Buon Compleanno, Emilio!

by on Oct.25, 2011, under General

…belated but not forgotten, we send our birthday greetings to Tuscany: Emilio Bianchi turned 99 years (!) on october 22nd 2011. He is the last living member of the “fab six” SLC commandos, who took part at the mission “G.A. 3” in December 1941, soon to be 70 years ago… For being co-pilot of Luigi Durant De La Penne’s SLC221 against the “HMS Valiant” in the harbour of Alexandria / Egypt, Emilio Bianchi was awarded with the italian gold medal for gallantry at war (M.O.V.M.).

You can read about Emilio Bianchi in the book “Panerai Historia” by Giampiero Negretti (page 72-79). Also informations can be found in the book “I Mezzi d’Assalto della Xa Flottiglia MAS” by Marco Spertini / Erminio Bagnasco / Albertelli Editore (page 48-50). Emilio Bianchi is featured in the japanese “Panerai Style Book” by Begin, 2001.

Emilio Bianchi is also featured in the book “The Value of Time” on page 71 wearing a Luminor Marina at 4:25 p.m., being one of the “portraits of positiveness” aside other personalities choosen from arts, sport and professions. Other persons featured in this book are e.g. Flavio Briatore, Ornella Muti, Deborah Compagnoni, Roberto Cavalli and Maria Teresa Panerai.

[photo courtesy of Antonio Guccione / Officine Panerai, 1999]

I met Emilio Bianchi in person during my first visit of the III Club Panerai Meeting in Viareggio/Italy in may 2003. In the following years he joined the Club Panerai meetings several times, e.g. to visit the former secret training base at Bocca di Serchio, which was unforgettable for all who took part.

In may 2007 Emilio Bianchi signed the crest of the Com.Sub.In. (scuba divers and commandos of the Marina Militare Italiana) which has been forwarded to a fellow friend in Australia. Moments like this have build a strong relationship inside of me between the Panerai watches and their history based on friendship and passion. It has been very special for me to meet him in person – a living legend.

Go for the 100, Emilio! [Volker Wiegmann]


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