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Guido Fibbia (1 October 1917 – 1 July 1988) was an Italian Second World War fighter pilot in the Regia Aeronautica and in the Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana.[1] He was credited with 9 enemy planes shot down flying with biplanes Fiat C.R.32, Fiat C.R.42 and monoplanes Macchi C.200, C.202, C.205, Fiat G.50, G.55 and the German Messerschmitt Bf 109. He was decorated with two Silver Medal of Military Valor (Medaglia d'Argento al Valor Militare), one Bronze Medal of Military Valor (Medaglia di Bronzo al Valor Militare), one Croce di Guerra and one German Iron Cross 2nd Class.

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Maresciallo pilota Guido Fibbia-1941

Early lifeEdit

Guido Fibbia was born in Treviso on 1 October 1917. During his youth he cultivated his passion for flying making models of gliders with his brothers. When he was 17, he joined the Regia Aeronautica (Royal Air Force) and became Pilota militare (military pilot) of the Fiat C.R.20 on 31 January 1936 in Aviano. Between June and July 1936, in Mirafiori (Torino), he got the qualification for Fiat C.R.32 (367^ Squadriglia) and Fiat C.R.42 (368^Squadriglia). On 17 September 1937, as a volunteer, he embarked on the ship "Domine" bound for Spain to fight the Spanish Civil War.

SpainEdit

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Fiat C.R.32 of Aviazione Legionaria (Legionary Air Force)

When he arrived in Tablada (Seville), he was assigned to a newly formed squadron, the 33^ Squadriglia Autonoma Caccia bombardamento, equipped with Fiat C.R.32, flying over the Cordova front. During this war he was credited with 3 aerial victories in 87 combat missions which earned him one Silver Medal of Military Valor (Medaglia d'Argento al Valor Militare) and one Bronze Medal of Military Valor (Medaglia di Bronzo al Valor Militare). After almost ten months of campaigning, on 16 July 1938, he left Spain. When he arrived in Italy, he was assigned to 365^ Squadriglia of 53°Stormo.

2nd World WarEdit

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Macchi C.202[2]

When the war against France and Great Britain started, he performed his first missions from Caselle (Torino) and Albenga. In September 1940 he moved to 95^ Squadriglia 18° Gruppo 3° Stormo, and in October he flew with Corpo Aereo Italiano[3] during the Battle of Britain. He operated escort missions from Ursel base (Belgium) engaging in several dogfights with British Supermarine Spitfires. On 11 November 1940 he crashlanded in the vicinity of Cassel (France).

North Africa and GreeceEdit

In January 1941 he was sent to Libya and on 14 April, during an escort mission on Junkers Ju87 over Tobruk, he shot down an English Hurricane and damaged another.[4] Between August and September 1941 he got the qualification for monoplanes Fiat G.50 and Macchi C.200. During winter 1941-42 he escorted convoys between Italy and Greece and in summer 1942, with 85^ Squadriglia 18° Gruppo, he went to Libya again to perform escort missions and as well as bombing missions of armored vehicles.[5] During the final months of 1942 and the first six months of 1942, he was trained to fly Macchi C.202.[6] In June 1942 he flew as a ferry pilot to transfer captured Dewoitine D.520 fighters from France to Italy, for Italian home defence. At the beginning of summer 1943, he was given one of the three new Macchi C.205 "Veltro" assigned to "3°Stormo" (the other two were alloted to the aces[7] Franco Bordoni and Luigi Gorrini[8]).

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Guido Fibbia (first on the right) and the French Dewoitine D.520 fighter

Defence of RomeEdit

At the end of August 1943, the Allied forces carried out massive air strikes over Rome with four-engine Boeing B-17 bombers ("Flying Fortresses"), escorted by Lockheed P-38 fighters. On 28 and 29 August he shot down two P-38s. On 30 August, still flying with a Macchi C.205, he shot down a B-17 flying fortress (his war flight-log reports how many rounds of ammunition were used: 580 rounds of 12.7mm and 390 rounds of 20mm ammunition).

