Capitano Goliardo Mosca
Goliardo Mosca was born in 1906 in Tirano.
He served in the 6o Stormo CT before volunteering for the Spanish Civil War. In Spain, he used the nom de guerre’Massa’.
On 13 October 1936, a further dozen CR.32s, and their pilots, reached Cadiz, these new arrivals being led by Capitano Guido Nobili (’Notabili’). The latter had previously served with the Scuola Caccia Terrestre (Fighter School) of the Regia Aeronautica.
Nine more CR.32s, and pilots, were disembarked at Seville under the command of Capitano Mosca (’Massa’) from the 6o Stormo CT.
In response to the appearance of the new Soviet aircraft types over Madrid, the Nationalist air force officially formed the first Fiat fighter group on 11 November. Designated Gruppo Caccia di Torrijos or Primo Gruppo Caccia Fiat (First Fiat Fighter Group), its CO was Maggiore Tarcisio Fagnani. The group included 2a and 3a Squadriglie on the Madrid front, these units being led by Capitani Guido Nobili and Mosca, respectively, while Capitano Vincenzo Dequal’s 1a Squadriglia remained at Seville, in Andalusia.
On 13 November 1936, 14 Fiat CR.32s escorted five ”Junkers” and three ”Romeos”. Over the Paseo de Rosales (Madrid) they were surprised by 16 I-15s led by Starshiy Leytenant Pavel Rychagov, which dived on them from above out of the sun. Despite immediately being on the defensive, the Fiat pilots managed to protect the bombers as the air battle broke up into a series of individual combats.
The Soviet pilots claimed six victories (three of them fell in Republican territory) while two I-15s were lost when Karp Kovtun and Petr A. Purtov were shot down by Fiats and killed. Kovtun’s death was witnessed by Starshiy Leytenant Georgiy Zakharov, who also took part in this combat.
On their return flight, the Nationalist pilots encountered five Katiuskas, bombing Getafe and Cuatro Vientos from a height of 5000m. Capitán Ángel Salas damaged one so severely that the crew had to take to their parachutes, and capitán Joaquín García Morato damaged three others.
Totally the CR.32 pilots were credited with ten victories (nine “Curtisses” and one SB). Sergente GianLino Baschirotto (who reported that the I-15 was seen falling out of the sky smoking) and Corrado Ricci were among the Italians to be awarded a “Curtiss” each while Capitano Guido Nobili was credited with a probable. A Soviet fighter, whose pilot escaped by parachute, was shot down by Capitano Mosca. The latter was in turn badly wounded in his right thigh and forced to limp back to Talavera, where he crash-landed. Capitano Mariotti force-landed outside the airfield at Getafe, but without damaging his aircraft. Capitán Morato claimed one I-15 (plus three damaged SBs), capitán Salas damaged three I-15s (plus one SB destroyed) and Julio Salvador claimed another I-15.
Capitán Morato recounted:
“Fiat Squadriglia. Bomber escort. “Junkers” and “Romeos” bombing Rosales (Madrid) clashed with 13 “Curtiss fighters”. I shot down one that caught fire in the air, and then machine gunned three “Sophias” till my ammunition ran out. Saw Anti-aircraft fire.Capitán Salas recalled:
Total flying time 1 hour 30 minutes.”
“Fiat number 128. 1 hour 30 minutes.
Torrijos to Madrid, escorting five Junkers. Fourteen Fiats attacked 13 “Curtiss fighters” – three combats, one frontal, fired on the second while banking, and on the third from behind. Noticed several hits on the fuselage of one aircraft, but could not follow him due to the presence of others. Remained alone throughout, and eventually saw five “Martin bombers” attacking Getafe and Cuatro Vientos from 5000 metres. I fired at them twice until my guns stopped. On landing, Noreña, Celier and Betancour told me that one of the bombers I had attacked lost a wing and fell to the ground, its crew escaping by parachute.”
After Mosca was wounded, command of the 3a Escuadrilla de Caza del Tercio was subsequently given to Tenente Antonio Larsimont Pergameni, although Mosca eventually recovered.
On 19 December 1936, Capitano Mosca perished in a flying accident at Seville.
At the time of his death, Mosca was credited with 1 biplane victory
|Kill no.||Date||Time||Number||Type||Result||Plane type||Serial no.||Locality||Unit|
|13/11/36||1||I-15||Destroyed||Fiat CR.32||Madrid area||3a Escuadrilla de Caza del Tercio|
Ali in Spagna - Giuseppe Federico Ghergo and Angelo Emiliani, kindly provided by Ludovico Slongo
Aviatori Italiani - Franco Pagliano, 1964 Longanesi Milano, kindly provided by Ludovico Slongo
Aviobrigada X - Alfredo Lagoluso, 2001 no. 97, 98 and 99 of Storia Militare (October-December 2001), kindly provided by Ludovico Slongo
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
Wings Over Spain - Emiliani Ghergo, 1997 Giorgio Apostolo Editore, Milano
Additional information kindly provided by Alfredo Logoluso.