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"Shared joy is a double joy.
Shared pain is a half pin”
(Swedish proverb)
art and history

THE northern EAGLETS

Thus the people of Scala affectionately called the young Swedish aviators who ended up in the territory of Scala, on the summit of Mount Carro. It was the gravest air disaster to ever strike Sweden: of the 21 officers and 5 crew members only 4 were saved. It was November 18,1947 and a flight from Addis Ababa brought young aviators home after a mission In Africa. Perhaps, as a result of the strong fog, the aircraft, a British-built Bristol, crashed into the rocks at 1110 meters altitude in the S. Maria dei Monti area.

Headline of a Swedish newspaper the day following the incident.

The wreckage of the plane as found by the rescuers. After a cold night,four pastors sounded the alarm and brought first aid to the few survivors.

Preparations for the transport of the bodies. In the foreground the skins of African animals: purchased as exotic souvenirs, they were instead used for the construction of rudimentary stretchers.

The inhabitants of Scala climbed the mountain to deliver aid. The objects found at the crash site were carefully collected and returned. The compassion and dignity of these simple and poor people greatly impressed the Swedish authorities.

The parade of the Swedish delegation of civil and military authorities and the children of Scala.

The cheering procession crosses via Vescovado. The children of the time still vividly recall the toys given by the blonde gentlemen in uniform. The Swedish government, in a sign of gratitude towards the sensitivity shown, financed the creation of Scala’s kindergarten.

In the hands of a witness, a photo of the bodies lined up in the Duomo.This still is from a Swedish documentary about the incident.


Monte Carro, the commemorative monument erected forty years later on the site of the crash. Still to this day, this place, one of the most poignant and panoramic in Scala, is a place of pilgrimage. The unfortunate fate of those young soldiers brought two distant cultures together in a partnership that continues today.