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Old 11th March 2019, 21:12
keith A keith A is offline
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"Topic" mission and Romain Gary

Can anyone give me details of this French-Polish-Russian authors service? He was a Sergent in the pre-war air force, as an aircrew instructor. He fled North Africa in 1940? His later service with 342 Squadron (Lorraine) is sort of documented (26 missions 1943-44) although whether he was a pilot or aircrew depends on which source you read...

regards

Keith
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Old 11th March 2019, 23:18
kaki3152 kaki3152 is offline
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Re: "Topic" mission and Romain Gary

From Romain Gary himself: Promise at Dawn", it is clear that he was aircrew but not a pilot. He served as the navigator/bombardier.
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Old 12th March 2019, 02:55
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: "Topic" mission and Romain Gary

The following website gives details of Romain Gary's WW2 service and life outside WW2. It is in French, but Google translates it correctly in English.
https://www.ordredelaliberation.fr/f...75/romain-gary

It confirms that he was part of the Topic bombing group, one of the first Free French air units, when he went to Africa in fall 1940, but gives no detail if and when he flew in operations.
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Old 12th March 2019, 08:20
Bertrand H Bertrand H is offline
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Re: "Topic" mission and Romain Gary

Hi,

The French Service Historique de la Défense put on its website the records of service of Romain Gary.

There are 14 good archives here :

http://www.servicehistorique.sga.def...nt/romain-gary

HTH

Bertrand
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Old 12th March 2019, 08:53
keith A keith A is offline
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Re: "Topic" mission and Romain Gary

Many thanks chaps
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Old 12th March 2019, 10:51
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: "Topic" mission and Romain Gary

Very interesting link, Bertrand, thanks a lot

From the "états de service", it seems that Gary was in transit when the French Blenheims attacked Kufra in early February 1941, so he did not take part in these operations.

He was a member of GB n°1 from October 1941 to 11 December 1941 but apparently did not fly bombing missions here either, as his citation of 3 April 1944 only counts 3 coastal survey missions (during which he attacked an Axis submarine) and 12 bombing missions on the Western Front. If he had flown bombing missions over Egypt/Lybia, it will surely be included here.
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Old 13th March 2019, 10:19
keith A keith A is offline
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Re: "Topic" mission and Romain Gary

This is very interesting. I know he wrote his first novel while on active service 1943-33, and that his memoirs are studded with "tales" of doubtful veracity, including being involved in a plot to murder his first commanding officer (Cne Cheveniere?)in FAFL. A fascinating character
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