Biplane fighter aces


José M. Careaga Urigüen

In September 1937, Careaga served in Grupo 2-G-3, which was equipped with Fiat CR.32s

On 2 September, 2-G-3 surprised a formation of about 15 ’Chatos’ in the Belchite area, of which they destroyed seven. These victories were scored by capitán Ángel Salas Larrazábal (CO 2-E-3) and teniente Julio Salvador Díaz-Benjumea (CO 1-E-3) (two each) and by capitán Joaquín García Morato (CO 2-G-3), alférez Javier Allende Isasi (2-E-3) and Careaga.
The only known Government loss in this area during the day is Emilio Herrera Aguilera, who was killed in combat during the day.

On 2 January 1938, two Nationalist aircraft were shot down by machine gun fire in the Teruel area. Both pilots were Spaniards. CR.32 3-77 flown by Careaga of 2-E-3 was destroyed by small-arms fire in the Teruel area and Careaga became a PoW. Luis Palacio Vega from 1-G-2, flying a He 51, was also shot down to become a PoW. According to sources, it seems that Palacio died on 15 January (or February) 1938.
Republican AA gunner optimistically claimed nine Ro.37s and 13 Fiats shot down during the raid, which reportedly fell on Nationalist territory while the 11th Republican Infantry Division suffered up to 300 killed and wounded from air strikes in the Teruel area

Careag ended the war with 1 biplane victory.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 02/09/37   1 I-15 (a) Destroyed CR.32   Belchite area 2-G-3

Biplane victories: 1 destroyed.
TOTAL: 1 destroyed.
(a) 2-G-3 claimed 7 I-15s. Only known Republican loss is Emilio Herrera Aguilera KIA.

Aerial War in Spain: Chronicle of air battle 1936-1939 – Sergey Abrosov, 2008
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
Wings Over Spain - Emiliani Ghergo, 1997 Giorgio Apostolo Editore, Milano
Additional information kindly provided by Alfredo Logoluso and Ondrej Repka.

Last modified 18 September 2023