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Old 5th March 2007, 16:20
robert robert is offline
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11.05.40 Potez No.163, 774 and LeO451`s

Hi,

I`m lookinf for details of following losses suffered by French Air Forces on the 11.05.40:
- LeO 451 No.63 GBI/12 Flak damaged - I`m interested if this plane emergency-landed? Perhaps somebody have details of its crew?
- LeO 451 No.45 GBII/12 Flak damaged - same as above
- LeO 451 No.46 GBII/12 - I`m looking for crew members (3xKIA and WIA)
- Potez 63.11 GRII/52 No.163 - s/d by Flak I`m looking for time of this loss and its crew (2xWIA)
- Potez 63.11 GAO 1/551 No.774 - damaged in combat - I`m looking for details such like a place, time and opponent.

TIA

Regards

Robert
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Old 5th March 2007, 22:26
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: 11.05.40 Potez No.163, 774 and LeO451`s

On 11 May 1940 the first war mission of French "Groupement de Bombardement n° 6" was flown by 12 LeO 451 (6 each of GB I/12 and GB II/12) was flown against the bridges taken by the Germans at Maastricht and took off around 16h00 according to Martin's book. Gillet reported that the bombers flew at 18h07 over Maubeuge, from where the escort (12 Morane 406 of GC II/6 and 6 of GC III/3) joined them. Martin describes the whiole action around 16h30-17h, Gillet two hours later...

The flight was uneventful until they reached Tongres area where they were attacked out of the sun by a dozen Bf 109 of I./JG 1. The German fighters claimed a LeO 451 and 3 Morane 406 but apparently fired from too far away on the bombers that were not hit and continued while the escort battled the Bf 109 until 19h10. Only one Morane was lost, the adjudant Lucien Leclerc of GC II/6 being killed aboard the Morane n° 67 between Tongres and Warne. By the way the French pilots claimed two Bf 109 shot down and two probable, while the only loss during the day of I./JG 1 was an aircraft destroyed at 70% after a force-landing "due to lack of fuel". It may have been a real operational loss or an aircraft damaged by the French Morane or by Belgian fighters in another battle the same day (time of the German loss is unknown).

The French bombers having escaped the air battle without loss were not so happy over the target and met heavy Flak. The n° 46 was shot down near the Tongres-Maastricht road, between St Trond and Oreye, near the "café des Essart", at Grandville. The radio, adjudant Natta, bailed out and was captured, wounded. The pilot, sous-lieutenant Réné Morel, was badly burned and was taken care of in a nearby house by a civilian, Mr Gilles. He was blind and in terrible pain, but still optimistic about his survival. The Germans authorized Natta to see him some minutes then took them each his way. Morel was taken to the military hospital of Maastricht and suffered terribly until his death on the 28th of May.
The two other crew, sous-lieutenant Lucien Jacquet (aircraft commander) and adjudant-chef Jean Moquelet (gunner) were both killed. Moquelet baled out but his chute didn't open.

The two other bombers you list were both badly damaged by Flak. Two crew of the n° 63 of GB I/12, lieutenant Grandrémy (aircraft commander) and sergent-chef Ritz (gunner) bailed out and were captured, but the pilot, adjudant Chamaud, managed to reach the French airfield of Soissons. The aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
The n° 45 of GB II/12 was also hit by Flak and his undercarriage was damaged. It was damaged beyond repair while crash-landing on Persan-Beaumont airfield but the crew (sergent-chef Vasseur (pilot), lieutenant Ponsin (aircraft commander) and two unknown men) was unhurt.


The Potez 63.11 n°163 of GR II/52 was hit by fire from automatic weapons during a recon on the Marche-Vielsam-Houffalize-Rochefort, time unknown. Two crew, sous-lieutenant Colin (observer) and segrent-chef Millet (gunner) were wounded. The pilot, sergent-chef Martin, landed the heavily damaged Potez on its belly at La Maison Rouge, 10 km north of Vouziers (Ardennes) near an hospital as the wounds of the observer were really serious. The aircraft was considered as destroyed (given the damage and location that was probably overun by Germans some days later).

For the Potez 63.11 N° 774 of GAO 1/551 there is no time or place, just "after several attacks by Bf 109, the damaged aircraft crashed on landing and was damaged beyond repair. The crew (Capitaine Riesser (pilot), Lt Lenclud (observer) and Sgt Lombard (gunner)) was unhurt.

Usual sources: Martin's "Ils étaient là" and Gillet's "Les victoires de l'Armée de l'Air française"
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Old 5th March 2007, 22:31
robert robert is offline
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Re: 11.05.40 Potez No.163, 774 and LeO451`s

Hi Laurent,

thanks. I don`t have a book of Martin so I must ask about some details.


Regards

Robert
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