A dogfight involving Bruno Mussolini and an American ?

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JodelFlieger
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A dogfight involving Bruno Mussolini and an American ?

Post by JodelFlieger » 05 Jan 2008 23:13

Hello all
has anyone any information on this?
regards
JF

Eugen Pinak
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Post by Eugen Pinak » 07 Jan 2008 12:29

Fairy tale. Both Bruno and Vittorio Mussolini were bomber pilots.

JodelFlieger
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Post by JodelFlieger » 07 Jan 2008 13:12

Hi there
Can you do any better than a dismissive "fairy tale" remark? I had read that BM took part in an arranged dogfight in a Fiat G50 against an American, firstname of Frank, who was flying an I-16.Both pilots got hits on each other's aircraft and, the story said, that BM conceded victory by throwing a white hankerchief out of the cockpit.both aircraft then returned to their airfields, intact but bearing bullet holes.
regards
JF

mars
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Post by mars » 07 Jan 2008 15:42

Jode, as Eugen said. both of Mussolini's sons are bobmer pilots, they never flew fighters in the combat

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Ironmachine
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Post by Ironmachine » 07 Jan 2008 16:28

Well, in the list of books about the Spanish Civil War of the Air University Library (that can be seen in http://www.au.af.mil/au/aul/bibs/spain/spainw.htm#doc) there is the following reference:
Great Air Battles, edited by Gene Gurney. New York, F. Watts, 1963. 291 p.
My Air Duel with Bruno Mussolini, by Capt Derek D. Dickinson, pp 47-50.
Maybe someone who has the book can give us more information about that.

JodelFlieger
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Post by JodelFlieger » 07 Jan 2008 20:00

Hi there
A bomber pilot BM might have been, but there was nothing stopping him flying a Fiat.After all, who'd refuse Mussolini's son a go in a fighter?
regards
JF

James A Pratt III
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Post by James A Pratt III » 20 Jan 2008 06:28

The sp called duel was a fairy tail made up by an American pilot who fought on the Republican side during the SCW.

Kar43
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Post by Kar43 » 21 Jan 2008 04:44

Ironically, yesterday I checked out a book titled "The Ragged, Rugged Warriors." Martin Caidin is the author and he tells the story of this supposed dogfight. The name of the American pilot is given as Captain Derek D. Dickinson. A google search reveals that Dickinson seems to have told this story to Time magazine long ago. Does Dickinson's name appear in any lists of Americans who flew for the Loyalists? Caidin told a few fairy tails in his books.

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Ironmachine
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Post by Ironmachine » 21 Jan 2008 08:27

From http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/e ... tryID=4581:
During the Spanish Civil War, Tinker flew with other notable American mercenaries, including Harold Dahl, Orrin Dwight Bell, Derek Dickinson, Jim Allison, Charlie Koch, and Albert Baumler.

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FACH
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Post by FACH » 30 Jan 2008 21:46

Kar43 wrote:Ironically, yesterday I checked out a book titled "The Ragged, Rugged Warriors." Martin Caidin is the author and he tells the story of this supposed dogfight. The name of the American pilot is given as Captain Derek D. Dickinson. A google search reveals that Dickinson seems to have told this story to Time magazine long ago. Does Dickinson's name appear in any lists of Americans who flew for the Loyalists? Caidin told a few fairy tails in his books.
I have the book of Martin Caidin in the Spanish version (Javier Vergara Ed.) and he tells that Captain Dickinson was the leader of a Republican squadron named (Red Wings, with I-16). He has agreed with Bruno Mussolini, squadron leader of an Italian fighter group (Cr-32) a combat to know who was the best combat pilot, by radio. In the combat Bruno Mussolini was near to won, but finaly Dickinson have it the final victory (sorry if my english is too bad) when Mussolini accepted it when he throwed out a white scarf in the end of the dogfight.

FACH

Kar43
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Post by Kar43 » 31 Jan 2008 02:56

I have ordered a book titled, "Airmen Without Portfolio: U.S. Mercenaries in Civil War Spain." The book is about the American airmen who flew for the Republic. Hopefully, it will help to answer the question posed by this thread.

