“Francesco Baracca was the top Italian fighter ace of World War I, with 34 victories.
Whilst with the 91a Squadriglia, known as the “Squadron of the Aces”, he adopted as a personal emblem a black prancing stallion, in tribute to his former cavalry regiment. This prompted some to call him, “The Cavalier of the Skies”.
He failed to return from a mission on June 19th 1918, his body being found a few days later. It is believed he was brought down by ground fire during a low-altitude strafing mission.
His emblem - the “Cavallino Rampante” - was taken from the wreckage, and presented to Enzo Ferrari several years later, who decided to put it to some use…