$4.

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A Pictoria.l History of the French Air Force 1937·1945

by Paul Camelio
& Christopher Shores

squadron/signal

A Pictorial History of the French Air Force 1937 ·1945

by Paul Camelio &
Christopher Shores
illustrated by Don Greer
[Cover] Lt. Ridray, the CO of the 4e Esc. of Groupe de Chasse 11/1, is seen in his MB 152 No. 570, pulling up after a firing pass at an He 111 in the skies over Central France. For this incident on 3 June 1940, Ridray was credited with a probable kill. His Bloch carries standard French fighter camouflage of Dark Blue Grey, Green and Dark Earth [Gris Bleu Foncd , Vert and Terre Fonce'e 1 with Light Blue Grey undersurfaces [Gris Bleu Clair}. The emblem on the tail is the crowing rooster of SPA 62.

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Contents
COPYRIGHT © 1976 by SaUADRONI SIGNAL PUBLICATIONS, INC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted In any form by any means electrical, mechanical or otherwise, without first seeki ng the written permission of the publisher.
3461 E. TEN MitE MICHIGAN 48091 ROAD, WARREN,

Photo Credits
All photos are courtesy of the Camoullage Marseille unless otherwise noted. Air Club,

PREWAR: TheThirties _._ _. __ 4 PHONEY WAR: September 1939-ApriI1940 , .18 THE BATTLE OF FRANCE; 10 May-15 June 1940 ...• 29 VICHY OPERATIONS: July 1940-November 1942 , 36 WITH THE ALLIES: 1940-1945 , , 50 WITH THE RAF: 1940-1945 50 ARMEE DE L'AIR WITH THE ALLIES: December 1942-May 1945 , ,, 51 SERVICE IN RUSSIA: 1942-1945.57 FORCES OF THE INTERIOR; September 1944-May 1945 . .. ..58 APPENDIX I: Order 01 Battle, 2 September 1939 60 APPENDIX 11: Order of Battle, 10 May 1940. , 61 APPENDIX III: Vichy Metropolitan Air Force, Summer 1940 , 62 APPENDIX IV: Armee de l'Air units in Syria, June-July 1941, 63 APPENDIX V: Armee de "Air units in North Africa, B November 1942 . . . . . . . . . . .. 63 APPENDIX VI: Order of Battle, 1945 , 64 APPENDIX VII: Top Scoring Units 64

Introduction
Until the time of the Munich Conference in 1938, Armee de I'Air aircraft were uncamouflaged. Fighters were either overall Dark Green (Vert Emaillite) or bare metal; day bombers were Dark Green; night bombers Dark Brown (Chocolat). After December 1938, the French rapidly camouflaged their aircraft. At first a hasty coat of Middle Brown (Kaki) was applied to uppersurfaces, Light Blue Grey (Gris Bleu Clair) was later added to undersurfaces and still later patches of one or more of three additional colors (Dark Blue Grey, Dark Earth and Green: Gris Bleu Fence' , Terre Foncee , Vert) were added. In May 1939. painting was standardized with Dark Blue Grey replacing Middle Brown as the primary uppersurface color. French aircraft could carry up to three different sets of numbers. Constructor's numbers were a simple count of the unit's position in the production run. It was placed on the rudder along with manufacturer's name, code and occasionally type designation. Matrieules were one letter and three number sets carried in large white characters under the wings. By Spring 1940 though, new planes were being delivered without matricules and those on older planes were being painted out. Individual aircraft numbers identified an aircraft's position within the Escadrille. Pre-war practice had numbers 1-12 for the first escadrille of a Groupe and 14-25 for the second, the numbers being placed on the vertical fin. There was, however, considerable variation in the system, with many colors and sizes of numbers, and even the use of Roman or Arabian (as opposed to Arabic) numerals confusing identification. After April 1940. an attempt was made to standardize on large white individual aircraft numbers placed on fuselage side next to the roundel, number 1-20 for the first escadrille and 21-40 for the second. Before January 1940, national roundels were carried only at the four wingtip positions. Escadrille emblems, indicating derivation from World War I units, were frequently carried on the fuselage side. As of that date a fuselage roundel was adopted, followed in April by

fuselage escadrille numbers, resulting in the displacement of the squadron insignia. Unsuccessful official attempts were made to suppress the emblems. most finally reappeared on the vertical fin. Blue, White and Red rudder stripes were a consistent marking. Arrnee de l'Air units structure resembled that of other European Air Forces much more than it did American. The Escadrille is the basic unit of about 12 planes carrying on the traditions and identifications of Great War Squadrons. Unlike the WW! organization, however, escadrilles were paired in Groupes. In pre-war practice two or three groupes were then combined into Escadres, similar to the German Staffel-Gruppe-Geschwader system. Escadres were units of convenience, frequently covering all the Groupes at an airfield; a Groupe changing landing ground would frequently change Escadre designation. Thus GC II/2 (2nd Groupe de Chasse of the 2nd Escadre) upon movement, could become GC 1/5 (1st GC of the 5th Escadrel. Upon the outbreak of the war, the Escadres were broken up, Groupes being redeployed and reorganized into Groupements of varying size, retaining, however. their old Escadre designations. While Groupements were frequently composed of Groupes of various purposes, Groupes were solely for one intent. Ex.ampl.esare: Groupes de Chasse-GC (Fighter Groups), Groupe-a de Chasse de Nuit·GCN ( ightFighter Groups), Groupes de Bombardement-GB (Bomb Groups), Groupes de Bombardement d'AssaultGBA (Attack Groups), Groupes de Reconnaissance-GR (Reconnaissance Groups), Groupes Ae'rien d'Observation-GAO (Army Co-operation Reconnaissance Groups). Because GAO's and GCN's were not joined in Groupements, but operated independently, they carried a slightly. different designation system, the individual Escadrille number was followed by the independent Groupe number (for example: ECN 1/13 or GAO 2/565).
[Right} 'Patrouille double' of Curtiss Hawks, these arrowmarked aircraft with the Vichy red and yellow stripes on nose and lair, are almost certainly from the 1e Escadrille of GC 1/4, based at Dakar.

.

new equipment begins arrive.were put into produc ion.156F Chesapeake and Loire ieuport LN 40 dive-bombers to service. These included Bloch MB 151/152 and D woitine D. but now at last an independent air force. Improved types such as the Arsenal VG 33 and Dewoitine D. Also ordered were the Bloch MB 200 heavy bomber.• while the Aeronavale (the air arm of the Navy) was also modernizing. The worsening of the international situation led the French in 1938 to plan an increased force of 2.221.S10 fighter entered service.622s Summer Manoeuvers of 1937. was formed.to With the clouds of war gathering. the French had run down their large and powerful air force after the First World War. and the Potez 54M and Amiot 143M 'multipJaces de combat'. Curtiss Hawk 81A (P-40 Tomahawk) fighters had been ordered in the U. introducing American Vought V. Loire 206 heavy bombers.500 monoplane is seen with a number 01 NiD. NiD 622C-l and Morane Saulnier MS 225C-1 fighters. Here a single Dewoitine 0.510. the gull-wing Loire 46. the Arme'e de l'Air.the modern. To meet requir ments three new types of fighters were ordered. 500 and D. low-wing monoplane Dewoitine D. and 100 Douglas DB-7 attack bombers. Orders were also placed in the United States for 100 Curtiss Hawk 75A fighters. During 1933 new equipment had at last appeared in the form of Nieuport Delage. while the French air forces were caught in the midst of a programme of modernization and expansion. . twin-engined general purpose reconnaissance bombers.550 fighters were already under construction in prototype form.520 fighters.th . At the same time six of th navy's land-based units were transferred to the Armee de I'Air in a move towards rationalization. and he biplane Bleriot Spad S. a program of modernization was begun. and the Potez 63 reconnaissance-bomber-fighter . three new types . as did the Bloch ME 210 bomber and 'in 4 the heavy four-engined Farman F.Morane MS 405/406 fighter. followed by 100 more. 50 Koolhoven FK 58 fighters were also ordered from Holland. but new types had been ordered which would greatly improve the position. In an effort to improve the quality of quiprnent. Up to this time tbe French air units had remained under the command of the Army. plus 200 North American NA-57 Yale trainers. and had kept it on a shoestring budget during the depressed late twenties and early thirties. With the growing threat of German militarism under the Nazi regime beginning to make itself felt. In 1937 the improved Dewoitine D.S . and the Breguet 691/693 attack aircraft.500 modern combat aircraft. together with Late 298 bomber-reconnaissance Iloatplanes. which were to be introduced into service at the rate of 200 pet month. the Bloch ME 131 'multi place de combat'. 115 Martin 167F attack bomber/reconnaissance aircraft. during the Army PREWAR: The Thirties The mid thirties found the French aircraft industry a state of chaos caused by the process of nationalization. and Potez 25 and 29 general purpose biplanes.BOl. Like most nations. Liore at Olivier LeO 451 and Amiot 361/354 bombers the Bloch MB 174 reconnaissance aircraft. In the event output nev r got near even half of this total. By 1939 the types ntering service from French factories were already obsolescent by world standards.

It carried the service number N537 in white beneath the wings.mainly Mureaux 113. The aircraft is painted dark green overall. The insignia on the fuselage is the 'Jerusalem Cross' of the old World War I SPA 77. though these made up about 450 of 550 aircraft available. In the fighter force only MS 406s and Hawks had yet entered service. The 'Grim Reaper' insignia is in white on black. Of the 400 bombers. On mobilization late in August 1939. . Oijon).622 sesquiplane fighters formed the backbone of the French fighter force during the early-mid thirties. only a mere handful were modern LeO 451s. They were still In trent line service when seen here in 1937 with the 2e Escadrille of GC 117 [7e Escadre. 115 and 117. Some Potez 6315 and 637s had entered service with the night fighter and reconnaissance units. it was painted in yellow on a light blue background. as part of the 1e Escadre at Etampes. or to North Africa to be re-equipped as soon as possible. except for the natural metal engine cowling and hubcaps of the main undercarriage wheels. fighter units were to receive the Bloch 151s and 152s which were about to flow from the factories. In particular. and the number 6 on the fin is also white. This aircraft served with the le Escadrille of Groupe de Chasse 1111. but also Breguet 27. [Above] Nieuport-Oelage NiO. and Potez 25 and 39 aircraft. but none of the definitive P .63. Among the observation escadrilles all were equipped with elderly single engined types . the outbreak of war found the Arrnee de l'Air still equipped mainly with older types.115 had yet arrived.3S. [Below] 55 Morane Saulnier MS 225 fighters were buill for the Armee de l'Air in 1932-33. The aircraft in the foreground was production No.PREWAR: The Thirties Despite these promising new types. all units with older type equipment were ordered to the South of France.

carrying the Shark emblem. enclosed cockpits. as did the gunners. With more powerful engines. One of these was Escadrille 3C1. 6 . The Liore' et Olivier LeO 20 was introduced to service in 1926. the snake insignia on the fuselage side being blue with yellow dots. this bomber was still in service with one Escadre in North Africa in September 1939. the LeO 206 was introduced in 1934. Once the main French bomber type.PREWAR: The Thirties A number 01 Aeronavale shore-based fighter units were transferred to the Armee de PAir during the thirties. which became GC 11/8's te Escadrille. is seen here over Istres airfield. One of this unit's MS 225s. As an improvement on the leO 20. Bomber of the twenties. This particular aircraft which has come to grief is from the 12e Escadre at Reims. It is painted green overall. but in 1937 was still in service with several units. its pilot and co-pilot flew in an open cockpit. and a redesigned nose.

