Biplane fighter aces


Maresciallo Guido Carestiato

Guido Carestiato served as a volunteer in the Spanish Civil War, using the nom de guerre “Efisio Ciarotti”.

By the end of August, after the first 12 CR.32s, and their pilots, had reached Melilla, three more had been sent to Majorca and nine were offloaded in the port of Vigo de Galicia, on Spain’s Atlantic coast, from the Spanish ship Ebro. The latter had been renamed Aniene in Italy so that it could run contraband under a flag of convenience.

The three CR.32s sent to Majorca were unloaded from the Italian steamer Emilio Morandi at Palma de Mallorca during the night of 27-28 August. The ship docked at 20:30 and during the night, the personnel and aircraft were transferred to Son San Juan airfield. Two of the pilots to the aircraft were Capitano Giuseppe D’Agostinis and Sergente Carestiato.
This little fighter unit was called Squadriglia Mussolini and was commanded by Capitano D’Agostinis and later became part of the 130a Squadriglia of the Aviazione delle Baleari. The aircraft were then used to defend the Nationalist-controlled island from Republican air attacks.

At noon of the following day, the first Fiat, marked “Black 1”, was ready to fly, and Capitano Giuseppe D’Agostinis took off for a test flight.
At 12:30, Sergente Carestiato took off in the same aircraft and headed to Cala Morlanda, where six Republican SIAI S.62s were riding at anchor. Carestiato fired on all of them and destroyed two; "S-5" of Enrique Pereira and "S-30" of Antonio Orejuela. As he was returning home, he saw another S.62 flying over the bay and he intercepted and shot it down. Carestiato landed at Son San Juan after just ten minutes with his aircraft slightly damaged by ground fire.
After an hour, the “Black 1” took off again with D’Agostinis in command. D’Agostinis attacked the seaplanes, which in the meanwhile had been pulled ashore, then, as he was returning home, spotted two more S.62s while taking off from Puerto Cristo Bay. He attacked one, which was forced to ditch. Capitano José Maria Freire and Capitano Fernando Beneito flew this aircraft and Freire was killed. The aircraft was claimed as destroyed but in fact, it was only damaged, and was later recovered by the Republican merchant ship Mar Negro. The second S.62 managed to escape since D’Agostinis had run out of ammunition.

The following days, the three CR.32s were strafing troops, trucks and boats, avoiding ground fire flying at 2000 m, then, after spotting the targets, going away, and returning to strafe at low level with sun behind them.

Although Giuseppe D’Agostinis was the CO, his personal aircraft wasn’t no. 1 (this was used by Carestiato) but no. 4 (perhaps in honour to the 4o Stormo).

Later Carestiato served as test pilot of the Aeronautica Macchi).

Carestiato ended the war with 1 biplane victory.

Kill no. Date Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  28/08/36 1 S.62 (a) Destroyed on the sea Fiat CR.32 ’Black 1’ Cala Morlanda Squadriglia Mussolini
  28/08/36 1 S.62 (a) Destroyed on the sea Fiat CR.32 ’Black 1’ Cala Morlanda Squadriglia Mussolini
1 28/08/36 1 S.62 Destroyed Fiat CR.32 ’Black 1’ Cala Morlanda Bay Squadriglia Mussolini

Biplane victories: 1 destroyed, 2 destroyed on the sea.
TOTAL: 1 destroyed, 2 destroyed on the sea.
(a) Republican S.62s "S-5" of Enrique Pereira and "S-30" of Antonio Orejuela destroyed.

Fiat CR.32 Aces of the Spanish Civil War - Alfredo Logoluso, 2010 Osprey Publishing, Oxford, ISBN 978-1-84603-983-6
Guerra di Spagna e Aviazione Italiana - Ferdinando Pedriali, 1992 USSMA, Rome, kindly provided by Stefano Lazzaro
I caccia delle Baleari - Alessandro Santarelli, 1999 Aerofan no. 70 (XVII), Jul-Sept 1999, Giorgio Apostolo Editore, Milan, kindly provided by Stefano Lazzaro
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
Additional information kindly provided by Stefano Lazzaro and Alfredo Logoluso.

Last modified 21 September 2012