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Requesting help finding Italian war records
88jimmeyer
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Joined: 25 Feb 2009
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Hello,
I am new to this web site, so i'm not syre if i posted this in the right place. I am looking for information on a Italian air victory against a P-38 on Januray 14, 1943 over Sfax Tunisia. My uncle and another pilot was killed in the battle and his remains have never been found. The information that I have shows that German ME-109's attacked the formation, but i have been told by many sources the it may have been a MC 202 that shot down the P-38. records show that a ME-109 shot down one P-38 in the Makassy-Mezzouna area exploding on contact. I have been told that a MC-202 also has a P-38 claim in the same area. I do not know the Group that the Italian fighter is from.
Thanks for any help that you can provide,
Jim Meyer
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Vincent Biondi
Generale di Divisone Aerea
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Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 528
Location: Niagara On The Lake, On. Canada
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Hi Jim,
You have to be more specific.
What fighter group did your uncle fly with?
Is the date that you state accurate?
Sometimes, mistakes were made by either the pilot or the mission base commander when a combat report was submitted, thus giving the wrong date.
I found info on two P38's lost in the Tunisia area on Jan. 15, 1943. Perhaps those were the two pilots that you are looking for.
Also, here is the web site that has the following information:
http://www.armyairforces.com/Databases/CombatChronology/tabid/165/Default.aspx
Once you get on this site, continue searching by the date until you reach Jan 14, 15 1943 and you will find the info.
Good luck,
Vincent.
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88jimmeyer
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Joined: 25 Feb 2009
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Hi Vincent,

My uncle flew for the 71FS 1FG based at Briska Algeria. I have been on the ArmyAirForce forums and that is where I got alot of my information. I done a search for 14/01/43 and it confirms the dates of the bombing mission over Sousse and Sfax Tunisia along with the mission reports from the 71FS AND 27FS. This was a joint escort mission with the 27TH. The two P-38's in question where lost on 14/01/43. We ( Terry T. from the forums) beleive they may not have been documented as lost-MIA till 15/01/43. I have both the numbers for those two planes. I also spoke with three other pilots that was flying that mission and had to return to base cause of plane trouble and have the copy of the squdron journal. The three pilots I spoke with are Lt shoenfeldt ( no longer with us), Lt Muldoon and Lt Moorhouse.

The target was Sfax Tunisia
Time over target was about 1245 hours (6 P-38's)
B-17's at 22,500 feet
P-38,s at 25,000 feet
Smoke seen from docks after bomb release
2 freighters seen heading due east near target
2 ME-109'S about 10 minutes due west of target
3 FW-190's about 100 miles due west of target
Lt Meyer flying rear wing in formation attacked by 1 ME-109. Observed going into tight spin to the left and crash into the groung.
Lt Salts left formation near target and never returned to base.
4 P-38's down base at 1400 hours
No other enemy air, navel, or ground forces seen.

I don't have proof but been told that the air craft that shot down my uncle may have been a MC 202. I'm looking for this information to see if we are searching in the right area for the recovery of my uncles remains.

Thanks Vincent,

Jim
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88jimmeyer
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Vincent,

This was just brought to my attention. Acording to the book "Fighters over Tunisia" 1 MC 202 was shot down in this same battle. The 71st mission report that i have also states that Major Ruddle fired on the air craft that shot down my uncle(Me-109) but the results are unknown. I didn't state this in my last post but I'm told that the MC 202 and the ME-109 look almost the same.
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Vincent Biondi
Generale di Divisone Aerea
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Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 528
Location: Niagara On The Lake, On. Canada
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Hi Jim,
Accoding to my research, during the period of December 1942-February 1943, there were several Italian fighter units based in and around Tunisia.
The 6th Gruppo Caccia (FG), 79, 81, 88 Sq. were based in Pantelleria Air Base just off of the Tunisian coast. These units were equipped with Macchi 202s and the newer and better armed 205. Oddly, two of the squadrons were later based in Sfax near the end of January, 1943!
This is one possibility as to the units that might have been encountered by the 1st Fighter group.
The second possibility is the 18th Gruppo Caccia (FG), 83, 85, 89 Sq. which also flew the Macchi 202, based in Castelbenito, Tripolitania Libya.
Both the 6th and 18th Gruppos saw action in the Tunisian Campaign and it is quite possible, that the P38s of the 1st FG, clashed with them.
There are two other very good Italian researchers that frequent this forum, Ludovigo Slongo and Maurizio Di Terlizzi.
They might be able to assist you in a more detailed way.
Vincent.
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GAJouette
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Joined: 12 Sep 2007
Posts: 394
Location: Southern U.S
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Jim and Vincent,
Thanks for such interesting post. As always Stormo never fails to be the most informative on all things RA.
Regards,
Gregory Jouette
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88jimmeyer
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Vincent,

thanks for your help. I hope to hear from the other two researchers.

