WNr. 491353, Cap. Ugo Drago, CO of 4a Squadriglia, 2o Gruppo Caccia, Aeronautica Nazionale

Repubblicana, Aviano, Italy, February 1945

After the declaration of Italian Social Republic

on September 18, 1943, a puppet state on the territory of Italy occupied by German military under the

command of Benito Mussolini, Germany allowed

this Republic to establish its own military force

of four divisions. Its air force component called

Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana consisted

of two fighter plane groups (Gruppo Caccia), torpedo groups (Gruppo Aerosiluranti Buscaglia) and

November 2022

several transportation squadrons. In 1945, both

fighter plane squadrons flew Messerschmitts

Bf 109G-6/G-10/G-14. The Commanding Officer

of 4a Squadriglia, carrying the title of Gigi Tre Osei,

was in this time Capitano Ugo Drago, an ace with

seventeen kills to his credit. In April 1945, he was

awarded the German Knight's Cross. After the

war, he emigrated to Argentina, where he made

a living as a flight instructor. He returned to Italy

in 1953 and took up a post with Alitalia with which

he flew until 1973. He died in Rome on April 22,

2007. Towards the end of the war, the majority

of markings on ANR aircraft in the form of fuselage

and wing crosses were no longer removed, with

only the swastika being oversprayed and replaced by markings of Italian aircraft. This marking,

an Italian flag edged in yellow, was also added

to the fuselage sides.

INFO Eduard