Italy - Kingdom of: The fine 1928 Italian North Africa Libya Pacification Campaign Aviator’s Al Valore Militare in Bronze, awarded to Lieutenant later Lieutenant Colonel Aditeo Guidi, Regia Aeronautica. Guidi was from Dicomano, near Florence, and was commissioned into the Italian Air Force in August 1924. He then flew operationally in Italian North Africa during the supression operations against the Senussi tribesmen and the rebels who refused to accept Italian rule in the aftermath of the collapse of the Ottoman Turkish control of that area. As a bomber pilot, Guidi flew with the Squadriglia Autonoma of the air defence units for Tripolitania. In the period from 1927 through to 1930, he was highly decorated, receiving the Colonel Order of the Star of Italy, two Al Valore Militare’s in Bronze, and three Crosses for War Merit. This award is the second of his two Al Valore’s for this campaign, and was awarded for his actions during July and August 1928 in the skies over Ghibla. A daring pilot, he quickly carried out numerous bombings and strafing’s of rebel camps at low altitude, often in very critical flying conditions. Despite the fact that his aircraft was often and repeatedly hit by enemy rifle fire, so much so that in a single flight a volley hit him with 41 bullets, he boldly insisted on pressing him the machine-gunning attack at low altitude, demonstrating uncommon valour and serene contempt for the danger. Guidi went on to command a flight of five aircraft of the 280th Squadron Bombarderi Veloci, and assigned to the XXIX Group “Falchi of the Balearics” which was intended to operate on bombing missions out of Palma de Mallorca Airport. Guidi and his pilots flew a minimum of three missions a day against the Spanish Republican forces, service for which he was awarded the Italian Order of the Crown. With the Second World War he was given command of the 28th Group from August 1941 when operating out in Italian North Africa, and received this third Al Valore in Bronze for his command of the bombing unit between August and December 1941 despite suffering from ill-health.
Italy - Kingdom of: Al Valore Militare in Bronze, reverse officially engraved: ‘ADITEO GUIDI / TEN. AVIATORE / CIELO DELLA GHIBLA / LUGLIO-AGOSTO 1928 ANNO VI’, housed in its hinged presentation case.
Condition: light contact wear, Very Fine, the case lightly scuffed.
Aditeo Guidi was born on 8th July 1901 in Dicomano, near Florence, and went on to become a distinguished Italian military pilot. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant (Sottotenenti) into the Italian Air Force on 10th August 1924, and gained his pilot’s licence circa September 1926, as his wage is shown as having increased from 7000 Lira to 7600 Lira around that time. He then found himself posted to the Air Force based in the Tripolitania region of Libya, and flying operationally with the Autonomous Squadron 1 (Squadriglia Autonoma 1 Zona Aerea Territoriale),
After the Italian Empire’s conquest of Ottoman Tripolitania (Ottoman Libya), in the 1911–12 Italo-Turkish War, much of the early colonial period had Italy waging a war of subjugation against Libya's population. Ottoman Turkey surrendered its control of Libya in the 1912 Treaty of Lausanne, but fierce resistance to the Italians continued from the Senussi political-religious order, a strongly nationalistic group of Sunni Muslims. This group, first uder the leadership of Omar Al Mukhtar and centered in the Jebel Akhdar Mountains of Cyrenaica, led the Libyan resistance movement against Italian settlement in Libya. Italian forces then waged punitive pacification campaigns using chemical weapons, mass executions of soldiers and civilians and concentration camps. One-quarter of Cyrenaica's population of 225,000 people died during the conflict. After nearly two decades of suppression campaigns the Italian colonial forces claimed victory. This period of pacification lasted from 1923 to 1932.
Guidi’s first award of the Al Valore Militare in Bronze was awarded to him by Royal Degree on 9th April 1929, having been earned in the skies over Sirtica and Hammada, el Homra and el Fugha between 1927 and February 1928.
