Roberto Lordi

Roberto Lordi (Naples, 11 April 1894 – Rome, 24 March 1944) was Brigadier General of the Regia Aeronautica, Gold Medal of Military Valour Recipient and Martyr in the Fosse Ardeatine Massacre.


After attending the Nunziatella military academy , he fought in the First World War and was decorated with several Medals of Honor.

In 1923 served in the Italian Air Force in Libya where the first Military School of Parachuting of the Regia Aeronautica was built. He stayed in Africa from April 1929 till May 1933.[1] In these years Lordi took part to many pioneering and groundbreaking aeronautical events.

Military Mission to China

In 1933 he was sent to China[2] as the head of Italy's Air Mission to China and trainer of RoCaf (Republic of China Air Force) pilots when Galeazzo Ciano served as Italian Consul in Shanghai. Lordi gained full confidence of Chiang Kai-shek and he was appointed Chief of Staff of Chinese Air Force.

Working as a mediator between Italian companies which sold aircraft and Chinese government which bought them, he succeeded in having advantageous commissions for Italy that, however, were badly managed by Italy. Lordi decided to report these malfunctions and he was recalled to Italy at the age of only 42 years old. He was first committed to a psychiatric hospital and then forced into exile.[3]

General Silvio Scaroni succeeded Lordi as the head of the Mission but he had to face the dissatisfaction of the Shanghai's international community about Lordi's dismissal.

Resistance During World War II

In October 1943 he fought in the "Italian Resistance Movement" and on 17 January 1944 was arrested by German Army and held in Nazi prison located in Via Tasso (Rome) where political opponents were tortured.

After one month of detention and tortures, he was executed in the "Fosse Ardeatine Massacre".[4]


  1. R. Chiarvetto; A. Menardi Noguera; M. Soffiantini. (2015). In volo su Zerzura. Roma: Edizioni Rivista Aeronautica. p. 290. ISBN 9788888180199.
  2. Young, Arthur Nichols (1971). China's Nation-building Effort, 1927–1937: The Financial and Economic Record. Stanford (Calif.): Hoover Institution Press. p. 354. ISBN 9780817910419.
  3. Portelli, Alessandro (1999). L'ordine è già stato eseguito: Roma, le Fosse Ardeatine, la memoria. Roma: Donzelli. p. 169.
  4. Tuena, Filippo (1999). Tutti i sognatori. Roma: Fazi. p. 170.

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