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Regia Aeronautica in North Africa – 1942 OOB

by Jim H

Superaero Comando Supremo Aeronautico Africa Settentrionale Italiana 

Listed below is the Command Structure of the Regia Aeronautica in North Africa during 1942. This pertains to the entire North African command of the Italian Air Force.


General S.A. Vittorio Marchesi

Comando Settore Ovest

General B.A. Raoul da Barberino

12° Gruppo Autonomo – CT Lieutenant Colonel Bruno Cudugnello (Fiat G50 ‘Freccia’)
Squadron 159a, 160a, 165a Squadron 159a, 160a, 165a – Castel Benito
160° Gruppo Autonomo CT – [Major Michele Mandara] (Fiat G50 ‘Freccia’/Fiat CR.42 ‘Falco’)
Squad. 193a, 375a, 394a – Sorman
158° Gruppo Autonomo Assalto – Captain Alessandro Cerutti (Fiat CR 42 ‘Falco’)
Squadron 236a, 387a, 388a – Sorman

Comando Settore Est

General B.A. Venceslao D’Aurelio

1° Stormo Caccia Terrestre (CT)

Colonel Alfredo Reglieri
6° Gruppo – Major Marco Larcher (Macchi C. 202 ‘Folgore’)
Squadron 79a, 81a, 88a – Martuba
17° Gruppo – Major Bruno Brambilla (Macchi C. 202 ‘Folgore’)
Squadron 71a, 72a, 80a – Wadi Tamet

A color photo of the Macchi MC.202 Folgore attached to the 81ª Squadriglia, 6° Gruppo, 1° Stormo CT in Libya.

A color photo of the Macchi C.202 Folgore attached to the 81ª Squadriglia, 6° Gruppo, 1° Stormo CT in Libya (1942).

2° Stormo CT

Lieutenant Colonel Vincenzo Dequal
8° Gruppo – Major Mario Bacich (Macchi M.C. 200 ‘Saetta’)
Squadron 92a, 93a, 94a – Bengasi 13° Gruppo ??(Macchi M.C. 200 ‘Saetta’)
Squadron 77a, 78a, 82a – Bengasi
3° Gruppo Autonomo CT – Lieutenant Colonel Innocenzo Monti (Fiat CR.42 “Falco”)
Squadron 153a, 154a, 155a – Martuba
150° Gruppo Autonomo CT – Major Antonio Vizzotto ( Macchi MC.200 “Saetta”)
Squadron 363a, 364a, 365a – Martuba
131° Gruppo Aerosiluranti – Siai SM.79 ‘Sparviero’)
Squadron 279a, 274a – Bengasi
133° Gruppo Aerosiluranti – Siai SM.79 ‘Sparviero’)
Squadron 174a, 175a – Bengasi

OOB Regia Aeronautica in North Africa Arriving After May 1942

35° Stormo Bombardamento Terrestre (BT)

Colonel Bruno Borghetti
86° Gruppo – Lieutenant Colonel Goffredo Marrama (CANT Z.1007b. ‘Alcione’)
Squadron 190a, 191a
95° Gruppo – Major Rinaldo Tieri (CAT Z.1007b. Alcione”)
Squadron 230a, 231a – 3 Squadrons in Barce, 1 in Derna


4° Stormo CT

Lieutenant Colonel Armando Francois

9° Gruppo – Major Antonio Larsimont Pergameni (Macchi MC 202 Folgore)
Squadron 73a, 96a, 97a – Martuba
10° Gruppo – Major Paolo Maddalena (Macchi MC.202″Folgore”)
Squadron 84a, 90a, 91a – Martuba

50° Stormo Assalto

Lieutenant Colonel Ferruccio Volsilla
Absorbs: 158° Gruppo (Fiat CR 42 ‘Falco’)
Cerutti is still the CO
Squadron 236a, 387a, 388a
159° Gruppo (Fiat CR 42 ‘Falco’)
[Major Guido Fea]
Squadron 389a, 390a, 391a – Derna

On 27 June 1942, the 1° Stormo CT is retired to Italy, but leaves behind its ‘88a Squadron.’

The following Air Force units arrived in North Africa on 16 July 1942

3° Stormo CT

23° Gruppo – Major Luigi Filippini (Macchi MC.202 “Folgore”)
Squadron 70a, 74a, 75a – Abu Haggag

Regia Aeronautica Arriving in North Africa – 23 July 1942

10° Gruppo – Major Gino Lodi (Macchi MC.200 “Saetta”)
Squadron 83a, 85a, 95a – Abu Haggag

Regia Aeronautica Arriving in North Africa – 27-29 August 1942

101° Gruppo Autonomo Assalto – Major Simeone Marsan (CR.42 “Falco”)
Squadron 208a, 238a – Abar Nimeir

Italian Air Force Arriving in North Africa  – 7 September 1942

15° Stormo Assalto

Lieutenant Colonel Raffaello Colacicchi

46° Gruppo – Major Giuseppe Capasso (CR.42 “Falco”)
Squadron 20a, 21a – Bengasi
47° Gruppo – Major Giovanni Masoero (CR.42 “Falco”)
Squadron 53a, 54a – Bu Amud

[Reinforced on 28 August 1942 by the arrival of X Assault Gruppo with 20 Fiat CR42 and on 7 September by the 15th Assault Stormo with yet 40 more ‘Falco’]

Data shown regard the total number of planes in the theater. Operational availability ranged among 60 and 70 percent of the above.
This could be considered the peak of the Italian Regia Aeronautica in Africa, particularly for the fighter arm. Note the high number of MC 202 fighters, powered by the German-designed DB601 that was fitted on early Bf-109.

(Data from ‘L’arma aerea Italiana nella 2a Guerra Mondiale’ by Sebastiano Licheri -1976- Mursia)

Number of Air Force Aircraft in the Desert Theatre for July 1942

Listed below is the reported number of Italian aircraft in North Africa during July 1942.

25 Cant Z.1007 ‘Alcyone’
34 Savoia-Marchetti S79 ‘Sparviero’
40 Fiat CR42 ‘Falco’
50 MC 200 ‘Saetta'(fitted with wing bomb racks)
93 MC 202 ‘Folgore’
46 MC 200 ‘Saetta’ (pure Air to Air version)
43 G50 ‘Freccia’
24 Caproni CA 311
17 Cant Z.501

Information courtesy Paulo Marcenaro

G. Massimilello – G. Apostolo ‘Italian Aces of WWII’ (aircraft of the aces 34 – Osprey military publishings)
S. Licheri “L’arma aerea italiana nella 2a G.M.” (Mursia)
‘La Regia Aeronautica Vol. 2 1942′
(Ufficio Storico Stato Maggiore Aeronautica)

This aerial Order of Battle of the Regia Aeronautica in North Africa is definitive regarding unit numbers, arrivals, and withdrawals in the theater. Information on COs are less clear and any corrections are heartily welcomed.

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