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

by Paul Camelio
& Christopher Shores


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.



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.

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

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.


To meet requir ments three new types of fighters were ordered.510.500 monoplane is seen with a number 01 NiD. the French had run down their large and powerful air force after the First World War. 115 Martin 167F attack bomber/reconnaissance aircraft. plus 200 North American NA-57 Yale trainers. as did the Bloch ME 210 bomber and 'in 4 the heavy four-engined Farman F. NiD 622C-l and Morane Saulnier MS 225C-1 fighters. but new types had been ordered which would greatly improve the position.S10 fighter entered service. during the Army PREWAR: The Thirties The mid thirties found the French aircraft industry a state of chaos caused by the process of nationalization. twin-engined general purpose reconnaissance bombers. . The worsening of the international situation led the French in 1938 to plan an increased force of 2. the Bloch ME 131 'multi place de combat'. 500 and D. and the Breguet 691/693 attack aircraft. Here a single Dewoitine 0. the Arme'e de l'Air. Curtiss Hawk 81A (P-40 Tomahawk) fighters had been ordered in the U. and Potez 25 and 29 general purpose biplanes. With the growing threat of German militarism under the Nazi regime beginning to make itself felt. Also ordered were the Bloch MB 200 heavy bomber.520 fighters. introducing American Vought V. Like most nations.221. which were to be introduced into service at the rate of 200 pet month.were put into produc ion. while the French air forces were caught in the midst of a programme of modernization and expansion. In the event output nev r got near even half of this total. new equipment begins arrive. low-wing monoplane Dewoitine D. was formed. Up to this time tbe French air units had remained under the command of the Army. In 1937 the improved Dewoitine D. a program of modernization was begun. three new types . and had kept it on a shoestring budget during the depressed late twenties and early thirties.156F Chesapeake and Loire ieuport LN 40 dive-bombers to service. and 100 Douglas DB-7 attack bombers. Liore at Olivier LeO 451 and Amiot 361/354 bombers the Bloch MB 174 reconnaissance aircraft. together with Late 298 bomber-reconnaissance Iloatplanes. Orders were also placed in the United States for 100 Curtiss Hawk 75A fighters. By 1939 the types ntering service from French factories were already obsolescent by world standards. and he biplane Bleriot Spad S.to With the clouds of war gathering. followed by 100 more. 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.Morane MS 405/406 fighter.• while the Aeronavale (the air arm of the Navy) was also modernizing. Improved types such as the Arsenal VG 33 and Dewoitine D. During 1933 new equipment had at last appeared in the form of Nieuport Delage.622s Summer Manoeuvers of 1937.th .BOl.the modern.S . but now at last an independent air force. These included Bloch MB 151/152 and D woitine D. and the Potez 54M and Amiot 143M 'multipJaces de combat'. Loire 206 heavy bombers. the gull-wing Loire 46. and the Potez 63 reconnaissance-bomber-fighter . In an effort to improve the quality of quiprnent. 50 Koolhoven FK 58 fighters were also ordered from Holland.550 fighters were already under construction in prototype form.500 modern combat aircraft.

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

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

Hispano 'moteur-cannon' was fitted between the cylinder banks of the engine.The excellent Dewoitine 0. 'moteur-cannon'. 290 is serving with the 5e Groupe de Chasse Autonome in Tunisia. . The 0. this particular aircraft served with 2e Escadrille. Distinguishable by its two-blade propeller. entered service in 1935. firing through the propeller boss. shadowed in red on a yellow circle.500 only by virtue of the fact that a 20mm.I Spad units. operating over France during 1940. 5e GCA became 2e Escadrille.W. GG 11/1. GG 1115. Converted to Morane MS 406 lighters. GC 1/1.501 differed from the 0. 1939. Production No. the first really modern French fighter. and a world trend setter. and is seen here on Sidi Ahmed airfield. The muzzle can Just be seen on this aircraft of 1e Escadrille. It carries the white duck insignia of the old SPA 93.Photog raphed in 1937.510 featured a three-blade metal propeller and a 20mm. deep radiator and very wide undercarriage.500. The definitive 0. and on the tail a white 3. in. it w ill be n oted that these aircraft carry the famous 'Cigognes' [Stork] insignia of the 'crack' W.

It carried an above-averagearmament for the time. GB 1/25.. were also supplied to the Spanish Republican forces in 1936. Entering service in 1934. he Bloch MB t 200 twin-engined heavy bomber was soon the most numerous bombing type in the Armee de l'Air. with 195 in service by early 1935. The Thirties The last biplane fighter to enter French service was the Bleriot-Spad 5. it was passed to the auxiliary Groupe Aerien Regional.ief.510. it did good service during raids over Germany in Summer 1940. equipping six full Escadres de Bombardment. Nonetheless. and was in the process of being replaced with more modern types as swiftly as possible. GB 11/21. machine guns. one of the last two Groupes to operate the aircraft.. comprising lour 7. all mounted in the lower wings. .7mm. Developed from the Bloch MB 200. Its insignia is an owl on a crescent moon. a much-favoured motif for night-flying units throughout the world. After service with the 7e Escadre. where it was still in service in 1939 A lew . This aircratt served with 2e Escadrille. as European I.ighler developments had swiftly rendered It obsolescenl in this role. the MB 210 was the most numerous French bomber at the outbreak of war. Its life as a day bomber was br.PREWAR. This is a machine of 1e Escadrille.de Chasse 561. During the war it was employed only at night.

Several subsequently served as transports however. 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. This P.540. 9 . No. Painted dark green overall.[Above] 'L' Autobus Amiot'. the slab-sided Amiot 143M 'multiplace de com bat'. [Below] Like the Amiot 143M. holding a grenade. whilst on the fin is painted a winged devil. though of smaller size . it carried a white rabbit blowing a trumpet. the Potez 540/542 series were also 'multiplace de combal' aircraft. a machine of the 22e Escadre de Bombardment. except for the nalural metal engine cowlings. with natural metal engine cowlings. 204. This one. and s ubsequenU y em pi oyed as bombers. painted on a red disc as the unit inSignia. carries a white 7 on the fuselage. they were obsolescent by 1939. The aircraft were finished in a chocolate brown paint overall.. served with GB II/51. and were replaced in the Reconnaissance and Bombardment Groupes before seeing any action. After seeing considerable active service with the Republican forces in Spain.

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

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

such guns. large numbers of modern combat aircraft were ordered in the United States. This fi. carrled six. 10. Main production H. These initial production aircraft. 12 . Serving with the 5e Escadre de Chasse at Reims. Used in the bombing. though they were subsequently 10 have two more added in the wings. reconnaissance.it is set up to test its guns in the pits during September of that year. but by 1939 it already lacked the speed and armament to defend itself adequately against the new German Messerschmitt fighters it would meet. 75A-3s.ngs and twain the nose. [Below] Like the British Bristol Blenheim. the various developments of the original Potez 63 were indeed the Armee de l'Air's 'work horses' during the 1939-4'0period. and multi-seat fighter roles. the Potez 630 was a very advanced design when first introduced to service.PREWAR: The Thirties [Above] To make good production deficiencies within the French aircraft industry. were titted only to carry a pair of nose-mounted machine guns. The first type to arrive was this Curtiss Hawk 75A-1. four in the wi. in service in 1940.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.

