By Pierre Kosmidis
Research by George Karelas, used by permission
Yet another forgotten story from WW2 comes to light, thanks to the efforts of acclaimed researcher George Karelas.
An aerial attack on Axis shipping, days before the capitulation of Italy, on September 2nd 1943, was photographed by one of the attacking aircraft.
The precise location was lost in the decades following the attack and it took George Karelas a lot of time, perseverance and attention to detail, in order to unravel the mystery.
“It always fascinates me to put those photos into perspective, to find out more than meets the eye and try to reconstruct the actual events of the day the photo was shot”, George Karelas says to www.ww2wrecks.com.
As it turned out, the photo, which was also published in Chris Goss’ great book “Combat over the Mediterranean” is the actual attack by 4 Beaufighter aircraft of 252 sq. RAF against the Italian steamship “Palermo”.
By close examination of the area, George Karelas managed to identify the location too, the gulf of Vonitsa in western Greece.
The RAF aircraft hit the Italian ship with machine gun fire, but failed to sink her. “Palermo” managed to survive the attack, sustaining significant damage by the RAF aircraft.