Paul Barbreau

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Paul Augustin Edouard Barbreau
Born 16 September 1894
Renault, Oran, Algeria
Died 2 June 1976(1976-06-02) (aged 81)
Marseilles, France
Allegiance France
Service/branch Aviation
Rank Sous lieutenant
Unit Escadrille 154, Escadrille 164
Awards Legion d'honneur, Medaille Militaire, Croix de Guerre with four Palmes, an Etoile de vermeil, an Etoile d'argent, and an Etoile de bronze

Sous lieutenant Paul Augustin Edouard Barbreau was an Algerian-born French World War I flying ace credited with eight aerial victories.

Early life[edit]

Paul Augustin Edouard Barbreau was born in Renault, Oran, Algeria on 16 September 1894.[1] He joined the French Army on his twentieth birthday, 16 September 1914. His initial assignment was as a Soldat de 2e Classe in the 5th Regiment de Chasseurs d'Afrique. He was promoted to the rank of enlisted Brigadier in November 1914, and to Maréchal-des-logis on 6 February 1915.[2]

World War I aviation service[edit]

Barbreau transferred to aviation in April 1917, reporting to Amberieu for pilot's training. On 14 May, he received Military Pilot's Brevet number 6406. On 1 June, he passed on to Avord for advanced training. After polishing his skills at Pau and Cazaux, he was posted to a Nieuport squadron, Escadrille N154, on 1 October 1917.[3]

The squadron eventually upgraded its equipment to Spad VII fighters, and subsequently changed its name to Escadrille Spa154. The change fostered Barbreau's success, as he became a balloon buster, destroying eight of the gasbags between 2 June and 8 August 1918. His victories brought him the Medaille Militaire and a temporary commission as an officer. He was transferred to Escadrille 164 on 8 August 1918.[4]

Although his heroics ended at the ceasefire on 11 November 1918, he would not be awarded the resulting decoration of the Legion d'honneur until 6 July 1919. The accompanying citation would mention victories over five enemy airplanes, but there is no individual listing or confirmation of these victories.[5]

List of aerial victories[edit]

See also Aerial victory standards of World War I

Paul Barbreau is believed to have flown some version of the Spad to score his aerial victories.[6]

No. Date/time Foe Result Location Notes
1 2 June 1918 German Observation balloon Destroyed Igny l'Abbesse Victory shared with Paul Waddington
2 5 June 1918 @ 1800 hours German observation balloon Destroyed Trigny, France Victory shared with Louis Prosper Gros, Paul Waddington
3 30 June 1918 @ 0650 hours German observation balloon Destroyed Beuvardes, France Victory shared with Michel Coiffard, Jacques Ehrlich
4 17 July 1918 @ 0845 hours German observation balloon Destroyed Beine, France Victory shared with Paul Waddington
5 18 July 1918 @ 1915 hours German observation balloon Destroyed Forêt-de-Ris Shared victory
6 1 August 1918 @ 1740 hours German observation balloon Destroyed Caurel, France Victory shared with Paul Waddington and another French pilot
7 3 August 1918 @ 1935 hours German observation balloon Destroyed North of Somme-Py, France Victory shared with Michel Coiffard
8 3 August 1918 @ 1937 hours German observation balloon Destroyed North of Somme-Py, France Victory shared with Michel Coiffard[7]

Post World War I[edit]

On 27 May 1922, Paul Barbreau arrived in New York harbor from Marseilles, France aboard the SS France.[8]

Nothing more is known of his life, except that he died in Marseilles on 2 June 1976.[9]

References[edit]

Endnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Over the Front, p. 116
  2. ^ http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/france/barbreau.php Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  3. ^ Over the Front, p. 116. Note: When a French squadron upgraded its equipment, it eventually changed its unit designation to reflect the new equipment. Thus, Barbreau may, or may not, have originally flown Nieuports.
  4. ^ Over the Front, p. 116.
  5. ^ Over the Front, p. 116.
  6. ^ Spad VII Aces, p. 37; Spad XII/XIII Aces, p. 60.
  7. ^ Over the Front, p. 116.
  8. ^ http://www.ellisisland.org/search/FormatPassRec.asp?ID=604453060086&BN=P50445-3&sship=France&lineshipid=320 Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  9. ^ http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/france/barbreau.php Retrieved 23 October 2011.