Aerosiluranti of Decimomannu, in Sardinia. After the landing of the allies in North Africa (Operation Torch) he returned to combat. During the combats on the skies of Sicily, the captain (promoted in February 1943) Di Bella was attributed the sinking of a 12,000-ton steamer loaded with ammunition, and for this action was awarded the Gold Medal for 3Military Valour. On September 8, 1943, he took off from Foligno with his own plane flying to the territory controlled by the Allies. He was discharged in July 1944....

Sources: Ali di Guerra Nº 5 agosto 1941
Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Torpedo-Bomber Units. Marco Mattioli
1943 Il martirio di un'isola. Alessandro Bellomo

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Heroic Italian aviators!

Post by tigre » 04 Sep 2018 02:38

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Tenente pilota Enzo Stefani.

In this regard I found the following: He was born in Mandriolo in the year 1913. He obtained the rank of Sottotenente and the rank of tenente for extraordinary merits. Legionary of Spain. He was awarded the Silver Medal for Military Valour for carrying out bravely and in any circumstance and against any risk, numerous war actions, demonstrating uncommon ability and audacity.

Sources: Ali di Guerra Nº 5 agosto 1941
Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Torpedo-Bomber Units. Marco Mattioli

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Heroic Italian aviators!

Post by tigre » 11 Sep 2018 00:27

Hello to all :D; more: Sottotenente pilota Eugenio Palenzona.

In this regard I found the following: He was born in Cagliari in 1916. He was decorated with the Military War Cross for his participation in the Battle of the Balearic Islands on July 9, 1940. In effect on that date, 46 S.79 of the 8th and 32º Stormo, operating from Sardinia and led by the Generale di Brigata Aerea Stefano Cagna bombed H Force ships off the coast of the Balearic Islands. He also received a special mention for his participation in the air show held on May 8, 1938 in honor of the Chancellor of the Reich.

Sources: Ali di Guerra Nº 5 agosto 1941
Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Torpedo-Bomber Units. Marco Mattioli

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Heroic Italian aviators!

Post by tigre » 17 Sep 2018 22:39

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Generale di Brigata Aerea Stefano Cagna.

In this regard I found the following: He was born in Ormea in 1901. He devoted himself to nautical studies and obtained the title of Capitano di lungo corso (professional title of merchant marine that enables for service on deck). In 1924 he obtained the title of pilot of seaplanes. In 1928 he was nominated as a tenente in permanent service; in this year he participated in the cruise through the western Mediterranean and also participated in the rescue flight to the Arctic to search for the crew of the dirigible Italy. In 1929 the cruise took place in the eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea and Cagna participated as Italo Balbo's assistant. In December of 1930 he carried out the transatlantic cruise Italy-Brazil as capitano and co-pilot of Balbo. In 1933 as Tenente colonnello participated in the Decenal cruise (Rome-Chicago-New York-Rome). In 1938 he was Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Libya, here he helped Balbo to organize the first parachute element the Fanti dell'Aria. Promoted to Generale di Brigata Area on March 16, 1939 with only 38 years.

He left Libya in 1940 when he accepted the task of reorganizing the civil aviation, separating from Balbo for the first time in his career. After the entry of Italy in World War II on June 10, 1940 and the death of Balbo, he returned to operational employmentas Commander of the X Brigata Aerea Bombardamento Terrestre "Marte (Mars)" based in Cagliari Elmas equipped with the bomber trimotor Savoia-Marchetti SM.79. On August 1, 1940, General Cagna attacked a British naval formation sailing from Gibraltar with his SM.79, but in front of the Balearic Islands his plane, which descended at an altitude of 2,500 meters to more efficiently focus the enemy ships, was reached by the violent antiaircraft reaction and rushed into the sea, killing him and all his crew, which included Colonnello Nello Capanni and tenente Guglielmo Pallavicini.

Sources: Ali di Guerra Nº 5 agosto 1941
Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Torpedo-Bomber Units. Marco Mattioli

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Heroic Italian aviators!

Post by tigre » 25 Sep 2018 00:38

Hello to all :D; more.....................................

Capitano pilota Bruno Mussolini.

