80 years ago, on August 27, 1943, René Mouchotte descended into the sky. The Alsace Hunting Group then lost its commander and Free France, one of its most ardent defenders. A free Frenchman from the start, an experienced pilot, he was also a unit commander respected by all. Battle of Britain, Blitz, Dieppe,… he also participated in the creation of the GC Île de France and will go down in RAF history by becoming the first non-Commonwealth officer to command a Squadron.
From training to escape…
In 1939, reserve sergeant René Mouchotte was called up following growing tensions in Europe. The latter was then looking to fly on French Air Force fighters: H.75, MS.406, MB.150, D.520,… He will never have this opportunity because he will be assigned to the within the Salon-de-Provence Instructor Training School (Bouches-du-Rhône, France), then at the Aircrew NCO Training School in Avord (Cher, France) and finally, the hunting instruction center in Oran (Wilaya of Oran, Algeria) in May 1940. It was there that he learned of the armistice and clearly refused to lay down his arms; he must join the United Kingdom! However, in order to avoid such acts, planes are deregulated if they should not fly. Nevertheless, on June 30, 1940 at 04:30, eight diehards decided to fly a Caudron-Goéland and a Caudron-Simoun to get to Gibraltar:
- Charles Guérin pilots the Caudron-Goéland and René Mouchotte takes the place of the second pilot. Henri Lafont, Georges Heldt, André Sorret and Claude Raoul-Duval take their places at the back.
- François Fayolle and Jean-Hubet Stourm fly the Caudron-Simoun.