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Marcel Albert: Wikis

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Marcel Albert (born November 25, 1917) was a noted French World War II pilot.

Contents

Background

Albert was born in Paris on 25 November 1917 from a working-class family. He became a mechanic, building gearboxes for Renault, and was accepted for pilot training in the French Armée de l'Air in May 1938. After primary and advanced training, he was posted at the fighter training center in Chartres, where he flew Bloch 152, Morane-Saulnier MS.406 and Hawk 75 fighters.

World War II

In February 1940, he was assigned to Groupe de Chasse I/3, a unit operating France's top fighter, the Dewoitine D.520. When German troops invaded France in May 1940, his squadron was redeployed to Reims airfield. On May 14, Albert shot down a Do 17 bomber and later that day, a Messerschmitt Me 109 fighter, although this victory was not confirmed. He also earned a probable victory over a Heinkel He 111 bomber before the armistice.

Under the Vichy government, his squadron was redeployed to Algeria where Albert flew a few missions against the British forces in Gibraltar. On October 14 he and two other pilots defected and surrendered their airplanes to the British.

Having reached England, Albert joined the RAF and flew 47 missions in Spitfires with 340 Squadron.

In late 1942, Albert joined the Normandie fighter group, a Free French fighter unit that was being sent to the Soviet Union to help fight the Germans. Normandie entered the fight in April 1943, flying Russian-built Yak-1 fighters, and later Yak-9.

Albert quickly proved to be one of Normandie's best pilots. His first kill was over a Focke-Wulf Fw 189 on 16 June 1943. In July he claimed 3 more, Albert took command of the 1st escadrille on 4 September 1943. During the offensive against Eastern Prussia in October 1944, he scored 7 victories. Albert was named Hero of the Soviet Union on 28 November 1944.

His score totalled 23 victories in 262 combat missions, making him the second highest-scoring French ace of World War II. On November 27, 1944 he was awarded the Soviet Union's highest decoration, the Gold Star and title of "Hero of the Soviet Union" - a reward almost never given to foreigners.[1]

Postwar

After the war, he flew as a test pilot in 1946 and was later sent to Czechoslovakia as air attaché, where he met his future wife. In 1948, he left the military and moved to the United States with his wife.

Awards

List of credited aerial victories

Aerial Victories
Plane shot down date Unit Plane flown Location
Do 17 14 May 1940 GC 1/3 D.520 North of Suippes (France)
Fw 189 16 June 1943 Normandie Yak-1 Brusna-Mekovaïa (USSR)
Me 110 14 July 1943 Normandie Yak-9 Jagodnaja (USSR)
Fw 190 17 July 1943 Normandie Yak-9 Jagodnaja-Krasnikovo(USSR)
Fw 190 17 July 1943 Normandie Yak-9 Beloto-Orel (USSR)
Ju 88 19 July 1943 Normandie Yak-9 Krasnikovo (USSR)
Ju 87 31 August 1943 Normandie Yak-9 Yelnia (USSR)
Fw 190 1 September 1943 Normandie Yak-9 Yelnia (USSR)
Fw 190 17 September 1943 Normandie Yak-9 10 km W of Yelnia (USSR)
Fw 190 22 September 1943 Normandie Yak-9 30 km SE of Smolensk (USSR)
Hs 126 4 October 1943 Normandie Yak-9 Krasnoe (USSR)
Fw 190 12 October 1943 Normandie Yak-9 Gorki (USSR)
Ju 88 15 October 1943 Normandie Yak-9 10 km N of Gorki (USSR)
Fw 190 15 October 1943 Normandie Yak-9 7 km N of Gorki (USSR)
Fw 190 15 October 1943 Normandie Yak-9 7 km N of Gorki(USSR)
Ju 87 16 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 Pillupönen (Eastern Germany)
Ju 87 16 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 Pillupönen (Eastern Germany)
Fw 190 16 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 SE of Stallupönen(Eastern Germany)
Hs 129 18 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 S of Stallupönen (Eastern Germany)
Hs 129 18 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 S of Stallupönen (Eastern Germany)
Fw 190 18 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 Stallupönen (Eastern Germany)
Me 109 23 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 8 km S of Stallupönen (Eastern Germany)
Me 109 26 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 SE of Stallupönen (Eastern Germany)

References

  1. ^ (Russian)Biography at the website on Heroes of the Soviet Union and Russia

External links

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