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Lorraine Squadron

Lorraine Squadron

Ref: 5055

In stock

Price: 9.00

sadly, flyingbooks is now closed.

{detailed description}The Lorraine Squadron was made up of Frenchmen from all quarters of the earth. In its ranks, all the provinces of France were represented, but many of the air and ground crews had never even seen France. They came from Tahiti, South America and North Africa, from Shanghai, Hollywood, Port Said, from German concentration camps and Spanish prisons. This book is the story of the Lorraine Squadron from its inception at Fort Lamy in Equatorial Africa, where a handful of French pilots determined to fight on for their defeated country, until the squadron's victorious return to France to take over the ex-German base at Vitry-en-Artois.
Known in their earliest days as the "Free French Flight", and equipped by the R.A.F. with twin-engine Blenheim bombers, they began operations from Khartoum, flying 400-mile sorties over the Abyssinian mountains to bomb Italian concentrations. Without oxygen masks they flew between 12,000 and 15,000 feet at temperatures ranging from 110° on the ground to freezing point in the air. In those days of Mussolini's African empire all planes were presumed by the natives to be Italian and the air crews' most important piece of equipment was the passport which carried in large letters the request "Don't cut them off", to protect them from tribesmen in the event of forced landings. Later the squadron was turned to continuous attacks on the Nazi fortress of Halfaya and kept up such a prolonged series of sorties that it earned the nickname of The Cyrenaica Rapid Transport Company'.
Eventually came the move to England where the squadron became an integral part of the R.A.F. and, after operational training at West Raynham and Sculthorpe (Norfolk), finally settled down at Hartford Bridge. From Hartford they bombed the V1 launching sites, pounded German communications, laid the sea-level smoke screen which protected the American Navy in the Channel on D-day and, finally, hounded Hitler's panzers in their own homeland.
Their return to France was, as can be imagined, the highlight of their war. As a convoy of 200 lorries raced along the Flanders road, carrying the squadron equipment from the Belgian beaches, British Military Police were stung into action: "What d'you think you're doing? This isn't the Tour de France." And the planes circling overhead at Hartford awaiting instructions from the control tower heard an English Waaf's voice, "Maximus calling-Maximus calling. Et dites bonjour a la belle France", before they thundered across the airfield at flagpole height en route, at last, for their French base.

Previously published in France as "Videz vos Poches" (Empty Your Pockets)
{Author / Publisher / Date}by Paul Lambermont
published by Cassell 1956 1st English edn. 196pp illustrated 14x20
{condition}good inc. d/j
{delivery info}
The following tables show the shipping costs for this book only.
Multiple purchases will have their costs calculated at the checkout, where the delivery method may also be selected.
Please refer to terms and conditions for further information regarding weight limits, delivery times etc.
first class (1-2 days)4.75
second class (2-3 days)4.25

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