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Flight log-30 August 1943

Aeronautica Nazionale RepubblicanaEdit

After the Cassibile armistice, on December 1943, he joined the Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana,[9] where he was assigned to Squadriglia complementare d'allarme "Montefusco-Bonet" flying from Venaria Reale airfield in defence of the cities of northern Italy from the attacks of the Allied forces. On 2 April 1944 he got the qualification on Fiat G.55 and on 12 May he fought against a B-17 formation.During the first days of June the Squadriglia was moved to Reggio Emilia and incorporated in the 1°Gruppo caccia "Asso di bastoni". On 22 June, 1st and 2nd Gruppo, in the area between Bologna and Ferrara, attacked together 400 Consolidated B-24 Liberator escorted by 60 P-38 Lightning, which had as their target the station of Parma. Flying with a Macchi C.205, he shot down one P-38 flown by Lieutenant Tolmie of the 97th Fighter Squadron (he bailed out and taken prisoner) and damaged two, firing 400 rounds of 20mm ammunition.[4] On 26 July, he took off again, flying a Fiat G.55, to intercept an Allied bombers formation escorted by P-47 Thunderbolt over the area of Mantova-Verona. He engaged a low-altitude dogfight against 5 Thunderbolts shooting down one. This is the last aerial victory obtained by Maresciallo Fibbia. At the end of November, in Holzkirchen airport (Germany), he was trained on German Messerschmitt Me109-G10 with which he flew his last war missions.

The last sortie was reported on 17 April 1945.

AwardsEdit

ReferencesEdit

Notes

  1. Dunning 2000, p. 216.
  2. Sgarlato, Nico. C.202 Lo chiamavano il Macchi (in Italian). Parma: Delta Editrice, 2008.
  3. Haining, Peter. The Chianti Raiders: The Extraordinary Story of the Italian Air Force in the Battle of Britain. London: Robson Books, 2005
  4. 4.0 4.1 http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/italy_fibbia.htm
  5. Massimello e Apostolo 2000, p. 65.
  6. Sgarlato, Nico. C.202 Lo chiamavano il Macchi (in Italian). Parma: Delta Editrice, 2008
  7. Massimello, Giovanni and Giorgio Apostolo. Italian Aces of World War Two. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2000
  8. Manfredi Giacomo: Ali d'Italia. «Vespa 2» La storia di Luigi Gorrini, asso dell'aviazione da caccia italiana, medaglia d'oro al valor militare Editore. SEB Società Ed. Barbarossa.
  9. Nino Arena, L'Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana, Albertelli Editore, 1995, ISBN 88-85909-49-3

Bibliography

  • Dunning, Chris. Solo coraggio! La storia completa della Regia Aeronautica dal 1940 al 1943. Parma, Delta Editrice, 2000. NO ISBN.
  • Manfredi Giacomo: Ali d'Italia. «Vespa 2» La storia di Luigi Gorrini, asso dell'aviazione da caccia italiana, medaglia d'oro al valor militare Editore. SEB Società Ed. Barbarossa.
  • Haining, Peter. The Chianti Raiders: The Extraordinary Story of the Italian Air Force in the Battle of Britain. London: Robson Books, 2005.
  • Neulen, Hans Werner. In the Skies of Europe. Ramsbury, Marlborough, UK: The Crowood Press, 2000. ISBN 1-86126-799-1.
  • Pagliano Franco: Aviatori Italiani. Milano Longanesi 1969
  • Paravicini Pier Paolo: Pilota da caccia 1942-1945. Milano Mursia 2007
  • Nino Arena, L'Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana, Albertelli Editore, 1995, ISBN 88-85909-49-3
  • Massimello, Giovanni and Giorgio Apostolo. Italian Aces of World War Two. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2000.
  • Sgarlato, Nico. C.202 Lo chiamavano il Macchi (in Italian). Parma: Delta Editrice, 2008.
  • Sgarlato, Nico. "Macchi Folgore" (in Italian). Aerei Nella Storia 1998 (8): 8-20. Parma, Italy: West-Ward sas.
  • Shores, Christopher. Air Aces. Greenwich, CT: Bison Books, 1983. ISBN 0-86124-104-5.
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