Gilbert Sardier

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Jean Marie Luc Gilbert Sardier
Gilbert Sardier.JPG
Born 5 May 1897
Riom, France
Died 7 October 1976(1976-10-07) (aged 79)
Clermont-Ferrand, France
Allegiance France
Service/branch Aviation
Rank Lieutenant
Unit No. 77 Escadrille, No. 48 Escadrille
Commands held No. 48 Escadrille
Awards Légion d'honneur, Médaille militaire, Croix de Guerre, American Distinguished Service Cross, British Military Medal

Lieutenant Jean Marie Luc Gilbert Sardier was a World War I flying ace credited with 15 aerial victories.[1] He remained active in aviation following World War I. During World War II, he was deeply involved in a veterans organization that collaborated with the occupying Nazis.

Service in World War I[edit]

His victory list began on 7 November 1916, as a member of the "Les Sportifs" of Escadrille 77, and nearly ran to war's end. During this long run, he teamed with several other aces in scoring, including fellow aces Maurice Boyau, Laurent B. Ruamps, Francis Guerrier, and Marcel Haegelen. He was a balloon buster, with five observation Drachen among his 15 triumphs.[2]

Interwar period[edit]

Sardier remained in aviation after war's end. He joined with Louis Chartoire to establish the Aero-Club d'Auvergne on 8 May 1920.[3] In August 1922, he flew his triplane glider at a convention of experimental gliders that took place near his home.[4] President of the club, he attended a Marseille-based national convention of aero clubs on 16 and 17 September 1932.[5] One of the first French flying clubs, it still exists today.[6]

World War II activities[edit]

During World War II, Sardier was head of the Clermont-Ferrand branch of Legion Française de Combattants, a veterans group founded on 30 August 1940. From its original role as a veterans aid society, the Legion slid into the role of siding with the Vichy Government installed by the occupying German Nazis. Although records are lacking, it seems that Sardier was one of the Legion officials who denounced fellow French citizens who espoused left wing political views. Despite this, the occupying Germans not only would not share information about French citizens detained; they evicted Sardier from his home and housed a German colonel there.[7]

Honors and awards[edit]

Distinguished Service Cross

Awarded for actions during World War I

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to First Lieutenant of Air Service Gilbert J. M. L. Sardier, French Air Service, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving as Pilot, French Air Service, near Mesnil-St. Firmin, France, 15 May 1918, and north of Château-Thierry, France, 4 June 1918. On May 15 Lieutenant Sardier, while a member on a patrol, left his unit and alone attacked and destroyed two enemy planes (single seaters). On 4 June while under American command, he attacked and burned two enemy balloons. On 14 September near St. Mihiel, he attacked two enemy balloons and drove off an enemy biplane. This action took place while serving under American command.

Service: French Air Service

Rank: First Lieutenant of Air Service

War Department, General Orders No. 53 (1920)[8]

Sources of information[edit]

References[edit]

Choices in Vichy France: the French under Nazi occupation. John F. Sweets. Oxford University Press, 1994. ISBN 0-19-509052-7, ISBN 978-0-19-509052-9.