View Full Version : RAF award to French officer

7th August 2008, 23:39
Many years ago, looking for information on French awards to RCAF personnel, I found the following at Kew in Air 2/9141 (which was supposedly about that topic, although in this case it involved an award going the other day).

FEUVRIER, Charles Valere, Captain (30082, French Air Force) - No.7 Service Flying Training School - Air Force Cross - Reported as having been approved on 30 August 1946 (Public Record Office Air 2/9141).

"This officer, who is now French Liaison Officer, has been associated with the Royal Air Force since June 1940, when he joined the Free French Air Force and was trained by the Royal Air Force. In addition to an operational tour with 2nd Tactical Air Force, he has also done duty as a Staff Pilot and Ferry Pilot, Middle East. He has set an outstanding example of devotion to duty and loyalty and his exceptional enthusiasm has had a marked effect on the success of the unit."

More recently, material suppled by Steve Brew (Air 2/9117) indicates that this award was first proposed about the summer of 1945, the officer having flown 1,136 hours, 154 on instructional duties and 116 in previous six months. Had it been to a British or Commonwealth national, it would have been gazetted in September 1945, but at least we know that it was approved (presumably by French authorities) and on a specific date.

Air 2/9117 has another recommendation for an AFC to a further French officer, as follows:

PINOT, Edouard, Commandant (30071, French Air Force) - No.6 Elementary Flying Training School - Public Record Office Air 2.9117 (courtesy of Steve Brew) has recommendation for an Air Force Cross drafted at the time that September 1945 lists were being prepared; he was noted as having flown 7,000 hours, 2,300 on instructional duties, 200 in previous six months.

"This officer is a Flying Instructor and is also Senior French Officer at his unit. He escaped to this country after the fall of France in 1940, together with the pupils from the French Flying School at which he was Chief Instructor. He is a pilot and instructor of great experience and ability. A strong disciplinarian, he has helped to maintain an excellent spirit between French and British personnel at his station. He has carried out most valuable work over a very long period."

It is not clear if or when this was approved, and if so, if was cleared at the same time as Captain Feuvrier's decoration. The answer may lie in Air 2/9141 but it may equally be in Air 2/9618 or Air 2/10444. My question - has anyone consulted these files in seeking information on Free French officers ?