Mainly superceded and relegated to the training role by the outbreak of war. Introduced to service in only small.s during the thirties. two of w hi ch are seen here being prepared for a flight. with natural metal engine cowling.A. experimental numbers for observation duties. .N. the Breguet 270s had served in large number with the G. were the revolutionary LeO C.Three types of A. and operated in direct co-operation with army units on the ground. les Mureaux were used by the Groupes Aerien d'Observatlon in 1939.O.F. camoullaged dark green overall. the 113. Two are seen here engaged in a training flight. 115 and 117. These units were manned mainly by Reserve personnel. Within four years the autogyro had been rendered obsolete by the introduction of the helicopter. This is a Mureaux 117.30 Autogyros.

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

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

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

PREWAR PERIOD: 1935-1937 Nieuport-Delage 622 of GC 11/1.3e Esc. Dark Green (Vert Emaillite) overall with natural metal nacelle. 1935. (SPA 94). Green (Vert) with Ught BI ue (Bleu Clair) undersurfaces. (SAL 18). 3C1. 1936. 62 of Aeronavale Esc. Overall Dark Green. Overall Dark Green with natural meta! nacelles.2e Esc. (SPA 77). Amiot 143 "I'autobus Amiot" of GB 1/34 . (BR 110) Nancy. Morane-Saulnier 225 No. natural metal forward fuselage. Dugny1936.41 of GC 117. December 1936. Dijon. Dark Earth (Terre Foncee ) Cowling ring. . natural metal forward fuselage.2e Esc.1e Esc. 1935. Bloch 210 of GB 11121 . Overall Brown (ChOcolat) with natural metal engine nacelles. Morane-Saulnier 225 No.

one just completing conversion from D.693s were also training. some 34 G.. By the end of 1939 five fighter groups had converted to Blochs. PHONEY WAR: September 1939-Apri'l 1940 While all was quiet on the ground during the Fall of 1939. while two Bloch MB 210 groupes were beginning conversion to Amiot 351/354s. Bloch 1748 had reached two groupes which were partially re-equipped. to provide a fighter defense for that protectorate. The first to fall was credited to Sgt. The Bayard helmet insignia is grey with white plumes.for the loss of 8 French fighters. in the air things were much busier. as were two groupes of Potez 633s.11s. and Severe losses were suffered .so great in fact. 5105 to Bloch MB 1515. In the Spring one groupe of D.A. and two more just forming. which crash-landed in a repairable condition. 222 converted 'for use as a bomber). Potez 637s and various Mureaux types flew reconnaissances. The Aeronavale also now offered a handy reinforcement to the main air force. A hard winter greatly reduced activity in the air. and one of Late 29.11s had entered service. with inadequate armament and too Iowa top speed. Called 'the most beautiful fighter in the world' by the French. More units of Br . The aircraft is camouflaged dark blue-grey. and the numeral 3 on the tail is red on a white circle. While fighters patrolled over the frontier. . Amiot 143s and Bloch MB 210s did fly many night sorties deep into Germany to drop propaganda leaflets. On 8 September 5 Hawks of GC II/4 engaged an equal number of Messerschmitt Bf 109s.O. and the first Potez63. brown and green. claiming two shot down in the first fighter combat of the war.637s were permitted to continue penetrating hostile air space. two of Martin 167Fs. Production No. Four groupes of LeO 451s and two more of Bloch 152s were fully operational. and 12 of Potez 63. 47 seen here. that after September only the Pz.mainly by the Hawk units . In Africa three groupes of Douglas DB-7s were virtually ready. two of LN 401s.s with a strength of 6 aircraft each. taken over by the government from uncompleted export orders for 18 Greece and Rumania.222s.0 torpedo-bomber Iloatplanes. plus two of Martin 167Fs and four of LeO 451s were in training. at Sidi-Ahmed. and two more were about to start. some of them deep into Germany. and early in 1940 the Escadre system was dropped. and by early May 1940 the position had much improved. and two more were starting.520s (GC 1/3). On 6 November GC Il/5 fought a very fierce combat with a large force of Bf 109Ds.s were in the process of converting to Potez 63. another groupe and 5 G. together with a substantial number of escadrilles with a variety of flyingboats and floatplanes.156Fs. being replaced with larger and more flexible Groupements of 2-5 groupes. Finally. Farman F. Luftwaffe reaction was swift. Additonally there were two escadrilles of V.On the outbreak of war 308 MS 406 fighters were in service with the Arme'e de l'Air. By the end of the first month of war some 27 German aircraft had been claimed . bringing down 8 of these for the loss of one Hawk.a. GC 1/7. early in 1940 this unit would move to Syria.A. Bloch 131s. while the 54e Escadre de Bombardment was converting from Potez 540s to Potez 633s.11s. While not bombing German targets for fear of inviting reprisals from the more modernly-equipped and larger Luftwaffe bomber force. while two more. Tunisia. and one of Farman 2238 (a civil development of the F. Chef Casenoble. two of LeO 257bis bomber floatplanes. 6 of Late 298 floatplanes. with two fighter escadrilles with Potez 631s. it was already outdated. two of Breguet 691s. and activity remained brisk until December. had also converted to the aircraft. is serving with 1e Escadrille.

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

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

(SPA 3). May 1940. 1940. (SPA 103). July 1940. Spring 1940. (SPA 95). Bloch 152 No. Morane-Sauln ier 406 No.ght Blue Grey undersurfaces. Khaki (Kaki) with Light BI ue Grey undersurfaces. Bloch 152 No. Dark BI ue Grey and Sienna (Sienne naturelle) with Light Blue undersurfaces. Nimes. Dark Earth and Dark Blue Grey with Li. 617 of GC 11/9. Drange-Plan-de-Dieu.2e Esc.BATTLE OF FRANCE: 1940 Curtiss Hawk 75 No. Green. and Dark Blue Grey with Ught Blue Grey undersurfa. 84 of GC 1/4.1e Esc. (ex Aeronavale 3C1). Green.3e Esc. 124 of GR 1155. 704 of GC 112. Bloch 131 No. 305 of GC 11/8. 1940.1 e Esc. ~SPA103 ~~ Morane-Saulnier 406 No. Green. Green. Dark Earth and Dark Blue Grey with Light 61ue Grey undersurfaces.1e Esc. 451 of GC 1/2. May 1940. (SPA 85).ces. Dark Earth and Dark Blue Grey with Light Blue Grey undersurfaces. Green. . Dark Earth.

had patches of khaki applied to their overall brown tinlsh. as well as an unidentified unit insignia. belong. Farman 222 heavy bomber of the 15e Escadre. some Farmans were sprayed with a coat of black paint. five carrying Roman numerals on their fins.early H. was the earlier F. . seen here during early 1940.albeit briefly.Still in service with several bombing units in 1940. The aircraft in the foreground with the shield insignia is flown by the commanding officer. 75A--2s. This particular aircraft is flanked by a pair of Curtiss Hawks . has not been identified.1the chord width of its huge. with only four guns.and by day at that . in Syria in June 1941.221. Six Bloch MB 210s are seen here. A few of these were siill in service at the outbreak of war. showing wel. and a lightning flash along their fuselages. Predecessor of the Farman 222. The unit to whlch these ai rcraft. Consequently it flew only leafletdropping night sorties over Germany. For night operations. shoulder-mounted wing. though they were soon relegated to the t. which featured a fixed undercarriage. It did however bomb in earnest . Others. like this one.ransport role. the old Bloch MB 200 was no longer operational in France by the time of the German 'Blltzkreiq'.

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.


Potez 631 of Plessis-Belleville,


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

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

and it did not fare well against the Bf 109s of the Luftwaffe. Beneath the starboard exhaust stub. and a red 16. [Below] Bloch MB 152 of GC 111/9carries on its tail an insignia depicting a famous ancient French warrior. has been substituted. the manual starting handle can be seen. machine guns.[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. which carried the leaping lion insignia just behind the cockpit. with a pair of 20mm. This fine flying shot of No. 347 shows it to be an aircraft of the 2e Escadrille. The radio mast beneath the fuselage folded back before landing. 27 . A previous aircraft-in-unit number has been roughly painted out. 'Le Gaulois'. but although heavily armed. GC 118. cannons and two 7.7mm. outlined in white.

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. By that time it was the most numerous French bomber available. Entering service in small numbers in 1939. The 0. the excellent Liore et Olivier LeO 451 bomber did not begin operations until the Spring of 1940. 17 is seen shortly after being iss ued to G C 1/3. No.5205. fierce fighting By May the unlt was back on the Western Front. . Conversion took place in March 1940 at Cannes-Mandelieu. 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. This is an ai'rcrafl of GB 1112. on the Cote d'Azur.

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

THE BATTLE OF FRANCE: 10 May-15 June 1940 the former also suffering heavily. some Dying Hawks and others ME 210s within established French units. in 'Chimney Flights' comprising small numbers of fighters based for protection of specific factories or towns. was an exception however. It carries a red 5 on the tail. During the night of 7/8 June 1940 the Aeronaval Escadrille BS. AC 3 was also caught on the ground while taking off. 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. and is seen here on Salon airfield with one such Special Defense Escadrille. First engaged against the Luftwaffe on 13 May 1940 with its new aircraft. Chef Pierre LeGloan of GC III/6. [Above} A 0.and Farman 222s flew night bombing raids against Northern Italy.520s served with 'Chimney Flights'.520 at GC 1/3 at the front.ir . had been provided initially with MS 4069. the remains of the Aeronavale div bomber escadrilles. made the first Allied bombing raid of the war On Berlin with tbis machine. five fighter groupes converted from MS 4068 to 0 . as did a number of French pilots. production No. AC3. The Aeronavale Flotille IF also converted from Potez 631s to 0. Adj. but then with Caudron C. again attacking grounded aircraft with telling results. They returned on 15th. This aircraft. destroying a number of Ae"ronavale V . who had shot down two Fiat BR 20 bombers during the previous raids.5. 20s. while Potez 63. and claiming further victories. Note that Ihe chaotic events of May have not allowed the crews to complete the painting of the unit insignia and individual aircraft number..714 proved a disappointment in combat. Most of these flew MS 406s. LeO 451::. [Below] Only a few 0.520s during June. Potez 631s of the Aeronavale Flotille IF. shooting down four CR 42s and another BR 20 in three combats. but some were supplied with the few Koolhoven FK 58s which had actually arrived from Holland.11s were hastily fitted with extra guns beneath the wings to strafe Italian columns. but the war there ended before they could move. A unit formed with Polish pilots who had arrived in France after their own country was overrun in September 1939.20s in the South was also readied.. and shooting down one.15_6Fsand the ground. On 13 June a series 01 Italian attacks on airfields in the South began. and the groupe re-equipped with Bloch 1528. and on the island of Corsica. on the evening of 10 June Benito Mussolini declared war on the Allies.. The Martin 167F units. A dE ne an elE de 1111 COl un m(J . and they remained in France.. 79. and next day his Regia Aeronautica began attacks on French bases in Tunisia. During May the C. another deliberately ramming one of th attacking Fiat CR42 biplanes. However. with its MB 151s. In early 1940 this unit was to have beensent to Finland. a number of Czech pilots served with the Armee de l'Air. equipped with a single Farman 223. During the fighting. while GC III/6 which was completing its r'e-equipment with D. and Late 298 floatplanes also undertook night attacks on Italian targets. Apart from the Poles.714 light fighters. Other Poles served. AI the lime of the Armistice It was the second highest-scoring Groupe de Chasse in the Armee de I'Air. However. several of these units getting back into the fight with their new mounts. the unit claimed 50 confirmed and 18 probables in about a month. and two ME 151s were sho down.. now excelled himself. one to Hawks and one to ME 5 1528. were diverted to the South to combat this new threat. and Esc.4 aircraft fully converted for military purposes. shadowed in yellow.

most being flown by Polish pilots. Dutch airframe. is possibly serving with Ihe latler unit. caused Ihe painting 01 a broad white stripe down the side ollhe aircraft.7mm. which led to several accidental "Kitls" by French fighters. They saw very little action . anticipating the laler Vichy markings.33 was of all-wood construction.l/ ~\ ~ t Standard French multi-seat fighter was the Patel 631. Subsequently they were issued to some of the 'Chimney FUghls' for local factory protection. 31 . and Hawk 81As [P·40sjlrom the U. An all-Black night lighter Potez 631 serving with Escadrille de Chasse du 'Nuil 1113 [EC'N 1/ 13j.A.ighter units in the colonles.10.. 1940. cannon. and carried one enginemounted 20mm.S. Thelormer Escadre de Chasse de 'Nuil 13 was broken up into four individual escadrilles on January 1. partla Ify covered with cam ou flage nels during June 1940.ghter. This alrcraft.eer units 01 Czech and Polish ptlots. and Polish pilots! Such was the accolade given to Ihe Koolhoven FK 58 fi. and the addition of a white surround to the roundel. \ f s A dozen Arsenal VG.and formed one element in the plan to re-equipall fighter units with these alrcratt. and lour wing-mounted 7... The VG. Confusion with Ihe HI 1. but the type never had the chance to enter service. Intended initially lor I.520 and its developments. the FK 58 was then planned to go to Finland with volunl. which served with 5 night fighter and one day lighter escadrilles. Belgian machine guns. French engine. EscadriBe de Chasse Multiplace du Jour 1/16.. While French night fighters frequently carried standard day fighter camouflage most were painted overall Black . the 0.33 fighters had been delivered by 25 June 1940. Only a small proportion of Ihose ordered actually reached France. II was an excellent lighter. machine guns.