In this regard I found the following: On June 1, 1941, the 274ª Squadriglia Bombardamento a Grande Raggio (long range) was established at the Pisa airport, under the control of the 3a Squadra Aerea, under the command of Cap. pilota Bruno Mussolini, son of the Duce; it was planned to equip it with the Piaggio P.108 B bomber, which at the time of its constitution did not have any operational aircraft. On July 19, 1941, the first aircraft was received. However, on August 7, during a training flight, the four-engine bomber crashed at the time of landing, causing the death of Capitano Mussolini, plus Tenente pilota Francesco Vitalini and Maresciallo motorista Angelo Trezzini.

Capitano Bruno Mussolini was born in Milan on April 22, 1918. At the age of 17, he obtained his license as a military pilot and volunteered for the AOI campaign, obtaining a Silver Medal for Military Valour and a Bronze Medal for Aeronautical Valour. He was promoted to Tenente for merits of war and passed to permanent service. On August 20, 1937, he participated in the Istres - Damascus - Paris air competition. Shortly after he joined the Italian legionary aviation in Spain where he won a second Silver Medal for Military Valour. In January of 1938 he participated in the flight Italy - Brazil, being promoted to the rank of Capitano for extraordinary merit. After the end of the Greek campaign Bruno Mussolini obtained the command of a new long-range bombing unit.

Sources: Ali di Guerra Nº 6 agosto 1941.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-)
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Re: Heroic Italian aviators!

Post by tigre » 01 Oct 2018 23:00

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Tenente Colonnello Ernesto Botto.

In this regard I found the following: the legendary "Gamba di ferro" of the Spanish Civil War. Born in Turin on November 8, 1907, he died there on December 9, 1984. Admitted to the Air Force Academy of Caserta (NA) in 1929, two years later was Sottotenente s.p.e. (servizio permanente effettivo) in the role of navigator. In 1933 he was Tenente instructor at the Scuola Caccia in Castiglion del Lago (PG). Assigned to 1. Stormo was promoted to Capitano on 1936. In 1937 he commanded in Spain the 32 ^ Squadriglia Caccia of the IV Stormo and on October 27 from Zaragoza take off along with the 31 ^ Squadriglia of Captain Luigi Borgogno to counteract enemy aircraft.

In the sky of Fuentes de Ebro is hit in the pilot's seat. When he falls three thousand meters he no longer sees his right leg on the pedal. The foot is in the corner. From the femur down, just a bloody mass. He arrives at the airfield and, with a broken wheel and cut brakes, tries to land. He stops, raises a hand and hits the controls. In the CRI Hospital in Santander ten blood transfusions and amputation of the limb, with the repatriation in 1938. "Gamba di ferro" is one of the nine living gold medals of the Spanish War.

In September 1938, in Gorizia, with a prosthesis applied in Germany, he trained to fly in a double command plane and, after a month, was reinstated to the service as Commander of the 73 ^ Squadriglia Caccia. Promoted to Maggiore, in 1939 he took command of the IX Gruppo Caccia that operated since July 31, 1940 in Libya, where in a service incident he suffers a head injury that makes him unfit for the flight. Being Colonnello since 1941, in 1943 he was appointed commander of the Scuola Caccia of Udine and then of Gorizia.

Sources: Ali di Guerra Nº 6 agosto 1941.
http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/italy_botto.htm
https://fondazionersi.org/mediawiki/ind ... esto_Botto

Cheers. Raúl M 8-)
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Re: Heroic Italian aviators!

Post by tigre » 08 Oct 2018 23:25

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Capitano Guglielmo Arrabito.

In this regard I found the following: Born in Scicli (Ragusa) in 1916. Coming from the Regia Academia Aeronautica where he graduated as a Sottotenente in July 1936. Promoted to Capitano in April 1940, the WWII found him in North Africa at command of the 82a Squadriglia, 13º Gruppo Caccia, equipped with CR 42 airplanes. He fought bravely in the skies of the Marmárica damaging a Hurricane and knocking down a Blenheim on Sollum on December 12, 1940. He obtained two Silver Medals for Military Valour and the Commemorative Medal of the Campaign of Libya.

