• As some of you know, the old forum database was deleted by the previous administrator. I am attempting to paste any retrievable discussions back into this forum using the internet archive. It won't look pretty - but at least we can preserve some valuable information. Feel free to add to the discussions as these old posts are restored.

Did Any Italians Fly For The Luftwaffe

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by Metatron » Sat Feb 10, 2007 2:31 pm
Did any Italians fly in the Luftwaffe? Long, long ago I read of 2 fliers Ignio Scarpa & Renato Gori who allegedly flew in the Luftwaffe but I'm not sure if my memory is correct.

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by Veltro » Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:52 pm
Pre 43 I would guess no. Post 43 yes....transport unit operating in the East with mixed personal ( Sm82's I think).

Eddy

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by Gian » Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:28 am
The SM81 and '82 aircraft flown by "Gruppo Terracciano" on the Eastern front had German insignia but Italian pilots...Yet some Italians might have joined the Luftwaffe when South Tirolean and other Volksdeutsche were hired by the Reich...Also in the dark days after September 8, a few donned the Flaktroops' uniform as a sign of goodwill...

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by Veltro » Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:35 am
ground forces ( while not in the question) are mentioned elsewhere in the forum ( considerably more than a "few" and those were mainly press-ganged ( from various prison camps) into it. I think the issue of the German ( Austrian) minority was dealt with pre-war.

Now that I think about it......given the reaction in general of the ANR to the Germans I can't see it happening.

Eddy

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by Gian » Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:38 pm
Well, I said "a few" because I don't have any figures at hand and I want to be quite cautious. And yes, relationships between LW and ANR were tense, since the Germans had been tempted to completely "annex" their Italian colleagues - The book "Air war Italy" gives an insight into the matter through the evolution of markings on ANR aircraft: Italian flags first, flags+Balkenkreuze later, and finally the sole German markings. Does this match your info?

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by Veltro » Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:30 pm
Ciao Gian, yes I have the book as well. I quite like it! If I had to guess, I would say that ANR markings were starting to vanish because the aircraft that they were being equipped with ( as replacements) were beaten up 109's. More than likely time & material were in such short supply that the aircraft, ME109, was taken on as is.
The only obvious thing that would contradict this would be ANR serial numbers or something of the sort ( My best guess).

Somewhere in here the numbers are mentioned I recall having a discussion with sergemaster about this ( speaking of which, have not heard from him in a while). Ahhh the book "War in Italy: A brutal story" Lamb ( I think this is the right title and author?) has the figures on Italians press-ganged into German ground service. I have thebook at home......


Eddy

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by BRY » Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:12 pm
Some Italian pilots saying their goodbyes after transporting some Luftwaffe paras from Wesenberg to Kaunas.
IMG-2-2.jpg
 

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by arturolorioli » Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:26 pm
The Gruppo "Terracciano" and "Trabucchi" were a few borderline cases, they were RSI units (so Italian pilots on Italian planes), but to avoid friendly fire they used german insignia, and as they were in the german logistical structure they had also german unit numbers ... but all considered I would not rate them as "Italian pilots in a german unit" properly.

I think that the only Italian pilots flying in Luftwaffe units were in german flying schools. It happened several times, and they were certainly assigned to LW training units there.

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by BRY » Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:26 pm

A picture of one of the aircraft, possibly at the Mataruschka Banja training center.
IMG-3-1.jpg


by arturolorioli » Thu Nov 27, 2008 4:15 am
BRY wrote:A picture of one of the aircraft,possibly at the Mataruschka Banja training center.
??? Of course, could be wrong, but Mataruška Banja wasn't a flying school, it was a parachutist school (Fallschirmschule Nr.3, IIRC). I doubt any Italian pilot was ever trained there.

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by BRY » Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:00 am
Yeah, that's what I meant, a para school, that's where those particular Luftwaffe paras trained.

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by arturolorioli » Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:19 am
BRY wrote:Yeah,that's what I meant,a para school,that's where those particular Luftwaffe para trained.
Fine, no problem. I was just a bit puzzled because the topic was about Italian pilots in german units, not about german parachutist schools.

By the way, even following you in this off-topic excursion, I do not think that Fallschirmschule Nr.3 ever trained Luftwaffe paras, AFAIK only the SS para bn and the para detachments of the Brandemburger Rgt were trained there (but german parachutists are by far not a big interest of mine, so of course I can be wrong!).

But, I repeat, no problem. Nice pictures.

Returning back on-topic, a quick search showed several Italian air force units that had trained in Germany, and their pilots were provisionally attached to Luftwaffe training units. A few examples were the 20th Fighter Squadron in late 1940/early 1941 (when they started training on the Bf.109 in Belgium), the Italian Ju.87 Squadrons that trained at Graz, the RSI unit that was training on the Me.163 in April 1945, etc etc.

There were also very common cases of "courtesy flight" of individual Italian pilots on german aircraft (reciprocated by german pilots doing the same on Italian planes ... like the one where the famed german ace Hans-Joachim Marseille did destroy an MC.202 ... because he did forget to lower the landing gear!!! The Italian 4th Wing pilots were definitely *not* amused ...
;-)
)

But I've found no trace about Italian pilots serving inside *operational* german air force units. WIll continue to search.

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by BRY » Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:42 pm
Veering back slightly, just to confirm, those are in fact 500th batt paras formed in Sep of 43.
 
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