A Service Dress Uniform to a Tenente Colonnello (Lt. Colonel) of the Pioneer Branch (Aviation Engineers)
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This Lt. Colonel is wearing the standard blue service dress of the Regia Aeronautica. The four button, four pocket jacket was similar in cut and style to the British RAF uniform with some distinctions. The color was lighter and a different shade of blue and the fabric belt had a unique double buckle attachment that allowed for the belt to be adjusted without a lot of extra material hanging over. There are single buckle examples as well.
This particular uniform is one of the finest tailored uniforms I have ever seen. The workmanship is superb and the condition is almost unworn. The hat did not come with the uniform as the rank does not match but it is appropriate in all other ways.
The Pioneers served as the engineering and inspectorate branch of the Regia Aeronautica. As such, they had distinctive insignia in terms of piping color and symbols on the shoulder passants. The Pioneer color was burgundy and the symbol was a Roman helmet.

While not all personnel were flight rated, many in the Pioneers, especially in the inspectorate, were. This officer wears wings that were made in 1943 following the surrender of the Italian government to the Allies. Those who chose to remain and fight with the Allies eliminated the fasces from the eagle's talons and kept the crown. Those loyal to the Fascists eliminated the crown until a new RSI wing was created.
The Italian air force denoted rank on the sleeves like the British and the Navy. The large stripe with two smaller stripes denoted a Lt. Colonel. The burgundy velvet indicates the pioneer branch. The Crown with the sword below indicates that the wearer was promoted based on merit in the field. The shoulder passant indicates branch of service as well as senority. The large and small stripe indicate a rank above major. The Roman helment and the burgundy velvet indicate the Pioneer branch. Flight personnel had a baton and no piping (backed with blue fabric same as uniform).

The Colonel carries an Itallian map case made out of calfskin. The interior featues a plastic laminated pocket with grid lines for easy placement and directions. The other side features a large map pocket.
Every uniform tells some kind of story. When I received this uniform, I didn't realize at first that every pocket was filled with crumpled newspaper as an aid to storage. After carefully unfolding each ball, it was clear the uniform had been carefully stored right at the time of the Allied invasion in August, 1943. The paper was from Napoli and the sheets were all from the same paper, La Stampa. Who knows if the officer was killed, made prisoner or simply decided the war was over for him?

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