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Old 29th March 2005, 02:59
Six Nifty .50s Six Nifty .50s is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 246
Six Nifty .50s
Re: Fighter pilots' guts

Regarding the courage of French pilots, I don't know why you are fixated on the opinion of Peter Townsend. No. 91 'Nigeria' Squadron had several French pilots, including Jean Maridor. Some comments from Peter Hall's unit history:

February 14th 1942 "...Plt Off J P Maridor, Free French, joined No 91 Sqn from 615 Sqn. A native of LeHavre, he had gained his civilian pilot's licence at the age of 16, and when France fell he escaped to England in a fishing boat and joined the RAF. After months of trying, Maridor was overjoyed with his assignment to No 91 Sqn, for he considered that a posting to this unit offered him the best chance of attacking the Germans! The French contingent was further enlarged on the 20th when Plt Offs J Lambert and H J M de Molenes followed Maridor from 615 Sqn...

August 3rd 1944 "...poor weather continued until 2 August, but improved again the next day as Flt Lt Jean Maridor and Section Officer Jean Lambourn were finalising their wedding plans. The Frenchman was still flying operationally, though, and at 1245 hrs he intercepted a 'Diver' over Rolvenden, in Kent. He fired a burst at it, but the V1 did not explode. Instead it glided down towards Benenden School, which at that time housed a large military hospital. Maridor dived down after it, and, at very close range, he opened fire again. The 'Diver' exploded, preventing what would have been an enormous loss of life, but the blast blew off the Spitfire's wing. The aircraft (RM656) fell beside a lake in the grounds of the school, and 'Mari' as he was known in the squadron, was killed -- eight days before he was due to be married. The action was witnessed by many people on the ground, and it was their opinion that Maridor had deliberately fired again, knowing that he stood little or no chance of surviving..."

It was noted that Jean Maridor was much admired by all who knew him. He was credited with four German planes and eleven V1 bombs destroyed.

Last edited by Six Nifty .50s; 29th March 2005 at 03:10.