GAjouette,

I have devoted much of my time these last few years looking for my uncle. I have spoken with three other pilots that flew with my uncle and the stories that they told, you want to here them over and over again. A few months ago, I made contact with a author who is currently writing a book on two of my uncles that flew for the RAF/RCAF and other American pilots that flew for the RAF/RCAF. We must keep these memories and stories alive. As one Vet told me, " The WW2 Gang Is Moving On".
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Stefano
Generale di Brigata Aerea
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Joined: 12 Nov 2006
Posts: 166
Location: Padua, Italy
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Dear Jim,
following your request I've made some researches in the Italian archives and, thanks to the help of my friend Ludovico Slongo and through him the Italian researchers Michele Palermo and Giovanni Massimello I've found that on the 14th of January Italian fighters claimed over Tunisia a Lockheed P38 part of a formation that was escorting some bombers. The Italian pilot who submit the claim was Ten. Cesare Panizza of 81a Sq. 6 Gruppo 1 Stormo. The american fighter was seen to crash on ground in the Maknassay-Mezzouma area.
I hope this helps

Stefano
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88jimmeyer
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Stefano,

This helps out alot. Is there a mission report or some sort of document stating that they attacked a formation of fighters escorting a formation of B-17 bombers. Besides my uncle, another pilot was lost near the target. Nobody knows what happened to him.

So what i need to is if Ten. Cesare Panizza shot down a lone fighter or was the fighter he shot down was in formation?

Is it possible if I could get a copy of the document?

Is Ten Cesare Panizza still with us.

Thanks again Stefano,

Jim
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Stefano
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Location: Padua, Italy
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Jim,

Official logbooks for 1943 of 1 Stormo, its Gruppi and Squadriglie, as for most of RA Units for that year, had been lost after Armistice. So, no details on the action are currently available.
The kill claim comes from War Bulletin of 15th January 1943, which stated that MC 202 fighters from 1 Stormo shot down a P-38 escorting bombers in that area. The pilots are not named in the bulletin, but in personal logbook of Ten. Panizza a P-38 claim is signed on 14th Jan. No other info, apart that he had shot 260 .50cal rounds.
I don't know whether Ten. Panizza is still among us, but I'll ask to my sources.

Stefano
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Editor
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Thanks Stefano for your excellent research. Your efforts are much appreciated, as always.

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Vince Tassone
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88jimmeyer
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Stefano,
Your work and the work from the others is greatly appreciated. Hope more information can be found. With the best of hopes either my uncle or Lt. Ivan Salts will be found and brought home.

The Meyer Family thanks you all,

Jim
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Stefano
Generale di Brigata Aerea
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Posts: 166
Location: Padua, Italy
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Vince,

I just asked to some of the best Italian researchers on the matter. The merit is all of them.

Jim,

if we have more info we'll give you. We all hope you'll find the pilots you mean, and most of all you'll bring back home.
Keep us updated.

Cheers
Stefano
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88jimmeyer
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Steano,

thanks again. I was looking at the 71st Fighter Squdron mission report and it states that the fighter that downed my uncles P-38 was shot don by Maj. Ruddel. Is there any proof showing this action.

Jim
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Editor
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88jimmeyer wrote:
Steano,

thanks again. I was looking at the 71st Fighter Squdron mission report and it states that the fighter that downed my uncles P-38 was shot don by Maj. Ruddel. Is there any proof showing this action.

Jim


Ciao Stefano,
Jim is saying is that following the C.202 that shot down Lt. Meyer's P.38, it in turn was shot down (allegedly) by another P.38 piloted by USAAF Maj. Ruddel. Jim would like to know if the existing documents indicate a lost C.202 in this battle. It would imply Ten. Panizza was shot down (this is not possible because his personal logbook was signed) or the second C.202 involved in this battle was shot down ie., can we confirm a lost C.202 on 14/01/43.

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Vince Tassone
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Requesting help finding Italian war records
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