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Old 26th March 2020, 16:29
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Some losses in Italy on 10-11 March 1944

Hello

Today, I found on fold3 the following report:
USS PC-625 War Diary, 10 March 1944
"... 0720 reassigned to Dog patrol by SOPA, ANzio's 100714 A. .... 2331 routine warning received of enemy aircraft in Anzio area. 2238 obtained radar contact believed to be aircraft flying low, 060° relative from ship, range 6000 yards. Ship's head 300°(t). Sounded geenral quarters. Opened fire at low flying plane.
Plane appeared to be circling 3-5 miles on our port quarter, as reported by radar, which was able to maintain contact. 2250 plane flying very low on course 000°(t) approached from bearing 190° relative (ship's head 300°). When plane was visible in bright moonlight (range approximately 2000 yards) fire opened with 20-mm. guns Nos. 1, 2 and 4, with 40-mm. automatic cannon, and with 3"50 cal. gun. Plane turned to course 300°(t), passed up our port side, caught fire and crashed 700 yards on relatuive bearing of 330°. Ammunition expended: 114 rounds 20-mm. HET, 57 rounds 20-mm. HEI, 13 rounds 40-mm. AA tracer, 2 rounds 3"50 cal. AA (fuse setting 1.5 sec).
2300 near burning plane, looking fro possible survivors, circling torpedoes, etc. Unable to approach plane closer than 200 yards because of illumination range from plane and danger of further explosions. Picked up one survivor; identified as Lieut. Sioli Omelcare (?), a Fascit Italian. Prisoner spoke no language other than Italian; halting interrogation indicated that plane was a 3-engined Savoia-Marchettoi torpedo bomber (later corroborated by recovering manufactirer's name plate from wreckage); that plane carried no mines but carried one torpedo; that torpedo was not fired; that plane tried twice to torpedo this ship but was compelled to sheer off owing to gunfire; that his attack group consisted of five torpedo bombers (based at Turin, Italy; 11th Squadriglia A.2., a unit of the Italian Fascit Air Force) each manned by five men. Prisoner examined medically and found unharmed except for slight bruises and shock."
MAW tome 4 has nothing about this loss (and has no text for 10 March 1944, despite an air battle between JG 2 and 86th FBG, and a Ju 88 possibly shot down by a P-39). On the 11th, there is an Italian loss listed: "Gruppo AS S.79 B2-03 lost over Adriatic; S. Ten Salvatore Galante and four MIA", so I thought it was my case, but Adriatic is on the eastern coast of Italy, and so this loss was not off Anzio.

The "Osprey Combat Aircraft 106: Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Torpedo-Bomber Units" book, by Marco Mattioli, has the following, page 81:
"The first sortie over Anzio Bay was flown on the night of 10 March by six S.79s (five from 2a Squadriglia and one gruppo HQ), which dropped torpedoes from 18 m (60 ft). The Italians claimed three hits scored on several 7000-ton steamers, but Allied reports failed to confirm these strikes. An S.79 flown by Tenente Giovanni Teta failed to return from this raid, the Italians recording that it was shot down by nightfighters. After this action the gruppo had just 15 torpedoes left. The next day S.79bis B2-03, flown by Sottotenente Salvatore Galante, was returning from Perugia airfield to Gorizia when it disappeared after overflying Forlì, the entire crew being lost. Some sources suggested it was probably shot down over the Adriatic by British fighters."
So Teta's S.79 is the one probably shot down by PC-625, while Galante's fell the next day. Returning to MAW 04, there is a claim for a S.79 at 1600 hrs NW Ancona by three pilots of 3 Sqn RAAF, Sqn Ldr P M Nash, Flt Lt W K Watts and Sgt D J Donaldson.