Kar43
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Post by Kar43 » 10 Feb 2008 01:26

The book I mentioned above has arrived. The alleged dogfight between Bruno Mussolini and American pilot Derek Dickinson never happened. Dickinson, who was around 40 years old, flew reconaissance, not pursuit planes. He also worked in aviation mechanics. Along with a few others, Dickinson peddled some remarkable stories to "action" magazines.

Page 110 of "Airmen Without Portfolio," by John Carver Edwards states, "Once back home, Dickinson recounted to a Herald Tribune reporter his account of an air duel with Bruno Mussolini, the Duce's youngest son. The contest reportedly took place on Septermber 28, 1937. Dickinson claimed that both he and Mussolini flew monoplanes (I-16 and a Fiat G 50) and that each pilot had two observation planes in tow as witnesses. The Spanish subsecretary of Air, Augustin Sanz Sainz, honored Dickinson by serving as one of his observers. The early phases of the dogfight resulted in a draw, claimed the American, until he circled behind the Italian and opened fire; whereupon Mussolini signaled his surrender. Dickinson told reporters that he ended the battle and returned to base. Perhaps the most bizarre tale to emerge from the Spanish Civil War, Dickinson sold the account to For Men magazine and later condensed for Reader's Digest."

Mr Edwards continued, "In addition to contemporary statements by Tinker, Baumler, and other volunteer pilots concerning Dickinson's penchant for exaggeration, aviation historians have since branded his chronicle as rubbish. First, Bruno Mussolini arrived in Spain in late September 1937 as a bomber pilot. He subsequently participated in twenty-seven sorties in a Savoia-Marchetti SM 79 and returned to Italy in March 1938, reportedly because the Republican Air Ministry had put a bounty on his head. Second, his alleged fighter, the Fiat G 50, was the sole Italian monoplane to appear in Spain, and did not debut until January 1939. At the time of the so-called duel, there were only two prototypes in existence. Third, Dickinson's primary witness, Sanz Sainz, who commanded the airfield at Alcala de Henares, had perished in a bombing raid six months prior to the Dickinson-Mussolini aerial engagement (March 23, 1937)."

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FACH
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Post by FACH » 10 Feb 2008 03:56

So Mr.Caidin...uhhh very impressive Kar98 8O 8O 8O

FACH

George Lepre
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Re: A dogfight involving runo Mussolini and an American ?

Post by George Lepre » 05 Mar 2008 06:17

Great post, Kar43!

Best regards,

George

paulrward
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Re: A dogfight involving runo Mussolini and an American ?

Post by paulrward » 10 Dec 2008 20:30

To All;
With respect to Derek Dickinson, he served with the Republic from late 1936 until late 1938, first as a
fighter pilot ( Hispano Nieuport 52s ) and then later as both a pilot with the Alas Rojas ( Esc. Mosca No. 7 )
and as a Squadron Maintenance and Engineering officer and Navigation Instructor. He flew numerous
patols along the east coast of Spain in Nieuports and Breguets, and several bombing missions.
He was also responsible to refitting some of the refurbished I-16s with Vickers guns to replace their
worn out Shkas weapons. This was done to allow the I-16s that had become too worn out to serve
on the active front to be used on the Coastal Patrol by the Alas Rojas, which was formed from a group
of older pilots, 'political' pilots, and some foreigners. ( It was the descendant of the original Alas Rojas
that had served in Sarinena in the early days of the war. )
Dickinson was prone to exageration, however, unlike Tinker and Baumler, he did not see the war as
an opportunity to get drunk and have a good time. He was a serious, if slightly older aviator who accepted
an officers commission with the Fuerzas Aerea, and, having married a Spanish lady, committed himself to
the cause of the Republic.
No, he did not fight Bruno Mussolini. But he did serve, longer than most of the others who are more famous.

Respectfully;

Paul R. Ward
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