lt. av. Ioan Galea

Picture courtesy of gen. Ioan Dobran

Lt. av. Ioan Galea in the cockpit of his Bf-109E

Fighter Pilot

Born: 30 March 1920, Pui

Units:

  • May 1942 - August 1944: 52nd Fighter Squadron
  • August 1944 - 12 May 1945: 9th Fighter Group

Combat missions: N/A

Victories: 12 confirmed + 2 probable

Decorations: N/A

War episode:

On 18 May 1944, the 52nd Squadron, which was assigned to the defense of the coastline was also thrown into the desperate battle with the 15th Air Force. They arrived a little later, because of the greater distance from their airfield to the Ploesti area. The other fighter units had already engaged the Americans. His patrul√£ (Romanian for Schwarm) stumbled upon a bomber formation and dived onto it. Lt. av. Galea fired on one bomber and scored several hits. He and his wingman, adj. av. Bucholtzer, attempted another attack on the same aircraft. But they were jumped by four P-38s. Then Romanians pulled right and ended up behind the Lightnings, but did not manage to approach them. The red light indicating the low level of fuel lit up. They had to return to base. On the way back they encountered a whole squadron of P-38s. Luckily they weren't spotted. But another 3 P-38s appear, which had probably lagged behind the first ones. Having an altitude advantage, as well as surprise on their side, lt. av. Galea decided to attack. They dived and fired, but adj. av. Bucholtzer's guns had jammed. The Lightning targeted by Galea caught fire and went down. The other two started to follow them, but the Romanians managed to shake them off and finally land their old Bf-109Es on the Mamaia airfield with the last drops of fuel.

Died: 8 December 1993, Bucharest

 

Profile courtesy of Bogdan Patrascu

This Bf-109E was flown by lt. av. Ioan Galea within the 52nd Fighter Squadron based at Mamaia airfield. It was the last Emil to enter service in the ARR.

Picture courtesy of gen. Ioan Dobran

On the right is Gill, lt. av. Galea's faithful companion. Amazingly, this dog totalled 47 missions, flying in the cockpit with his master

Profile courtesy of Bogdan Patrascu

The Bf-109G no. 1 red was flown by lt. av. Ioan Galea in 1945, when he was part of the 9th Fighter Group.

 

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