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Ju-88 operated by the Regia Aeronautica


Staff member
Good day Trubulent98 and welcome to the forum.

The Regia Aeronautica is not my area of research, so I am hoping one of our R.A. experts will jump in.

The little I have been able to find in my limited books on the R.A.

The 51º gruppo B.T. (212ª and 213ª squadriglie Bombardamento Terrestre) was equipped with JU 88A-4 in June 1943. Six pilots from this gruppo were transferred to the 172ª squadriglia autonomo R.S.T. (Ricognizione Strategica Terrestre) equipped with Ju 88Ds. Neither unit was considered operational at the time of the armistice.

I don't know if there are any other units equipped with the Ju 88.

Pista! Jeff


Entry for the Ju88 in a table in Dunning's COURAGE ALONE [which I just happen to have handy, as I am setting my old copy of GDW's Western Desert + Torch game] says

20 Ju88A-4, used as bombers, and were "worn out ex-Luftwaffe machines"

And as Jeff said they equipped 51o Gruppo B.T. but that unit was never operational with the Ju88A

But William Green's THE WARPLANES OF THE THIRD REICH says the Regia Aeronautic received 52 ex-Luftwaffe Ju88A-4s "early in 1943", including
"a number of Ju88D-1 reconnaissance aircraft which equipped a strategic reconnaissance squadron of the 9o Stormo"

Dunning has 172 Squadriglia B.T. (disbanded 14 September 1941) reforming in June 1943 with Ju88D but not operational by the time of the Armistice.


172 Squadriglia was a RST(strategic land recon) squadriglia not a bomber squadriglia albeit it operated bombers.
There were no missions with Ju-88. The allied fighters dominated the skies and things were too much in flux to new airplanes being put operational.


Right, that's what Jeff noted

Dunning doesn't note the change in designation when the unit was reformed. From the entry for this unit I gather that it was formed as a bomber unit (on 13 June 1940) and flew bombing missions, first with the BR20M against France, then with the Z1007bis against England as part of the CAI
(and also liaison missions) and then operated in the Aegean supporting bombing raids against Tobruk and flying night bombing raids against Alexandria as well as reconnaissance missions over Alexandria before it was disbanded in September 1941


No, that is incorrect. The unit was formed as a recon unit. There were enough bomber squadriglia in Northern Italy. 172 RST used BR-20 initially to do recon over France , likewise with CAI with Z1007bis its mission was recon. One of those recon BR-20 was downed in 13 June in mission to Toulon.


Sigh, forgot lesson taught to me many, many years ago. Never rely on a single source. Dunning seems not have caught his incorrect designation of 172 Squadriglia
Aircraft in Profile No. 110 The Fiat B.R.20, by G. Apostolo, "On the same day [June 13, 1940] the 172o Squadriglia Ricognizione Strategica was formed at Bresso airfield, Milan, with six BR.20s"
"172 Squadriglia Autonoma Rst" is also noted twice in Shores et al A History of the Mediterranean Air War 1940-1945 Volume On: North Africa June 1940 - January 1942, for losing a Z.1007bis on a reconnaissance patrol over Alexandria on April 11, 1941, and for losing another Z.1007bis off Cypress on August 26, 1941.