The Italian World War II fighter aircraft, the Aermacchi Veltro C.205 was built by the Italian company Aeonautica Macchi which had been in the industry since before the First World War. The C.205 was one of three Series 5 Italian fighters built using the powerful Daimler-Benz DB605 engine. It came with a top speed of 400 mph, equipped with two 20.mm cannon as well as 12.7 Breda machine guns. It was a force to be reckoned with and despite its late entry into the conflict, only being produced between 1942 and 1944 and a mere 262 aircraft at that, it was highly successful , being both respected and feared by Allied pilots. Its pilots downed many Allied fighters, notably the American P-51D Mustang, Curtiss P-40, as well as Liberators, Blenheims and P-38 Lightnings. Even the noble Spitfire was part of their tallies.
One of these Italian fighter aces was Sergente Maggiore Luigi Gorrini who was born in 1917. His distinguished World War II flying career saw him fighting over Libya and Tunisia as well as in the defence of the Italian mainland. He shot his first Allied plane down over Libya in 1941. At the end of 1943, Gorrini joined the Italian national republican air force, (ANR) where he was assigned to 1 Squadriglia, 1 Gruppa Caccia, where he continued to fly C.205 fighters. At the end of January 1944, under the command of ‘Ace’ Capitano Adriano Visconti, the Gruppa was sent out to attack a formation of American bombers under P-47 escort. Gorrini’s score included a B-24, P-47 and then a P-38. His last air battle was on 15th June 1944 when his plane was hit during a dogfight with four P-47 Thunderbolts. He baled out but was too close to the ground, subsequently waking up in hospital. He recovered but did not fly operationally again. Living until November 2014, he summed up his World War II record as 212 air combats, 24 solo air victories and 5 parachute bale-outs. Not only was he the highest ranking Italian fighter ace still alive at the time but was also the only surviving pilot to be awarded the Gold Medal of Military Valour.
All this history is encapsulated in our 1:72 scale model of the Veltro C.205 which appears in the typical Italian World War II camouflage scheme of dark grey/mid grey upper body and wings, pale blue/grey mottled fuselage and pale blue grey under body. A white rear fuselage band is painted under the Italian flag with the 23 – 1 identity numbers in red and white on each side behind the cockpit. Finishing touches see the Italian flag on the vertical tail fin, the propeller spinner painted white and green and the underside of the engine cowl coloured bright yellow.
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