the latter painted in blue. this did not come fully up to expectations. incorporating the emblems of both escadrilles.ght here. plus a small bomb load for attack. and two 7. that in the foreground with its cannon manned. 693 of GBA 1/51 carries the white trumpet-playing rabbit insignia. Two of these bombers are seen in fli. though occasional successes with it were noted. and an individual aircraft number in Roman figures. Manually operated. previously carried on the unit's Perez 540s. machine guns. white 5 is from the 1e Escadrille. Breguet 693sof GBA 1151. and two 7. The aircraft in the foreground is flown by the commanding officer. This aircraft No. cannon in the dorsal turret position as an important element of its defense. Second Escadre to convert to Breguet attack aircraft was the s ts.The LeO 451 featured a 20mm.7mm. one above and one below. 32 . guns lor rear defense. This Br. carries the insignia of the 2e Escadrille of GB 1/12. This maneuverable liUle aircraft carried an armament of one forward-firing 20mm. and carries a special insignia on the fuselage. the rabbiland a phoenix. 234.7mm.

the Loire Nieuport LN 401 was quite an advanced single-seat aircraft. 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. 156s of the other two escadrilles. landed safely at an airfield near Reims.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. but Equipping two of the Ae'ronavale's four dive-bomber escadrilles. they were active against German columns approaching the Dunkerque-Calais area during the latter part of May. Despite severe damage. Operating alongside the American-built Vought V. Only once were Amiot 143s sent out by day to bomb. but suffered very heavy losses. . Most Amiots failed to return from this mission on 14 May. badly damaged by both flak and an attack by three Bf 109s. and that was during the desperate attempts to stave off the German breakthrough at Sedan. this one. it returned safely to its base. II would never fly again.

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

Entering service slightly behind the Marlin 167F. and played an important part in the Battle of France. but did not play so important a part in the fighting as did the Martin machine. . The aircraft proved satisfactory in this role. the Douglas DB-7 equipped five bomber groupes. 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. but only two of these were ready for action during Summer 1940.167F gave a good account of itself. the M. and then during June against the Italian forces which invaded the Riviera.. first against the Germans.heseoperalions.Ordered initially as a reconnaissance aircraft. A Douglas OB-7 seen in flight during a bombing mission over France. June 1940.

Two Skuas were claimed shot down and two probables while another claim was made by a Bizerte flyingboat. to gain ba es for air operations over South China. 693s and 695s also remained in service.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. III the ligh! of this feeling. Armee de l'Air Martin 167F bombers attacking the British fleet units. Subsequ ntly. Heavy resistance was offered. Attacks wet repeated on 6 July.520 continued in limited production. The attack was in an effort to immobilize this fleet. on the premise that the local garrison would not resist their fellow countrymen. on 20 October. and prevent its falling into Axis bands. the Northern province of Indo-China. At once the local Arrnee de l'Air contingent reacted. On 3 July 1940 units of the Royal Navy. Madagascar and Indo-China. pro v d unfounded. together with two groupes of Amiot 143s and some transport aircraft.. and prevented numbers of pilots who were planning to escape. the British. 36 . The attacks on Mers el Kebir caused much anti-British feeling. in order to. Tunisia. twice again flew from Morocco to bomb Gibraltar on 24 and 25 epternber. continue the fight from England. In the Unoccupied Zone 0:1' Metropolitan France" five fighter groupes with Bloch ME 151. The MS 406s also shot down 4 Thai machines in two engagements. Hawks of GC 1/5 and Il/5 intercepted. Syria and West Africa. Algeria.520s. while the D. Three escadrilles of MS 406s and a few Potez 631Cs (all ordered by the Chinese. Overseas. the Axis Armistice Commission decided to allow the French to retain a part of their air force. During the same week Japanese forces occupied Tonkin. with smaller contingents in Somaliland. a Ki 21 bomber which strayed over. Both sides made a number of air raids. from going through with their plans. but were generall ' unwilling to press their attacks hOIDe against the British. Late in January Japanese diplomatic pressure. attacked Gibraltar from North African bases. but each side destroyed some of their opponents aircraft on the ground. 152. including Skua dive bombers and Swordfish torpedo bombers. a few Farman 2215 and Potez 542s. As a reprisal against the British on 6 July Martin 167F bombers from Aeroaavale Escadrilles B3 and B5.French territory was also shot down by a Morane. and subsequently crashed itself. causing considerable damage and killing some 1. escorted by Flotill IF D. whilst defending Hawks of GC 1/4 shot down several Swordfish. VICHY OPERATIONS: July 1940 . three of Potez 63.115 and two with Bre.000 Frenchmen. and another was claimed by the gunners of a Loire 130. Thailand launched an attack on French Indo-China in mid January 1941. while one Japanese fighter was claimed by an MS 406 pilot. Only one Skua was actually lost by th Royal Navy. and to protect against further attacks on th South of France or the African colonies. In a handful of ngagements one Potez was shot down and one destroyed On the ground. some Loire 130 flyingboats and five escadrilles of Potez 25TQE biplanes were availabble to the French. Four groupes of LeO 451s.November 1942 o sooner bad hostilities ceased than French units were again in action.I substantial air components remained in Morocco. but seized by the French in Indo-China on the outbreak of war in Europe). attacked the French Fleet at Oran's Mers eJ Kebir Harbour Algeria. which became involved with 5 fighters. the French by night and the Thais by day. and the improved 155 were retained. and mediation forced the French to cede the disputed territory to the Thais. In both cases the numbers available were small. this time against their recent allies. In retaliation Martin 167Fs from Ae'ronavale Escadrilles. and three days of intermittent operations followed before the Vichy government reached an agreement with the Japanese to their occupation of he territory. Following a border disagreement during late 1940. An attempt by British and Free French forces to land at Dakar in West Africa on 23 September 1940. .

