En enero de 1987 Un Caballero : Don Isidoro Giménez, hizo un homenaje a otro Caballero, Don Manuel Gascón Briega ; en un artículo que se publicó en el Ícaro número 5 de enero de 1987.

“Al cumplirse 44 años de nuestra estancia en Kirovabad (URSS), lugar de cobijo durante seis meses al primer curso de pilotos, formado por 180 jóvenes de edad no superior a los 20 años, tan llenos de ilusiones y entusiasmo como faltos (por su juventud) de esa disciplina tan necesaria en el ejército, quiero recordar y que sea recordado el jefe de aquella expedición, Comandante en tal fecha, Don Manuel Gascón Briega, rindiéndole con estas humildes letras el homenaje a que se hizo acreedor y que desgraciadamente, aun no se le ha hecho como se merece. Un poco retrasado, en verdad, pero “más vale tarde que nunca”, según dice el refrán. Acertado estuvo el mando en la elección de este militar para desempeñar una misión de tanta responsabilidad en un país prácticamente desconocido, en el que nuestro buen comportamiento podía influir en la ayuda que tan precisa le era, en aquel entonces, a nuestras fuerzas. Era este jefe, a más de un magnifico piloto de muy buena actuación en África, el militar que reunía las mejores virtudes castrenses y humanas. Severo consigo mismo, en cuanto a disciplina militar, obediencia al mando, honradez y caballerosidad. Alguien ha dicho que se excedía y que pecaba de demasiada rigurosidad. Todo en la vida tiene sus limites y estoy convencido que él en ningún momento les rebasó. No existe la menor noticia, que en su vida militar hubiese sido injusto o excedido en un castigo, ni de haber abusado de su jerarquía. Fue ejemplo del buen hacer de una persona normal, equilibrada y responsable de sus actos.

Por todo lo que antecede, hoy día sigo sin comprender como, una vez terminada la guerra, sus antiguos compañeros vencedores, que tan bien le conocían, se ensañasen tan cruelmente con él hasta llegar a su aniquilamiento.

Habiendo tenido todas las oportunidades de abandonar España se quedó en ella para responder –por su mayor graduación militar- de cuanto pudiese ser imputable a los que sirvieron a sus ordenes o a las de otros jefes, confiando en aquellas promesas franquistas del 27/03/1939, que aseguraban: “Aquellas que no se hayan manchado de sangre, tienen la absoluta garantía de que sus vidas serán respetadas”. Nos aconsejó que no se debía huir, pues únicamente habíamos cumplido nuestro deber de militares y huyendo seriamos acusados de delitos no cometidos. Era mejor quedarse, decía, y una vez fiscalizada nuestra conducta, podríamos salir de España llevando en nuestra maleta una muda, efectos de aseo y como único tesoro, un ejemplar de la Reales Ordenanzas Militares, algo deteriorado por su frecuente uso.

El confiar en aquellas falaces y canallescas promesas costo a muchos la vida. Los jefes de la brigada italiana que primeramente entró en Albacete, le trataron con cierta deferencia. No se comportaron de igual forma sus ex-compañeros españoles, puesto que le enviaron como a un vil delincuente a la prisión común de Albacete, donde le asignaron los mas deshonrosos menesteres. Juzgado en Valencia por un tribunal, compuesto de antiguos compañeros aviadores militares, fue condenado a muerte y fusilado en Paterna (Valencia) en agosto de 1939. Murió igual que había vivido, con entereza y valentía, según nos refirió en nuestra Prisión Militar de Monteolivete (Valencia). – en la que ingresó por un delito común- el teniente Juez de Ejecuciones que presenció el fusilamiento.”


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