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Sergeant Roger - Jean ASTRUC


Source (Photos and biography) : Mr Jean-Charles ASTRUC, son of Roger ASTRUC

His life:

Roger Jean ASTRUC was born on Saturday, June 1st, 1918 to Corneilla-de-la-Rivière, Pyrénées-Orientales, from Jean ASTRUC, 39, postman, mobilized, and of his wife Joséphine Andreu, 29 years old, unemployed, born in Claira and residing in the municipality. Roger is born in the house of his grandfather, Jean ASTRUC, 63 years old, farmer, name ASTRUC and ANDREU are typically Catalan: ASTRUC means "born under a good star" or "Lucky" and ANDREU is André in Catalan. While Roger has only 6 months, the family leaves the region for Paris.

He studied at the CONDORCET high school in Paris where he obtained the Baccalauréat Sciences-Langues and continues to draw. He is engaged as an industrial draftsman at the Marcel BLOCH Aircraft, then in the Design Office of the aeronautical manufacturer DEWOITINE in Courbevoie where he works from the end of the 30s until the beginning of the war and during the occupation. His fiancee, Aline ALARY is engaged in 1937 as secretary by Marcel BLOCH (future Marcel DASSAULT) at the "Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées".

In early November 1938, he began his military service in Chartres where he was assigned draftsman to Commander Major. He then joined the EOR platoon (reserve Officer School) on the Air base of Dugny (Seine). In April 1939, he entered the School of improvement of Cazaux where he will be patented Sergeant Gunner on July 13, 1939: Patent No. 2077 issued November 6, 1939.

. He briefly joined the base of Dugny in August 1939 before being allocated to GB II / 34 - 4th Squadron based in Poix (Somme). On Amiot 143, Roger will make within this Group, diurnal and nocturnal bombardment missions from Dijon, Metz, among others, before joining the Meknes Air Base in Morocco (BPH 404) during the fall of Group. In August 1940, Roger Astruc joined GB I/31 2nd Squadron on the Air Base of Istres. Finally, he is assigned to GR I / 14 (Air Reconnaissance Group) based on the Air Base of Perpignan-Llabanère until his demobilization in March 1941.

He is married May 17, 1941 at the City hall of the 11th arrondissement of Paris with his fiancée Aline Gabrielle Rose ALARY he will always call "Odette". He joined in 1943 the resistance network "Those of Liberation-Vengeance"; Arrested by the Gestapo in 1944 in Paris for his name with Jewish consonance, he was interned for 4 months in Fresnes prison where he was released, after his wife's incessant steps, on the intervention of H. Carol, Director of the factory of Boulogne of planes Marcel DASSAULT, and Jeff ROOS, then President of INDAERO (then later Chairman of the Board of Air France), narrowly escaping deportation. The trauma of war, which he evoked very rarely and with great difficulty, will continue for the rest of his life. He's quoted in the Order of the Air Force (War Cross with a palm). After the war, he was very early part of the Amicale des Catalans de Paris and participated in the magazine "Galeria" of a group of Spanish Catalans refugees during the civil war.

Roger will work after the war until the retreat in the aeronautics by beginning with the S.N.C.A.S.O. (National company of the Aircraft manufacturings of the Southwest) after the Company is successively called the South-aviation, then S.N.I.A.S. (National company of the Aircraft and spatial Industry) and finally Aerospace industry (to be afterward transformed into Aérospatiale-Matra and be altogether joined EADS which will become Group current Airbus). Roger Astruc will always be very estimated for his user-friendliness and recognized for his talent of advertising artist. His wife, as for her, will make all her career in Planes Marcel Dassault and will retire of Personal assistant of the factory Dassault of Boulogne-Billancourt.

In 1953, the death of his father, Jean, of whom he had painted the portrait repeatedly, affects him very profoundly.

