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Top Flying Aces of World War I – 5

Antonio Chiri

On 9 September 1914, Antonio Chiri was conscripted into the 17th Field Artillery Regiment of the Italian army. He was accepted for pilot training on 18 April 2015 but was eventually suspended from the course early on, though he was retained as a sheet metal mechanic.

In November 2015 he managed to re-enter flight training, and on 8 June 2016 he went on flight status with the 77 Squadron. He spent several months there and was transferred to 78 Squadron on 11 October 2016.

Chiri recorded his first kill on 19 March 1917 when he shot down an Austro-Hungarian Hansa-Brandenberg C.1 (like the one pictured above) over Gallio Bassano, earning a Silver Medal for Military Valor, his first of three.

He shot down a second enemy plane on 26 August 1917 over Loque, where he earned his second Silver Medal.

Chiri submitted “kill” claims through 27 October 1918, most shared with other Italian aces. By the time the war ended, he was awarded his third Silver Medal after flying more than 250 combat missions.

Shortly after the end of the war, on 21 December 1918, Chiri suffered a flying accident that resulted in his invalidation for military service. He was initially credited with six aerial victories but has subsequently been listed as having just five.

Later, he managed to rejoin the military to serve in the air reserves. He also served in World War II, rising to the rank of captain.

 

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