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The Servizio Aeronautico della Regia Marina [Royal Navy Aeronautical Service of the Kingdom of Italy], first created in 1913 as a section of the Italian Royal Navy, gained greater importance following the entry of Italy into World War I on May 24, 1915. Their air fleet consisted predominantly of hydroaeroplanes (seaplanes, flyingboats) and airships (dirigibles), the latter being particularly useful for spotting enemy submarines. Samuel Wesley Stratton (1861-1931), owner of the album, was the founder and first director of the National Bureau of Standards, a member of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), and the eighth president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).



Processing Information

Arranged, described, and encoded by Melissa A. N. Keiser, 2019.


circa 1915-1918


Family of Samuel Wesley Stratton (through Wesley S. Hobbs), Gift, 1964 [National Air Museum Acquisition R-12-64, Scrapbook S-47], XXXX.0235.


0.18 Cubic feet (1 photo album (34 photographs))


Photo album created by the Sezione Fotografica di Aviazione per la Regia Marina [Photographic Section for Aviation of the Royal Navy of the Kingdom of Italy] unit of the Servizio Aeronautico della Regia Marina [Royal Navy Aeronautical Service] circa 1915-1918; 20 pages plus covers. Contains black-and-white photographs labeled in Italian of Italian Navy facilities, hydroaeroplanes (flying boats), airplanes, airships, captured Austrian hydroaeroplanes, and aerial reconnaissance photo mosaics of several Adriatic port cities then under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (Austria-Hungary).


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Collection descriptions

Archival materials

Arrangement note

Collection is arranged in a photo album with no apparent order.

Scope and Contents

The first part of the album, which has brief captions in Italian, contains views of Regia Marina equipment and facilities at the Stazione Idrovolante Giuseppe Miraglia (Miraglia Seaplane Base) on the Canal Sant'Andrea in Venice, Italy, including hangars of the 251a Squadriglia and 252a Squadriglia; aircraft pictured include Macchi L.3 (M.3), FBA Type H, the Bresciani Bre.4 hydroaeroplane (one of a type developed in 1915-1916 by Luigi Bresciani and Roberto Prunas from a highly modified Caproni Ca.3 trimotor), and what is probably a Lohner Type L Flying Boat or a Macchi L.1 (License built Lohner L-40). Also seen are views of a Caproni Ca.3 bomber, possibly at a different location. This is followed by views of an airship hangar, a close-up view of an airship cockpit, and views of the SCA (Stabilimento di Costruzione Aeronautiche) airship M.9 in flight above a speedboat of the Regia Marina's Motoscafi Anti Sommergibili (M.A.S., Anti-Submarine Motorboats). The next part of the album contains views of several captured Austro-Hungarian aircraft, featuring the sinking of the UFAG (Ungarische Flugzeugwerke A.G.) T1 c/n L 137 (a.k.a. Lohner Type T Flying Boat) shot down by M.A.S. Several aerial reconnaisance photo mosaics appear at the end of the album, including views of Pola (Pula, Croatia) and Isola (Izola, Slovenia) on the peninsula of Istria, Durazzo (Durrës, Albania), and Trieste (now part of Italy). At the time the photographs were made, all these Adriatic port cities were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (Austria-Hungary).


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Topics Aeronautics
Aeronautics, Military
World War, 1914-1918


World War I Italian Naval Aviation Album, Acc. XXXX.0235, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives