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Joaquín García-Morato
Birth name Joaquín García-Morato y Castaño
Born 4 May 1904
Died 4 April 1939(1939-04-04) (aged 34)
Place of birth Melilla, Spain
Place of death Griñón, Spain
Buried at Málaga, Spain
Service/branch Air Force
Years of service 1920–1939
Rank Captain
Commands held Blue Patrol
Battles/wars Rif War
Spanish Civil War
Awards Laureate Cross of Saint Ferdinand

Joaquín García-Morato y Castaño, 1st Count of Jarama (4 May 1904 – 4 April 1939) was the leading Nationalist fighter ace of the Spanish Civil War. He is credited with 40 air victories, four gained while flying Heinkel He 51s and 36 with the Italian Fiat CR.32.[1]

An accomplished prewar pilot (he served in Morocco, fighting Berber guerrillas during the Rif War), excelled in aerobatics, and instructed instrument flying. He was on holiday in England when the Civil War broke out. Hastening home to join the Nationalist cause, he gained his first victory on 12 August 1936 in a Nieuport-Delage 52, shooting down one of three Vickers Vildebeest over Antequera. He then flew one of the first Heinkel He 51s received from Germany. Flying this aircraft, on 18 August, he shot down a Republican NiD 52 and a Potez 540. He downed another NiD 52 on 2 September. He then began flying an Italian Fiat CR.32, shooting down another NiD 52 on 11 September: it was his fifth victory.[1] Then he formed the Patrulla Azul ("Blue Patrol") of three CR.32 and during the early autumn 1936 he added six more aircraft of French manufacture, plus a British built Hawker Fury, to his score. He gained his 12th victory on 5 November (a Potez 540), followed by his first kill of a Soviet-built Polikarpov I-15 fighter.[1] On 13 January 1937, he managed to shoot down two Tupolev SB-2 bombers - that outperformed the Fiat in terms of speed - attacking them from a superior height: they were his victories number 16 and 17.[1]

Morato achieved 40 credited victories over Republican aircraft,[2] gained in 1,012 hours of operational flying.[1] The only time he was shot down was on 3 October 1937, by a novice pilot he was training. [2]

Shortly after the war, on 3 April 1939, he was performing low aerobatics for newsreel cameras, when his Fiat CR.32 crashed, killing him. [1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Shores 1983, p. 49.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Beevor 1983, p. 244.


  • Beevor, Antony. The Spanish Civil War. New York, Peter Bedrick Books, 1983. ISBN 0-911745-11-4.
  • Logoluso, Alfredo. Fiat CR.32 Aces of the Spanish Civil War. Oxford, Osprey Publishing, 2010. ISBN 978-1-84603-983-6.
  • Shores, Christopher, Air Aces, Greenwich, CT, Bison Books, 1983. ISBN 0-86124-104-5.

External linksEdit

Regnal titles
New creation Count of Jarama
Succeeded by
María José García-Morato y Gálvez

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