Biplane fighter aces


Teniente Emilio Ramírez Bravo

Capitán José Riverola Grúas was interim commander of the Grupo No 26, but on 26 September 1937, Riverola was appointed CO of the fighter units assigned to the Escuadra Mixta No 7 de protección de costas (Mixed Coastal Wing No 7), equipped with Dewoitine D.371/372s, Dewoitine D.510s, captured CR.32s and Gourdou Leseurre GL.32s.
It seems that involved pilots in this unit were at least sargentos Antonio Nieto Sandoval-Díaz, Elías Hernández Camisón and Emilio Ramírez Bravo, which reported to Los Alcazares. The coastal patrulla operated from La Ribera, Alicante, Valencia, Reus and, finally, Figueras.

In January 1938, Ramírez served in the 2a Escuadrilla of the Grupo de Caza No 26, which was equipped with Polikarpov I-15s.

26 P-Zs, escorted by 26 fighters, bombed ground troops twice in the Barrios de San Blas area on 5 January 1938.
The first mission was not intercepted but during the second, at around 15:00, they were intercepted by Fiat CR.32s and Bf 109s.
Leitenant Aleksey Loskutov was shot down and killed in his I-15. It is possible that Loskutov in fact was flying in I-16 CM118 from 5a/21 since this is the only Republican loss reported during the day.
The gunners in the R-Zs reported that one CR.32 was shot down from which the pilot parachuted and landed in Nationalist territory. The Republican fighters claimed three CR.32s and one Bf 109. Only two claimants are known and flying from El Toro airfield, capitán Chindasvinto González García, CO 2a/26, claimed a Bf 109 destroyed as his final recorded aerial victory while Ramírez from the same unit claimed a damaged CR.32.
The Italians reported that in the afternoon, Maggiore Andrea Zotti led 16 CR.32s from XXIII Gruppo on a surveillance patrol over Teruel. The aircraft intercepted a formation of R-Zs and claimed five shot down. One was credited to the gruppo’s second-in-command, Capitano Guido Nobili.
Oberfeldwebel Ignaz Prestele of 1.J/88 (Bf 109) claimed one I-16 in the same combat.
The only known Nationalist loss is a damaged CR.32 when Jorge Muntadas Claramunt from 2-G-3 made an emergency landing at his home airfield.

Ramírez was later transferred to 4a/26.

On 6 September the 4a/26 moved to La Señera airfield, in Valencia.
Capitán Ladislao Duarte Espés (CO) was wounded in combat the following day and he was replaced as CO by teniente Ramírez. By his own account, Duarte’s unit had shot down about 30 enemy aircraft during his time as CO.

On 1 November, Ramírez claimed a CR.32.

Ramírez ended the Spanish Civil War with 1 biplane victory.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  05/01/38 15:00 ca 1 CR.32 (a) Damaged I-15   Barrios de San Blas area 2a/26
1 01/11/38   1 CR.32 Destroyed I-15     4a/26

Biplane victories: 1 destroyed, 1 damaged.
TOTAL: 1 destroyed, 1 damaged.
(a) The Nationalists claimed 5 destroyed R-Zs and 1 I-16 and only 1 damaged CR.32 is known. The Republicans claimed 4 CR.32s and 1 Bf 109 while known losses are 1 I-15 (or I-16).

Fiat CR.32 Aces of the Spanish Civil War - Alfredo Logoluso, 2010 Osprey Publishing, Oxford, ISBN 978-1-84603-983-6
Fighter Pilots Of The Spanish Republic (Vol. 1) - Rafael A. Permuy López, Historica 36/39 no. 1, ISBN 84-87314-89-9
Spanish Republican Aces – Rafael A Permuy López, 2012 Osprey Publishing, Oxford, ISBN 978-1-84908-668-4

Last modified 19 October 2023