His only son Jean-Charles, is born on July 14th, 1955 in Paris 8th district while he lives in 66 avenue Secrétan Paris 19ème. He holds then a bookshop-stationery in Paris avenue Secrétan. He becomes member of the freemasonry that he will frequent of numerous years, and which will correspond well to the righteousness and its intellectual rigor as well as to its character profoundly humanist, but he will always remain dumb on this membership.

The death of his mother in 1968 to Claira is a new pain and the occasion of a quarrel with his only older brother, who will be a few years later definitive

Roger participates proudly in the adventure of the Concorde at the end of the 60s (shared with his wife at Dassault who also participates in this construction). He is responsible for a group in charge of the design and the realization of the advertising in which, in spite of the partial abandonment of the way which he wished to borrow originally, he was able to express himself and find even the opportunity "to slide" Catalan themes in a creation of another kind.

He retires in 1978 then returns with his wife " to the Country " to Espira-de-l'Agly, An almost permanent state of depression eats away at him, in the grip of " morbid ideas ". He cuts itself of most of his friends and the members of his family. He gets on in the village with the Catalan poet Joan CAYROL with whom he intended to begin again to draw to illustrate his poems, but the latter died too early. Very attached " to the Country ", its native Roussillon, where he had never stopped returning very regularly, Roger dies on April 6th, 2000 to Espira-de-l'Agly where he is buried with his wife who will support only not much time his disappearance (she dies on March 27th, 2001). The family vault is a few meters away from the grave of the Catalan poet Joan CAYROL.

Born on June 1st, 1918
Roger and his wife Aline
Flying School of Cazaux
GB II/34
GB I/31
GR I/14

His career as an Artist:

Roger begins to draw very young, and from the 30s, he began to paint oil of still lives, landscapes, nudes and allegories on painting or cardboard and also realizes very numerous caricatures of his circle of acquaintances, artists of show of period, among which of numerous Catalans and Spanish, as well as politicians' satiric caricatures of moment: Jean DAVY (theater), RAIMU, Lucien BAROUX (cinema), Adolphe MANGOI or MANFOI? Jean MARCHAT and Maria CASARES in "Federigo" to the theater of Mathurins, Mainmast SALVADO, the singer? Lina VALLS, Juan SALIDO " Ni�o of Cadiz ", Mickey ROONEY, Albert LEFORT (artist?), the MARX Brothers, Alix PALOFIS, Victor BOUCHER, Gaby MORLAY, Charles TRENET, Marcel DASSAULT, ROMUALDO, Rosita MANES, Viviane FLORIAN, IBA�EZ, TRIANA, Juan GRANERO, Quero MOLARES, Suzy CAMER (artiste?),….

During his mobilization, he continues to paint by occupying a large part of his time, between the missions, with making numerous caricatures of his circle of acquaintances. After the war, Roger sees frequently dedicatedly several Paris Academies where he learns to draw and to paint.

He thus decides after the war to dedicate itself completely to the paint, but the very difficult economic conditions and the food limitations of this period force him to continue his work of draughtsman in parallel of his artistic creation. He envisages in 1947 his departure for Brazil where he delivered some paintings for exposures in September, 1946 in S�o-Paulo (" Dez Jovens Pintores Parisienses " to the Galeria de Arte Ita) then in April, 1947 in Rio de Janeiro, organized by one of his friends who, of over there, dissuades him from trying the too much risked adventure; he will have besides then no piece of news of these paintings.