After the Armistice of September 8, 1943, he joined the ranks of the Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana (ANR). In the middle of 1944, as Maggiore he assumed the command of the Iº Gruppo Caccia equipped with 10 MC.205 and 12 G.55. On July 20, 1944 with his group intercepted a formation of four-engine bombers B-24 heavily escorted by fighters P-51 and P-38 above Udine, where he perished in the ensuing air combat.

Sources: Ali di Guerra Nº 6 agosto 1941.
http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/italy_arrabito.htm
http://www.albertoparducci.it/photo_gal ... zione2.htm

Cheers. Raúl M 8-)
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Re: Heroic Italian aviators!

Post by tigre » 15 Oct 2018 13:02

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Tenente pilota Luigi Armanino.

In this regard I found the following: Born in Genoa in May 1917. Coming from the complement officers, he was designated as s.p.e. (permanent effettivo servizio) in February 1939. He had a courageous return from the war in Spain where he won a Silver Medal for Military Valour. After the entry of Italy into WWII he had an outstanding performance in the skies of the central Mediterranean, being awarded with another Silver Medal for Military Valour.

The first confirmed victory for the Macchi C.200 did not arrive until November 1, 1940, when the Short Sunderland N9020 of the No. 228 Squadron, based in Malta, which performed a morning reconnaissance near Augusta, Sicily, was intercepted and shot down by Tenente Luigi Armanino and Sergent Maggiore Natalino Stabile of the 88th Squadriglia, killing the nine crew members on board.

Sources: Ali di Guerra Nº 9 agosto 1941
https://weaponsandwarfare.com/2018/01/2 ... in-combat/

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Heroic Italian aviators!

Post by tigre » 23 Oct 2018 00:51

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Capitano pilota Irzio Bozzolan.

In this regard I found the following: Born in Piacenza d'Adige in 1914. Coming from the complement officers, he was designated as s.p.e. (permanent effettivo servizio) in 1938. In the war in Spain had already obtained a Silver Medal for Military Valour. Once Italy entered the WWII, the last day of August 1940 the 151st Gruppo C.T. (366th, 367th and 368th Squadriglie) was ordered to move to Libya with 30 CR.42s as reinforcement for the attack on Sidi Barrani. With the 367th Squadriglia marched Tenente Irzio Bozzolan.

During the year 1940 he fought in the skies of the Marmara, winning another Silver Medal for Military Valour, because with his bold and intelligent actions he constantly gave proof of his courage and admirable aggressiveness. In numerous and hard-fought aerial battles and machine-gunning to enemy armored vehicles in low flight and in particularly difficult environmental conditions, he fully confirmed his skillful and daring pilot conditions, thus obtaining a Military War Cross granted on the battlefield.

Sources: Ali di Guerra Nº 6. Agosto 1941.
http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/italy_locatelli.htm

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Heroic Italian aviators!

Post by tigre » 30 Oct 2018 01:27

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Sottotenente Paolo Berti.

In this regard I found the following: Born in Venice in 1912. On August 17, 1940 he joined the 84th Squadriglia, 10th Gruppo, 4th Stormo C.T. Pilot of undisputed value during the period on the Egyptian front, he participated with impetus, generosity and courage in numerous war actions, fierce combats and violent strafing contributing significantly to the affirmation of the Italian wings. For his generous and heroic behavior he was awarded a Silver Medal for Military Valour.

At the beginning of 1941, the 10th Gruppo returned to Italy to re-equip itself with the Macchi MC.200s. On June 16, 1941, the 10th Gruppo moved to Trapani, Sicily, to participate in the attacks on Malta. At the end of 1941, the 10th Gruppo was reequipped with MC.202 and returned to Sicily on April 2, 1942. On May 19, the 10th Gruppo carried out its last mission in Malta. Having tested their MC.202 in action, the pilots returned to Italy to modify the fighters with sand filters, and on May 26, 1942, they left for a second round of operations in the desert in North Africa. Berti ended the war with 2 shared biplane wins and a total of 2 victories.

Sources: Ali di Guerra Nº 6. Agosto 1941.
http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/italy_locatelli.htm

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Heroic Italian aviators!

Post by tigre » 06 Nov 2018 02:11

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Tenente Mario Bellagambi.

