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  #1  
Old 10th July 2018, 17:47
uhebeisen uhebeisen is offline
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P-39Q French Airacobra crashed in Switzerland July 1945

hello
I was redirected from the WW2aircraftnet forum because maybe I could get better support here. So let's start:

I am looking for information about two P-39 Q that were lost in Switzerland short after WWII has ended. These two Airacobras were flying along the river Rhein on a low level flight on 16. July 1945 (cloudy, bad weather) from (probably) Basel towards the lake of Constance. Near Eglisau they crashed into the hill (Irchel). There has been a story about this accident in the Swiss Newspaper "Tagesanzeiger" in December 2017.

Can anybody give more information about these two aircrafts (escadrilles, colors, armament). The names of the pilots are known as Sgt Francois de Laurens Castelet and Louis Francois Delvolvé they were both killed in the accident. Getting in contact with a Swiss hisotrian I know that one P-39 did have the number 43914 and it had a four blade propeller. Therefore I assume that they were P-39Q versions.

I would like to know as much as possible about these two aircrafts, maybe I will then build them in scale 1:72 as models. It would also be very interesting to know where these Airacobras were come from and what their mission was.
Maybe they were on a routine flight from France to the french occupation zone in southern Germany. According to the sparse information I currently have they could belong to GC II/9 "Auvergne".
I am more familiar with German or English reports about losses and sorties but I assume that these kind of information would also be kept for the French aircraft and their pilots somewhere.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
Ueli
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Old 11th July 2018, 10:53
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: P-39Q French Airacobra crashed in Switzerland July 1945

Ueli

The two aircraft are not included in a published list of accidents etc between 8 May to 31 Dec 1945 published by Service Historique de la Défense.

Quite odd indeed with so much information known.

Hope someone else can help you with this one.

Cheers
Stig
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Old 11th July 2018, 11:56
jschreiber jschreiber is offline
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Re: P-39Q French Airacobra crashed in Switzerland July 1945

Grüss Gott Ueli


Those two pilots belonged to the GC II/9 Auvergne.


You will find memorial informations for Louis Delvolve here :


http://www.memorialgenweb.org/mobile...0&hauteur=1050


I've found nothing yet for François de Laurens, but don't despair


J Schreiber
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Old 11th July 2018, 13:11
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: P-39Q French Airacobra crashed in Switzerland July 1945

A little article on page 2 in the newspaper Nouvelliste Valaisan (26 Jul 1945) about the memorial services here: http://doc.rero.ch/record/187760/files/1945-07-26.pdf

Remains were repatriated to France.

Regards,

Leendert
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Old 11th July 2018, 13:37
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: P-39Q French Airacobra crashed in Switzerland July 1945

And on page 1 here (http://doc.rero.ch/record/97408/files/1945-07-27.pdf) a picture of the memorial service.

Regards,

Leendert
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Old 12th July 2018, 13:04
jschreiber jschreiber is offline
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Re: P-39Q French Airacobra crashed in Switzerland July 1945

Hallo Ueli


Another press article (Journal de Geneve, 25th July 1945) - see attachment,

I oppened a thread on the French side ( http://www.aerostories.org/~aeroforu...p?nummsg=76640 ), and Francois de Laurens Castelet was born in Benquet (dpt of Landes) the 19th March 1920. You will find a photo of Francois de Laurens here : http://www.aerostories.org/~aeroforu...p?nummsg=76641


Have you checked at the Kantonspolizei or where their papers are archived ? Knowing Swiss Gründlichkeit, something should exist.

Due to the number of people involved at the ceremonies, it's obvious : an accident report is (or was) somewhere in the French archives (Service historique de la Défense, Vincennes). But access is now complicated for everyone not living nearby.

Regards

J Schreiber
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Old 12th July 2018, 13:07
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: P-39Q French Airacobra crashed in Switzerland July 1945

François de Laurens-Castelet, born 19 March 1920 at Benquet (Landes), son of Count Joseph de Laurens-Castelet and Christine de Poyferré de Cère.

Regards,

Leendert
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  #8  
Old 12th July 2018, 18:44
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Rainer Rainer is offline
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Re: P-39Q French Airacobra crashed in Switzerland July 1945

Hallo Ueli

Have you tried to obtain copies of the documents held by the Swiss Federal Archives about this incident? They can be found with this reference: https://www.swiss-archives.ch/detail.aspx?ID=1751394
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  #9  
Old 12th July 2018, 19:59
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: P-39Q French Airacobra crashed in Switzerland July 1945

Interestingly, the article in the 'Tagesanzeiger' in first post mentions another French air crash in same vicinity in 1947.


May have been Charles Leroy on 12 March 1947 in Spitfire HF IX (PT844) near Rheinsberg bei Eglisau.


Regards,


Leendert
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