CANT Z. 506 seaplane
The Z.506B was first used as a reconnaissance/torpedo bomber in the Spanish Civil War. On the outbreak of World War II, 97 aircraft were operational with two Stormi da Bombardamento Marittimo (sea bombing units) and some Squadriglia da Ricognizione Marittima. 31° Stormo B.M. "autonomo" with 22 planes was based at Cagliari Elmas, in Sardinia; 35° Stormo B.M., with 25 Z.506 in Brindisi, Puglia. The Cant Z. 506 was used extensively in 1940-41 in France and Greece and under went its baptism of fire on 17 June 1940, the day after French bombers had attacked Elmas base, killing 21 airmen and destroying a number of Cant. Z.501s. On the evening of 17 June, four 506Bs from 31° Stormo attacked targets in Northern French Africa, dropping two 250 kg and three 100 kg bombs each. One of the most important operations was the battle of Punta Stilo. In the war against Greece the Cant seaplane was used against coastal targets and the Corinth canal. It played an important part in the conquest of many Greek islands, including Corfu, Cephalonia and Zante. Due to its vulnerability against fighters, it was restricted to use by 'recce' units, such as the Squadriglie da Ricognizione. Later in the war, it was used in maritime patrol and air-sea rescue missions. A special air-sea rescue version, the Z.506S Soccorso, was produced; it was used in small numbers by the Luftwaffe.