290 is serving with the 5e Groupe de Chasse Autonome in Tunisia. The definitive 0.500. Hispano 'moteur-cannon' was fitted between the cylinder banks of the engine. 5e GCA became 2e Escadrille. .The excellent Dewoitine 0. shadowed in red on a yellow circle. 'moteur-cannon'. Distinguishable by its two-blade propeller. and a world trend setter. and on the tail a white 3. operating over France during 1940. The muzzle can Just be seen on this aircraft of 1e Escadrille.Photog raphed in 1937. this particular aircraft served with 2e Escadrille.501 differed from the 0. Production No. it w ill be n oted that these aircraft carry the famous 'Cigognes' [Stork] insignia of the 'crack' W. It carries the white duck insignia of the old SPA 93. the first really modern French fighter. firing through the propeller boss.W. deep radiator and very wide undercarriage. 1939. GG 11/1. and is seen here on Sidi Ahmed airfield. Converted to Morane MS 406 lighters. in. GC 1/1. entered service in 1935. The 0.500 only by virtue of the fact that a 20mm.I Spad units. GG 1115.510 featured a three-blade metal propeller and a 20mm.

were also supplied to the Spanish Republican forces in 1936. This aircratt served with 2e Escadrille.PREWAR. he Bloch MB t 200 twin-engined heavy bomber was soon the most numerous bombing type in the Armee de l'Air. Nonetheless. During the war it was employed only at night. as European I.. GB 1/25. This is a machine of 1e Escadrille.ief. it was passed to the auxiliary Groupe Aerien Regional. with 195 in service by early 1935. a much-favoured motif for night-flying units throughout the world. comprising lour 7.510.ighler developments had swiftly rendered It obsolescenl in this role. Its life as a day bomber was br.It carried an above-averagearmament for the time. Its insignia is an owl on a crescent moon. all mounted in the lower wings. machine guns. . The Thirties The last biplane fighter to enter French service was the Bleriot-Spad 5. Developed from the Bloch MB 200. GB 11/21. and was in the process of being replaced with more modern types as swiftly as possible. the MB 210 was the most numerous French bomber at the outbreak of war. one of the last two Groupes to operate the aircraft.de Chasse 561. where it was still in service in 1939 A lew . Entering service in 1934.. equipping six full Escadres de Bombardment.7mm. After service with the 7e Escadre. it did good service during raids over Germany in Summer 1940.

painted on a red disc as the unit inSignia. The aircraft were finished in a chocolate brown paint overall. No. whilst on the fin is painted a winged devil. This P. carries a white 7 on the fuselage.540. holding a grenade.[Above] 'L' Autobus Amiot'. the slab-sided Amiot 143M 'multiplace de com bat'. and s ubsequenU y em pi oyed as bombers. Several subsequently served as transports however. This one. and were replaced in the Reconnaissance and Bombardment Groupes before seeing any action. 9 . it carried a white rabbit blowing a trumpet. was typical of the ugly general purpose aircraft ordered into service with the Armee de I'Ai r du ri ng the mid -t h irt ies. though of smaller size . with natural metal engine cowlings. the Potez 540/542 series were also 'multiplace de combal' aircraft. [Below] Like the Amiot 143M. Painted dark green overall. except for the nalural metal engine cowlings. served with GB II/51.. they were obsolescent by 1939. 204. After seeing considerable active service with the Republican forces in Spain. a machine of the 22e Escadre de Bombardment.

Ou ring the Battle of France GB 1/15 and 11/15 employed these aircraft in raids over Germany. 10 . the Farman 222 was powered by four engines in tandem pairs. but with natural metal engine nacelles. and featured a retractable undercarriage. these Farman 222 heavy bombers of GB 11/15 are seen in a rare day formation flight.PREWAR: Still the main French heavy night bomber in 1940. in chocolate brown overall. suffering the lowest casualty rate of any French typesonly one aircraft! The Thirties Camouflaged like the Amiot 143s.

seen during a trial flight in February 1938. MS 406 replaced it on the lines.PREWAR: The Thirties First of the 'new wave' of modern combat aircraft. but visually similar. Dewoitine 513 and Nieuport 161. 11 . this is the lirst Morane Saulnier MS 405. 15 MS 405s were produced before the improved. Loire 250. Ordered after success in a competition with the Bloch 150.

the various developments of the original Potez 63 were indeed the Armee de l'Air's 'work horses' during the 1939-4'0period. 12 . were titted only to carry a pair of nose-mounted machine guns. 75A-3s. 10. This fi. Serving with the 5e Escadre de Chasse at Reims. reconnaissance. carrled six.ngs and twain the nose. such guns. Main production H. [Below] Like the British Bristol Blenheim. and multi-seat fighter roles. large numbers of modern combat aircraft were ordered in the United States.PREWAR: The Thirties [Above] To make good production deficiencies within the French aircraft industry.ghter version has had a coat of dark green camouflage swiftly applied to its natural metal upper surfaces at the time of the Munich Crisis in 1938. of which this was No. four in the wi. though they were subsequently 10 have two more added in the wings. The first type to arrive was this Curtiss Hawk 75A-1. but by 1939 it already lacked the speed and armament to defend itself adequately against the new German Messerschmitt fighters it would meet.it is set up to test its guns in the pits during September of that year. the Potez 630 was a very advanced design when first introduced to service. Used in the bombing. These initial production aircraft. in service in 1940.

with natural metal engine cowling. were the revolutionary LeO C. . and operated in direct co-operation with army units on the ground. Within four years the autogyro had been rendered obsolete by the introduction of the helicopter. Two are seen here engaged in a training flight. Introduced to service in only small.F. experimental numbers for observation duties. camoullaged dark green overall. the Breguet 270s had served in large number with the G.O. 115 and 117. These units were manned mainly by Reserve personnel.Three types of A.N. les Mureaux were used by the Groupes Aerien d'Observatlon in 1939. two of w hi ch are seen here being prepared for a flight.30 Autogyros.A. Mainly superceded and relegated to the training role by the outbreak of war. This is a Mureaux 117. the 113.s during the thirties.

522s and 5235 served with two Escadrilles d'Exploration.ainst the Germans in the Atlantic coastal area during June 1940. E6 and E12.p . Hispano-Suizas. these aircraft lasl saw active service in Syria in July 1941. various Late 521s. . The ugly and ungainly LeO 257bis bomber floatplane. and actually saw daylight action ag.te's large.p. Designed to replace the old CAMS 55 flyingboat. was the main bombing type employed by the Aeronavale at the outbreak of war.PREWAR: The Thirties The Aeronava.. This particular aircraft is serving with Escadrille 3B 1 during the late thirties. Available also as a [andplane. Typical o~ the many types of flyingboats in service with the Aefonavale in small numbers at the outbreak of war. a few of these aircraft were also used by the 25e Escadre de Bombardment of the Armee de I'Air. in which the normal three G. the Breguel 521 Bizerte was in Service with three escadrilles during the 1939/40 period. was this Late 381 seen in service with Escadrille d'Exploralion E3.nome et Rhone 900 h. The installation did not prove a success. Handed over to the Aeronavale in 1940. engines. Thi's particular aircraft was the only 8r. two pusher]. The aircraft served with Escadrille E5. Powered by six engines [four tractor.522.st Ilyingboal was the big Lalecoere 523. were replaced with 940h. developed from the civil trans-Atlantic Late 521.

[Above] Widely used as a shipboard catapult aircraft. was the parasol-wing Morane Saulnier MS 230. 15 . These are aircraft of Escadrille E2. and certainly one of the most widely used and well loved trainers of the thirties and forties. and for general coastal reconnaissance duties. The well-liked basic trainer of the French military flying schools was the Hanriot 182. but had been almost totally replaced in front line units by the outbreak 01 war. serving in the 3e Region Maritime area. a sound aircraft of sesquiplane design. [Below] The elderly all-wood CAMS 55 flyingboat served with several Ae'ronavale units during the thirties. Probably one of the best-known. which entered service in 1937. The nearest aircraft carries on its fin the while star denoting thatil belongs to the commanding officer. the Loire 130 served with the Aeronavale in substantial numbers.

an example of which is seen here. which employed the same wing. and was widely used . this machine is serving with the 601e Groupe d'lnfantefie de l'Air [paratroops].690 advanced trainer. capacious fuselage. the Yale was popular in France.[Top] When a young trainee pilot progressed to the racy and elegant Caudron C. A number were later taken over by the luftwaffe in 1942. he knew he was almost there. was the Potez 65 military transport. Seen just before the war. Developed from the Potez 540 'multiplace de combat'. A very sound basic trainer. but married to a new. Used in only small numbers for training was the little-known Maillet 201. depicting an unusual camouflage scheme. Purchased in large numbers from the United States was the North American NA-S7 Yale. The next step was a fighter aircraft. engine and tailplane deslqn. ..

(SAL 18). Overall Dark Green with natural meta! nacelles. (SPA 94).1e Esc. .2e Esc. natural metal forward fuselage. 3C1. (BR 110) Nancy. December 1936. Dark Earth (Terre Foncee ) Cowling ring. Overall Brown (ChOcolat) with natural metal engine nacelles. natural metal forward fuselage. Dugny1936. 1935. (SPA 77).2e Esc.41 of GC 117.3e Esc. Morane-Saulnier 225 No. 1936. Morane-Saulnier 225 No. Green (Vert) with Ught BI ue (Bleu Clair) undersurfaces. Dijon. Bloch 210 of GB 11121 . 1935. Dark Green (Vert Emaillite) overall with natural metal nacelle. 62 of Aeronavale Esc. Overall Dark Green.PREWAR PERIOD: 1935-1937 Nieuport-Delage 622 of GC 11/1. Amiot 143 "I'autobus Amiot" of GB 1/34 .

bringing down 8 of these for the loss of one Hawk. . GC 1/7. two of Breguet 691s. as were two groupes of Potez 633s.. 47 seen here. Chef Casenoble.O. and activity remained brisk until December. While not bombing German targets for fear of inviting reprisals from the more modernly-equipped and larger Luftwaffe bomber force.s with a strength of 6 aircraft each. two of LeO 257bis bomber floatplanes. Potez 637s and various Mureaux types flew reconnaissances. and early in 1940 the Escadre system was dropped. Four groupes of LeO 451s and two more of Bloch 152s were fully operational. PHONEY WAR: September 1939-Apri'l 1940 While all was quiet on the ground during the Fall of 1939. together with a substantial number of escadrilles with a variety of flyingboats and floatplanes. The Bayard helmet insignia is grey with white plumes. in the air things were much busier.520s (GC 1/3). with inadequate armament and too Iowa top speed. Bloch 1748 had reached two groupes which were partially re-equipped. More units of Br .11s. Called 'the most beautiful fighter in the world' by the French.637s were permitted to continue penetrating hostile air space.222s. The aircraft is camouflaged dark blue-grey. 6 of Late 298 floatplanes. being replaced with larger and more flexible Groupements of 2-5 groupes. The Aeronavale also now offered a handy reinforcement to the main air force. and 12 of Potez 63. claiming two shot down in the first fighter combat of the war. 5105 to Bloch MB 1515. A hard winter greatly reduced activity in the air.11s.On the outbreak of war 308 MS 406 fighters were in service with the Arme'e de l'Air. and by early May 1940 the position had much improved.A.693s were also training. On 6 November GC Il/5 fought a very fierce combat with a large force of Bf 109Ds. plus two of Martin 167Fs and four of LeO 451s were in training. Amiot 143s and Bloch MB 210s did fly many night sorties deep into Germany to drop propaganda leaflets. Farman F. while the 54e Escadre de Bombardment was converting from Potez 540s to Potez 633s.a.11s had entered service. while two more. and two more were starting. The first to fall was credited to Sgt. While fighters patrolled over the frontier. early in 1940 this unit would move to Syria. and one of Farman 2238 (a civil development of the F. and Severe losses were suffered . it was already outdated. some 34 G. Production No. with two fighter escadrilles with Potez 631s. and the first Potez63. Tunisia. Additonally there were two escadrilles of V.for the loss of 8 French fighters. Finally. taken over by the government from uncompleted export orders for 18 Greece and Rumania. at Sidi-Ahmed.A. 222 converted 'for use as a bomber).mainly by the Hawk units .so great in fact.156Fs. while two Bloch MB 210 groupes were beginning conversion to Amiot 351/354s. By the end of 1939 five fighter groups had converted to Blochs. and one of Late 29. that after September only the Pz. and two more were about to start.s were in the process of converting to Potez 63. Bloch 131s. had also converted to the aircraft. to provide a fighter defense for that protectorate. In Africa three groupes of Douglas DB-7s were virtually ready. is serving with 1e Escadrille.0 torpedo-bomber Iloatplanes. brown and green. two of LN 401s. which crash-landed in a repairable condition. In the Spring one groupe of D. another groupe and 5 G. Luftwaffe reaction was swift. some of them deep into Germany. and the numeral 3 on the tail is red on a white circle. By the end of the first month of war some 27 German aircraft had been claimed . one just completing conversion from D. two of Martin 167Fs. On 8 September 5 Hawks of GC II/4 engaged an equal number of Messerschmitt Bf 109s. and two more just forming.

In the biggest dogfight to date. [Below] While escorting a Potez 637 reconnaissance aircraft over the lines on 6 November 1939. assessed as being 27 strong. which is painted over an oblique green band in this case. nine Curtiss Hawks of GC 11/5 were engaged by a force of Messerschmitt Bf 109D fighters. which was subsequently repaired and flown again. Lt. Note the Sioux Indian head of the famous LaFayette Escadrille carried on these aircraft.[Above] Curtiss Hawk No. serving with GC 1115in 1940. four of which crashed and four force-landed. over the area between the Maginot and Siegfried Lines. the French pilots dispatched eight Bf 109s. Only one Hawk was shot down. 140. . Tremolet crash-landing this fighter.

1939. 1939. Potez 540 Moo. Green. Tunisia. Brown with natural melal engine nacelles. Dark Earth and Dark Blue Grey with light 81 ue Grey undersurfaces. Overall Dark Green with natural metal engine nacelles. overall . 1937. Farman 222 of GB 11115. (M F 1). Evere. 290 01 5e GCA (SPA 93).PREWAR AND SITZKRIEG PERIOD: 1937-1939 Potez 540 01 G BlISS (BR 243). Overall natural metal. Lyon.of GT 11/15 (BR 132). €~ MF1 Dewoitine 510 No.1 e Esc. 1939. Green. Ju Iy 1939. Breguet 691 No. 19 of GBA 11154. Dark Earth and Dark Blue Grey (Gris Bleu Fonce) with Light BI us Grey undersurfaces.

