Biplane fighter aces


Capitán Narciso Bermúdes de Castro

– 12 July 1937

On 23 July 1936,Teniente Narciso Bermúdes de Castro (Ni-H.52) claimed a Ni-H.52 at Píñar while operating from Granada.
He was flying one of the three Ni-H.52s captured at Grenanda on 21 July, when they landed there by mistake.

Bermúdes de Castro (CR.32) claimed a SB bomber on 7 December.
This was an SB with Spanish crew that was lost during the day.

At the end of December 1936, when five CR.32s were handed over to the Nationalist air force, capitán Morato formed and commanded an autonomous Spanish patrol in Córdoba, together with his wingmen teniente Julio Salvador Díaz-Benjumea and capitán Bermúdes de Castro, and they were joined shortly afterwards by Miguel García Pardo.
The unit was named the Patrulla Azul (“Blue Patrol”).

The all-Spanish Fiat Grupo, with the designation 2-G-3, was formed in Cordoba on 4 May 1937 from the escuadrillas led by capitán Joaquín García Morato and capitán Ángel Salas (2-E-3). Morato assumed command of the Grupo, and Julio Salvador took over leadership of Morato’s old escuadrilla (1-E-3).
This had been made possible after a further consignment of eight CR.32s had been passed on to the Nationalist air force in April 1937, and they joined the five previously handed over four months earlier to form the basis of the first Spanish grupo equipped with Fiat fighters. Grupo 2-G-3 consisted of 13 aircraft and 15 pilots, which were divided into two escuadrillas of six fighters each. The final CR.32 was Morato’s personal (3-51).
Of the pilots assigned to its escuadrillas, two of them had previously served as wingmen in the Patrulla Azul, while the remaining 12 were chosen according to their experience in fighters.

Escuadrilla 1-E-3
Teniente Julio Salvador (CO)
Teniente Miguel Guerrero García
Alférez Manuel Vázquez Sagastizábal
Alférez Arístides García López Rengel
Alférez Rafael Mazarredo Trenor
Alférez Jesús Rubio Paz
Brigada Ramón Senra Àlvarez

Escuadrilla 2-E-3
Capitán Ángel Salas
Capitán Bermúdes de Castro
Capitán Javier Murcia Rubio
Teniente Miguel García Pardo
Alférez Javier Allende Isasi
Alférez Joaquín Ansaldo Vejarano
Alférez Jorge Muntadas Claramunt

He claimed an I-16 on 11 June 1937.

On 12 July 1937, capitán Bermúdes de Castro (2-E-3) (CR.32 NC 589/3-62) was shot down by an I-15 in the Brunete area and he became the first Spaniard to be killed flying a CR.32.

At the time of his death, Bermúdes de Castro had claimed 4 biplane victories.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 23/07/36   1 Ni-H.52 Destroyed Ni-H.52   Píñar  
2 07/12/36   1 SB (a) Destroyed CR.32      
4 11/06/37   1 I-16 Destroyed CR.32     2-E-3

Biplane victories: 4 destroyed.
TOTAL: 4 destroyed.
(a) SB with Spanish crew.

Air Aces - Christopher Shores, 1983 Presidio Press, Greenwich, ISBN 0-89141-166-6
Air War over Spain - Jesus Salas Larrazabal, 1974 Ian Allan Ltd, Shepperton, Surrey, ISBN 0-7110-0521-4
Fiat CR.32 Aces of the Spanish Civil War - Alfredo Logoluso, 2010 Osprey Publishing, Oxford, ISBN 978-1-84603-983-6
Joaquin Garcia-Morato - Best Ace of Spanish Civil War (WWII Ace Stories) - Mihail Zhirohov, 2003
Tupolev SB: Soviet High Speed Bomber - Mikhail Maslov, 2004 Icarus Aviation Press, Old Saybrook, ISBN 0-9724527-1-0
Wings Over Spain - Emiliani Ghergo, 1997 Giorgio Apostolo Editore, Milano
Additional information Alfredo Logoluso and Ondrej Repka.

Last modified 10 September 2015