Felipe del Rio air combat

Description of events

Date : April 20, 1937
Address : Along the Galindo river, on the Barakaldo side. At the end of C / Bondad in a roundabout that divides Sestao with Barakaldo.

Felipe del Río Crespo was a republican aviation pilot, born in Santander.

When the war began, Felipe del Río joined the Republican aviation. Initially he flew in a Breguet 19, and eventually in a Soviet Polikarpov I-15, aircraft known as “flat”. Felipe del Río formed a squad of Basque “chatos” made up of native pilots.

During the war Felipe Del Río was killed. On his death there are still enough gaps. Some sources speak that it was shot down by friendly fire from the air artillery of the ship Jaime I that was docked in Portugalete, others change the date and place of the shot, putting the Lamiako airfield as the place of death and not Barakaldo as they testify. multiple witnesses.

According to Jimi Jimenez, specialized in Forensic Archeology at the Aranzadi Science Society, Felipe del Río died in a Getxo hospital on April 22, 1937 due to multiple injuries and was also buried in the Getxo municipality.

Sagarra, P., Gonzalez, O and Molina, L. indicate that Felipe del Río’s plane was “shot down on April 20, 1937 between the Biscayan towns of Sestao and Baracaldo, surprised by a squad of Messerschmitt Bf 109”. Iñaki Errazti, a witness to the air combat, says that the plane fell down next to the Galindo river, on the Barakaldo side.

Currently Felipe del Río has a street in his name on Leioa street.

SOURCES :
Sagarra, P., González, O. and Molina, L. (2016). Great battles of the Spanish Civil War. 1936-1939, p.? Madrid: The Sphere of Books

Place reference

Along the Galindo river, on the Barakaldo side. At the end of C / Bondad there is a roundabout that divides Sestao with Barakaldo, where there is a small walk there is a bridge.

State of conservation

Currently there is a pedestrian walkway on the banks of the Galindo River.

Recent photograph

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