Bloch 152 No. . 124 of GR 1155. May 1940.1e Esc. Dark Earth and Dark Blue Grey with Light 61ue Grey undersurfaces. Dark Earth and Dark Blue Grey with Li. Dark BI ue Grey and Sienna (Sienne naturelle) with Light Blue undersurfaces. 305 of GC 11/8. Dark Earth. Bloch 152 No.ces. 1940. 1940. Green.ght Blue Grey undersurfaces. Khaki (Kaki) with Light BI ue Grey undersurfaces. May 1940. (ex Aeronavale 3C1). 617 of GC 11/9. Green. (SPA 95). 704 of GC 112.BATTLE OF FRANCE: 1940 Curtiss Hawk 75 No. (SPA 85).1e Esc. Spring 1940. Green. Morane-Sauln ier 406 No. Green.3e Esc. 451 of GC 1/2.2e Esc. and Dark Blue Grey with Ught Blue Grey undersurfa. ~SPA103 ~~ Morane-Saulnier 406 No. Green. Bloch 131 No. 84 of GC 1/4.1 e Esc. Nimes. Dark Earth and Dark Blue Grey with Light Blue Grey undersurfaces. Drange-Plan-de-Dieu. (SPA 3). (SPA 103). July 1940.

This particular aircraft is flanked by a pair of Curtiss Hawks . and a lightning flash along their fuselages. Six Bloch MB 210s are seen here. 75A--2s. though they were soon relegated to the t. as well as an unidentified unit insignia. The unit to whlch these ai rcraft. in Syria in June 1941. the old Bloch MB 200 was no longer operational in France by the time of the German 'Blltzkreiq'. A few of these were siill in service at the outbreak of war. has not been identified. Consequently it flew only leafletdropping night sorties over Germany.and by day at that . like this one. which featured a fixed undercarriage.ransport role. seen here during early 1940. some Farmans were sprayed with a coat of black paint. five carrying Roman numerals on their fins.1the chord width of its huge. showing wel. . Predecessor of the Farman 222. The aircraft in the foreground with the shield insignia is flown by the commanding officer.early H. had patches of khaki applied to their overall brown tinlsh. was the earlier F. with only four guns. Farman 222 heavy bomber of the 15e Escadre. shoulder-mounted wing. Others.221. belong. It did however bomb in earnest . For night operations.Still in service with several bombing units in 1940.albeit briefly.

An elderly observation aircraft, which saw limited service early in the war, and later flew with the Free French in the Tchad area of West Africa, this Potez 390, camouflaged in the standard G.A.D. scheme of dark green with natural metal engine cowling, carries an interesting insignia depicting a wasp with a pair of binoculars.

The most numerous type with the G.A.D.s in 1939 was the Mureaux 117, one of which is seen here in flight over the Alps. Due mainly to their low speed and lack of defensive armament, these aircraft suffered many losses during the opening months of the war.

Ordered as a more modern 'multiplace de oombat', to replace the Potez 540, was the Bloch M B 131. Thi s ai rcraft proved to have too Iowa performance to serve as a bomber by day, so was delivered to the Escadres de Reconnaissance. One of the first types to go into action in September 1939, making sorties across the German lines, it suffered severe casualties to the defending Bf 109s at once. From October 1939 it was forbidden to cross the lines, and was phased out of service in favour of Potez 63.115 as quickly as conversion could take place. This particular machine is serving as a target tug at lstras airfield in 1940 - indicated by the white and red band5round the rear fuselage.

23

BATTLE OF FRANCE:
Potez 631 of Plessis-Belleville,

1940

ECN 1/13 (VB 137), La 1940. Overall Black (Noir).

Dewoitine 520 of GC 1/3, June 1940. Unit markings incomplete. Green, Dark Earth and Dark Blue Grey with l.lqht Blue Grey undersurfaces.

Late 298 B No.49 of Aeronavale HB1, 1940. Overall Medium Grey (Grls Moyen).

Bregue! 693 No. 65 of GSA 1/51 ,2e Esc. (SAL 39), 1940. Green, Dark Earth and Dark Blue Grey with Ught BI us Grey undersurfaces

LeO 451 No.429 of GB 11/11,2e Esc. (BR 465), June 1940. Khaki, Dark Earth and Dark B Ius Grey with Light Blue Grey undersurfaces.

Entering service with the Groupes de Reconnaissance in early 1940, the Potez 63.11 became the most widely-util'i'zed aircraft in the Arme'e de 1"Air. Though a greal improvement over the Bloch MB 131, it was only a

stopgap until the far superior Bloch M B 174 became available. Although reliable, il was no match lor German fighters, and very heavy losses were suffered by some of the un its operating this type. The Late 298 torpedo-bomber floatplane was operational with six Ae"ronavale Escadrilles de Torpillage by May 1940. Three of these were based in Northwest France, and played an active role against the advancing German columns during June, strafing them and dive-bombing bridges. Subsequentl.y these aircraft flew· against the Italians; wilh the Vichy French; and then with the Ae"ronavale on general coastal operations until 1945.

Patez 650 troop transport seen here in 1940 after application of khaki camouflage 10 its basic dark green

paint finish. Note that the engine nacelles have now also been fully painted. 25

GC 11/1.510s of the unit's predecessor the 5e G. 35 in the foreground also carries the escadrille's white duck insignia an the tail.PHONEY WAR: September 1939-April 1940 [Above} By March 1940. GC 11111 in June 1940. [Below] Line up af MS 4065 of the 2e Escadrille. carrying the 'Cigogne' marking of the old SPA 103. in Tunisia. This is an aircraft 01 2e Escadrille.A. No. It is a white bird. thiS is the same emblem as that carried an the 0. . Note the fuselage roundels of different sizes on the first two aircraft. bill and legs. with red w.C. the shortcomings of the MS 406 had become very obvious.ing tips. when this photograph was taken. Nate the little roundel on the wing.

with a pair of 20mm. This fine flying shot of No. which carried the leaping lion insignia just behind the cockpit. 'Le Gaulois'. has been substituted.[Above] Much was hoped of the Bloch MB 152 when it entered service late in 1939. its performance was not much improvement on the MS 406. Beneath the starboard exhaust stub. and it did not fare well against the Bf 109s of the Luftwaffe. but although heavily armed. machine guns. and a red 16. [Below] Bloch MB 152 of GC 111/9carries on its tail an insignia depicting a famous ancient French warrior. the manual starting handle can be seen. 27 . 347 shows it to be an aircraft of the 2e Escadrille. The radio mast beneath the fuselage folded back before landing. A previous aircraft-in-unit number has been roughly painted out. GC 118.7mm. outlined in white. cannons and two 7.

5205. on the Cote d'Azur. fierce fighting By May the unlt was back on the Western Front. No. The 0. 17 is seen shortly after being iss ued to G C 1/3. Conversion took place in March 1940 at Cannes-Mandelieu. This is an ai'rcrafl of GB 1112. the fi rst un i t to convert to these new fighters. and played an important part in the Arme'e de "Air's activities throughout the Bailie of France. the excellent Liore et Olivier LeO 451 bomber did not begin operations until the Spring of 1940.PH 0 N EY WAR: Septe mber 1939-Apri I 1940 One of the first production Oewoiline 0.520 provedlhe best French fighter available during the of the Spring. . Entering service in small numbers in 1939. By that time it was the most numerous French bomber available.

they claimed 350 confirm d and 145 probables. and shot down 16 of them. In the first three weeks of the German offensive. Bomber were thrown in in daylight. Night bombers . they were overwhelmed by events on the ground however. whilst the Martin 167Fs. The tough Late" 298s were also used. but suffered staggering casualties. which proved very successful in action. the most numerous day bombers.691s to strafe German columns in Belgium. GBA 1/54 sent in a dozen Br.156Fs and LN 401s attacked several times b tween 13 and 21 May. nearly the whole of one formation being shot down by Bf 109s and flak. There is no doubt at all that the French fighters put up a stout resistance. V. particularly once the Germans had broken through the Ardennes Forest. now raided targets in Germany. such as that on 12 May when 5 Hawks of GC 1/5 caught Ju 87s bombing French troops in this latter area. Initial crisis points were the bridges over the Belgian canals. following which columns and bridges in the Sedan area became priority targets. th Aeronavale units were thrown in. During its first operations on 12 May. while by day the fighters attempted to defend towns. airfields and the troops at the front. was employed in an attempt to stop the German advances in the Sedan area.0 floatplanes made attacks on the columns. but these too fell foul of the German defenses.The Amiot 143.Amiot 143s. The LeO 451s. 29 . and sma hed the French line at Sedan. could do little to change the overall course of events. two crashed-landed. 7 were shot down. suffering four losses in a day on 23 May while attacking bridges over the Somme. Even the elderly LeO 257bis biplanes and Late' 29. Two days later Amiot 143s were sent out by day at Sedan. As the German armoured spearhead advanced towards Dunkirk and Calais. suffered 47 losses during the campaign. the figures speaking for themselves. lost 18. Isolated successes. a period of six weeks' heavy fighting in the air began. already considered obsolete for its intended mission of night bombing. and one more was too badly damaged to fly again. THE BATTLE OF FRANCE: 10 May-15 June 1940 Immediately the German 'Blitzkrieg' was begun on 10 May 1940. losses were disastrous. Predictably. at times suffering crippling losses. Farman 222s and Bloch 210s .

and is seen here on Salon airfield with one such Special Defense Escadrille. [Below] Only a few 0. the remains of the Aeronavale div bomber escadrilles. During the fighting.. production No.520s during June. and on the island of Corsica. were diverted to the South to combat this new threat.THE BATTLE OF FRANCE: 10 May-15 June 1940 the former also suffering heavily. and shooting down one. who had shot down two Fiat BR 20 bombers during the previous raids.520 at GC 1/3 at the front. several of these units getting back into the fight with their new mounts. They returned on 15th. the unit claimed 50 confirmed and 18 probables in about a month. AC3. AI the lime of the Armistice It was the second highest-scoring Groupe de Chasse in the Armee de I'Air. but the war there ended before they could move. as did a number of French pilots. in 'Chimney Flights' comprising small numbers of fighters based for protection of specific factories or towns. 20s. had been provided initially with MS 4069.714 light fighters.11s were hastily fitted with extra guns beneath the wings to strafe Italian columns. Most of these flew MS 406s. while Potez 63. Adj. and they remained in France..15_6Fsand the ground. LeO 451::. A dE ne an elE de 1111 COl un m(J . However. made the first Allied bombing raid of the war On Berlin with tbis machine. and the groupe re-equipped with Bloch 1528. [Above} A 0.and Farman 222s flew night bombing raids against Northern Italy. and Late 298 floatplanes also undertook night attacks on Italian targets.. a number of Czech pilots served with the Armee de l'Air. shooting down four CR 42s and another BR 20 in three combats. was an exception however. some Dying Hawks and others ME 210s within established French units. However. and claiming further victories. This aircraft. and Esc. AC 3 was also caught on the ground while taking off. First engaged against the Luftwaffe on 13 May 1940 with its new aircraft. The Aeronavale Flotille IF also converted from Potez 631s to 0..714 proved a disappointment in combat. one to Hawks and one to ME 5 1528. five fighter groupes converted from MS 4068 to 0 . The Martin 167F units. It carries a red 5 on the tail. Note that Ihe chaotic events of May have not allowed the crews to complete the painting of the unit insignia and individual aircraft number. with its MB 151s. Other Poles served. Chef Pierre LeGloan of GC III/6..520s served with 'Chimney Flights'. on the evening of 10 June Benito Mussolini declared war on the Allies. In early 1940 this unit was to have beensent to Finland. but then with Caudron C. Apart from the Poles. another deliberately ramming one of th attacking Fiat CR42 biplanes. equipped with a single Farman 223. During May the C.20s in the South was also readied. 79. and next day his Regia Aeronautica began attacks on French bases in Tunisia. while GC III/6 which was completing its r'e-equipment with D. A unit formed with Polish pilots who had arrived in France after their own country was overrun in September 1939. shadowed in yellow. again attacking grounded aircraft with telling results. On 13 June a series 01 Italian attacks on airfields in the South began. but some were supplied with the few Koolhoven FK 58s which had actually arrived from Holland. and two ME 151s were sho down. During the night of 7/8 June 1940 the Aeronaval Escadrille BS. destroying a number of Ae"ronavale V . and of the Armes de l'Air night fighter and 'rnultiplace du jour' escadrilles also put up a resourceful fight in the face of strong opposition. Potez 631s of the Aeronavale Flotille IF.5.4 aircraft fully converted for military purposes. now excelled himself.ir .

