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Gloster Meteor F.Mk4 - 4° Stormo, Aeronautica Militare, 1950

With the establishment of the Italian Republic on June 18th, 1946 (following a national vote to end the Kingdom of Italy) the former Regia Aeronautica became the Aeronautica Militare. Whilst the Peace Treaty of Paris of 1947 had placed considerable restrictions on all of the Italian armed forces, rising early post-war tensions between the Soviet Union and the Western Allies (soon to culminate in the Berlin Blockade that started in the Summer of 1948) led to the formation of NATO in 1949 with Italy as a valued founding member. The Aeronautica Militare urgently needed modernizing and whilst the transfer of P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang piston-engined fighter planes gave them an immediate boost it was clear that more modern aircraft were required. Such was the importance of Italy to NATO's south-eastern flank that the US President Harry S. Truman ordered that 100 Gloster Meteor F.Mk4 fighter-bombers should be purchased for the Aeronautica Militare as part of the Offshore Procurement Policy associated with the wider Mutual Defense Assistance Program.

Because of the increased demand for the Meteor (for the RAF and export customers) the Gloster Aircraft Company had already introduced a second source of production by using the Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft Company at their Bitteswell and Baginton factories and the Italian order was easily slotted in. The Gloster Meteor F.Mk4 entered Aeronautica Militare service with 4° Stormo in February 1950 who later that year used them as part of the attacking enemy force in 'Operation Balkan Rise' (the first ever NATO military air exercise) with their Meteor F.Mk4's displaying black recognition colours and they scored highly in both the Gunnery and Bombing competitions.







Base Skin Credit: Paulopanz

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58 minutes ago, dtmdragon said:

I like the black on silver tail

It's funny how these things work out. The film about the Tuskegee airmen ('Red Tails') was shown on British TV last week and I was going to do something with red tails this week. However, for some reason, as soon as I saw the gorgeous new Meteor IV I wanted to use Italian markings and picked 4° Stormo whose unit badge led me to do a black tail and also nacelle bands.


Edited by Spinners

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