Biplane fighter aces


Sottotenente Giovanni Berretta

Berretta served as a volunteered in the Spanish Civil War in the 3a Escuadrilla de Caza del Tercio.

On the morning on 15 November, 15 CR.32s provided the fighter escort for bombers attacking targets in Madrid. As they neared the city, four I-16s led by Leitenant Sergey Chernykh (Escuadrilla Kolesnikov) attacked the Italian section consisting of Sottotenenti Bernardino Serafini and Giuseppe Cenni and Sergente Berretta. All three pilots ably defended themselves and collectively shot down an I-16 piloted by Vladimir N. Vzorov (’Jose Zoro’), who destroyed his fighter when he crash-landed into an olive grove.
The Russian pilots reported nine I-16s took off to intercept Ju 52/3m bombers, escorted by fighters, heading for Madrid. Leitenant Sergey Denisov (’Ramon’) and Leitenant Chernykh (’Garcia’) each reported downing an enemy fighter.
It is possible that one CR.32 was lost since it was reported that the body of a Nationalist pilot was found at the outskirts of Madrid.

Berretta ended the war with one shared biplane victory.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  15/11/36 morning 1/3 I-16 (a) Shared destroyed Fiat CR.32   Madrid 3a Escuadrilla de Caza del Tercio

Biplane victories: 1 shared destroyed.
TOTAL: 1 shared destroyed.
(a) Claimed in combat with I-16s, which claimed 2 enemy fighters while losing 1 I-16 (pilot safe). The CR.32s claimed 1 I-16 without losses (or possibly 1 lost).

Fiat CR.32 Aces of the Spanish Civil War - Alfredo Logoluso, 2010 Osprey Publishing, Oxford, ISBN 978-1-84603-983-6
Giuseppe Cenni, pilota in guerra – Giuseppe Pesce, 2002, USSMA, Rome, kindly provided by Stefano Lazzaro.
Polikarpov I-15, I-16 and I-153 Aces - Mikhail Maslov, 2010 Osprey Publishing, Oxford, ISBN 978-1-84603-981-2
Additional information kindly provided by Stefano Lazzaro, Alfredo Logoluso and Giovanni Massimello.

Last modified 07 September 2016