Diputación Foral de Guipúzcoa
Gipuzkoakultura
September 17, 2019

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

Biographies of The Basque Auxiliary Navy

POLICARPO BILBAO ZUBIAGA (Erandio, 1902-1982)

Policarpo Bilbao Zubiaga (Erandio, 1902-1982) Bilbao Zubiaga was a captain in the Merchant Navy and a member of the Izquierda Republicana political parties. He began his career when he was very young and embarked as a steward. In 1936, he was a pilot on fishing trawlers. He joined the Basque Navy in May 1937. He received the command of the fast motor launch Txepetx and went on various missions with Bayonne. In June, he was appointed commander of the Bou trawler Gipuzkoa. When Bilbao fell, he went to Santoña, where his ship was attacked by the cruiser Cervera, and then to Santander. When the ship joined the Cantabrian Sea Naval Forces, he was disembarked and was appointed first officer of the Bou trawlers Gazteiz on the 22-8-37. He was taken prisoner in Santoña with the rest of the crew on the 27th. He remained in prison until 1941 and then he embarked again, first in fishing boats and then in small coasters. He finally worked as a master for Italian shipping companies until his retirement in 1964. He died in Algorta.

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