By 9 September 1944, General Max von Pohl had become concerned to improvise some defence for his principal airfields—including NSG 9's bases at Cavriago II, Palata Pepole and Vigatto—against Italian partisans. By the following afternoon, the Allies had decoded his signal:
ON NINTH GAFCIT REQUESTED UNSPECIFIED MILITARY AUTHORITY THAT UNITS WITHDRAWN NORTH OF APPENINES SHOULD OCCUPY ALSO ENVIRONS OF HIS AIRFIELDS. DEFENCE OF THESE AIRFIELDS AGAINST GUERILLAS IMPERILLED BY SURRENDER OF CERTAIN GAF GROUND STAFF. PRINCIPAL AIRFIELDS PIACENZA, BOLOGNA, CAVRIAGO SECOND (WEST OF REGGIO), VIGATTO (SOUTH OF PARMA), AIRASCA AND PALATA PEPOLI (NORTH OF BOLOGNA).
COMMENT (ABLE) FIRST MENTION PALATA PEPOLI (BAKER) OMISSION OF POGGIO RENATICO SUGGESTS TWO NAG ONE ONE MAY HAVE MOVED.
NSG 9's attack on Rimini aerodrome was more destructive than I realised when writing Ghost Bombers. Nine men were killed by multiple bomb wounds; one died next day from a chest wound; two suffered “dangerous” wounds; eight were seriously wounded; and fiver were slightly wounded
Although I had used the No. 241 Squadron Operations Record Book as a source for other incidents, I completely overlooked the pages dealing with this attack. It was Enzo Lanconelli and Daniele Celli who brought them to my attention.
continued on next page …