Twin bladed propeller, Caproni Ca.309 'Ghibli', shot down over Bardia : Captain C H 'Tom' Selby, Medical Officer, 2/1 Battalion

Place Africa: North Africa, Libya, Cyrenaica, Bardia Area
Accession Number REL46654
Collection type Technology
Object type Aircraft component
Physical description Brass, Wood
Maker Fabbrica Italiana Eliche Torino
Place made Italy: Turin
Date made 1940
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Two bladed wooden propeller, painted black. The original transfers for the manufacturer, F.I.E.T. (Fabbrica Italiana Eliche Torino) are applied over the paint. Stamps impressed into the hub show the propellor as being made for the Caproni Ca.309 'Ghibli' twin engined reconnaissance aircraft, used by the Italian airforce in Libya. The first 61 cm of each leading edge is shod in brass for protection. A hole drilled into each tip after the war allowed the propeller to be hung on display.

Markings are impressed into either side of the centre hub. One side is marked:
MOT - ALFA 115
DIS - 5025
DIAM - 2.110
PASSO - 1,617 - 1,802

The other side is marked:
M,D, 11151
M,M, 028127
COLL - 28-2-1940
SCAD - 28-8-1940

Accompanying these markings are a pair of small impressed 'F.I.E.T.' logos and 'GA 30' within an inscribed box.

History / Summary

Twin blade propeller, one of two used on the Italian-made Caproni Ca 309 'Ghibli' reconnaissance aircraft, made by Fabbrica Italiana Eliche Torino (F.I.E.T.) and intended for use with the Alfa 115 engine.

This propeller was acquired by Captain (later Lieutenant Colonel) Clive Herbert 'Tom' Selby of Killara, NSW, (NX22) who enlisted on 24 October 1939, and initially served with 2/1 Battalion as their Medical Officer. He saw action during the Battle of Bardia in late December 1940 and souvenired this propeller after the Italian defeat, in January 1941.

He writes in his book 'A Doctor Leaves Port': 'My driver and I screwed off a beautiful wooden propeller at Bardia. When my truck had been blown up, we had it transferred to a new one. When we went to Greece the unit carpenters made me a huge wooden box for it - a two man load. I sent it to the kit store as a set of Shakespeare.' The propeller eventually made its way back to Melbourne, but was mislaid until a fellow veteran of 2/1 Battalion noted Clive's service number (NX22) on the case, and arranged for it to be sent to him in Sydney.