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

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

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

520s proved more than a match for defending Fulmars and Hurricanes. GC m/G's D. two days before the campaign ended. was without air cover.A.s.F. and British bases on Cyprus were made. and as soon as the revolt had been put down. and began a series of strikes. the French stiffened the defenses by sending the experienced GC lTI/6 with its D. On 8 June the British crossed the border. many aircraft being destroyed on the ground. the D. 40 Raids on front line targets. Esc. shooting down several while escorting bombing raids on the ships. but while the tail has received pristine new red stripes. Alarmed by the British air raids. In Syria were GO 1/7 with MS 406s. application of these to the nose has not yet been begun. . 19S with Loire 1305. this carrying the insignia of GC 1/ 8. All units left the country at the close of hostilities in the favour of the British.11s.This D. including three groupes of LeO 4518 from France. and it was here that initial action was seen. 7 credited to Sous-Lt. The latter supplied arms. and by the Vichy authorities in neighbouring Syria.520.520s had a less easy time and losses began to mount. In the Mediterranean area more trouble was brewing. 'Habforce'. GB 1139 with Martin 167Fs. unable to progress. and in July. and a formation of six Martin 167Fs of Flotille 4F were caught by these over the area on 28 June. The British advance was supported by a cruiser squadron off the coast. During the latter part of June French aircraft found a column advancing from Iraq on Palmyra. Reinforced R. lAC fighters inflicted severe casualties on a formation of Blenheim bombers. units begun a series ofteUing attacks on French airfields.0 the nose. and suffering heavy losses. resolved to occupy Syria. Flotille 4F with Martin 167Fs and Esc.520s from Morocco. again spearheaded by Free French troops in the hope that the Vichy forces would come over to the Allied cause. the majority of them on the ground. and was "pinned down for several days. but 34 D. Against the Tomahawks. R. but towards the end of June success began to tail off.A. GR TI/39 with Potez 63.520s had been lost. Other fighter units had claimed a further 13 and 4 probables. lAC with D. An uprising against the British in Iraq during May 1941 was encouraged by the Axis. seen at an airfield in Metropolitan France. This column. airfields in Palestine. Right to the end they could bite back however.O. GC Ili/6 had claimed 19 confirmed and 4 probable victories. Finally Tomahawks were sent to cover the hapless column. More reinforcements were rushed in.'s maneuverable Gladiator biplanes.F. 20 of them in combat. Esc. has had yellow paint applied 1. 179 had been lost. six G. Pierre LeGloan.A. and allowed German aircraft heading for Iraq to land and refuel on Syrian airfields. all being shot down with great loss of life. GC II/3 with D. and the R. equipped mainly with Potez 25TOEs. Note the cockpit of the Bloch MB 152 which can be seen behind it. 3/39 with Bloch ME 200s.F. Instead a hard and bitter campaign began. The British retaliated by attacking these airfields. Esc.520s from Tunisia. and GT 1/15 and II/15 with a variety of transports.520s from Algeria early in June. which was to last over a month.A. Of 289 aircraft committed.

Green. Morroco. 34 of GB 1/62. Syria. Dark Earth (RAF) and Midd.le Stone with Azure Blue undersurfaces. October 1941. Hurricane Mk1 (Z 4797) of GC1 "Alsace". DarK Earth and Dark Blue Grey with Light Blue Grey undersurfaces. Morane-Saulnier 406 No. Blenheim (Z 7779) of GB1 "Lorraine". 819 of GC1 "Alsace" Rayak. October 1941.2e Esc. Fort Larny. now operating with the Allies. Chad. December 1940. . December 1940. Syria. Landing Grou nd 16. (SPA 77). RayaK. B19 of GC 1/7. Natural metal with Red nose. Dark Green and Dark Earth with Sky undersurfaces. 1940. Alsacs Morane-Sauln ier 406 No. May 1942. F uka. Blenheim (T 1B75) of G R 61. Abu-Sweir.BATTLE OF FRANCE AND SERVICE WITH THE ALLIES: 1940-1942 Martin 167 F "Maryland" No. Egypt. Egypt. The same plane as above. Oark Earth and Middle Stone with Azure Blue undersurfaces.

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

A. LI. ferrying between France and North Africa. hit by fire from a Hurricane of 127 Squadron.-Chef Killy. Note the Khaki and dark brown camouflage pattern. a check of combats shows that this was more likely the aircraft of Sgt. arrowheaded band on the fuselage. This aircraft features a striped lailplane. reputedly from GB 1125. July 1940-November 1942 A crash-landed LeO 451. which crash-landed after an engagement with an R. flying from France via Italy and Greece to their destination. and it is noteworthy that the white outer band to the rouridel appears to have been roughly enlarged by hand.VICHY OPERATIONS: This 0.520 of GC 11/3crash-landed in Syria after a fight with a British fighter.A. and tricolour diagonal stripes around the outer wing panels. fighter over Syria. Killy in fact was wounded. R. Although noted by the French as havlnq been shot down by a British P-40. flown by FI. This OB-7 of GB 11119 shows clearly the markings standard on Vichy aircraft during 1942 . and crashed. Cremin on 1 July 1941. . The unit inSignia on the nose depicts a wolf's head. This aircraft carries only the white fuselage recognition markings.F. and claimed by him as damaged.. The remaining Farman 223.4 bombers were used by the Vichy forces as transports.yellow and red stripes to engine cowlings and tail assembly. These aircraft were much in evidence during the Syrian Campaign in 1941. no fuselage roundel. F. and a full length.

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

1940. 1942 . Tunis. 1942. Martin 167 "Maryland" of Aeronavale E 2 B. (SAL 33). Dakar. E2B .1e Esc. Light Blue Potez 63-11 Tunisia. Aeronavale metal with 4E. 1942. Green and Dark BI ue Grey with Light Blue Grey undersurfaces. • Potez631 No. Natural Sienna and Dark Blue Grey with Light Blue undersurfaces. Overall natural undersurfaces. Green. Dark Earth and Dark Blue Grey with Light Blue Grey undersurfaces. Dark Earth and Sienna with Light Blue Grey undersurfaces. Nimes. B 137 Bloch 174 No. Green.VICHY PERIOD: 1941-1942 Potez 141 "Antares" 1942.135 of ECN 1/13. Morroco. 53 of GR 11/3.

P-40s from Burma. dating the photograph as having been taken during 194. Consequently a British task force set out to occupy this harbour complex on the Northern tip of this hug island in the Indian Ocean. Japanese carrier attacks on Ceylon in April 1942 led the British to fear that they might subsequently set up submarine bases at Diego Suarez.Potez and 3 Moranes were shot down by Royal Navy Martlet fighters. Two days later. but during the first three days. and the French withdrew into the interim'. After a few hours of uneasy truce. Minor skirmishes between the buy air component in French Somaliland. Anglo-Amer-ican troops landed at dawn in French North Africa. A small air element comprising one escadrille of MS 406s and one of Potez 63.520 pilots claimed six Albacores and an escorting Sea Hurricane. but have had the fuselage roundels and stripes removed. Later in the year two Potez 255 were shot down by American fighters in a similar case of mistaken identity.S. and the landings met with little opposition. The occupation was swiftly compl ted thereafter. the French units took off and withdrew into the Southern part of Algeria" At Oran GC IH/3 was most active. At Algiers a ground mist prevented the veteran GC IT/3 and IIl/6 getting off. . occasionally harras ed the 46 British troops until the final armistice on 6 November 1942. contingents. The landings at Casablanca on he Moroccan Atlantic coast was an all-American affair. Towards evening U. 5-7 May 1942.520. This illustration shows well the marking of the 2e Escadrille. and then interceptinga big force of paratroop-carrying American C-47s. naval base. A single DB-7 on reconnaissance was shot down by Royal Navy fighters. GC 11/8 feature narrow tricolour stripes around the outer wing panels.F. In S ptember the British decided to occupy the whole island. including one MS 406 and on Potez 63. In a series of fierce combats the D. Believing that the Vichy forces were less likely to resist the Americans. 3 D. and British aircraft mopping-up the last of the Italian forces in East Africa during the Fall of 1941. did not lead to outright fighting. SPA 36.G.c\\Eg\\ter'». were spearheaded by U.S. three C-47s and two probables. During later operations they claimed two more Hurricanes and two Seafires while escorting LeO 451s. losing one more D. but a handful of aircraft.Us.. the two mainly British landings at Oran and Algiers on the Mediterranean coast of Algeria.V. on 8 November 1942. Madagascar.2. The defenders put up little resistance other than roadblocks. and a few other aircraft were shot-up on the ground. and a leisurely advance began accompanied by further seaborne 1andings.11. for the loss of four aircraft and two pilots. In fact the French resisted strongly at Oran and Casablanca. Spitfires from Gibraltar arrived over 'I'afaraoui airfield.A." . In r turn the Americana shot down. These striped aircraft of 3e Escadrille. taking off to intercept Royal Navy Albacore bombers. a thistle on a red and white pennant. a\\ 3 "F-ren. . A pilot 01 GC 11/8 with his Bloch M B 152. Throughout 1941 the backbone of the lighter force in Metropolitan France remained the Bloch MB 152. and other aircraft w re destroyed on the ground. plus a few Potez25s and other Hason aircraft were available.520s attacking and shooting down one of these. On 27 January 1942 Japanese fighters attacked three MS 406s over Hanoi and shot them down in the belief that they were A.A. 4. which had flown from England. It also carries the identity of the World War I unit from which the emblem is derived. Indeed it was the entry of Japan into the war in Decemb r 1941 which saw the next cause of action in the air.