10. is possibly serving with Ihe latler unit. Confusion with Ihe HI 1. the FK 58 was then planned to go to Finland with volunl. caused Ihe painting 01 a broad white stripe down the side ollhe aircraft. They saw very little action .and formed one element in the plan to re-equipall fighter units with these alrcratt.S. Thelormer Escadre de Chasse de 'Nuil 13 was broken up into four individual escadrilles on January 1.33 was of all-wood construction.33 fighters had been delivered by 25 June 1940.. Intended initially lor I. An all-Black night lighter Potez 631 serving with Escadrille de Chasse du 'Nuil 1113 [EC'N 1/ 13j. and lour wing-mounted 7. 31 . The VG. and carried one enginemounted 20mm. II was an excellent lighter. anticipating the laler Vichy markings. This alrcraft.A. \ f s A dozen Arsenal VG. most being flown by Polish pilots. and the addition of a white surround to the roundel.. Subsequently they were issued to some of the 'Chimney FUghls' for local factory protection..l/ ~\ ~ t Standard French multi-seat fighter was the Patel 631. and Polish pilots! Such was the accolade given to Ihe Koolhoven FK 58 fi.. the 0. but the type never had the chance to enter service. While French night fighters frequently carried standard day fighter camouflage most were painted overall Black . which led to several accidental "Kitls" by French fighters. machine guns.ighter units in the colonles. Only a small proportion of Ihose ordered actually reached France. Dutch airframe. which served with 5 night fighter and one day lighter escadrilles. partla Ify covered with cam ou flage nels during June 1940. Belgian machine guns. 1940.eer units 01 Czech and Polish ptlots. cannon. and Hawk 81As [P·40sjlrom the U.ghter. French engine. EscadriBe de Chasse Multiplace du Jour 1/16.520 and its developments.7mm.

234. and an individual aircraft number in Roman figures. This aircraft No. and two 7. The aircraft in the foreground is flown by the commanding officer. the rabbiland a phoenix. machine guns. Two of these bombers are seen in fli. carries the insignia of the 2e Escadrille of GB 1/12.The LeO 451 featured a 20mm. This maneuverable liUle aircraft carried an armament of one forward-firing 20mm. Second Escadre to convert to Breguet attack aircraft was the s ts. this did not come fully up to expectations. plus a small bomb load for attack. and two 7. This Br. 32 . Breguet 693sof GBA 1151. previously carried on the unit's Perez 540s.7mm. 693 of GBA 1/51 carries the white trumpet-playing rabbit insignia.7mm. cannon in the dorsal turret position as an important element of its defense. the latter painted in blue. though occasional successes with it were noted. Manually operated. that in the foreground with its cannon manned. incorporating the emblems of both escadrilles.ght here. white 5 is from the 1e Escadrille. guns lor rear defense. and carries a special insignia on the fuselage. one above and one below.

THE BATTLE OF FRANCE: 10 May-15 June 1940 The LeO 451 could take it! This aircraft of GB II! 12 suffered a direct flak hit on the nose when attacking Panzer columns on 17 May 1940. Only once were Amiot 143s sent out by day to bomb. This particular LN 401 came to grief on 20 May 1940 after being hit by flak while attacking Panzer units on a bridge at Orlgny. this one. Despite severe damage. landed safely at an airfield near Reims. 156s of the other two escadrilles. they were active against German columns approaching the Dunkerque-Calais area during the latter part of May. and that was during the desperate attempts to stave off the German breakthrough at Sedan. but Equipping two of the Ae'ronavale's four dive-bomber escadrilles. II would never fly again. Operating alongside the American-built Vought V. it returned safely to its base. badly damaged by both flak and an attack by three Bf 109s. Most Amiots failed to return from this mission on 14 May. . the Loire Nieuport LN 401 was quite an advanced single-seat aircraft. but suffered very heavy losses.

while MS 406 units had claimed 269 confirmed. GR 1/22 in MOl'OCCO. Hawk. and only one GR was to become fully equipped before the Armistice. and never saw further service in their designed role.he remaining French forces in Central France. each with 14 and 3 probables. AU possible units were ordered to fly to North Africa before this. only a few were available by May 1940. .520. Capt. Bloch 1748. A few served on with the Vichy forces.11s. Martin 167F and DB·7 units. the Hawks had gained 230 confirmed and 81 probables. together with some of the LeO 451s. the Amiol 351 was an excellent aircraft of most promising design. Capt. the French actually had more aircraft available than on 10 May! The Axis Armistice Commission now ordered the Arrnee de I'Air and Aeronavale to be disbanded.520s 114 and 39 probables. and Sous Lt. 34 Edmond Marin Ia Meslee of GC 115 with 15 and 5 probables. the start of June. During the last few days before the fighting ceased. and th D. Michel Dorance of the same unit. Heading the list of top-scorers were three Curtiss Hawk pilots. and Potez 63. Camille Plubeau. Amiot 3518 and 354s. Nearly all the remainder accrued to the Bloch units. DelIvery was just beginning at the time of the 'Blitzkrieg'. but most were stored when their units were disbanded. Sadly. fast enough to escape fighter interception on most occasions. not including those achieved by the A 'rona vale and multi-engined units. GB 1/39 in Syria and five Ae'rooavale bomber escadrilles in North Africa were re-equipped with Martin 167Fs. despite heavy losses. so good had been deliveries of new aircraft during May and Jun that.11. The M 4068 and ME 152s lacked the range to make the flight. but sundry other types a180 got across. and on 25 June 1940 an Armistice was agreed. but there was little that could stop the inevitable. and while a few actually entered service with G8 II and 11/21 and 1/ and 11/34. though GR lJ22 would later exchange these for L 0 451s. Some desperate final combats look place. the Bloch MB 174 was an excellent machine. including the D. and with Holland and Belgium already out of the war the Germans then turned the whole weight of their war machine against t. after the LeO 451. At tile close of hostilities the fighters bad claimed some 696 confirmed and 253 probable vi tories since 2 September 1939. When operations ended. Designed lor the Groupes de Reconnaissance to replace the Potez 63. With the British driven out of France at Dunkirk at. At the time of the Armistice a few reached North Africa. they never fully re-equipped any of these units.THE BATTLE OF FRANCE: 10 May-15 June 1940 The second modern medium bomber of French design to be ordered. Of the total victories claimed.

the fast and well-armed Martin 167F in the event served with four bomber groupes. Although 18 aircraft were lost on I. most to German flak.Ordered initially as a reconnaissance aircraft. and played an important part in the Battle of France. The aircraft proved satisfactory in this role.. but only two of these were ready for action during Summer 1940. .heseoperalions. A Douglas OB-7 seen in flight during a bombing mission over France. Entering service slightly behind the Marlin 167F.167F gave a good account of itself. and then during June against the Italian forces which invaded the Riviera. the Douglas DB-7 equipped five bomber groupes. first against the Germans. but did not play so important a part in the fighting as did the Martin machine. June 1940. the M.

and to protect against further attacks on th South of France or the African colonies. together with two groupes of Amiot 143s and some transport aircraft. the British. Thailand launched an attack on French Indo-China in mid January 1941. III the ligh! of this feeling. As a reprisal against the British on 6 July Martin 167F bombers from Aeroaavale Escadrilles B3 and B5. pro v d unfounded. Armee de l'Air Martin 167F bombers attacking the British fleet units. with smaller contingents in Somaliland. the French by night and the Thais by day. In a handful of ngagements one Potez was shot down and one destroyed On the ground. Tunisia.T Still bearing the insignias of various fighters groupesnoteably the 'Cigogne'· these Morane MS 4065 were employed by the Vichy air force during 1940-41 as advanced trainers. Two Skuas were claimed shot down and two probables while another claim was made by a Bizerte flyingboat. three of Potez 63. In retaliation Martin 167Fs from Ae'ronavale Escadrilles.I substantial air components remained in Morocco.November 1942 o sooner bad hostilities ceased than French units were again in action. Overseas. 36 .000 Frenchmen. Both sides made a number of air raids. Madagascar and Indo-China. During the same week Japanese forces occupied Tonkin. Only one Skua was actually lost by th Royal Navy. 152. Attacks wet repeated on 6 July. attacked the French Fleet at Oran's Mers eJ Kebir Harbour Algeria. which became involved with 5 fighters. On 3 July 1940 units of the Royal Navy. . but were generall ' unwilling to press their attacks hOIDe against the British. Four groupes of LeO 451s. whilst defending Hawks of GC 1/4 shot down several Swordfish. continue the fight from England. In both cases the numbers available were small. from going through with their plans. VICHY OPERATIONS: July 1940 . but seized by the French in Indo-China on the outbreak of war in Europe). the Axis Armistice Commission decided to allow the French to retain a part of their air force. to gain ba es for air operations over South China. 693s and 695s also remained in service. Hawks of GC 1/5 and Il/5 intercepted.520 continued in limited production. and mediation forced the French to cede the disputed territory to the Thais. Subsequ ntly. while the D. Heavy resistance was offered. Algeria.520s. Following a border disagreement during late 1940. causing considerable damage and killing some 1. and three days of intermittent operations followed before the Vichy government reached an agreement with the Japanese to their occupation of he territory. and subsequently crashed itself. a Ki 21 bomber which strayed over. while one Japanese fighter was claimed by an MS 406 pilot. Syria and West Africa. attacked Gibraltar from North African bases. some Loire 130 flyingboats and five escadrilles of Potez 25TQE biplanes were availabble to the French. but each side destroyed some of their opponents aircraft on the ground. The MS 406s also shot down 4 Thai machines in two engagements. Late in January Japanese diplomatic pressure.French territory was also shot down by a Morane. escorted by Flotill IF D. on the premise that the local garrison would not resist their fellow countrymen. the Northern province of Indo-China. this time against their recent allies. a few Farman 2215 and Potez 542s. in order to. including Skua dive bombers and Swordfish torpedo bombers. Three escadrilles of MS 406s and a few Potez 631Cs (all ordered by the Chinese. and prevent its falling into Axis bands. The attack was in an effort to immobilize this fleet.115 and two with Bre. In the Unoccupied Zone 0:1' Metropolitan France" five fighter groupes with Bloch ME 151. and another was claimed by the gunners of a Loire 130. At once the local Arrnee de l'Air contingent reacted. An attempt by British and Free French forces to land at Dakar in West Africa on 23 September 1940. twice again flew from Morocco to bomb Gibraltar on 24 and 25 epternber.. and the improved 155 were retained. on 20 October. The attacks on Mers el Kebir caused much anti-British feeling. and prevented numbers of pilots who were planning to escape.

landings in November 1942.S. A stmply-marked Curti. GB 11/11. The aircraft in the foreground is from one of the disbanded units. Only three Bregue! 693s managed to reach North Africa after the Armistice. Algeria. and the basic minimum Vichy recognition markings. . but later il moved to Morocco. This unit was operational over Mers el Kebir. and white outer circle to the fuselage rounde!. shows the 'Cigogne' emblem of Ihe 2e Escadrille. where it resisted the U.Immediately alter the Armistice. after painting with Ihe new recognition markings. following this action. in July 1940 when the British Navy attacked the French Fleet units there. This is one 01 them. After the Armistice four LeO 4S1-equipped groupes were retained in Metropolitan France.ss Hawk of GC 11/5. a white stripe along the fuselage. A large number of these bombers are seen lined up in rows in August 1940. the rest being disbanded. and still carries that unit's bat insignia on the tail. this Bloch MB 174 in North Africa shows the special marking applied at this time to all Vichy aircraft.

the marking is repeated in smaller size on the outside fins. aircraft whlch served with Flotille iF during May 1940. Note the owl and crescent moon insignia on the nose. probably one of the. G B 1/61. [Above] Commanding officer's aircraft of one of the Martin 167F groupes. as previously carried by the unit's Bloch MB 210s. Note that both escadrilles' emblems are painted on the tall f n. 38 . all of which reached North Africa. A Romano 82 trainer of the Aeronavale after the Vichy take-over. where three of them are seen late in 1940. Note the Potez 631 in the background.VICHY OPERATIONS: July 1940-November 1942 [Top] A few Amiot 351s and 354s from the 1e Escadrille of GB 11/21 flew to North Africa.

a thick fuselage stripe.VICHY OPERATIONS: By the end of 1940 the fighter units were beginning to embellish the Vichy recognition markings. and these had been added to most aircraft by early 1941. July 1940-November 1942 More elaborate markings for Vichy aircraft had been felt necessary. with arrow-finished stripe. bears the insignia of the 1e Escadrille. and had also seen action against British Naval aircraft during 1940. has a short and simple fuselage stripe.520 of GC 1/3 has had the fuselage bar turned into an arrow. and individual number 4 in simpler style. Though of poor quality. was in use as a transport with either GT 1/15 or 11/15. Ae-designated GC 111/3. Cdt. and a pennant carrying the emblems 01 both escadrilles. and the emblem of the le Escadrille has been painted over part of this. carrying an ornate 9 on the fin. which was based at Dakar in West Africa. . while the third aircraft. with red border. The nearest aircraft carries the tricolour band of the Aces. this photograph is of great interest. Stehlin. it is the aircraft of the groupe commander. and carries the emblem of the 2e Escadrille. This Amiot 143 with full Vichy markings.2. This D. The insignia is a red viper on a white pennant. including yellow and red striping to each of the engine nacelles. depicting a variety of schemes applied to Hawks of GC 1/4. this unit's fighters took a heavy toll of Allied aircraft over Oran on 8 November 194. The second Hawk.

