Biplane fighter aces


Sergente Achille Buffali

Sergente Achille Buffali took part in the Spanish Civil War where he served in the 2a Escuadrilla de Caza del Tercio.

On the morning of 9 September capitán Joaquín García Morato led Italian pilots Sergente Raffaele Chianese and Sergente Buffali from Tablada to the airfield at Cáceres, in Extremadura, from where they could support the Nationalist advance towards Madrid.
It is possible that capitán Morato already at this time was serving as a flight leader in the 2a Escuadrilla de Caza del Tercio since it is known that he served in this role during September-December 1936.

On 11 September, Sergente Buffali of the 2a Escuadrilla de Caza del Tercio shot down a Ni-H.52 flown by Spaniard alférez Jesús García Herguido of the Escuadrilla Mixta. Although wounded in the engagement, Herguido managed to return to Republican territory.

On 24 September, the CR.32s were transferred to Talavera airfield, which was closer to the operational zone of Toledo and Madrid.

On 29 October, the SB bombers were over the front in the first large counter-attack of the Ejército Popular against the so-called Columnas del Sur (Southern Columns), with the main push towards Seseña-Esquivias-Illescas, and the secondary at Humanes-Griñón, Parla-Torrejón de la Calzada and Pinto-Torrejón de Velasco.
A Fiat patrulla from the 1a Escuadrilla de Caza del Tercioled by capitán Ángel Salas Larrazábal with Terenzi and Sergente Buffali as wingmen over Valdemoro, 26 km south of Madrid reportedly met “four extremely fast bomber aircraft”. Capitán Salas managed to climb above the four SBs and made three attacks, first “in the tail, later in an almost vertical dive and finally in the tail again, until I ran out of ammunition.” One of the aircraft lagged behind the others, flying lower. Salas added: ”Terenci was firing at him as I was.”
It was later reported from ground positions that the SB was seen crashing in flames. Bonomi, in his memoirs, recalls that a Katiuska fell over enemy lines.
On this day it was confirmed that the SBs had higher horizontal speed than the CR.32s, something which had been anticipated on the previous days, when the fighters could not chase the twins that bombed Tablada.

Buffali claimed 1 biplane victory during the Spanish Civil War.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 11/09/36   1 Ni-H.52 (a) Destroyed Fiat CR.32   Talavera area 2a Escuadrilla de Caza del Tercio

Biplane victories: 1 destroyed.
TOTAL: 1 destroyed.
(a) Ni-H.52 flown by sargento Jesús García Herguido of the Escuadrilla Mixta shot down. Herguido managed to return to Republican territory.

Courage Alone - Chris Dunning, 1998 Hikoki Publications, Aldershot, ISBN 1-902109-02-3
Due Volte Asso - Giovanni Massimello, 1997 Storia Militare Nr. 49 Ottobre 1997 kindly provided by Massimo Cappone
Fiat CR.32 Aces of the Spanish Civil War - Alfredo Logoluso, 2010 Osprey Publishing, Oxford, ISBN 978-1-84603-983-6
Regia Aeronautica: The Italian Air Force 1923-1945 - An Operational History - Chris Dunning, 2009 Ian Allan Publishing, Hersham, Surrey, ISBN 978-1-906537-02-9
The Legion Condor - Karl Ries and Hans Ring, 1992 Schiffer Publishing, ISBN 0-88740-339-5
Tupolev SB Katiuska in Spain (Vol. 1) – Jesús Salas Larrazábal and Rafael de Madariaga Fernández, Quirón Ediciones, ISBN 84-87314-99-6
Tupolev SB: Soviet High Speed Bomber - Mikhail Maslov, 2004 Icarus Aviation Press, Old Saybrook, ISBN 0-9724527-1-0
Additional information kindly provided by Alfredo Logoluso.

Last modified 27 January 2013