But the text of the day says:
"In the middle of the afternoon five Kittyhawks of 3 RAAF Squadron provided escort for a Cant Z.506B searching for the crew of a ditched Wellington. Near Ancona four Bf 109s were seen and one was claimed damaged by Flt Lt Watts (possibly an aircraft of I./JG 4). The Australian pilots then spotted what they tought was an S.79 with its undercarriage doors open, and this was shot down in flames. This was in fact an S.82 in use by IV./TG 3 which was transporting pilots of I./SG 4 which crashed at Viterbo; two of the passengers were killed and eight others wounded."
In the casualty list, there is: "I./SG 4 S.82 of IV/TG 4V+CT crashed at Viterbo during take-off for a transit flight; Oblt Hans von Prittwitz (3.St.Kapt) and Obfw Hans-Werner Gullich KiA, plus eight other pilots WiA"

My last source, the list of Fascists casualties available at http://www.laltraverita.it/caduti.pdf.

There are five men of Gr. aerosiluranti listed as missing in sea off Anzio area on 11 March 1944:
Serg Andrea Nuvoli
Serg.Magg Alessandro Poggini
1° Aviere Gino Rizzo
1° Aviere Sioli Amilcare (obviously the Sioli Omelcare of the PC report)
Ten.pil. Giovanni Teta
And five other listed as missing in Forli area or in the Adriatic Sea:
Av.sc. Alessandro Tommaso Abbate
Serg Gino Burelli
Serg.Magg Mario Ermotti
Ten.pil. Salvatore Galante
1° Aviere Giovanni Quartararo
So I guess the first five are the crew of the S.79 shot down off Anzio (by the way, there is no nightfighter claim that night AFAIK), and the second five are the crew of the S.79bis B2-03.

The official website Banca Dati dei Caduti e Dispersi 2ª guerra Mondiale list nine of the above men, the only one missing is Sioli Amilcare, so confirming he survives as a POW (contrary to what http://www.laltraverita.it/caduti.pdf implies).

So here are my questions:
1) can someone confirm the above Italian crews ? Bonus would be the ID of the aircraft.
2) I don't understand how the authors of the MAW 4 book can link a S.82 crashing at take-off at Viterbo with a S.79 claim 200 km away, especially when there is a S.79 loss in this area. Any reason ?
3) by the way, if someone has the NVM or Gen.Abt 6 report for the S.82 crash, I will be interested in more details, especially ID of the aircraft and full casualty list (WIA pilots of I./SG 4 and fate of the S.82 crew).

Thanks in advance
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Old 26th March 2020, 20:39
giovmax giovmax is offline
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Re: Some losses in Italy on 10-11 March 1944

I can confirm the Italian crews of the ANR's Gruppo Aerosiluranti:

S.79 B2-07
Ten. pil. Giovanni Teta
Serg. Magg. pil. Alessandro Poggini
Serg arm. Andrea Nuvoli
1° Av mot. Amilcare Sioli
1° Av marc. Giuseppe Rizzo

S.79 B2-03
S.Ten pil. Salvatore Galante
Serg. Magg. pil. Mario Ermotti
Serg mot. Gino Burelli
1° Av. arm. Giovanni Quartarano
1° Av, marc. Alessandro Abbate

As far as the Luftwaffe's S.82 is concerned, the German Qu.6 has no data for the year 1944, so this source is useless.
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Old 26th March 2020, 21:01
Matti Salonen Matti Salonen is offline
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Re: Some losses in Italy on 10-11 March 1944

1944-03-11, IV/TG 4, SM 82, 4V+CT, Fl.Pl. Viterbo
Fluggast Olt von Prittwitz und Gaffron, Hans-Henning, +
Fluggast Fw Gullich, Hans-Werner, +
Fluggast Fw Bahsiel, Wilhelm, verletzt
Fluggast Uffz Buchmann, Ernst, verletzt
Fluggast Fw Kobuhs, Lothar, verletzt
Fluggast Ofw Möhle, Helmut, verletzt
Fluggast Uffz Schmidt, Walter, verletzt
Fluggast Gefr Schönekäs, Heinz, verletzt
Fluggast Uffz Siegel, Eugen, verletzt
Fluggast Uffz Winkler, Fritz, verletzt
Absturz. Bruch 100 %.

Matti
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Old 27th March 2020, 16:03
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Some losses in Italy on 10-11 March 1944

Thanks to both of you, so it seems no crew of the S.82 was lost.
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