Jagdgeschwader 27 - 15. (Span.)/JG27
Messerschmitt Bf 109E7B 15./JG27 emblem 01-02
Messerschmitt Bf 109E7B 15./JG27 Staritsa Sep 1941 01
Staritsa town Staritsky District of Tver Oblast Russia located on the Volga River 1912 01
Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-7/B 15./JG27 (▲+M) flown by Commandante Angel Salas who was part of the Azul Legion, made up of Francist volunteers Staritsa Oct 1941. Staritsa is a administrative center of Staritsky District of Tver Oblast, Russia, located on the Volga River, 77 kilometers (48 mi) from Tver.
Formed 23 Jul 1941 in Madrid as span. Jagdstaffel. The crews were transferred to Werneuchen 27 Jul 1941 for two months of training, and moved to Moschna on 24 Sep 1941, now as 15. (span.)/JG27. Officially disbanded 4 Mar 1942 in Madrid.
Angel Salas was born on October 10, 1906 in Orduna, Viscaya Spain. He joined the army in 1921. Later in 1927 he joined the military aviation, graduating as a aerial observer, in 1929 he undertook pilot training to receive his pilot wings in 1930.
At the start of the Civil War, now Captain Salas, defected to the Nationalist side in a Breguet XIX general purpose biplane. During the course of the civil was, he flew the De Havilland Dragoon, and later fighters like the Nieuport Ni-52, Heinkel He-51 and the Fiat CR-32 biplane fighters.
He became one of the original members of the 'Patrulla Azul' led by Joaquin Garcia Morato ( who finnish the war as the top scoring pilot with 40 claimed victories). Salas flew Fiat CR.32 No. 3-61 (c/n.111) he later became commander of 2-G-3 in September 1937.
His most notable combat came on September 2, 1938, during the battle of Ebro, when in a single pass he shot-down 3 SB-2 bombers of the 4o.Escuadrilla de 'Katiuskas' of Grupo 24 and one Polikarpov I-16 of the 1o.Escuadrilla de Moscas, it pilot Tte. Jose Martin Redondo managing to bailed out.
Salas was one of two pilots who would claim four kills in a single combat, the other was the German Oblt. Wilhelm Balthasar of 2./J88 claimed four SB-2's on February 7, 1938.
At the end of the war Salas had flown 618 missions, 1,215 fight hours, was involved in 49 aerial combats, he was shot-down four times. But to his credit he had destroyed 48 vehicules and was credited with shooting down 16 Republican aircraft and shared one.
After the war he served in the following positions commander of the 21st fighter regiment and chief of the 4th section of the Estado Mayor.
He volunteer and was designated as the commander of the 1a. Escuadrilla Azul, (Escuadrilla Expedicionaria) that was formed with 17 pilots, some veterans of the civil war, with thier combined score totaled 79 aerial victories.
The unit crossed into France on July 24, 1941, later arriving in Germany in late part of the month they were assigned to training at the Jagdfliegerrschule 1 at Werneuchen near Berlin, after completing their training on the BF-109E's, the 1o.Escuadrilla left for Russia on September 26, 1941. At first the Spanish pilots were worried that they would arrive late to see any action, since they were kept informed of the progress of the German advance towards Moscu.
The 1/o.Escuadrilla received a total of 12 BF-109E-4 and –7's's and they were assigned to JG 27 VIII FliegerKorps of LuftFlotte 2. They were known as the '15 Spanische Staffel', and they started to fly their first combat operations October 2nd , 1941 and suffering its first pilot in that same day. Escorting German bombers and reconnaissance aircraft, they operated from 12 different airfields, On October 4th the Escuadrilla Azul score its first aerial victories, when Cmdte. Salas opens the score board with the destruction of one I-16 fighter and a Pe-2 as he described in his after combat report:
I saw coming 6 Pe-2 and I went after them, cutting the distance between us I found myself below I opened fire from 150 meters with my small machine and much closer with my canons, I saw pieces jump from the aircraft after the second burst, it occupant taking to his parachute. Later I continue towards Cholm to join up with the group and see a 'Rata' I attack him in a turn while trying to flee in a fast dive that rips his left wing and he crashes near the confluence between Dnieper and Wjasna. Later I attack twice another 'Rata' with no effects.