The Italian citation reads as follows: ‘Ufficiale pilota arditissimo eseguiva numerosi difficili voli di ricognizione e bombardamento in condizioni atmosferiche eccezonalmente avverse. Durante un volo di bombardamento sopra un centro ribelle, sprezzante del fuoco di fucileria nemica che colpiva ripetutamente l'apparecchio si abbassava con aggressiva audacia a pochissimi metri sui ribelli ed infliggeva loro gravi perdite mitragliandoli ripetutamente.’
This translates in English as: ‘A very daring pilot officer, he carried out numerous difficult reconnaissance and bombing flights in exceptionally adverse weather conditions. During a bombing flight over a rebel centre, contemptuous of the enemy rifle fire that repeatedly hit the aircraft, it lowered itself with aggressive audacity to a few meters above the rebels and inflicted serious losses on them by machine-gunning them repeatedly.’
Guidi was promoted to Lieutenant (Tenenti) on 11th July 1929, with seniority backdated to 21st June 1928, the date from which he held the acting rank.
Guidi’s second award of the Al Valore Militare in Bronze, the one being sold here, was awarded by Royal Degree on 9th April 1929, having been earned in the skies over Ghibla between July and August 1928 in Year VI of the Fascist State’s existence.
The Italian citation reads as follows: ‘Ardito pilota d'aeroplano compina in breve tempo numerosissimi bombardamenti e mitragliamenti di campi ribelli a bassa quota, spesso in criticissime condizioni di volo. Malgrado il proprio apparecchio venisse sovente e ripetutamente colpito dalla fucileria nemica, tanto che in un solo volo una raffica lo colpiva con 41 proittili, insisteva audacemente nell'azione di mitragliamento a bassa quota, dimostrando valore non comune e sereno sprezzo del pericolo.’
This translates in English as: ‘A daring airplane pilot, he quickly carried out numerous bombings and strafing’s of rebel camps at low altitude, often in very critical flight conditions. Despite the fact that his aircraft was often and repeatedly hit by enemy rifle fire, so much so that in a single flight a volley hit him with 41 bullets, he boldly insisted on the machine-gunning action at low altitude, demonstrating uncommon valour and serene contempt for the danger.’
By 1932 Guidi is shown as the recipient of the Colonel Order of the Star of Italy, Knight Grade; two Al Valore Militare’s in Bronze, and three Crosses for War Merit. and the Commemorative Medal for the Libyan Campaign.
As of 1933, he was on service with the 3rd Wing of the Regia Aeronautica, and by 1934 had transferred to the 13th Wing. As of 1935 he had added the Medal for Military Aeronautical Long Service.
With the advent of the Spanish Civil War, Guidi had been promoted to Captain (Capitano) and in October 1937 he was given command of five aircraft of the 280th Squadron Bombarderi Veloci, flying in Savoy-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero bomber aircraft. His command was assigned to the XXIX Group “Falchi of the Balearics” which was intended to operate on bombing missions out of Palma de Mallorca Airport. Guidi and his pilots flew a minimum of three missions a day against the Spanish Republican forces.
For his services in Spain, Guidi was appointed a Knight of the Italian Order of the Crown, as announced in the Official Gazette of the King of Italy No.126 on 2nd July 1937.
With the advent of the Second World War, Guidi found himself promoted to Lieutenant Colonel (Tenente Colonnello) and was then given command of the 28th Group on 11th August 1941.
Guidi was awarded his third and final Al Valore Militare in Bronze for his services on operations in Italian North Africa (Libya) between August and December 1941, as announced in the Official Gazette of the King of Italy No.106 on 7th May 1943.
The Italian citation reads as follows: ‘Commandante du un gruppo da bombardamento, si prodigava anche in precario condizioni di salute in azioni beliche particolarmento difficil trascinando con l'esempio i suoi gregarl.’
This translates in English as: ‘Commander of a bombing group, he did his best, even in precarious health conditions, in particularly difficult military actions, leading his followers by example.’