Jean Accart

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Jean Accart (born in Fécamp on 7 April 1912, died in La Gaude on 19 August 1992) was a French flying ace during World War II.[1]

Born in April 1912, Accart began his military career joining the French Navy in 1932.He then volunteered for aircrew in Naval Aviation becoming an observer, before training as a pilot and serving with Escadrille 3S1.

In 1936, the escadrille was transferred to the French Air Force and Accart became commandant of Escadrille GC 1/5 who would claim 71 victories during the Battle Of France, losing only one pilot to enemy fire. He personally shared in the destruction of at least 12 Luftwaffe bombers during the Battle. On 1 June 1940, while intercepting a group of Luftwaffe bombers, Accart was hit by return fire, a bullet penetrating the windscreen of his fighter and lodged into his skull. Accart managed to parachute to safety.

While recovering he wrote "Chasseurs du Ciel" ('Hunter in the Sky'), an account of his wartime actions. After recuperating he was posted to the Southern region air defense Headquarters. In November 1941 he attended the Air Academy in Salon de Provence.

Released from military duty in November 1942, he journeyed to Spain with several students, before arriving in North Africa after the Allied liberation. He joined the Free French forces and was given command of GC 2/2 in January 1944. He left in October 1944 to attend Staff School at Fort Leavenworth in the USA. Assigned to the French department of aerial studies and planning, he became the inspector general of the French Air Force just before the end of the war.

Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, he became cabinet chief of the French Air Force headquarters in December 1947, and then Deputy Director of the flight test centre in Brétigny during March 1948.

In July 1951, he was made inspector of the fighter arm, and in September became CO of Air Base 112 in Reims. He became second in command of the Etat-Major de l'Armée de l'Air (EMAA) four years later. In November 1960 he was nominated as the commandant of the first Tactical Air Command (CATAC) and French Air Force in Germany (FAFA), and promoted to Major General in January 1961. He retired as a Lieutenant General as inspector of armament fabrication program In March 1965.

Jean Marie Accart died on 19 August 1992.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ketley, Barry (1999). French Aces of World War 2. Osprey Publishing. pp. 69–70. ISBN 978-1-85532-898-3.