Historyline 13

The Aviator

At 17, Josep Dorca was a volunteer in the Jarama war front in Arganda (Madrid), later becoming an aviation pilot.

Our protagonist began his training in the spring of 1938 as an aviation pilot for the Republican Army. His flight log (1938-1939) follows his training at the aerodrome of La Ribera and Los Jerónimos (Murcia) until May 1938, when he becomes a pilot and is assigned to various aerodromes, such as Alcantarilla, headquarters of the elementary flight school, La Ribera, Lorca (fighter school) and La Aparecida (Cartagena, Murcia), where he flew more than 200 hours in total.

Dorca flew between Lorca (Murcia) and Mostaganem (Algeria), on March 25, 1939, when he went into exile in North Africa. He was imprisoned first in the civil prison of Oran and later in the camps of Morand and Suzzoni (Boghari, Algeria), Bou-Arfa (Morocco), and Colomb-Bechar (Algeria).

Once he left the camps he worked for the Resistance, performing sabotage and distributing clandestine press until he was taken prisoner by the Nazi collaborationist forces in July 1941. He was released in July 1943. He settled in Algiers and married a Valencian descendant, with whom he had a daughter.

With the Independence of Algeria, he returned to France in 1962 and settled in Céret, where he opened a bar and later lived as a retiree until his death in 2005.

His daughter, Eliane Dorca, donated several belongings and copies of documents of his father to  MUME , such as those that can be seen in this showcase.

From so far to so close.

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