On the morning of 1 October 1941, the 9o Gruppo undertook its first sorties over Malta with its new aircraft, seven MC.202s from 73a Squadriglia led by Capitano Pluda taking part. Partaking pilots were Capitano Carlo Ivaldi, Tenente Pietro Bonfatti, Sottotenente Giuseppe Oblach, Sergente Maggiore Enrico Dallari, Sergente Santo Gino and Sottotenente Alvaro Querci (Querci was however forced to return due to problems with his oxygen supply).
At 11:50, eight Hurricanes from 185 Squadron scrambled after the incoming ‘bandits’, climbing to 24,000 feet. At this height, 30 miles north-east of the island, they were jumped by the Macchis and 24-year-old Squadron Leader Peter ‘Boy’ Mould (RAF no. 33414) (Hurricane Z5265/GL-T) was shot down and killed (at this time Mould was credited with 8 and 3 shared victories).
Capitano Carlo Ivaldi, Tenente Bonfatti and Sergente Maggiore Dallari claimed two Hurricanes shot down and two probables between them in this first pass; Bonfatti reported that he saw his opponent to jump and parachute (according to some sources the Italian pilots claimed three victories).
Sergeant Ernie Knight got in a shot at the attackers, obtaining hits on Ivaldi’s aircraft (MM7723), which he claimed damaged. The Macchi had been hit in its main fuel tank, and with all fuel drained away, was obliged to force-land on a beach near Pozzzallo, on regaining the Sicilian coast.
As you can read for yourself, this provides plenty of detail for a cracking interception scenario including some specific characters cards, a couple of junior aces and the opportunity to deploy some Italian bogeys to introduce another element to the game. I think it'll be quite balanced as well, giving both sides the chance to achieve some success.