Marcel Albert

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Marcel Albert
Marcel Albert.jpg
Born 25 November 1917
Died 23 August 2010(2010-08-23) (aged 92)
Allegiance  France
Awards Order of Lenin

Marcel Albert (November 25, 1917 – August 23, 2010) was a French World War II flying ace who flew for the air forces of the Vichy government and the Free French forces, and also for the Royal Air Force. He was born in Paris.

Background[edit]

Albert grew up in 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.[1]

World War II[edit]

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 the 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 (including 15 shared) [1] in 262 combat missions, making him the second highest-scoring French ace of World War II. On 27 November 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.[2][3]

Postwar[edit]

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, and lived in Chipley Florida then his last two years Harlingen, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley.[4] Albert died there on August 23, 2010.[5]

Awards[edit]

List of credited aerial victories[edit]

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)
Bf 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 Yelnya (USSR)
Fw 190 1 September 1943 Normandie Yak-9 Yelnya (USSR)
Fw 190 17 September 1943 Normandie Yak-9 10 km W of Yelnya (USSR)
Fw 190 22 September 1943 Normandie Yak-9 30 km SE of Smolensk (USSR)
Hs 126 4 October 1943 Normandie Yak-9 Krasnoe[disambiguation needed] (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[disambiguation needed] (East Prussia)
Ju 87 16 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 Pillupönen[disambiguation needed] (East Prussia)
Fw 190 16 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 SE of Stallupönen (East Prussia)
Hs 129 18 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 S of Stallupönen (East Prussia)
Hs 129 18 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 S of Stallupönen (East Prussia)
Fw 190 18 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 Stallupönen (East Prussia)
Bf 109 23 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 8 km S of Stallupönen (East Prussia)
Bf 109 26 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 SE of Stallupönen (East Prussia)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://aerostories.free.fr/pil_cha_fr/albert/page2.html
  2. ^ (Russian)Biography at the website on Heroes of the Soviet Union and Russia
  3. ^ http://www.aviationartstore.com/albert_2.htm
  4. ^ http://www.acapitolblog.com/2009/11/valley-resident-marcel-albert-is-french.html
  5. ^ http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5iX5ZLvSJZid9AkfL9fmiwSD2hVFQ
  6. ^ DEFM1008929D
  7. ^ http://www.ordredelaliberation.fr/fr_compagnon/8.html
  8. ^ a b c http://www.warheroes.ru/hero/hero.asp?Hero_id=1648

External links[edit]