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

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

Tunisia. Potez 63. Martin 167F No. in full Vichy recognition markings of the time.11 reconnaissance aircraft in North Africa in 1942.A line-up of Douglas DB-7s of GB 1/19 on EI Aouina airfield. Note the underwing machine gun mountings. late in 1.520 in the background.940. . and the 0. Navy fighters in November 1942.S. Bearing on its nose the star and crescent moon insignia of Escadrille 3B. The escadrille formed a part of Flotille 3F. which was almost totally wiped out on the ground by U. 12 leads a formation of five aircraft from this Aeronavale unit over Morocco.

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

A. bombers in night attacks on Axis targets throughout Tunisia. However. 36 new P-40Ls were supplied. with several losses. These activities continued until the end of the campaign. Meanwhile during February 1943 Groupemente Mixte No. these units' LeO 451s joining R. two pilots defected to Southern France.F.A. Tunisia. but giving them the benefit of the doubt. As the Groupe 'LaFayette'. joined at one stage by GB 1125's LeOs.520s on advanced training duties. 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. one escadrille of GC I/4 from Dakar also being re-equipped with the surplus now available.F.S. 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. claiming its first two victories here on 10 January.A. Algeria. distinctive of the new Arme'e de ]'Air with the Allies. in Morocco handed 25 P-40F Warbawks to GC U/5 in December. Wben it withdrew to rest in mid March it had lost 20 aircraft. 6 in action and 14 to other causes. as the final surrender came in mid May. F. but from January 1943 the unit redeemed itself. GT 1/15 and II/15 were also active. 33rd. and operated them on patrol duties over convoys moving through the Western Mediterranean for the invasions 01 Sicily and Italy. Several fighter groupes were initially re-equipped with these aircraft. II/23 and I/25 at Biskra. Fighter Group at Thelepte. which moved from Dakar to Algeria to re-equip. and suffering its first two losses next day. . The units were too late to take part in any more fighting over Tunisia. when ammunition had to be flown up to the front in substantial quantities in a hurry. the U. This is an aircraft of GC 1/ 4 'Navarre'.-style Desert camouflage of Sand and Stone..Spitfire 9s of GC 1/7 [RAF 328 Sq. coastal patrols were then flown until December 1943. These aircraft carried R.] are re-armed on a Corsican airfield during 1944.8 had been formed with GB 1/11.A. Before training was completed. the P-40s then being relegated to join the surviving Hawks and D. 51 .S. The aircraft has the fuselage roundel ringed by an outer circle of yellow. in early 1943 was the Bell P-39N Airacobra. it was attached to the U.A. but had claimed 7 victories.F.S. flying transport missions in support of the Allies.

moving to Algeria in JUDe of that year. French Naval flyingboats and floatplanes had joined R. GC 1I/3 apparently re-equipped for a brief period with Hawker Hurricane 2Cs. GC 11/3 operated these aircraft only briefly before converting to P-47s. At the same time GT I/34 was formed with 3 DB-7s and 3 Martin 167Fs for high speed communications and transport duties. attached to the U. the crews being sent to England to form two new Halifax heavy bomber units. several heavy German raids were made on Allied convoys in this area.F. going initially to GC 1/5 and II/5. Three further groupes were also equipped with B·26s.S. GC 1/7 shared patrol duties over the Mediterranean flying with an R. converted to P-47s from its Hurricanes. which subsequently also received a number of P-63 Kingcobras. Coastal Command units in patrolling the South Atlantic from their bases in Morocco and West Africa. It was soon joined by GC 11/3. GB 1/19 and I!32. Early in 1945 the Spitfire Escadrille of GR II/33 was re-equipped with F·6 Mustangs. and the French pilots were able to claim 9 in two days. subsequently the other escadrille re-equipped with Spitfire5s for tactical reconnaissance duties. 52 .A. while the F-5··equipped escadrille was expanded also. Supplied with a number of Sunderlands and Wellingtons by the British to supplement the remaining French aircraft. to form an Airacobra Escadre. while GC Ill/6 received Spitfires. and was then formed into a full groupe. In October it re-equipped with P-39s. beginning to operate autonomously. At the same time all three units began receiving numbers of improved Mark 8 and 9 Spitfires.ked with French rudder striping. the French units all moved steadily onto the soil of their homeland. with GC 1/5 and Ill/5. GB l/22 was converted to Martin B-26 Marauders in September 1943. Early in 1944 the unit joined those on Corsica to form a full French Spitfire Wing.F. This is possibly an alrcraft of the lormer unit. Corsica was now becoming a main Allied air base. Late in the war GC 1/9 and II/9 were reformed with P-39s. carried out on 15 August. all then moving to France to re-enter operations. operated them for a longer period. After initial operations over Italy. GB 1/11 and 1/23 were disbanded. GC 1/3 and II/7 then converting to them. but subsequently received P·47s. On 26 November GC 1/7 was able to intercept a force of Heinkel He 177 beavy bombers. but while the Spitfires flew bomber escorts and sweeps. GC I(3 and II/7 moving in at once to Ajaccio with their Two fighter groupes flew the British Hawker Hurricane."s 42nd Bombardment Wing. as were the two ex-DB-7 groupes. this unit now formed 3e Escadre de Chasse. A Dew GC lIT/3 had been formed in Syria on Hurricane 2Gs early in 1944. In November 1943 GR II/33 began exchanging the ME 174s of one of its escadrilles for Lockheed F -4 .520:s to replace its Hawks in the escadrille not equipped with P·40s. keeping the original groupe numbers. Meanwhile GC 1/4 and 1/5 also re-equipped with these aircraft. GC 1/4 initially got D. including 5 on 24th. Among the bomber units also.S. Spitfires to provide air cover.and F . and in June the two units ceased their attachment to the 57th.A. in Wester Algeria.1 were a1so made available. Meanwhile the 3 French B-26s groupes moved to Sardinia to become a part of the U. by which time it had moved to Algeria. claiming several German bombers shot down Over the Mediterranean. new equipment was forthcoming. later also undertaking bombing sorties. operating initially as a fighter-bomber unit.5 Lightnings. GC 1/7 (the old Syrian MS 406 groupe) being reformed on these. which during the Spring began flying sweeps and bomber escort missions over Italy.F. where they operated in support of the French and American armies in a tactical role throughout the rest of the war. becoming GR II33. In April the first of 165 Bell P·39N and Q Airacobras were supplied.A. Luftwaffe attacks were forthcoming. when 10 Do 217s attacked the harbour with glider bombs. Following the landings of Operation 'Dragoon'. mar.WITH THE ALLIES: 1940~1945 Considerable re-equipment of the French air Iorce by the Allies now began. During October and November 1943. and in May GC II/5 with its new P-47Ds moved there. from Reghaia. claiming 4 shot down and 5 damaged. 57th Fighter Group. the P-47s and B-26s were heavily involved in ground support from the start. Beaufighter unit. the main. Due to shortage of LeO 451 spares. and the following month to 1/3 and III/5. From November 1942 onwards. effort during the Summer of 1944 was turned on the South of France. Spitfire 5f. formed early in 1944 in Syria. joining the Wing subsequently. but no fuselage roundel. not changing to P-39s until October 1944. which was operating Marauders from that island. In September French forces played the major part in the occupation of the island of Corsica. but in June this unit also received P-39s. At the same time GC ITI/6 exchanged its Spitfires for P·47s. For the fighters combats were few and far-between. During August 1943 GC il/6 became the first French unit to begin conversion to P·47 Thunderbolts. they sank several U-Boats before the end of the war. Here GC 11/7 was able to claim an Fw 190 shot down on 14 June. the attacks coming from bases in the South of France. joining GO II/S and Il/5 in France. but GC 111/3. During Summer 1943 the Airacobras were active on coastal patrol and convoy escort duties.A.

