HONOR ABOVE ALL
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
"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 
06.06.40 (2) Bf 109 Roye 
(X): total number of pilots participating to the destruction of
the enemy airplane.
[XX]: geographical French department.