the majority of them on the ground. airfields in Palestine. 7 credited to Sous-Lt. but towards the end of June success began to tail off. has had yellow paint applied 1. Alarmed by the British air raids. but 34 D. this carrying the insignia of GC 1/ 8. Esc. lAC with D. Flotille 4F with Martin 167Fs and Esc. Note the cockpit of the Bloch MB 152 which can be seen behind it. 'Habforce'. lAC fighters inflicted severe casualties on a formation of Blenheim bombers. An uprising against the British in Iraq during May 1941 was encouraged by the Axis. and GT 1/15 and II/15 with a variety of transports. seen at an airfield in Metropolitan France. including three groupes of LeO 4518 from France. and suffering heavy losses.520s from Algeria early in June. again spearheaded by Free French troops in the hope that the Vichy forces would come over to the Allied cause. unable to progress. GR TI/39 with Potez 63. 3/39 with Bloch ME 200s. many aircraft being destroyed on the ground. The latter supplied arms. Pierre LeGloan. and allowed German aircraft heading for Iraq to land and refuel on Syrian airfields.F. GC Ili/6 had claimed 19 confirmed and 4 probable victories.A.0 the nose. Other fighter units had claimed a further 13 and 4 probables. GB 1139 with Martin 167Fs.F.11s. the French stiffened the defenses by sending the experienced GC lTI/6 with its D.520s proved more than a match for defending Fulmars and Hurricanes. and by the Vichy authorities in neighbouring Syria. Instead a hard and bitter campaign began. resolved to occupy Syria. Reinforced R. and as soon as the revolt had been put down. More reinforcements were rushed in.520s had a less easy time and losses began to mount. All units left the country at the close of hostilities in the favour of the British. GC II/3 with D. and was "pinned down for several days. all being shot down with great loss of life. R. Of 289 aircraft committed.A. GC m/G's D. In the Mediterranean area more trouble was brewing. shooting down several while escorting bombing raids on the ships. Right to the end they could bite back however. which was to last over a month. Esc.'s maneuverable Gladiator biplanes. application of these to the nose has not yet been begun. On 8 June the British crossed the border. two days before the campaign ended.F. and British bases on Cyprus were made.520. Esc. Finally Tomahawks were sent to cover the hapless column.O.A. 19S with Loire 1305. the D. . and it was here that initial action was seen. and began a series of strikes.A. but while the tail has received pristine new red stripes. 40 Raids on front line targets.520s from Tunisia.520s had been lost. Against the Tomahawks. equipped mainly with Potez 25TOEs. In Syria were GO 1/7 with MS 406s. and a formation of six Martin 167Fs of Flotille 4F were caught by these over the area on 28 June. six G.s. 179 had been lost. 20 of them in combat.520s from Morocco. units begun a series ofteUing attacks on French airfields. During the latter part of June French aircraft found a column advancing from Iraq on Palmyra. was without air cover. The British advance was supported by a cruiser squadron off the coast. and the R.This D. and in July. The British retaliated by attacking these airfields. This column.

Egypt. 1940. Syria. 34 of GB 1/62. Chad. Dark Green and Dark Earth with Sky undersurfaces. 819 of GC1 "Alsace" Rayak. Blenheim (Z 7779) of GB1 "Lorraine".2e Esc. Morroco. F uka. Natural metal with Red nose. Hurricane Mk1 (Z 4797) of GC1 "Alsace". Egypt. Fort Larny. Dark Earth (RAF) and Midd. now operating with the Allies. December 1940. May 1942. . Morane-Saulnier 406 No. B19 of GC 1/7. October 1941. DarK Earth and Dark Blue Grey with Light Blue Grey undersurfaces. Abu-Sweir. Alsacs Morane-Sauln ier 406 No. Green.le Stone with Azure Blue undersurfaces. The same plane as above. October 1941. Blenheim (T 1B75) of G R 61. Landing Grou nd 16. Oark Earth and Middle Stone with Azure Blue undersurfaces. Syria. December 1940. RayaK.BATTLE OF FRANCE AND SERVICE WITH THE ALLIES: 1940-1942 Martin 167 F "Maryland" No. (SPA 77).

but this is believed to be aircraft No. where they would be heavily committed to combat with British aircraft. even the control surfaces of the tail have received their quota of red and yellow paint.520 the fuselage band has been carried right to the nose. Later in June and July 1941 he down over Syria. The fighter is in fact from GC 111/6. Identification is not definite. and the pilot Adj. A fully·striped MS 406. and also given an arrowhead.520s of GC 111/6's 1e Escadrille on Maison Blanche airfield. Note the weathered appearance of the paintwork to the nearest aircraft. It also carries the diagonal tricolour band denoting that its pilot is one of the Aces. Note the slrnllarly-rnarkad Pote. He accident in a P··39 Airacobra on 11 Three D. Soon these aircraft would be dispatched to Syria.11 in the background.-Chef Pierre LeGloan. and the African mask unit emblem can just be seen on tM lin of the nearest aircraft. 204 of the 1e Escadrille. are these Martin 167F bombers 01 Aeronavale Flotille 4F. GC 117. who shot down five Italian aircraft in one day on 15 June 1940. These aircraft have all had tricolour bands painted round the wingroots.z 63. probables. Seen at an airfield in Greece while en route from North Africa to Syria. possibly of GR 11/39. and the gun ports in the leading edge of the port wing. Algiers. in Syria. [Bundesarchiv] 42 .On this 0. on this aircraft. making was killed in an September 1943. was to claim 7 British aircraft shot This raised his score to 18 and 2 him top French ace at that lime.

A. flown by FI. Cremin on 1 July 1941.-Chef Killy. . reputedly from GB 1125. Note the Khaki and dark brown camouflage pattern. and a full length. Although noted by the French as havlnq been shot down by a British P-40.F. and tricolour diagonal stripes around the outer wing panels. no fuselage roundel. ferrying between France and North Africa. This OB-7 of GB 11119 shows clearly the markings standard on Vichy aircraft during 1942 . LI. and it is noteworthy that the white outer band to the rouridel appears to have been roughly enlarged by hand. The unit inSignia on the nose depicts a wolf's head.4 bombers were used by the Vichy forces as transports. July 1940-November 1942 A crash-landed LeO 451. F. a check of combats shows that this was more likely the aircraft of Sgt. The remaining Farman 223.VICHY OPERATIONS: This 0.yellow and red stripes to engine cowlings and tail assembly. flying from France via Italy and Greece to their destination. fighter over Syria. and claimed by him as damaged. and crashed. which crash-landed after an engagement with an R. arrowheaded band on the fuselage. R. This aircraft carries only the white fuselage recognition markings. Killy in fact was wounded.A.. These aircraft were much in evidence during the Syrian Campaign in 1941.520 of GC 11/3crash-landed in Syria after a fight with a British fighter. This aircraft features a striped lailplane. hit by fire from a Hurricane of 127 Squadron.

SPA15 ·I ~ Morane-Saulnler 406 No. \ . 788 of GC 1/7. 52 01 GC 11116. 277 of GC 11i/6. Dark Earth. Dark Earth and Dark Blue Grey with light Blue Grey un dersu rlaces. Natural Sienna and Dark BLue Grey with Ught Grey (Gris Clair) undersurfaces. 1941.1 e Esc.2e Esc. Dark Earth and Dark Blue Grey with Light Blue Grey undersurfaces. Syria. 1941. June 1941. May 1941. Green. Green. Syria. (SPA 15) Rayak. Dewoitine 520 No. Green. 1942.2e Esc. Green. 471 of GC 1113. 299 orcc 11/5 (SPA 167). Syria 1941. SPA 81 ~ '~~ Dewoitine 520 No. (SPA 81). Algiers.VICHY PERIOD: SPA 167 1941-1942 Curtiss Hawk 75 No. Dark Green. GC 1111658 Esc Dewoitlne 520 No. Natural Sienna and Dark Blue Grey with Light Grey undersurfaces. ? Bloch 151 of Aeronavale AC2. Khaki. Green. Dark Blue Grey with Light Blue Grey undersurfaces.5e Esc. Natural Sienna and Dark Blue Grey with Light Blue undersurfaces.

(SAL 33).1e Esc.VICHY PERIOD: 1941-1942 Potez 141 "Antares" 1942. Green. Natural Sienna and Dark Blue Grey with Light Blue undersurfaces. Martin 167 "Maryland" of Aeronavale E 2 B. Morroco. Aeronavale metal with 4E. Green.135 of ECN 1/13. E2B . Overall natural undersurfaces. 53 of GR 11/3. 1942. Green and Dark BI ue Grey with Light Blue Grey undersurfaces. 1942. Dark Earth and Sienna with Light Blue Grey undersurfaces. B 137 Bloch 174 No. • Potez631 No. Light Blue Potez 63-11 Tunisia. 1940. Nimes. 1942 . Dakar. Dark Earth and Dark Blue Grey with Light Blue Grey undersurfaces. Tunis.

Minor skirmishes between the buy air component in French Somaliland. Spitfires from Gibraltar arrived over 'I'afaraoui airfield. 5-7 May 1942. dating the photograph as having been taken during 194. At Algiers a ground mist prevented the veteran GC IT/3 and IIl/6 getting off. plus a few Potez25s and other Hason aircraft were available. the French units took off and withdrew into the Southern part of Algeria" At Oran GC IH/3 was most active. a\\ 3 "F-ren. and British aircraft mopping-up the last of the Italian forces in East Africa during the Fall of 1941.Potez and 3 Moranes were shot down by Royal Navy Martlet fighters.520s attacking and shooting down one of these.A. Believing that the Vichy forces were less likely to resist the Americans. In r turn the Americana shot down. for the loss of four aircraft and two pilots. 3 D.F. and other aircraft w re destroyed on the ground.2. which had flown from England. Madagascar. did not lead to outright fighting. on 8 November 1942. Indeed it was the entry of Japan into the war in Decemb r 1941 which saw the next cause of action in the air. but a handful of aircraft. and the French withdrew into the interim'. including one MS 406 and on Potez 63.. three C-47s and two probables. GC 11/8 feature narrow tricolour stripes around the outer wing panels.520.G. Later in the year two Potez 255 were shot down by American fighters in a similar case of mistaken identity. These striped aircraft of 3e Escadrille." . taking off to intercept Royal Navy Albacore bombers. Two days later. Consequently a British task force set out to occupy this harbour complex on the Northern tip of this hug island in the Indian Ocean. but during the first three days. occasionally harras ed the 46 British troops until the final armistice on 6 November 1942. naval base. P-40s from Burma. A pilot 01 GC 11/8 with his Bloch M B 152.V. and a leisurely advance began accompanied by further seaborne 1andings. The landings at Casablanca on he Moroccan Atlantic coast was an all-American affair.Us. In a series of fierce combats the D. A small air element comprising one escadrille of MS 406s and one of Potez 63.A. and then interceptinga big force of paratroop-carrying American C-47s. In S ptember the British decided to occupy the whole island. were spearheaded by U. the two mainly British landings at Oran and Algiers on the Mediterranean coast of Algeria. In fact the French resisted strongly at Oran and Casablanca. but have had the fuselage roundels and stripes removed. a thistle on a red and white pennant. On 27 January 1942 Japanese fighters attacked three MS 406s over Hanoi and shot them down in the belief that they were A.520 pilots claimed six Albacores and an escorting Sea Hurricane. . The defenders put up little resistance other than roadblocks. losing one more D.S. and a few other aircraft were shot-up on the ground. contingents. Towards evening U.c\\Eg\\ter'». SPA 36. 4. This illustration shows well the marking of the 2e Escadrille. Throughout 1941 the backbone of the lighter force in Metropolitan France remained the Bloch MB 152. The occupation was swiftly compl ted thereafter. After a few hours of uneasy truce. . A single DB-7 on reconnaissance was shot down by Royal Navy fighters. and the landings met with little opposition. Anglo-Amer-ican troops landed at dawn in French North Africa. Japanese carrier attacks on Ceylon in April 1942 led the British to fear that they might subsequently set up submarine bases at Diego Suarez.S. It also carries the identity of the World War I unit from which the emblem is derived. During later operations they claimed two more Hurricanes and two Seafires while escorting LeO 451s.11.

S. seizing all Vichy aircraft based there. Other strafing Wildcats destroyed 5 Hawks and 6 D. GC 11/3 in Alg. and 3 more by IF. In return 8 Wildcats and one probable were claimed by GC II/5. Meanwhile German and Italian forces had begun landing in Tunisia to meet the threat posed by the Allied landings. D. Engler. Next day Hawks of GC 1/5. IF alone losing 9 D. Bloch MB 174s of GR II/33 then flew reconnaissances over the area to check the strength of Axis forces building up in the Tunis locality. Georges Blanck . but most surviving French aircraft now withdrew to join the other units in Southern Algeria. and disbanding the home-based units. A few more operations followed. Poupart was credited with 4 confirmed and 3 probables. then joined with Aeronavale D. together with 3 DB-7s during one attack. and standard markings for the period. with 2 of the pilots wounded. flying their air units out to safety in Algeria. After some procrastination the French decided to join the Allies.520s.VICHY OPERATIONS: July 1940~November 1942 being killed.eria in 1942. Fighting ceased on 11 November.already an 'ace' in 1940 . Several Cdt. The French had at last returned fully to the Allied fold. had claimed 17 victories and 7 probables. LeOs of GB 1/11 bombing Tafaraoui on the way.520 No.with 3 and 2 probables.S. for the loss of one Wildcat. shipping. 423 of 2 Escadrille. the Germans moved in to the Unoccupied Zone of France.520s of Flotille IF in a whirling dogfight with Wildcats and Dauntlesses over the city and its environs.520s of GC Il/5 on the ground. On the initial morning Hawks of GC Il/5 shot down a U. LeO 451s had also flown a number of bombing raids with minimal results. In response to these French moves. were intercepted by Wildcats when escortng DB-7s. Sgt. Navy floatplane. the Groupe commander. GC IlI/3. so far not engaged. 4 Hawks were shot down. but next day the Oran units also flew to the interior. GC Il/5 had more of its best pilots killed in this one day than in the whole of the 1940 campaign. During the day strafing American aircraft inflicted considerable losses on French aircraft on the ground. At Casablanca fighting lasted four days. which had been re-numbered from GC 1/3 in 1940. while IF lost 2 D. 6 Hawks were shot down and 5 damaged.520s. M-167Fs and LeO 451s on a raid. showing the unit's greyhound emblem on the fin. 47 . but now reverted to its old title in an effort to cover up its activities. bombing raids were carried out against U. Capt.