On October 7th the Escuadrilla undertakes 42 sorties and in the course of the day Cmdte. Salas shot-down an 'I-18' for his third personal and unit victory. Days later on the 13th two of Salas pilots shoot-down a Biplane and another 'I-18' fighter. On the next day Salas in the company with three other pilots in a 'free hunt' near Kalinin surprise three DB-3 bombers in the resulting combat Salas downs two, while Capt. Carlos Bayo Alessandri destroys the third DB-3, but during the heat of the combat Salas and Bayo collide resulting in Salas BF-109's rudder being partially destroyed but he made back to base. But during this combat Cmdte.
Salas became the first Spanish pilot to become an 'Ace' in the skies of Russia.
On the 25th Salas with two other pilots destroyed on the ground three 'I-18' Soviet fighters at the airfield of Klin. On the 27th Salas during an combat between five Spanish pilot and reportedly 10 'I-18' fighters shot-down another 'DB-3' bomber for his sixth personal and the 10th victory for the Spanish squadron.
On November 4th Cmdte. Salas is force to land between German and Russian lines during an aerial combat, he was rescued the next day by German troops and returned to the squadron.
In the later part of November Cmdte. Salas reportedly shot-down an Russian biplane for his 7th personal victory, but there is some confusion, as his this kill was actually a ground victory, since in the listing of victories by the Escuadrilla Salas is listed with 6 aerial and 2 ground victories. That would end the score card for the 1/o.Escuadrilla Azul. For the remainder of their stay in Russia, they would continue fighting, flying escort mission, ground attacks etc, etc. but sustaining losses to it pilots.
The 1/o.Escuadrilla Azul receive the orders to return to Spain on January 6th 1942. during their time in Russia the unit flew a total of 460 missions, engaged in 94 aerial combats and destroyed 10 enemy aircraft plus four on the ground, for the lost of 5 pilots (one KIFA, three WIA and one KIA) plus one wounded in action. Of the three missing in action, one is reported to have been taken POW by the Russians, but stayed in Russia and married a Russian woman and reportedly was living South of Moscu.
As for Comandate Salas he received the German Iron Cross .
After his return from Russia Cmdte. Salas served as a Air attaché in Rome, Berlin and Lisboa Portugal and during the 1950's he was posted to Paris France. In 1956 he undertook training to become a jet pilot, he would retire from the Air Force in 1972 with the rank of Capitan General and his last post was Chief of Tactical Aviation and the commander of a Air Region.
He passed away on April 26, 1991.
- No game skins for this unit as yet!
Some of the most widely used Book References:
- Jagdwaffe: Battle of Britain: Phase One: July-August 1940 (Luftwaffe Colours: Volume Two, Section 1) Paperback Eric Mombeek (Author), David Wadman (Author), Eddie J Creek (Author)
- Jagdwaffe: Battle of Britain: Phase Two: August-September 1940 (Luftwaffe Colours: Volume Two, Section 2) Paperback Eric Mombeek (Author), David Wadman (Author), Martin Pegg (Author)
- Jagdwaffe: Battle of Britain: Phase Three: September-October 1940 (Luftwaffe Colours: Volume Two, Section 3) Paperback Eric Mombeek (Author), David Wadman (Author), Martin Pegg (Author)
- Jagdwaffe: Battle of Britain: Phase Four: November 1940-June 1941 (Luftwaffe Colours: Volume Two, Section 4) Paperback Eric Mombeek (Author), David Wadman (Author), Martin Pegg (Author)
Some of the most widely used Magazine References:
- Airfix Magazines (English) - http://www.airfix.com/
- Avions (French) - http://www.aerostories.org/~aerobiblio/rubrique10.html
- FlyPast (English) - http://www.flypast.com/
- Flugzeug Publikations GmbH (German) - http://vdmedien.com/flugzeug-publikations-gmbh-hersteller_verlag-vdm-heinz-nickel-33.html
- Flugzeug Classic (German) - http://www.flugzeugclassic.de/
- Klassiker (German) - http://shop.flugrevue.de/abo/klassiker-der-luftfahrt
- Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) - http://boutique.editions-lariviere.fr/site/abonnement-le-fana-de-l-aviation-626-4-6.html
- Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) - http://www.pdfmagazines.org/tags/Le+Fana+De+L+Aviation/
- Osprey (English) - http://www.ospreypublishing.com/
- Revi Magazines (Czech) - http://www.revi.cz/