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

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

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

in which unit the famous writer-pilot.F. 56 .A. Miles Martinet trainers were supplied by the R. A number of North American F-6 Mustangs were received during 1945 for photo-reconnaissance duties. The marking on the tail is the Savoie coat-of-arms. and these were supplied to GR 11/33 'Savoie'.. Antoine de St-Exupery served. and were used in training schools in Morocco during 1944. This is an F-S8 of OR 1/33.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.

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

which later became known as GC 1/18. they were replaced by Martin Baltimores. The Dauntlesses had come from Syria.156C Storchs and a few Potez 638. During the final weeks of the war the F. GR III/33 .F.L forces wer joined by the P-47s of the 3e Escadre and by bombers of the U. equipped with SBD-5s. From North Africa GCE 1/18 with Douglas Dauntless A-24 dive-bombers arrived during September. demobilized Armee de l'Air men and Resistance fighters set out to form units with what was available. the Naval version of the Dauntless. where GB l/17 'Picardie' had been formed earlier for policing duties with these aircraft. Numbers of D.B 1/34 were transferred to GB I!31. FORCES OF THE INTERIOR: September 1944-May 1945 Following the landings in the South of France. All these units then concentrated on attacking German garrisons Left trapped in the fortified Atlantic ports. 3B and 4B. a unit being formed under Marcel Doret.WITH THE ALLIES: 1940-1945 Still in its Luftwaffe camouflage. the Dauntlesses then formed a composite GC . several of the crews had flown dive-bombers in 1940. this repossessed 0. GC II/18. Escadrille 2S also arrived with Late' 298 Iloatplanes. With some of the 58 formed. the redesignated GT 1/34 with DB-7s. denying them to the Allies for as long as possible.I. M-167Fs and a single Bf 110.Dor.later GC 1/ 18 'Vendee'. the former unit returning to Africa to re-equip with B-26s. and began operations in October as Groupe F. a second escadrill later being formed when more of these aircraft were repossessed from the Luftwaffe.520s and some Spitfire 5s forming a new unit. An observation unit was also D.S. 16 serviceable Junkers J u 88A bombers were also collected together. subsequently becoming GB f/3l.520s. the aircraft being first used to strafe the retreating enemy during September. also arrived. These attacks were to be maintained for th rest of the war.F. first against German forces retreating trom Southern France.520 wa"sused by the Groupe Ooret . 1118. Later in the year two Naval escadrilles. and then against the garrisons still resisting in the Atlantic ports. and Martin 167Fs in Syria in 1941.520s were found after the German evacuation of Toulouse. with Fi. 8th Air Force in their attacks. During January 1945 the remaining aircraft of G. the rest of the D. as did GB I!34.

and subsequently taken over and used by the Armee' de l'Air. served with the F.520s.1. 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. used Potez 63s and captured Fieseler Fi 156C Storch aircraft. such as this one. GR 111/33'Perigord' of the F. which employed one escadrille of these aircraft.I. air force in GC 1/18.F.Carrying the same 'spotted' camouflage common to the repossessed D. . for reconnaissance duties.5205. dive-bombing the Atlantic garrisons.F. Douglas A-24B Dauntless dive-bombers. 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. Seen here in flight is a Junkers Ju 52/3m built in France during the war.

11/6and (one groupe in 7e (GC 117.622 NiD.510 of patrol floatplanes bombers.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. and dive-bombers. Escadres de Bombardement lie (GBlll1andII111) MB2l0 Toulouse 12e(GBI/12andll/1. Plus a number of escadrilles floatplanes .. torpedo-bomber A rare close-up of the side of an Aeronavale Martin 167 in early Vichy markings. 561 Escadrilles 562 571 Regional de Chasse NiD.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. 115. Bregue! 27.373 D..D. Qrle"ans Nancy Pau Hayak Nancy Lyon Slida Regional 0. 1I/2arro 3e {GC 1/3.2) MB210 Reims 15e (GBII15andIII15) F. 11/7 and (one groupe In Be (GC IIBand 11/8) 0.117.dII14) 5e (GCI/5andIl/5) 66 (GG 1/6.629. flyingboats.373 0.510 11I/2)MS406 111/3)MS406 Hawk75A Hawk75A 111/6) MS4-06 North Africa) 11117)MS 406 North Africa) 0.622 D.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.501.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 0.371 Lyon Maison-Blanche Oran Rabat Tunis Mo .APPENDIX I Order of Battle. rmelon 113.501 NiD. 11/3and 46 (GCI/4ao. Note the stencils lndlcatlnq the location of the Ii re extinguisher ["exUncteuJ next to the roundell and kick-plate ["marchepied. [Squadron I Signal Archive] 60 .510 Group Aerien Esc.622 572 573 574 NiD. 2 September Escadres de Chasse le(GCl/landllll) 2e (GC 112." under the arrow j" behind the wing traUing edge]_ Nole also the poor quality of French paint.S. badly chipped all along the top of the fuselage.