In this regard I found the following: Born in Florence in September 1915, from the complement officers. He obtained the pre-military flight license in 1934 at Peretola airport [Florence], flying a biplane Caproni 100. In 1936 he obtained military license in Grottaglie. He participated in the Spanish Civil War as a volunteer. At the beginning it belonged to the "Gamba di Ferro" squadron, equipped with the Fiat CR.32 and based at the Escatron aerodrome. After about a year, in April 1939, he returned to Italy and moved to the 362nd Squadron of the 52nd Stormo Caccia. At the time of the first operations of the conflict, he was transferred with the new Fiat G.50 from Ciampino to Sarzana, where alarm activities were carried out against possible aircrafts on the French front, then he left this unit to be transferred to Albania. On February 28, 1941, during an aerial battle, he was injured and his plane damaged, although he was able to land behind his own lines.

At the end of 1941, he was transferred to the group based in Sardinia in Monserrato, equipped with the biplane fighter CR.42. After an intense operational cycle, he was transferred to the 150th Gruppo Caccia to North Africa. The unit, equipped with the Macchi 200, participated in an intense activity from the aerodromes of El Agheila, Benghazi and Martouba to carry out interception and surveillance flights, machine-gunning missions and escort of bombers. During a pass of machine-gunning he was wounded in the right leg. Returning to Italy at the beginning of 1943, he was sent to Sicily, in Castelvetrano, and the unit was re-equipped with the German Messerschmitt Bf-109 fighters.

After September 8, 1943 he joined the Republican National Aeronautic and was part of the II Fighter Group. In March of 1944, the Group began to operate officially with Captain Mario Bellagambi leading the Squadriglia "Diavoli Rossi". The Unit ended its activity with the transfer of Aviano to Villafranca and Orio al Serio: the eve of April 25 was surprised by the end of the war. Personally, in this period that included 45 aerial fights, he was officially credited with 14 "victories".

Sources: Ali di Guerra Nº 6. Agosto 1941.
http://www.geocities.ws/gspagno/website ... ambi2.html
Gladiator vs CR.42 Falco: 1940–41. Håkan Gustavsson, Ludovico Slongo
Bf 109 Aces of North Africa and the Mediterranean. Jerry Scutts

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Heroic Italian aviators!

Post by tigre » 12 Nov 2018 23:11

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Sergente Arma Aeronautica pilota Marcello De Salvia.

In this regard I found the following: Born in La Spezia on October 3, 1920. He was an Italian aviator. A fighter pilot of the Regia Aeronautica during World War II, he was shot down in March 1941 by a British fighter and awarded the gold medal for military valour in memory. In 1939 he was sent to Frosinone to obtain a military pilot's license. At the newly built local airport, De Salvia participates in the first 1st level pilot course for non-commissioned students. Graduated with the rank of Sergente pilota, then will be attached to the 354th Squadriglia, 21st Gruppo of 52º Stormo Caccia Terrestre. On October 24, 1940, in view of operations on the Greek-Albanian front as part of the Italian campaign of Greece, the 354th Squadriglia was subordinated to the 24th Gruppo, which became autonomous. It was equipped with the biplane Fiat CR.42 Falco and monoplane Fiat G.50 Saetta.

On March 4, 1941, the Group was detached to provide air cover to a flotilla of the Regia Marina engaged in a naval bombing mission against enemy positions located on the coast of Albania and formed by the destroyer Augusto Riboty, the torpedo boat Andromeda and of three MAS assault boats. The RAF units deployed in the area were alerted of the danger and received the alarm and the order to take off immediately. In the action that followed, De Salvia contributed to shot down five enemy planes and during the last combat, he himself was shot down, and died in the fight aboard his fighter G.50.

Sources: Ali di Guerra Nº 7. Septiembre de 1941.
http://www.combattentiliberazione.it/mo ... a-marcello
http://boowiki.info/art/militaire-itali ... alvia.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Heroic Italian aviators!

Post by tigre » 19 Nov 2018 15:14

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Tenente pilota Cesare Graziani.

