May 9, 1888: Francesco Baracca was born

(To Francesco Sisto)

Francesco Baracca was born in Lugo on May 9, 1888. He was the main ace of Italian aviation in the Great War.

He was credited with 34 aerial victories!

Nickname "Ace of Aces"

The young Baracca entered the Military Academy of Modena in 1907 and left it two years later with the rank of second lieutenant. Subsequently, he attended the Cavalry School of Pinerolo, and in 1910 he was sent to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment Royal Piedmont.

Baracca, interested and passionate about aeronautics, decides to learn to fly. He attended piloting courses in Reims (France) and on 9 July 1912 he obtained his pilot's license.

In 1914 the young officer - with the rank of lieutenant - was assigned to aviators battalion, first in the 5th and then in the 6th squadron.

On April 7, 1916 he achieved his first success: piloting a Nieuport 11 knocks out a Hansa-Brandenburg CI in the skies of Medeuzza. It should be noted that that day also represents Italy's first aerial victory in the conflict.

A few months later Baracca was promoted to captain.

From the spring of 1916 onwards it was a succession of victories for the Italian ace. During the war Baracca piloted the Nieuport 11, the SPAD S.VII and the SPAD S.XIII.

On 19 June 1918, the Italian officer took off for the last time: he was shot down in the Montello area.

As a personal insignia, the ace of aviation had adopted a black prancing horse, which he had painted on the sides of his aircraft. Years later, the prancing horse was offered to Enzo Ferrari… 

Numerous honors were conferred on Francesco Baracca (including foreign ones).

All 'Ace of the Axes 91 is dedicateda squadron.

Francesco Baracca is still a legend today.