22 October 1940

22 October 1940

Northern Front

The day is essentially marked by the organization of a massive attack, combined between the three Squadrons based at Aden, on airfields of Alamata and Dessie (northern Ethiopia). The distance between Aden and Alamata requires the organization of a refueling on the island of Perim in the Red Sea. Three Gloster Gladiators of No.94 (RAF) Squadron are sent to provide aerial coverage between 07h20 and 13h10 : N5787 (Squadron Leader William T.F. Wightman), L9047 (Flight Lieutenant Gordon S.K. Haywood) and N2290 (Sergeant Price).

The first three Bristol Blenheims of No. 8 (RAF) Squadron took off at 08h10 from Khormaksar to land at Perim at about 09h00, and then left an hour later for the two targets. They were followed by three other of No.11 (RAF) Squadron taking off at 09h30 from Sheikh Othman (refueling between 10h10 and 10h55), although one of them (L4919) had to abandon the mission because of a motor problem. Finally, three other Bristol Blenheim of No.8 (RAF) Squadron take over at 10h00 (refueling between 10h40 and 11h40). Several Italian planes (at least four Caproni Ca.133) are reported on the ground. If once again, several hits are reported against the hangars, various buildings and potential reserves of fuels and ammunition, the reports recognize the difficulty of apprehending the real results.

In the opposing side, Sergente Maggiore Ugo Zoino of 411a Squadriglia CT has a very eventful day. The latter takes off, aboard his Fiat CR.32, to oppose three aircraft probably the first of No.8 (RAF) Squadron. He is, however, the victim of a weapon problem causing damage in his oil tank. He decides to attack an isolated Bristol Blenheim with one of the machine guns still functional. However, his armament still refuses to work, and he decides to damage the tail of the ennemy aircraft with his propeller. With his glasses now full of oil, he decides to give up and made a successful landing. He is, however, forced to quickly abandon his Fiat CR.32 which is beginning to attract the attention of the British. Taking advantage of a lull, he tries to shelter his plane. He is however forced to retreat when two bombers of No.11 (RAF) Squadron rise above the ground.

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