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Old 10th July 2005, 13:15
Ludovico Slongo's Avatar
Ludovico Slongo Ludovico Slongo is offline
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Italian ace Leonardo Ferrulli

I’m looking for information regarding the victory claims of Sergente Maggiore Leonardo Ferrulli during the first North African campaign (June 1940-January 1941).

This 4° Stormo’s pilot, that ended the war as the third ranking Italian ace of W.W.II, was credited of twenty individual victories before his demise over Sicily on July 1943.

According with Giovanni Massimello and Giorgio Apostolo seven of these victories were claimed flying Fiat CR 42s over Libya during the first African tour of his unit (namely six Hurricanes and a Blenheim), making him the top Italian ace of the 1940’s North African Campaign.

Up to now, looking inside the books and official documents in my possess, I was able to find only the following Ferrulli’s claims:



One Bristol Blenheim (shared with at least other five pilots) on 11 September 1940.

One Bristol Blenheim (shared with at least other five pilots) on 14 September 1940.

Two Gladiators (shared with at least other five pilots) on 12 December 1940.

One Hurricane plus one Hurricane damaged on 19 December 1940.

One Hurricane on 4 January 1941.



So a total of two individual Hurricanes and four shared victories, four Hurricanes and a Blenheim less than the grand total quoted by Massimello and Apostolo.

I’m wondering if someone could help me supplying the date (and maybe some details) of the lacking claims. At least those made over Hurricanes should be connected with the air combats of the “Compass” offensive period, because in the two only occasions during which the Fiat biplanes and the Hawkers clashed before the starting of Compass (19 June 1940, and 31 October 1940) Ferrulli was not present.

TIA



Ludovico
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Old 11th July 2005, 19:52
Vinman Vinman is offline
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Re: Italian ace Leonardo Ferrulli

Hello Ludovigo,

What source of Apostolo and Massimello are you using?
In the book, ITALIAN ACES OF WW2, by Apostolo and Massimello, the chapter that is written about Ferrulli states ".....with a few 91 Sq. veterans surviving its numerous campaigns, combat accounts from the unit are hard to find. This lack of information is further compounded by the near-total destruction of the unit's official wartime records. Therefore, when it came to recounting Ferrulli's career only fragments of information were available, which was cross-checked with accounts frome those with the personal knowledge of his achievements..."

It is very difficult to try and match dates with claims, since the 4th Stormo's records were lost during the Sicilian campaign.
You might want to try Hakans Aviation page.
He does a fantastic job with the Bi planes and Aces of WW2.
http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/index.html

Vinman.
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Old 11th July 2005, 22:50
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Ludovico Slongo Ludovico Slongo is offline
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Re: Italian ace Leonardo Ferrulli

Dear Vinman,

first of all I want to tank you for trying to help me in this research of information, it was very kind of you.
The source of Massimello and Apostolo I used when speaking of the seven victories claimed during the first tour of this pilot over North Africa is the very good Osprey book quoted also by you.
Some lines after your quotation there is also written:" (...) Ferrulli made full use of his Spanish war experience during his first tour in North Africa, claiming six Hurricanes and a Blenheim destroyed. (...)"
It is known that Massimello uses almost only the so called "primary sources" in his researches so it is higly likely (although not sure) that this kind of official documents are also the source for the piece of info regarding these seven claims. I was just wondering if somebody else in this forum was in possess (and wanted to share) these info.
Regarding 91 sq, its war diary for the 1940 period still exists and is preserved in the Historycal Office of the Italian Air Force (in fact it is the source from which I took my info), the problem here is that this diary is not the original one but one that was reconstructed in 1941 after the loss of the original with the sinking of the merchant ship Città di Messina that was taking back to Italy the ground personnel of 4° Stormo on 15 January 1941. The reconstruction was not very precise (as were the original documents written day by day after the debriefing of the differet actions) and it seems that it lacks the description of many victory claims (and perhaps also of some complete combats). In fact I was wondering if Massimello used the log-book of Ferrulli (or of some of his fellow comrades) as source for the "seven claims".
Just a last note. I completely agree with you about the "fantastic" job done almost daily by Hakan.

Thank You again,

Ludovico.
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Old 12th July 2005, 03:55
Vinman Vinman is offline
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Re: Italian ace Leonardo Ferrulli

Hello Ludovigo, I did not know that the 91 Sq. war diaries are still around today.
From the books and articles I have read, I always thought that they were lost before and during the 8th of September armistice.
I understand that Gregory Alegi is also a very good historian on Italian Aviation.
Maybe, you might want to try and get a hold of him, or perhaps even Nicola Malizia.
Good luck with your research,
Vinman.
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