Who's Who - Silvio Scaroni

Silvio Scaroni Silvio Scaroni (1893-1977) was Italy's second-highest scoring air ace of the First World War, with his 26 confirmed victories bested only by Francesco Baracca's 34.

Born in Brescia on 12 May 1893 Scaroni enlisted with the Italian Army as a Corporal in the 2nd Field Artillery and with war seemingly likely on the Italian horizon (the country having started the war as a neutral in August 1914).

Transferring to the Corpo Aeronautico Militare (CAM) in March 1915 - the Italian air force - he began his military aviation career as a reconnaissance pilot from September the same year with 4a Squadron.  Promotion to First Lieutenant and an attachment to 43a Squadron followed from January 1917.  He was subsequently assigned in succession to Squadrons 86a and 76a, the latter as a pursuit pilot.

Scaroni's first confirmed 'kill' was a long time coming.  On 14 November 1917 while flying the Nieuport 17 he brought down an enemy aircraft near Colbertaldo.  Between November 1917 and his final success on 12 July at Monte Tomatico the following year - during which he was wounded - Scaroni notched up 26 victories.  All but the first were achieved while flying the Hanriot HD.1 aircraft, making him the most notable exponent of the aircraft.

Scaroni, who published his wartime memoirs as Impressions and Memories of Aerial Warfare, died in Milan on 16 February 1977 aged 83.

Flak was a term used to describe anti-aircraft fire.

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