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This product was added to our database on Thursday 28 August 2014.
Category Aviation Books, Subcategory Italy, ISBN/Box 8875650187, Publisher/Brand Individual, Author Pasqualino Schifano, Format a4, No. Pages 112, Version sb, Language Italian with English summary!
21 April 1941: the SM.79 Sparviero MM.23881 of the 278a Squadriglia Autonoma Aerosiluranti is leaving from Berka (Cirenaica): destination is South Crete, the mission is to attack enemy convoys. But the bomber did not return. Searches were launched over that sector, but neither the plane nor the crew were ever found.
21 July 1960: the geologist Gianluca Desio, son of the famous explorer Ardito Desio, finds in Libya - in the starkest desert - the half-buried body of
an Italian airman.
"The body, just a skeleton with rests of the overalls, lied supine, with no documents. Nearby were found binoculars, two watches, a pistol that had
fired at least one shot, half a litre aluminium canteen, an aircraft compass, a leather headgear, a screwdriver, pieces of Italian and German
newspapers, a set of keys and an airplane door key with the serial "S-79-MF 23881, cert. 263, data di collaudo"
The Italian Air Force was promptly contacted through the Consulate, reporting the serial number, and their reply was surprising: the date was
corresponding to an airplane missing over Crete, 500 km away.
5 October 1960: another team of Fondazione Lerici which was conducting a
geophysical survey, found the relic of a S.79 torpedo bomber on the South-East of Jalo, 90 km far from the human rests.
The airplane lay in the desert for over twenty years, protected by sand, which partially covered it. Two bodies were found next to the relic, and one
more was probably inside.
7 April 1961: a new and final element completed the mosaic of this mysterious and dramatic event. The Italian Consul in Tripoli reports to Rome that a plaque was found inside a pocket of the flight jacket, reporting the name Romanini Giovanni with his details and the name of the draft board.
How could the bomber get there, after a mission that took place South of Crete, 490 km from the base near Benghazi where it should have
returned, and 590 km from the convoy that it had to attack?
The book describes this events, in order to remember our lost airmen and to celebrate the heroism of Gianni Romanini, who realized an impossible mission, walking over 90 km in the sand, in one of the world's hottest deserts.
Many b/w and color pictures, one page of color drawings
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