19 October 1940

19 October 1940

Northern Front

The French continue their reconnaissance flights aboard Glenn-Martin 167F n°102 (Flight Lieutenant Jacques Dodelier, Warrant Officer Yves Trecan, Flight Sergeant Ronan Michel and Robert Cunibil) with the sector Dire Dawa – Shinile – Zeilah between 08h15 and 12h00. One Caproni Ca.133 is seen on the airfield of Dire Dawa, while a Fiat CR.42 takes off, but without catching the reconnaissance aircraft.[1]

Southern Front

Three Caproni Ca.133 of 25bis Gruppo BT take off from Gobwen to attack Garissa airfield in the evening.[2] They claim the destruction of two aircraft on the ground. Two pilots of No.2 (SAAF) Squadron take off aboard their Hawker Fury to intercept them at around 18h05. Lieutenant Hendrik J.P. Burger (N°200) claims a destroyed Italian aircraft, while Lieutenant Japie Wiese is not able to catch up with the other two bombers because of the darkness. Indeed, one Caproni Ca.133 is forced to a crashed-landing and his crew captured (Sergente Maggiore Miniati). On their side the Italians claim an enemy aircraft shot.[3] On the ground, the damage remains moderate with the destruction of a transport vehicle and a blow on a stock of explosive. In addition, four ground personnel are injured.

Excerpt from the logbook of Lieutenant Hendrik J.P. Burger. Collection : SAAF Museum, via Tinus le Roux

Carcass of the Caproni Ca.133 (Sergente Maggiore Miniati) shot by Lieutenant Hendrik J.P. Burger (Hawker Fury No. 200) on 19 October 1940.. Collection : SAAF Museum via Tinus le Roux.

[1] « 19 october 1940 », No.8 (RAF) Squadron : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541). Kew : TNA, AIR 27 / 114 ; MORIEULT Yves. Les French Flights, des escadrilles françaises au sein de la RAF. Aéro Journal, 2003, octobre – novembre, n°33, p. 14

[2] The incident is reported by Christopher Shores on October 20, while James Ambrose Brown reports on 29 October. Nevertheless, South African documents give the date of October 19, a hypothesis supported by Michael Schoeman.

[3] « 19 october 1940 »,War Diary, No.2 Fighter Squadron. Kew : TNA, AIR/54/2 ; « 19 october 1940 », October – Narrative Norther Operations SAAF. Kew : TNA, AIR/54/8 ; BROWN, James Ambrose. A Gathering of Eagles : The campaigns of the South African Air Force in Italian East Africa (1940 – 1941). Cape Town : Purnell and Sons, 1970. p.74 ; CANWELL, Diane ; SUTHERLAND, Jon. Air War East Africa (1940 – 1941). The RAF versus the Italian Air Force. Barnsley : Pen and Sword Aviation, 2009. p.69 – 70 ; CRAWFORD, Alex ; LISTEMANN, Phil H. Hawker Fury, Part 1. Boé : Allied Wings, 2010. p.38 ; SCHOEMAN, Michael. Springbok Fighter Victory : East Africa (1940 – 1941). Nelspruit : Freeworld. p.68 et 136 ; SHORES, Christopher ; RICCI, Corrado. Dust Clouds in the Middle East – The Air War for East Africa, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Madagascar, 1940 – 1942. London : Grub Street, 2010 (Reprinted). p.68 ; GUSTAVSSON, Håkan. Brigadier Hendrik Johannes Piet Burger. Biplane Fighter Aces from the Second World War : http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/commonwealth_burger.htm