RE: Knowledge Quiz for Warbird wiz
He was an Italian Axis pilot that flew a captured P-38 in combat. Full story below.
The 12 of June, 1943 a lonely P-38 landed at Capoterra airfield on southern Sardinia. The Italians on the airfield cannot believe what was happening. A soldier, quickly, move a car just on the front of the aircraft to prevent a restart. The P-38's pilot was opening the canopy when he realize that he had landed on the wrong place. He tried to take off but it was too late to do it and he was captured. The pilot - his identity is unknown - was flyng from Malta to Gibraltar ( other sources says he was flyng from Tunis to Pantelleria ) to deliver a bag containing documents and mail. He landed at Capoterra almost out of fuel after a long trip above the Mediterranean Sea . Later was found a compass failure resulting in 30 degrees error on the route . The P-38 was probably an E model upgraded to G models. Voices says that last four digits of the serial number were 2278. The US insignia was covered with Italian Dark Green paint who was a bit darker respect the US Olive Drab. Then were applied white bands on the booms, Sabaudian crosses on the tails and spinners was painted in white. The Lightning was tested at Guidonia Experimental Center near Rome and later was used against US bombers. The Col. Angelo Tondi - a skilled Italian pilot - flyng with the P-38 shoot down a US B-24 Liberator off Anzio coast at 11am of August 11, 1943, six of B-24's crew bailed out from the aircraft . The Italian Lightning had a no long flyng career because the German synthetic fuel used by Italians corroded P-38's fuel tanks and the aircraft was forced to stay on the ground, but US reports says that B-17s bombers were attacked by two P-38s on early September 1943. During another mission a damaged US P-38 was flyng close to US bombers needing protection. The bomber's gunners, thinking he was the " enemy " P-38, shoot down the aircraft."