In this regard I found the following: Born in Affile (Rome) on January 24, 1915, attended the Regia Accademia Aeronautica, with the Rex course, obtained the license of military pilot in 1938, being promoted to Sottotenente in active service in August 1939. After a brief stay in a Stormo de Caccia he was sent to the AOI in a bomber unit. Wounded in an aerial combat, he received a Silver Medal for Military Valour after a bold action on the Red Sea.

After having actively participated in the war operations in the AOI, he was assigned to the 281 ^ Squadriglia Aerosiluranti with which he participated in the main events of the World War in the Mediterranean. For the missions on board the torpedo planes, he obtained a gold medal, five silver medals and one bronze medal for military valour, as well as three war crosses and a promotion for merits of war.

After September 8, 1943, Graziani, in contravention of the order of his superiors, took possession of an airplane SM 79 at the airport of Fano and moved to Sicily (in the hands of the Anglo-Americans) going on to serve with co -beligerant air force assuming command of the 13 ° Gruppo. He survived the conflict and reached the rank of Generale di Squadra Aerea. He passed away in December of 1998.

Sources: Ali di Guerra Nº 7 agosto 1941.
Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Bomber Units. Marco Mattioli
https://www.halleyweb.com/c058001/zf/in ... idtesto/37

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Heroic Italian aviators!

Post by tigre » 26 Nov 2018 23:13

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Sottotenente Aldo Forzinetti.

In this regard I found the following: Born in Milan on December 8, 1914. He obtained a patent for civilian pilot and graduated in law. In September 1937 he joined the Regia Aeronautica and on December 20, 1937 he was promoted to Sottotenente A.A.r.n. di complemento. From April 18, 1938 to July 21, 1939, he was detached to the 10°Stormo B.T. - 32°Gruppo. – 58^ Squadriglia, where on May 25, 1938 he obtained the patent as pilot of S.81. Placed in reserve at the end of July of 1939, he was called to the service the eve of the war, where he manages to be detached to the torpedo bombers and in July of 1940 we find him in Gorizia in the Reparto Sperimentale Aerosiluranti, equipped with the plane S.79.

After that, in August 1941, he was assigned to the 281 ^ Squadriglia Aerosiluranti (torpedo planes), obtaining brilliant results that earned him the citation in a bulletin of the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces. On December 17, 1941, he sacrificed his young life for his country. Post mortem, for his brave and heroic sense of duty, received the Gold Medal for military valour.

Sources: Ali di Guerra Nº 7 agosto 1941.
Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Bomber Units. Marco Mattioli
http://www.combattentiliberazione.it/mo ... netti-aldo

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Heroic Italian aviators!

Post by tigre » 11 Dec 2018 01:40

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Tenente pilota Enzo Martissa.

In this regard I found the following: Born in Monfalcone on August 16, 1913, he applied to enter the Regia Aeronautica and, after passing the course for Complementary Pilot Officers, in 1936 he was admitted to the Permanent Service. He took part in the special mission in Spain and in June 1940 was sent to the North African front with the 91 ^ Squadriglia, X Gruppo, 4 ° Stormo C.T. The X Gruppo was led by Ten.Col. Armando Piragino and reached Tobruk T2 with 27 CR.42.

On August 8, 1940, Ten. Martissa took off from El Adem T3 along with another fifteen CR. 42 of groups IX and X under the command of Magg. Carlo Romagnoli for a patrol and escort mission to five SM 79 bombers. In flight they were attacked by enemy planes that, after a hard battle, shot down five CRs. 42. The aircraft of Ten. Martissa suffered severe damage and was forced to land with luck in the desert, 15 kilometers from El Adem. Survived miraculously for two days and on August 10 was accidentally saved by the XXII Compagnia Bersaglieri Motociclisti.

The CR.42 of Martissa (MM4306) was recovered and re-entered the line in September 1940, being assigned to 84 ^ Squadriglia. Martissa was awarded three Silver Crosses for Military Valour, the Cross for Merit of War, the commemorative medal of the Spanish campaign. He achieved an individual victory and 11 shared. He lost his life in Rimini on July 15, 1951 during an air show.

Sources: Ali di Guerra Nº 7 septiembre de 1941.
http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/italy_martissa.htm
http://www.asso4stormo.it/arc_02/04Stor ... rtissa.htm
http://www.associazione4stormo.it/4%C2% ... rtissa.htm

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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