English Sayings Thoughts Travels

The Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero

I wrote about the gentleman I talked to in Italy about his experience in the Second World War flying in the Italian Air Force, and I felt that part of my history was missing.

We talked about how he downed two Hurricane aircraft into the sea, and escaped to fight another day. (click to read article).

He talked about The Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero (SM.79) and I searched for more details on the aircraft, hoping that perhaps there may be one in one of the many aircraft museums in the UK, visiting the Imperial War Museum in London and Duxford and RAF Hendon, but nothing.

The Italian Airforce Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero
The Italian Airforce Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero

I then decided that perhaps there maybe a plastic model construction kit I could find, and by building it I would learn more about the aircraft. That was nearly as difficult as finding a real aircraft. But after a lot of searching I found a model shop near to RAF Hendon, North London, with one last kit. The shop Hannants is on a small industrial estate, not really a shop as it does not even have a shop window, but it does have a good range of kits.

From building this aircraft, the SM.79, I felt so much nearer to the history I was told, but no-where in the books I read was there any mention of two Hurricane aircraft being lost to a SM.79. I even asked at RAF Hendon, something I will follow-up in coming months.

It is strange how we are only told we need to know about our history, and this tends to be one sided, that from the viewpoint of the country we are being taught in. Seeing the foot over the British Isle on the world globe on the statute in the Vatican, (click to see here). The history of slavery in America (click to see here).

I am learning to take what I am told with a pinch of salt, an English saying, which means, we are not being told the truth, or only a little of what we need to know.

The three engined Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero, or Sparrowhawk, was designed before the start of the Second World War as a passenger transport and fast postal link airplane, but was modified to become a torpedo and medium bomber with great success. It had a hump behind the cockpit which was able to retract to reveal a two 12.7 mm guns. It was flown by many countries.

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