Patez 633 Morane 406 Hawk 75A Morane 406 ECMJ 1/16. or converting Remainder mainly with Mureaux types. Amiot 351-4 LeO 451 LeO 451 LeO 257bis LeO 451 Douglas OB-7 Bloch 210. 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.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.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. Patez 63.A.z Bloch Potez Bloch Potez Bloch Potez Potez Bloch 63.11.3 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.APPENDIX II Order of Battle.) 63. 10 May 1940 Groupes de Chasse 21 (Chanli. 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. Potez 633 691. 523 E7 Loire 70 E8 Potez-CAMS141 E9 Bizerle. 522. AERONAVALE Escadrilles de Chasse ACI Potez 631 AC2 Potez 631 AC3 Bloch 151 (AC 4 with 0. Potez 637 63. G ro upemenl GC 1/4 GC 111/2 GCIII/1 Groupemenl2.A.11 63.C.11 (Syria) 174. 302 E5 Breguet Bizerte E6 Late 521. Bloch 174. 693 691.) (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. to. Potez 63.11.11 s. 39 with. Potez 63.11 131 Groupes Aerien d'Observation About 60 escadri lies.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. 25 (Avie su ria Lys) Hawk 75A Morane 406 Morane 406 (ex 5 G.11 (ex 14 G.11. Potez 637 63. 61 . Potez 637 63. Bloch 131 63.11.11 131 63. Potez 637 63.5205 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 29.11.R. Potez 637 174.

152. Potez 63. She also carries standard White markings.APPENDIX III Vichy Metropolitan Air Force. S-Ueutenant Cassel. 152 151. 152 G811/25 G81131 GB 1138 GB 11/38 Groupes de Bombardement G8A 1/51 GBA 1/54 d'Assaut Breg us! 693. 695 LeO 451 LeO 451 Amiot 143 Amiot 143 cc u. wearing standard night bomber camouflage. 155 151.152 151. 152 151.11 Potez 63.11 A Farman 223 warming up her four engines. [Squadron I Signal Archive] . individual aircraft number and name [in 6'2 Ihis case. 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. 695 Breguet 693. Naming heavy bombers after famous individuals who lost their lives during the fighting of 1940 was normal Armee de l'Air practice. 152 151.11 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. Chocolate Brown with Natural Metal nacelles. Summer.

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 221.520 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. 8 November 1942 Morocco Groupes GCI15 de Chasse Hawk Hawk 75A.11 Groupes Aerien d'Observation GAOl1583 Potez 63.520 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.APPENDIX IV Armeede l'Airunits in Syria. 222 Potez 650.520 GB 1/19 GB 11{61 Douglas Douglas DB-7 DB·7 GCII/5 Aeronavale Flottille 1F 0.4BR Groupes GBI111 de Bombardement Potez 63.520 0.11 leO 451 63 .520 0. 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 Patez63.1E Flyingboats Algeria Groupes de Chasse GCII13 GCIII13 GC 11116 Groupe de Reconnaissance GR II/52 0.11 Late 298 Tunisia Groupe GCIII? de Chasse 0.11 APPENDIX V Arrnee de I'Ai rUn its inN orth Africa.520 Bloch 1?5 Aeronavale Esc. ?5A 0.

A. rest on Dewoitlne Hawk T5A Hawk 75A Morane 406. remainder on P-39s and P-47s. 327 F.O. DB-7. 17:7 on 0. Alracobra (also Alracobra (also e ment Marauder Marauder Marauder Marauder Marauder Marauder Marauder Halifax (R. Martin 167F Fi. 40:10 In 1940.25 June 1940 GC GC GC GC GC 1/5 1/3 11/4 85 confirmed.) Late 298 Consolidated PBY 1Lockheed Sunderland Consolidated PBV Late29B (with F. 0. 19:2 with Hurricanes in the Desert. R. R. Transport et Bombardement E. Spitfire 9 (R. 16 probables. 21: 8 witl1 M orane 406s and 14:3 with Hawk 75As in 1940. 48:22 in 1940. Mediterranean and South of France.A.APPENDIX VI Order of Battle. 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. 12:1 on Spitfires. 91 conf rmed. 64 .A.F. Potez 63 cc Russia F.A. Curtiss Hawk 7SA in France and Morocco.I. 87 confirmed. 73 confirmed.520 0.I. 22 probablas 40 confirmed. 25 orobables. Top scoring Groupes de Chasse. 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.A. 17 probables.156C. PV-1 French Units with 2nd Tactical Air Force.I. one of Ju 5213ms. 37 probables . A.F.nd Potez 29 G roupes deB 0 m bard G B 1/ 19 'Gascogne' GS 1132 'Bourgogne' GS 1!22'Maroc' .F. 7 on P-40Fs in Tunisia.I.1/42 Lo i re 130 and Potez 25 Potez 542 and Patez 25 Potez 25 and Potez 29 Potez 25a. and one of C-45s. 23 probables 48 contlrrrred. 9:1 on Hawk 75As on a November 1942. Mediterranean and South of' France. Spitfire 5 Ju BaA.F. 33:6 on Spitfires.520s on 8 November 1942. Mediterranean and South of France.1/595 E. 10 pro babies Curtiss 5:1 on Curtiss Curtiss 15:9 on Hawk 75A Morane 406.) Douglas SBO-5 (with F. 80 confirmed. 33: 4 witl1 Spitfires as 341 Squadron. P-39s and P·47s Mediterranean and South of France. rest on Dewoitine 520 11/5 11/7 520 b. 26 probacles 51 confirmed. 3 and 9. Yak i. Spitfire 9 (R. 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.A. F. 1943. 26 probables. 21 pro babies 48 confi rmed.O. 328 F. 29 probables. F. 67 confirmed. F. F.520.) Walrus Groupes de Reconnaissance GR 1133 'Beltort' Ligl1tning GRII/33 'Savoie' Mustang Plus one Escadre de Transport with two escadrllles of C-47 Dakotas. 326 SOme some Squadron) Squadron) Squadron) Klngcobras Kingcobras Regiment Normandie-Niemen arriving) arriving) Yak 3 Indo-China 11CB8 Esc. 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.) Late' 298 (with F. 51:21 in 1940. 2 September 1939 . 346 Squadron) Halifax (R. 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. Top scoring fighter units of the war.

BlOCh 152 No. 1942. Dark Earth and Dark Blue Grey with Light Blue Grey undersurfaces. Green. 772 of GC 1II/1. (SPA 48) Brcn. 1944. Norman d Ie-N lem en Yak 3 at GC3 "Normandia-Niemen". Lafayette Republic "Lafayette" metal. 181 of Aercnavats 3C3. Gloss Blue Grey overall. Natural metal with Black (Nair) nacelle. 606 of GC I/. Dark Earth (Terre Foncee) and Dark Blue Grey (GriS Bleu Fonce) with Light Blue Grey (Gris Bleu Clair) undersurfaces. of GC 1115 Overall natural . Green (Vert).~E"3C3 Dewoitine 501 No.6e Esc.. 1935. I P-47D (4-33397) Corsica. 1945.2e Esc. 1940. (SPA 124 + SPA 93). Russia. ~SPA93 ~SPA12' Morane-Saulnier 406 No.

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