T FREE FRENCH PERIOD: 1942-1945 Curtiss P-40F of GC 11/5 "Lafayette". 1944. Tunisia. Russia. natural metal G "Marauder" of GB 1/32 Corsica. Republic P-47D "Thunderbolt" (4-19689) of GC 1115 "Lafayette" 2e Esc. Tunisie Handley Page Halifax of GB 1125 "Tunisie" (RAF SQ 347) England. Olive Drab with Neutral Gray undersurfaces. Thelepte. Dark Earth Middle Stone with Azure Blue undersurfaces. 1944. 2e Esc. France. 1944. 8ourgogne Martin 8·26 "Bourg-Ogne". 38 of GC3 "Normandie" Koziefsk. Dark Green and Dark Earth with Black undersurfaces. May 1943. YaK 1 No. Olive Green with light 81 ue undersurfaces. (SPA 167) attached to 33rd FG USAAF. Olive Drab with undersurfaces. January 1943. . (SPA 167) Amberieu.

The escadrille formed a part of Flotille 3F. . Bearing on its nose the star and crescent moon insignia of Escadrille 3B.S. Tunisia. Martin 167F No.940.11 reconnaissance aircraft in North Africa in 1942. which was almost totally wiped out on the ground by U. in full Vichy recognition markings of the time. 12 leads a formation of five aircraft from this Aeronavale unit over Morocco. Navy fighters in November 1942. and the 0. Potez 63.A line-up of Douglas DB-7s of GB 1/19 on EI Aouina airfield.520 in the background. Note the underwing machine gun mountings. late in 1.

The two veteran squadrons. Lysanders and a few French aircraft. In January 1941 EC 1 was formed from French pilots. 340 claimed 35 victories and 6 probables. many French aircrew escaped to fly on with the R.A. outlined with yellow.F. until both were shot down Over Ethiopia. and was subsequently re-equipped with B-26s as GB U!20.A. Eventually named GB 'Bretagne'. but the majority reached British bases in the Middle East. 329 and 345 Squadrons.. A pair of Martin 167Fs opera ed as EB 1 attached to 8 Squadron in Aden. flying to Egypt in April 1941 to operate as part of 223 Squadron.A. and moved to an airfield in Holland for the final month of th war. known to the A. The bomber unit. A number of French pilots reached England. EC 2 with a handful of MS 4065 and Potez 63. 342 Squadron. In August the two escadrilles united in Syria to form GC 1 'Alsace'. and later day raids over Germany from Bases in England for the rest of the war. WITH THE ALLIES: 1940-1945 WITH THE RAF: 1940-1945 From the time of the Armistice in June 1940. In Lhe United Kingdom 340 'Ile de France Squadron had been formed with Spitfire 25 as GC 2 in November 1941.F. and equipped with Blenheim 4s. Tactical Air Force for the invasion of Normandy. This unit too was then transferred to England. operating from Corsica and in France with Arme'e de l'Air units. i moved to France in October 1944. being attached to 73 Squadron.115. The nose of a GB 1/25. this unit accompanied LeClerc's forces to Tunisia in 1943. A second unit in West Africa operated in the Tchad area in support of General LeClerc's Free French forces. entered opera tions with Bomber Command. All were re-equipped with Spitfire 16s during 1945.A. was GB 11. It fl sw with distinction in defense of Tobruk with the squadron during April. Meanwhile in early 1944 two more units were formed. flying night. played an active part in the Western Desert fighting from November 1941 to February 194. where they were posted to R. all four units operating as fighter-bombers in support of I Canadian Army in Belgium.F. flew operations against Vichy forces and the Italians in Southern Libya.F. In April 1945 it was re-equipped with B-25 Mitchells. operating OVer the front during the Fan of that 50 year. Blenheirns. Bomber Command in the night attack on Germany. and join A. Becoming a part of 2nd T. as 347 Squadron. making daylight attacks on Continental targets throughout 1943/44. The Halifax carries French national markings. Later these both joined 145 Wing. Lysanders and later. Re-equipped with Spitfire B. frequently with their own aircraft. Operating in Fighter Command with Spitfire 9s unti11944.25 'Tunisia'. saw much action. from January to September 1942. flying Marylands. 341 Squadron claimed 33 and 4 probables for the loss of 31 pilots. formed from the LeO 451 personnel from Africa. In the Sahara GRE 1 with Blenheims.s. 340 and 341. and North Germany for the rest of the war.A. the tailplane also carrying a rad hollOW diamond marking. The individual aircraft letter is repeated low on the 'in. before moving to the Sudan in early 1941 to take part in the East African campaign's later stag s. .F. including several commanding officers and flight commanders.I One of the two groupes sent to England in late 1943 to re-equip with Handley Page Halifax heavy bombers. was attached La 274 Squadron in Egypt in Summer 1940. units. 346 and 347 Squadrons. showing the Donald Duck marking. and the codes are in red. flying support to the ground forces.2. subsequently flying Hurricanes in the Western Desert. but lost 73 pilots. In July 1941 GRB 1 and EE 2 joined in Syria to form GB 1 'Lorraine'. it gained its first successes over Dieppe on 19 August 1942. The personnel were then transported to England to form 342 Squadron (GB 1/20 'Lorraine') wi b Douglas Boston 3 light bombers. During early Summer 1944 the two Halifax heavy bomber units. served with 2 Group of Bomber Command. and equipped with Hurricanes. EB 2 was formed by the British with Marylands in West Africa in Dec mber 1940. these two units then joined 145 Wing of 2nd. Holland. [347 Squadron] Halifax. where it formed 341 Squadron in January 1943 with Spitfires.

These aircraft carried R. with several losses. but from January 1943 the unit redeemed itself. II/23 and I/25 at Biskra. Algeria. As the Groupe 'LaFayette'..A. coastal patrols were then flown until December 1943. one escadrille of GC I/4 from Dakar also being re-equipped with the surplus now available.F. in early 1943 was the Bell P-39N Airacobra. as the final surrender came in mid May.-style Desert camouflage of Sand and Stone. and operated them on patrol duties over convoys moving through the Western Mediterranean for the invasions 01 Sicily and Italy. flying transport missions in support of the Allies. the P-40s then being relegated to join the surviving Hawks and D. claiming its first two victories here on 10 January. ARMEE DE L'AIR WITH THE ALLIES: December 1942-May 1945 At first there was some doubt about the willingness of the ex-Vichy units to fight the Germans. Meanwhile during February 1943 Groupemente Mixte No. two pilots defected to Southern France. 36 new P-40Ls were supplied. 51 . in Morocco handed 25 P-40F Warbawks to GC U/5 in December. This is an aircraft of GC 1/ 4 'Navarre'. bombers in night attacks on Axis targets throughout Tunisia.] are re-armed on a Corsican airfield during 1944. 6 in action and 14 to other causes.A.A. Wben it withdrew to rest in mid March it had lost 20 aircraft. it was attached to the U. Before training was completed.A.F. these units' LeO 451s joining R. GT 1/15 and II/15 were also active. The aircraft has the fuselage roundel ringed by an outer circle of yellow.A. These activities continued until the end of the campaign.8 had been formed with GB 1/11.S. However. but had claimed 7 victories. 33rd. and suffering its first two losses next day. when GC II/5 became the second French unit to receive P-47D Thunderbolts. A Second fighter type supplied to the Armee de l'Air in North Africa by the U. the U. joined at one stage by GB 1125's LeOs. . F.F.S.Spitfire 9s of GC 1/7 [RAF 328 Sq. Fighter Group at Thelepte. Several fighter groupes were initially re-equipped with these aircraft. Tunisia. The units were too late to take part in any more fighting over Tunisia.520s on advanced training duties. when ammunition had to be flown up to the front in substantial quantities in a hurry. which moved from Dakar to Algeria to re-equip. distinctive of the new Arme'e de ]'Air with the Allies. but giving them the benefit of the doubt.S.

GB 1/19 and I!32. GC 11/3 operated these aircraft only briefly before converting to P-47s. all then moving to France to re-enter operations. Here GC 11/7 was able to claim an Fw 190 shot down on 14 June. and was then formed into a full groupe. as were the two ex-DB-7 groupes. keeping the original groupe numbers.A. the French units all moved steadily onto the soil of their homeland. subsequently the other escadrille re-equipped with Spitfire5s for tactical reconnaissance duties. After initial operations over Italy. joining the Wing subsequently.ked with French rudder striping. formed early in 1944 in Syria. in Wester Algeria. becoming GR II33.and F . Early in 1945 the Spitfire Escadrille of GR II/33 was re-equipped with F·6 Mustangs. At the same time all three units began receiving numbers of improved Mark 8 and 9 Spitfires.S. During August 1943 GC il/6 became the first French unit to begin conversion to P·47 Thunderbolts. Meanwhile GC 1/4 and 1/5 also re-equipped with these aircraft. but while the Spitfires flew bomber escorts and sweeps. Spitfire 5f. but in June this unit also received P-39s. Supplied with a number of Sunderlands and Wellingtons by the British to supplement the remaining French aircraft. It was soon joined by GC 11/3. At the same time GC ITI/6 exchanged its Spitfires for P·47s. from Reghaia. Three further groupes were also equipped with B·26s. which was operating Marauders from that island. which subsequently also received a number of P-63 Kingcobras. converted to P-47s from its Hurricanes. but subsequently received P·47s. new equipment was forthcoming. GC 1/7 shared patrol duties over the Mediterranean flying with an R. moving to Algeria in JUDe of that year. including 5 on 24th. 57th Fighter Group. and in May GC II/5 with its new P-47Ds moved there. while GC Ill/6 received Spitfires. In April the first of 165 Bell P·39N and Q Airacobras were supplied. At the same time GT I/34 was formed with 3 DB-7s and 3 Martin 167Fs for high speed communications and transport duties. but GC 111/3. GC 1/7 (the old Syrian MS 406 groupe) being reformed on these. mar.F. Beaufighter unit. In September French forces played the major part in the occupation of the island of Corsica. Following the landings of Operation 'Dragoon'. attached to the U. and the following month to 1/3 and III/5. French Naval flyingboats and floatplanes had joined R. In October it re-equipped with P-39s. For the fighters combats were few and far-between. operating initially as a fighter-bomber unit. Luftwaffe attacks were forthcoming. where they operated in support of the French and American armies in a tactical role throughout the rest of the war. the attacks coming from bases in the South of France. with GC 1/5 and Ill/5.S. operated them for a longer period. 52 .5 Lightnings. GC 1/3 and II/7 then converting to them."s 42nd Bombardment Wing. Due to shortage of LeO 451 spares. when 10 Do 217s attacked the harbour with glider bombs. they sank several U-Boats before the end of the war.F. GB l/22 was converted to Martin B-26 Marauders in September 1943. Spitfires to provide air cover. the main. carried out on 15 August. claiming 4 shot down and 5 damaged. Meanwhile the 3 French B-26s groupes moved to Sardinia to become a part of the U. claiming several German bombers shot down Over the Mediterranean.A. and the French pilots were able to claim 9 in two days. the P-47s and B-26s were heavily involved in ground support from the start. several heavy German raids were made on Allied convoys in this area. During October and November 1943.520:s to replace its Hawks in the escadrille not equipped with P·40s. this unit now formed 3e Escadre de Chasse. GC 1I/3 apparently re-equipped for a brief period with Hawker Hurricane 2Cs. Coastal Command units in patrolling the South Atlantic from their bases in Morocco and West Africa. to form an Airacobra Escadre. GC I(3 and II/7 moving in at once to Ajaccio with their Two fighter groupes flew the British Hawker Hurricane. From November 1942 onwards. On 26 November GC 1/7 was able to intercept a force of Heinkel He 177 beavy bombers. going initially to GC 1/5 and II/5. A Dew GC lIT/3 had been formed in Syria on Hurricane 2Gs early in 1944. GC 1/4 initially got D. and in June the two units ceased their attachment to the 57th. later also undertaking bombing sorties. Late in the war GC 1/9 and II/9 were reformed with P-39s. joining GO II/S and Il/5 in France. not changing to P-39s until October 1944. while the F-5··equipped escadrille was expanded also. This is possibly an alrcraft of the lormer unit.A. GB 1/11 and 1/23 were disbanded.1 were a1so made available. by which time it had moved to Algeria. In November 1943 GR II/33 began exchanging the ME 174s of one of its escadrilles for Lockheed F -4 . beginning to operate autonomously. which during the Spring began flying sweeps and bomber escort missions over Italy.WITH THE ALLIES: 1940~1945 Considerable re-equipment of the French air Iorce by the Allies now began. Corsica was now becoming a main Allied air base. the crews being sent to England to form two new Halifax heavy bomber units.F. Among the bomber units also. effort during the Summer of 1944 was turned on the South of France. Early in 1944 the unit joined those on Corsica to form a full French Spitfire Wing.A. During Summer 1943 the Airacobras were active on coastal patrol and convoy escort duties. but no fuselage roundel.

