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French fighter pilots 1939-1945.

Maurice de Seynes

by Christian-Jacques Ehrengardt
Philippe Listemann
Pierre-André Tilley

Translation: Michel  Léveillard


On the 15th of July 1944, the group "Normandie" was transferring to a new airfield. It left Doubrovka for Mikountani; a small village located in old pre-World War Two Poland, which had been annexed to the USSR. At 9 AM, the first Escadrille departed, followed twenty minutes later by the second. A few minutes after the takeoff of the last group, the patrol Seynes - Le Bras was returning, Maurice de Seynes' airplane appearing to be in trouble. Pierre Matras now narrates this sad story.

"He attempted a first landing, but being too fast he missed the approach and regained altitude for another attempt. The pilot obviously blinded and affected by fumes in the cockpit appeared to have problems controlling his airplane. He kept on trying to the end, attempting to land three times despite the radio order of Delfino who was begging him to bail out, which would have been easily done."

"We understood his predicament - As we all did, he had taken his Russian mechanic along with him, ridding in a very small place located behind the dorsal armor plate. After a half roll, the airplane hit the ground and exploded immediately. On the wreckage, de Seynes' airplane number was still visible…His faithful mechanic Bielozub not having a parachute, de Seynes deemed that he had no rights to abandon him".

Maurice de Seynes' sacrifice considerably impressed the Soviet personnel of the Normandie Group. Although they never had any doubts as to their mutual fraternity with the French pilots, they just had witnessed this tragic demonstration of sacrificial loyalty.
Maurice de Seynes had participated in the French campaign with GC II/6 (Fighter group 2/6) achieving two victories as the group had just transitioned to the Bloch 152 fighters.
He rejoined GC 3 in January 1944 but never had the opportunity to add more victories to his personal record.

Seynes (de) Maurice

05.06.40  (2)  He 111  Nevers [10]
06.06.40  (2)  Bf 109  Roye  [80]

(X): total number of pilots participating to the destruction of the enemy airplane.
[XX]: geographical French department.

Aéro Editions, Aérostories, 2001.

Maurice de Seynes.
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