4 December 1940

4 December 1940

Northern Front

The Bristol Blenheim MK IV R2770 (Flying Officer Thomas G. Rhodes, Sergeant Maurice E.F. Hitchin and Sidney C. Lewis), of No.14 (RAF) Squadron, took off at 04:30 to carry out a reconnaissance mission of the Danas – Dambe Wadi area. In preparation for the next offensive in early 1941, the unit is now in charge of carrying out a series of aerial photographs of roads in Eritrea. In order to carry out these actions, the squadron developed a tactic using diversionary bombing to attract Italian fighters and thus make the task easier for the reconnaissance aircraft.

An this day, a first Bristol Blenheim (R3899) takes off half an hour earlier to attack Adarte station. Although a direct hit is signalled on the objective, this raid failed to distract the Italians. The Bristol Blenheim R2770 fell near Ginda to the blows of Tenente Mario Visintini of the 412 Squadriglia.[1]

In a letter addressed to his mother on 15 December 1940, he wrote :

« On the day of the 4th, intercepted a reconnaissance Blenheim that I also shot down. »

Two new Gloster Gladiator Mk II are being delivered to K Flight: the N5833 and N5895.[2]

[1] No.14 (RAF) Squadron : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541). Kew : TNA, AIR 27/192 ; NAPIER M. Winged Crusaders : The Exploits of 14 Squadron RFC & RAF 1915 – 1945. Barnsley : Pen & Sword, 2013 ; 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. 81 ; EUSEBI E., LAZZARO S., SLONGO L. Le vittorie aeree di Mario Visintini in Africa Orientale, in Storia Militare, n°246, 2014, p. 62 ; GUSTAVSSON, Håkan. Capitano Mario Visintini Medaglia d’oro al valor militare. Biplane Fighter Aces from the Second World War : http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/italy_visintini.htm

[2] K Flight : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541). Kew : TNA, AIR 29/858.

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