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28ZComeback

Captured Italian aircraft / Greece 1940-1941

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Can anyone speak to the types and/or quantities of Italian aircraft captured by the Royal Hellenic Army, 1940-41?  A few references cite multiple aircraft but only one type is clearly shown by photo evidence--a SM-79. Thank you in advance for any references or suggestions.

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According to ON SPARTAN WINGS, THE ROYAL HELLENIC AIR FORCE IN WORLD WAR TWO, the only Italian-built airplane used by the RHAF was an abandaned SM 79 which collided with three CR 42s in Korce and was repaired by Greeks.

 

Jun in Tokyo

https://www.flickr.com/photos/horaburo/albums

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I believe there were also two Meridionali Ro.37 biplanes captured, but I am not sure if they were in flyable condition. As far as my memory serves me, the source for this information is Squadron book "Air war for Yugoslavia, Greece and Crete"

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I checked the book "Air war for Yugoslavia, Greece and Crete" and found a photo of the two captured Ro. 37s with the wings removed. The caption of the photo says that "Greek personnel dismantle two captured Meridionali Ro.37bis aircraft for shipment south from recently-captured Koritza airfield in January 1941. In the background is the crash-landed S.73, 606-7
(ex 1-LODI).", but there was no further information on the fate of these Ro. 37s.

I don't think they flew again under control of the RHAF.

 

Jun in Tokyo

https://www.flickr.com/photos/horaburo/albums

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Posted (edited)

Hi 28ZComeback,

 

AFAIK, what Jun cites is correct. There was one SM79 captured by the Greek army in Korytza. It was left behind with minimum damage, after the Italian army's hasty withdrawal, and after some minor repairs, it flew south to Athens. In case you don't have them I post below four pictures of this airplane, the first three from Korytza airfield, and the third probably in a hangar in Faliron, Athens. As you may see, Greek markings where painted over the Italian ones in six positions (fuselage, upper, lower wings). Most probably it was used very few times, due to the lack of spares.

 

sm79graid0_1.jpg

 

sm7912fv_1.jpg

foto_-_SM79_markings_ftero_2.jpg

sm79grbxs2_1.jpg

 

As to the two Ro37 that were also captured in Korytza, opinions are divided as to if they were ever transported to Athens, and if they were used by the Royal Hellenic Air Force in any way. Most probably they were not, since apparently there are two pictures with some months difference, showing them at the same spot. Unfortunately I have only the first one, mentioned by Jun.

 

captured_Ro_37bis.png

  

A long time ago, I had also read about the case of a couple of Italian confiscated hydros (but never used by RHAF), but I am too far away fro my sources unfortunately. In any case, we can be "sure" only for the SM79.

 Hope this helps.

 

Dimitrios

Edited by Dim_Thessalonica
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Yasou Demetrius!  Eferestou bero Belee!

 

Kostas

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On 21.04.2017 at 5:59 PM, Junchan said:

The caption of the photo says that "Greek personnel dismantle two captured Meridionali Ro.37bis aircraft for shipment south from recently-captured Koritza airfield in January 1941. In the background is the crash-landed S.73, 606-7
(ex 1-LODI).", but there was no further information on the fate of these Ro. 37s.

I don't think they flew again under control of the RHAF.

On photo we have Ro 37, not "Ro-37 bis" - the V engined, not radial one.

Cheers

J-W

 

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