is seen at Amberieu late in 1944. showing the famous Sioux Indian's head. continued its tradition of using American-built aircraft by becoming one of the first French fighter groupes to receive the P-47D Thunderbolt. No. and in this case a personal score for the pilot of four. Close-up 01 the markings on Thunderbolt Esc. and two black crosses. 3.In December 1943 the veteran GC 11/5 'LaFayette'. and then P-40F Warhawks during the Tunisian Campaign. The unit was to operate these fighter-bombers until the end of the war. denoting the pilaf's personal victory score.2 of 2e The cockpit area of another GC 11/5 Thunderbolt. . GC 1115. this one from the 1e Escadrille. whilst behind thai are the unit emblem. In front of the cockpit are four lines of white mission markers. The aircraft. the famous 'Cigogne' of the 2e Escadrille. after flying Hawks until November 1942. serial 419698..

one of which is seen here on a North African airfield in 1944.'s 2nd . beneath wings and fuselage.aughing mask insignia beneath the cockpit.I. This one served with GC 11/9 'Auvergne' . . the Arme'9 de "Air also employed a few as V. Late in the war a number of P-63 Kingcobras were received for ground strafing activities. Tactical Air Force..A.F.Note the three long-range tanks..P. this was the emblem of the 2e Escadrille. Note winged I. transports. In January 1945 this unlt converted to P-470s. and the underwing machine gun gondolas.WITH THE ALLIES: 1940-1945 A Spitfire 9 of GC 111/6 'Roussillon' takes off tram Colmar during 'the Winter of 1944/45. Apart from the Mitchells used by 342 Squadron with the A.

April 1945. bombs. one of whose aircraft is seen here.Based at St. Dizier airfield. of GB 1/19 'Gascogne'. Note the unit code 05 on the fuselage of each of these bombers.000 lb. Martin 8-26G-10 Marauder on St. The 8-26 in the left background is indeed still fully camouflaged. serial 334591. This aircraft is blue 61. still with the upper surfaces and vertical tail painted olive drab. The ground crew are seated on a number 01 1. as can be seen from the tally on the nose. 55 . A line-up 01 8-26s of GB 1/19 undergoing maintenance. which has undertaken a good number of sorties. Dizier in 1945 was GB 1/32 'Bourgogne'.

A number of North American F-6 Mustangs were received during 1945 for photo-reconnaissance duties. Miles Martinet trainers were supplied by the R.. This is an F-S8 of OR 1/33.F. The marking on the tail is the Savoie coat-of-arms. and these were supplied to GR 11/33 'Savoie'.A. 56 . in which unit the famous writer-pilot. and were used in training schools in Morocco during 1944.WITH TH EALLlES: 1940-1945 Replacing the remaining Bloch 174s of the Armee de l'Air d-urlng late 1"943 were the American-built Lockheed F-5 Lightnings. Antoine de St-Exupery served.

growing to four escadrilles and being re-equipped with Yak 9s. 14 more pilots were credited with 10 or more victories in Russia. During the offensives at Vitebsk and Minsk the groupe flew as part of the Ru sian 303rd. Marcel Albert. The unit achieved some early successes. the groupe claimed 273 confirmed and 37 probable victories for the loss of 52 pilots. entering action a the Groupe' ormandie' in March 1943. 57 . the Russians redesignated the unit Regiment Normandie-Niemen. and by January 1944 the Groupe had doubled its size. although losses were by no means light. and the tri-colour spinner. but still harboured anti-British sentiments as a result of Mel's el Kebir . Travelling to Russia the following month. with 23 victories. At the end of the war. showing well the red. the French pilots were presented their aircraft as a token of Franco-Soviet friendship. white and blue spinner.[Above] After arrival in France from the Eastern Front. Con equently pilots from England and the Middle East were gathered at Rayak in Syria in November 1942 to form GC 3. Capt. All the Groupe's aircraft carried the Cross of Lorraine marking on the fins. the Re'giment Normandie-Niemen's Yak 3 fighters were put on display. One of Ihese is seen here. An important part was played in the invasion of East Prussia during 1945. This arrangement suited many pilots who were prepared to fight the Germans. it was agreed between Josef Stalin and the Free French authorities. Dakar and yria. and in July 1944 received the latest Yak 3 aircraft. More than enough volunteers were forthcoming to make up strength. Fighter Division. The most successful French fighter unit. that French fighter pilots might join the fight from Russian soil. It also produced the top 'ace' of the war. [Below] Normandie-Niemen Yak 3. they were equipped initially with Yak 1 fighter . flying the Yak 3s home to France. SERVICE IN RUSSIA: 1942-1945 Following Rus ian entry into the war in June 1941. and for its excellent performance during the crossings of the River Niemen. this one with 13 victory crosses beneath the cockpit.

520s and some Spitfire 5s forming a new unit. and Martin 167Fs in Syria in 1941.F.WITH THE ALLIES: 1940-1945 Still in its Luftwaffe camouflage. which later became known as GC 1/18. From North Africa GCE 1/18 with Douglas Dauntless A-24 dive-bombers arrived during September. several of the crews had flown dive-bombers in 1940. equipped with SBD-5s. denying them to the Allies for as long as possible. An observation unit was also D. 16 serviceable Junkers J u 88A bombers were also collected together. first against German forces retreating trom Southern France. the Naval version of the Dauntless. Escadrille 2S also arrived with Late' 298 Iloatplanes. 3B and 4B. a second escadrill later being formed when more of these aircraft were repossessed from the Luftwaffe. the Dauntlesses then formed a composite GC . also arrived.I. and then against the garrisons still resisting in the Atlantic ports. with Fi. where GB l/17 'Picardie' had been formed earlier for policing duties with these aircraft.S. the former unit returning to Africa to re-equip with B-26s. Numbers of D. The Dauntlesses had come from Syria. During January 1945 the remaining aircraft of G.Dor. Later in the year two Naval escadrilles. the rest of the D.520s. With some of the 58 formed.520s were found after the German evacuation of Toulouse. the aircraft being first used to strafe the retreating enemy during September. this repossessed 0.156C Storchs and a few Potez 638. These attacks were to be maintained for th rest of the war. 8th Air Force in their attacks.B 1/34 were transferred to GB I!31.L forces wer joined by the P-47s of the 3e Escadre and by bombers of the U. GC II/18. a unit being formed under Marcel Doret. and began operations in October as Groupe F. the redesignated GT 1/34 with DB-7s. they were replaced by Martin Baltimores. subsequently becoming GB f/3l. All these units then concentrated on attacking German garrisons Left trapped in the fortified Atlantic ports. During the final weeks of the war the F. as did GB I!34.F. FORCES OF THE INTERIOR: September 1944-May 1945 Following the landings in the South of France.520 wa"sused by the Groupe Ooret .later GC 1/ 18 'Vendee'. M-167Fs and a single Bf 110. GR III/33 . demobilized Armee de l'Air men and Resistance fighters set out to form units with what was available. 1118.

. and subsequently taken over and used by the Armee' de l'Air.Carrying the same 'spotted' camouflage common to the repossessed D.F. served with the F. air force in GC 1/18. which employed one escadrille of these aircraft. after use with GB 1/17 'Picardie' in Syria. alongside that unit's 0. Note the black and white Invasion-type bands round wings and fuselage. for reconnaissance duties.1.5205.520s. used Potez 63s and captured Fieseler Fi 156C Storch aircraft.I. such as this one. this is one of a number of captured Junkers Ju 8SA bombers used by the French Forces of the Interior to form GB 1/31 'Aunis' for action against the Atlantic port garrisons. GR 111/33'Perigord' of the F. Douglas A-24B Dauntless dive-bombers.F. dive-bombing the Atlantic garrisons. Seen here in flight is a Junkers Ju 52/3m built in France during the war.

rmelon 113.501 NiD.. Escadres de Bombardement lie (GBlll1andII111) MB2l0 Toulouse 12e(GBI/12andll/1.622 572 573 574 NiD.510 of patrol floatplanes bombers. 11/3and 46 (GCI/4ao.373 D. torpedo-bomber A rare close-up of the side of an Aeronavale Martin 167 in early Vichy markings.D. Qrle"ans Nancy Pau Hayak Nancy Lyon Slida Regional 0." under the arrow j" behind the wing traUing edge]_ Nole also the poor quality of French paint. and dive-bombers. [Squadron I Signal Archive] 60 .501.373 0. 11/7 and (one groupe In Be (GC IIBand 11/8) 0.622 NiD.510 Group Aerien Esc. 1I/2arro 3e {GC 1/3. 115.622 D.222 Avord 1ge (GB 1/19 and lit 19) M B 210 Bordeaux 21e (GBI!21 and 11/21) MB2l0 Bordeaux 2Je (G8l/Z3andJI/23) MB210 Toulouse 25e (G B 1/ 25 and III 25) M B 200 and LeO 2S7bis Sizerte 31e (GBI/31andI1/31) MB200andLe0451 Tours AERONAVALE Escadrille AC1 AC2 AC3 de Chasse D.510 Etampes Chartres Dijon Reims Relms ChartreS Dijon Marignane 32e (G B 1/ 32and 34e (GB 1/34 and 35e (GB 1/35 and 38e (GB 1/38and 3ge(GBI/39) 51e(GB1I51 and 54 e (G 8 1154 and 61 e (GS 1/61 and 62e (GB 1/62and 63e (G81/63 and 1939 11/32) 11/34) 11/35) 11/3:8) II/51) II/54) II/51) 11/62) 11/63) MB 200 Amiot 143 Amiot 143 Am iot 143 M 6 200 MB210 Potez 540 MB200 LeO 206 Patez 54 and Amiot Ohataauroux Le Bourget Lyon Metz R.dII14) 5e (GCI/5andIl/5) 66 (GG 1/6. Note the stencils lndlcatlnq the location of the Ii re extinguisher ["exUncteuJ next to the roundell and kick-plate ["marchepied.510 11I/2)MS406 111/3)MS406 Hawk75A Hawk75A 111/6) MS4-06 North Africa) 11117)MS 406 North Africa) 0. badly chipped all along the top of the fuselage. flyingboats. 2 September Escadres de Chasse le(GCl/landllll) 2e (GC 112. 561 Escadrilles 562 571 Regional de Chasse NiD.371 Lyon Maison-Blanche Oran Rabat Tunis Mo .2) MB210 Reims 15e (GBII15andIII15) F.117. Plus a number of escadrilles floatplanes . 11/6and (one groupe in 7e (GC 117.APPENDIX I Order of Battle.629. Bregue! 27.510 de Chasse Etampes Bizerte Villacoublay Escadres de Reconnaissance 22e (GR 1122and 11122) MS 131 33e (GR 1/ 33 and 11/33) Potez 637 35e(GAI/35andI1l35) Potez54 39 e (GR 11139) Potez 29 52e (GR II 52and 11/52) Potez 637 55e (GoA 1/55and II/55) MB131 61e(GRII/61) MB131 Groupe de Reconnaissance Autonome 14e MB 131 Groupes Aerisn d'Observalion About 60 escaortues with Mureaux Potsz 25 and 39 aircraft.S..ayak Tours Le Bourget Bllda Meknes 143 Marra kech Escadre de Chasse du Null 13e (GCN 1/13 and lit 13) Potez 631 Groupe de Chasse A utonorne 5e 0.

