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Archive Report: Axis Forces
1914-1918   1935-1945

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.

We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the AddInfo button, or send us email from the Helpdesk.
Fiat CR.32
15.07.1938 Fiat CR.32 Captain Giulio Giovine Italian Airforce

We are trying to obtain any information on the pilot that has been commemorated on this memorial on behalf of a relative.

After the outbreak of the civil war in Spain, Hitler and Mussolini sent a large number of forces and money in support of Franco.  The only information we have is that he left Italy for Spain on the 8th April 1938. During his service in Spain he had made some 34 sorties. On July 15th 1938 he was promoted to Captain, sadly the same day he lost his life!

To the sacrifice and the memory of  Captain Pilot  Giulio GiovineFlying with the Legion in Spain 
To achieve the high ideals of civilisation,
Istonio wants to remember him here, remembering where he first saw that sky that could bewitch a youth with a desire to make daring flights. 
On one of those flights, death and glory wrapped him in the same light that shines in Italy.

(Istonio was his home town, now called Vasto on the Adriatic coast, Italy). 

Translation by Captain Fabrizio Ricciardi, superyacht skipper, Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Born on November 15th 1908. after his first studies in his native town, he moved first to Chieti where he attended the High School GB Vico, but not considering it as the right way, preferred to change address and attend the Agricultural Institute of Pesaro . 

After graduating from a land surveyor, he returned again in Chieti where the Itinerant Chair of Agriculture was commissioned to give lessons to young farmers in the agrarian province.

But his true passion was another: the flight. He participated in the competition of the Air Force Caserta, at the Royal Palace (1926 to 1943), but was rejected in the medical examination for swollen tonsils. Did not give up: he secretly had an operation, the following year tried again. After passing the written exam, he was admitted to the academic course "Leo" (1931).

In 1933, at age 25 he was appointed official assigned to bombing squadrons in service at the airport of Poggio Reale (Ferrara), gaining the admiration of colleagues and the esteem of his superiors. Following the Italian-Ethiopian War, Lieutenant Giovine left for Africa, but because of a trivial incident during a take off he was injured, by that time that war was over.

After the outbreak of civil war in Spain, Mussolini and Hitler sent a major deployment of men, weapons and even airplanes, in support of Franco. Among the many Italians who left us was Giovine , taking off on 8th April 1938 from Guidonia and landed in Logrono in the upper valley of the Ebro. "From Logrono passed in Zaragoza," reads the columns dell'Histonium, "to attend more closely to the operations of the sector, where it was required to use aviation for the advance towards Valencia. 

Giovine was fully committed to support the ground troops, which in Castellon de la Plana and Teruel along the Val de Linares pointed on the objectives pursued. " In three months the pilot performed 34 flights with 280 Squadron.

On July 15th, the same day he was promoted to captain, Julius Giovine was on the field of Zaragoza to rest, not because of the service, but to a subsequent request for take off made by his superiors, despite the adverse weather conditions, he still decided to fly.

That was his last flight. The family was given a silver medal in his honour.

Four years later, on 31st December 1942, the council chaired by the lawyer. Silvio Ciccarone, at the request of the President of the 'R. Technical Institute, approved the naming of the nascent Middle School "to the name of the heroic fallen pilot Giulio Giovine".

The family of the pilot  in October 1941, forwarded the request to the municipality for affixing a plaque on the facade of the birthplace. The permission came on 13th October. The headstone is still visible on the birthplace of the pilot that overlooks Corso De Parma. 

Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 Italian heavy bomber during a bombing raid in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). The black crosses in the tails are Saint Andrew's Cross, the insignia of the spanish Nationalist Air Force (Franco side). Small planes are FIAT CR.32 of the Italian XVI Gruppo Autonomo Cucaracha. (courtesy wikipedia)


With thanks to Juan Arraez Cerda and Claudio Meunier for information and photographs supplied. May 2015.

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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