Diputación Foral de Guipúzcoa
Gipuzkoakultura
January 18, 2020

The Auxiliary Navy of the Basque Country
(1936-39)

Biographies of The Basque Auxiliary Navy

MANUEL GALDÓS UZCANGA (San Sebastián, 1909-1974)

Manuel Galdós Uzcanga (San Sebastián, 1909-1974) Manuel Galdós was captain of the Merchant Navy and a member of the Gijón Nautical Group which then became part of the UGT. When the war broke out, he was serving on the cod trawler Mistral, belonging to PYSBE, as the first officer. In October, the Mistral was militarized and Galdós was promoted to the commander of the vessel. In December, it became in the Gipuzkoa. He was at the head of the destroyer Velasco (15-11-36) and the cruiser Canarias in the Battle of Machichaco (5-3-37), he was slightly injured. He participated in numerous missions to protect fishing boats and escort merchant ships, as well as in the bombing of Bermeo (1-5-37). In June, he was appointed political commissar of the destroyer José Luis Díez, on which he served in subsequent operations from Bilbao and Santander. When the vessel fled to Falmouth, he disembarked (14-9-37). During the Second World War, he was in command of the Panamanian steamship Heron, which operated in the Pacific Ocean, transporting weapons for the allies. He then continued to command vessels under the Panama flag in waters of South-East Asia, during a period noted for the conflicts in Indochina, Formosa, Indonesia,… and was involved in more than one incident. He died in Irún.

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