Potez 637 63.11 131 63. Bloch 131 63. Am iot 351 Amiot 143 Amiot 143 Martin 167F (Syria) H Bl H B2 151 152 Escad rilles d' Expl 0 rat ion E1 LeO 257bis E2 Breg uet Bizerte E4 Late' 301. Potez 633 691. Potez 637 63.11 s. AERONAVALE Escadrilles de Chasse ACI Potez 631 AC2 Potez 631 AC3 Bloch 151 (AC 4 with 0. Potez 63.11 (ex 14 G. Bloch 174.11 (Syria) 174. Potez 637 174. or converting Remainder mainly with Mureaux types.11. Potez 637 63. Patez 63. to.) 63. Potez 63. 25 (Avie su ria Lys) Hawk 75A Morane 406 Morane 406 (ex 5 G. Patez 633 Morane 406 Hawk 75A Morane 406 ECMJ 1/16. 61 .11 63. 302 E5 Breguet Bizerte E6 Late 521.11. LeO 470 El0 Farman 222 PI us 12 escaort lies of short-range tlaat planes and flyingboats (mai n Iy La ire 1305) for coast al reco n nai ssance and s hip board catapult opera! ions. Amiot 351-4 LeO 451 LeO 451 LeO 257bis LeO 451 Douglas OB-7 Bloch 210.5205 and AC5 with MS 4065 in courseo! Escadrilles ABI AB2 AB3 AB4 'Escadrilles B1 82 B3 B5 Escadrilles de Bombardemenl en Pique Vought 156F Loire N ieuport 401 Vought 156F Loire N leu port 401 formation) Caudron 714 North Africa GCIII/5 Morane GC 119 Morane GC 1/ 1 Morane (these un its formed from ECRs 571-4) GC 117 Morane ° 406 406 406 406 (Syria) de Bombardement LeO 257bis LeO 257bis Martin 167F Farman 223 de Torpillage Late' Late Late' Late Late Late Late Late 298 298 298 298 298 298 298 29. 39 with.0 EscadriliesdeChassedu ECN 1113 ECN 2113 ECN 3113 ECN 4113 ECN 5/13 Nuil Potez Potez Potez Potez Potez 631 631 631 631 631 Tl 14 T2 T.3 G roupes de Born bardement GBI/11and1l111 GB 1112 and 11/12 GB 1/15and 11/15 GBI/19andll/19 GBI/21 andlt/21 GB 1/23and 11123 GB 1/25 GB 11/25 GB 1131 and 11/31 GB 1/32 and 11132 GBI/34andll134 GB 1/35 GB 1/38 and 11138 G81/39 LeO 451 LeO 451 Farman 222 Douglas OB-7 Bloch 210.lly) Bloch 152 Bloch 152 Morane 406 Bloch 151 Bloch 151 Esc 3139 G81/61 GB 11/61 GB 1/62 and 11/62 GB 1/63and 11163 Groupes de Bombardement GBA 1/51 and II/51 GBAI154andll/54 GBA 11/35 Groupes de Reconnaissance GR 1/14 GR 11/14 G R 1/ 22 and 11/22 GR1133andli/33 GR 1/35 GRII135 GR 1/36 GRII/36 GR 11/39 GR 1/52 GR II/52 GR 1/55and II/55 GR 1161 and 11161 Bloch 200 (Syria) Bloch 200 Douglas DB-7 Martin 167F Martin 167F d'Assaut Breguet Bregue! Breguet Groupemenl GCI/l GCII/1 GCIII/3 GCllll0 GCIII/10 Groupement 23 (Laon) GC 11/2 GC 1/5 GC 111/7 PI us one Patez 631 escadrille. G ro upemenl GC 1/4 GC 111/2 GCIII/1 Groupemenl2.) (Velein en Haye) Morane 406 Hawk 75A Hawk 75A Morane 406 81och152 24 (Dijon) Dewoitine 520 Marane 406 (Lyon) Morane 406 Dewoitine 520 Bloch 151 Oewoitine 520 Bloch 151 Patez Potez Patez Potez Pote.11.11. Potez 637 63. 693 691.C. 523 E7 Loire 70 E8 Potez-CAMS141 E9 Bizerle.11. 522.11.2 GC 112 GC 1114 GCI1I5 GC 1116 GCI/S Pari Groupement GCII17 GCII1I6 Pari Groupemenl24 GCI16 GCII13 GCII1I9 GC 1/3 GCII19 Poles GC 11145 691.z Bloch Potez Bloch Potez Bloch Potez Potez Bloch 63. 10 May 1940 Groupes de Chasse 21 (Chanli.A.11 131 Groupes Aerien d'Observation About 60 escadri lies.R.APPENDIX II Order of Battle.A.

1940 Groupes GC 111 GC 11/1 GGI/8 de Chasse Bloch Bloch BI-och Bloch Bloch Bloch de Chasse du Nuil Potez 631 Polez 631 de Bombardement LeO 451 LeO 451 151. 152 151.11 A Farman 223 warming up her four engines. wearing standard night bomber camouflage. 152. 695 LeO 451 LeO 451 Amiot 143 Amiot 143 cc u. Chocolate Brown with Natural Metal nacelles. individual aircraft number and name [in 6'2 Ihis case. Summer.11 Potez 63.152 151. 152 151. [Squadron I Signal Archive] .11 Potez 63.e GCII/9 GCIIi/9 Escadrilles ECN1113 ECN 4/13 Groupes GBI/12 G81/25 Groupes de Reconnaissance GR 1/14 GR 11/14 GR 1/22 Plus one Groupe de transport. 155 151. Naming heavy bombers after famous individuals who lost their lives during the fighting of 1940 was normal Armee de l'Air practice. 152 151. She also carries standard White markings. 152 G811/25 G81131 GB 1138 GB 11/38 Groupes de Bombardement G8A 1/51 GBA 1/54 d'Assaut Breg us! 693. Potez 63.APPENDIX III Vichy Metropolitan Air Force. S-Ueutenant Cassel. 695 Breguet 693.

520 Groupes de Reconnaissance GR 1122 GRI/52 Groupes G81123 G811123 GB 1/32 GBIII32 de Bombardement LeO 451 LeO 451 Douglas DB·7 Douglas DB·7 Aeronavale Flottille 4F LeO 451 Flottille de Torpillage Flotti lie 5F LeO 451 Patez 63. 222 Potez 650.11 Late 298 Tunisia Groupe GCIII? de Chasse 0. June-July 1941 G roupes GCII? GCII13 GCII1/6 de Chasse Marane 406 Dewoitine 520 Dewoitine 520 GA0592 GA0593 GAO 594 GAO 595 GAO 596 Groupes GTII15 GTII115 de Transport Farman 221. 540 Patel 25 Patel 25 Patel 25 Patel 25 Patez 25 Groupes de Bombardement GB 1139 GBI/12 GB 1125 GB 1131 Escadrille EB 3139 Groupe GRII/39 de Bombardement' Martin 16?F LeO 451 LeO 451 LeO 451 Bloch de R econ nalssance 200 Aeronavale Flottille 4F Escad rille 1 AC Es cadrl IIe19S Escad rille 1T Escadrille 1 E Marti n 167F (Escad rilles 66 and 76) Dewoitine 520 Loire 1'30 Late 298 LeO 25?bis Patez63.520 GB 1/19 GB 11{61 Douglas Douglas DB-7 DB·7 GCII/5 Aeronavale Flottille 1F 0.520 0.1E Flyingboats Algeria Groupes de Chasse GCII13 GCIII13 GC 11116 Groupe de Reconnaissance GR II/52 0.520 Aeronavale Flottille 3F Martin 167F Groupes de Transport GTI/15 GT 11115 Groupes de Bombardement GB 1/25 GB 11125 Groupe de Reconnaissance GR 11133 LeO 451 LeO 451 Various Various Bloch 1?4{175 Aeronavale Esc.4BR Groupes GBI111 de Bombardement Potez 63. ?5A 0.520 Bloch 1?5 Aeronavale Esc.11 Groupes Aerien d'Observation GAOl1583 Potez 63. 8 November 1942 Morocco Groupes GCI15 de Chasse Hawk Hawk 75A.APPENDIX IV Armeede l'Airunits in Syria.520 0.11 leO 451 63 .11 APPENDIX V Arrnee de I'Ai rUn its inN orth Africa.

one of Ju 5213ms. rest on Dewoitlne Hawk T5A Hawk 75A Morane 406. 33: 4 witl1 Spitfires as 341 Squadron. Top scoring fighter units of the war.) Douglas SBO-5 (with F. 37 probables . 3 and 9.F. 9:1 on Hawk 75As on a November 1942.APPENDIX VI Order of Battle. 7 on P-40Fs in Tunisia. F. Spitfire 9 (R. P-39s and P·47s Mediterranean and South of France.I. 327 F. GSI/34'8earn' G S 11/20 'Sretagne' GS 11/52'FrancheCornie' GS 11/63 'Senegal G B 11123'G uyenne' GS 1/25'Tunisle' Syria GS 1117'Plcardie' Martin Baltimore Aeronavale Escadrille 1 FC Escadrille 2FS Escadrille 3FB Escadrl II e 4 F B Escadrille 5FE Escadri lie 6FE Escadrille 7FE Escadrille 8FB Escadrille 28 Escadrille 3S Escadri lie 48 Seafire ISpitfire Wellington Douglas SBD-5 (with F.F. 1943. 328 F. 22 probablas 40 confirmed. Alracobra (also Alracobra (also e ment Marauder Marauder Marauder Marauder Marauder Marauder Marauder Halifax (R.I. 2 September 1939 .1/42 Lo i re 130 and Potez 25 Potez 542 and Patez 25 Potez 25 and Potez 29 Potez 25a. 17:7 on 0. 1945 Armee de I'Air Groupes de Chasse GC 11/3 'Dauph i ne" GC 1115'LaFayette' GC 11113 'Ardenne' GC 114 'Navarre' GC 115'Cl1ampagne' GC 11116 'Rouss Ilion' 1116'Travail' GC 113'Corse' GC 117 'Provence' GCil!7'Nice' GC 1/9'Limousln' GC 11/9 'Auvergne' Thunderbolt Thunderbolt Thunderbolt Tl1underbolt Thunderbolt Th underbolt Thunderbolt Spitfire 9 (R. Spitfire 9 (R.A.1/595 E. 326 SOme some Squadron) Squadron) Squadron) Klngcobras Kingcobras Regiment Normandie-Niemen arriving) arriving) Yak 3 Indo-China 11CB8 Esc. 16 probables. Yak i.O. 10 pro babies Curtiss 5:1 on Curtiss Curtiss 15:9 on Hawk 75A Morane 406. F.A.520 0.156C.A.520s on 8 November 1942. 21: 8 witl1 M orane 406s and 14:3 with Hawk 75As in 1940. 40:10 In 1940. remainder on P-39s and P-47s.) Late' 298 (with F. DB-7. Top scoring Groupes de Chasse. 48:22 in 1940.A. Mediterranean and South of' France. 21 pro babies 48 confi rmed. Mediterranean and South of France. R.nd Potez 29 G roupes deB 0 m bard G B 1/ 19 'Gascogne' GS 1132 'Bourgogne' GS 1!22'Maroc' . 80 confirmed. rest on Dewoitine 520 11/5 11/7 520 b. 17 probables.) Late 298 Consolidated PBY 1Lockheed Sunderland Consolidated PBV Late29B (with F. Transport et Bombardement E.F. 33:6 on Spitfires. 19:2 with Hurricanes in the Desert. 29 probables. PV-1 French Units with 2nd Tactical Air Force. Figl1ters 329 Squadron 340 Squadron 341 Squadron 345 Squadron Bombers 342 Squadron Spitfire Spitfire Spitfire Spitfire 16 16 16 16 lGC (GO (GC (GC 1/2 'Cicogne') IV / 2 'lie de France') 111/2'Alsace') 1112'Berry') M ilchell (G 8 1/20 'Lorraine') APPENDIX VII a. 87 confirmed. 12:1 on Spitfires.) Walrus Groupes de Reconnaissance GR 1133 'Beltort' Ligl1tning GRII/33 'Savoie' Mustang Plus one Escadre de Transport with two escadrllles of C-47 Dakotas. 23 probables 48 contlrrrred.520. 91 conf rmed. 73 confirmed. Potez 63 cc Russia F. 67 confirmed. A. and one of C-45s. 0. F. F. Mediterranean and South of France.A. 26 probables. 26 probacles 51 confirmed.I.I. 51:21 in 1940. Martin 167F Fi.25 June 1940 GC GC GC GC GC 1/5 1/3 11/4 85 confirmed. 25 orobables. 1939·1945 Regimen! Normandie-Niemen GC 1/5 'Champagne' GC 11112 'Alsace' GC 1/3 'Corse' GC 11/7 'Nice' GC 11/5 'LaFayette' 273 confirmed. R. 346 Squadron) Halifax (R. 64 . 347 Squadron) French Forces of the Interior GC GC GS GR 1/18 'vendee' 11/18 'Saintonge' 1/31 'Aunis' 111/33 'Perigord' A-24 Dauntless. Spitfire 5 Ju BaA.F.A.O. Curtiss Hawk 7SA in France and Morocco.

Dark Earth and Dark Blue Grey with Light Blue Grey undersurfaces. 1942. I P-47D (4-33397) Corsica. Green (Vert). 772 of GC 1II/1.2e Esc. Lafayette Republic "Lafayette" metal. 606 of GC I/. (SPA 124 + SPA 93). 1945..6e Esc. Norman d Ie-N lem en Yak 3 at GC3 "Normandia-Niemen". (SPA 48) Brcn. 1935. Green. Dark Earth (Terre Foncee) and Dark Blue Grey (GriS Bleu Fonce) with Light Blue Grey (Gris Bleu Clair) undersurfaces. Russia. 1944. 1940. BlOCh 152 No. 181 of Aercnavats 3C3.~E"3C3 Dewoitine 501 No. Natural metal with Black (Nair) nacelle. ~SPA93 ~SPA12' Morane-Saulnier 406 No. of GC 1115 Overall natural . Gloss Blue Grey overall.

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