Junkers J-87 "Stuka" in the Italian Regia Aeronautica
After a long research without solutions for a dive bomber (SIAI S.M.85), the Regia Aeronautica asked Germany to send 100 Ju-87 planes (in Italy they were called "Pichiatello"), that arrived in 1940 (50 Ju-87 B2 and 50 Ju-87 R2).
Ju-87 of 239th Squadron 97° Group
For the training on the aircraft, pilots and mechanics of 96th Group B.a.T. (Bombardamento a tuffo = Dive Bombing) went to Germany for a fast couse. This Group was obviously the first one to use these aircraft on battle. The 96th Group (Sqd 236th and 237th) was immediatly sent to Sicily to bomb Malta, followed by 97th Group (Sqd 238th and 239th) on the Greek-Albanian front.
Ju-87 of 208th Squadron
In 1941 the 101th Group (Sqd 208th and 209th) and N.A.T.A.T. (Nucleo Addestramento Tiro A Tuffo) were created, last one based in Lonate Pozzolo.
After a lot of crashes, in 1942 there was a complete ristructure of these Groups, and after only 2 Groups, 102th (Sqd 209th and 239th) and 103th (Sqd 207th and 237th), remained and were sent to North Africa.
In 1943 Nel 1943 46 Ju-87 D2/D3 and 6 Ju-87 R2 arrived from Germany, so a third Group was created: the 121th (Sqd 206th and 216th).
When the Armistice was signed, the only Group that flew on Stuka was the 121th (11 planes), in Sardinia, where remained to do ausiliary duties (target trailer for USAAF planes, Wako glider trailer, ecc.) till 1945, then there were destroyed.