Roger takes one sabbatical year in 1946-1947 to return " in country" and dedicate itself completely à his paint, then organizes " first Show Of Art Catalan* in Paris with Catalans' association of Paris and his friend Roger MONTANE which has just arrived in the capital to dedicate itself as him à the paint. This show is organized in the gallery Lucien REYMAN, 64 kicks of Boétie Paris 8eme, and exposes more than 300 works (paints, watercolors, drawings, engravings, sculptures, ceramic, cabinetmaking, illustration, binding, literature, photography, music) of about 200 artists, among whom the biggest Catalan artists and the artists sympathizers of the Catalan culture: The retrospective works of Bausil, Delfau, Gonzales, Grey, Maillol, Anglada, Manolo and Terrus, as well as the works of the contemporaries Antagonizes, Brunette, Caseblanque, Cazals, Clavé, Creixams, Delaris, Desnoyer, Dufy, Gili, Grau-Sala, Homs, Lafay, Marquet, Masson, Short-sighted, Montané, Mucha, Picasso, Pignon, Waroquier....
He exposes it a very noticed painting, the " Catalan in the Rosary ", who will be acquired by the State in March, 1948 (by the Direction of the Arts and Letters, the Ministry of Culture of period).
Till the end of the 40s, he makes extended stays " in the Country " to Claira where live his parents, and painted in his native Roussillon equipped with its colors, pallet and portable easel.

He participates intensely in numerous exhibitions during all these years: Winter Show, Show of the French School, Show of the Real Independents, Show of people under thirty, Art and the Resistance, Price of the Young Paint, Price of the Vikings, Show of the New Realities, National Price, Price of the Villa of Este, Critics' Prize, Show of May, when his paintings, very noticed because early for the time, concern themes directly bound to the Catalan life which he carries in him and proudly shares (old Catalans, interiors, Catalan markets, ravaudeuses, Catalan villages, ...)

He meets Salvador DALI in August, 1957 at his home to Port-Lligat for a study of logarithmic spiral aimed at one of his paintings; on this occasion, he makes of his Catalan fellow countryman a portrait of which he will remain very proud.

Roger retires finally in 1978 then returns with his wife " to the Country " to Espira-de-l'Agly, where he will not make more than some very rare watercolors or gouaches to offer them.

Roger ASTRUC to MOSSET in 1959
"La Cobla" - 1946
"Trois Musiciens" - 1947
"Les Grandes Cardeuses Catalanes" - 1948
" Mécanique de l'Alouette" - 1958
"Collioure - Gouache"
Post of the first Show of Catalan Art


The CV of Roger-Jean ASTRUC

Baccalaureate sciences-languages (Spanish language 80% - English 50%)
From October 1936 to August 1937 P.T.T. - Agent of internal installations of the Central of Roquette-Ménilmontant
From September 1937 to November 1938 Airplanes Marcel BLOCH in COURBEVOIE
Draftsman execution/calqueur
From 1st September 1938 to March 31, 1941 Military service and Campaign against Germany (August 27, 1939-Armistice 1940): navigator - bomber (sergeant). Departure for North Africa; maintained under flags until March 31st, 1941 within the framework of the Armistice army. 15 war missions (34 � and 31 � Squadrons of Bombardment, 14 � air group of Reconnaissance). Quoted in the Order of the Air Army (War Cross with one Palm).
From June 1941 to March 1942 S.N.C.A.S.O. (FOCKE-WULF) in CHATILLON S/BAGNEUX,
From March 1942 to 1944 DEWOITINE (ARADO) - 11, Rue Pillet Will - PARIS.
Draftsman small studies.
1943 The Resistance: membership as Intelligence agent to the network " Those of the Liberation-vengeance " PIERRE BROSSOLETTE'S ( CLV).
1944 Arrest by the GESTAPO at the beginning of the year; political internee to the military prison of FRESNES from January till April, 1944 (released) on personal intervention of Mr H CAROL DIRECTEUR from Planes Marcel DASSAULT - factory of BOULOGNE, and Mr J. ROOS then President of INDAERO, then later Chairman of the Board of Air France).
1944 DEWOITINE disappears and the Engineering consulting firm passes supervised by the S.N.C.A.C. Draftsman studies.
1945 - 1946 S.N.C.A.C. - 11, rue Pillet Will - PARIS
Creation of the Engineering consulting firm Specification sheets -
Realization of all the notes of the Flying Laboratory-Belphégor and of the Cargo boat CORMORANT
In charge of creation of the Engineering consulting firm Specification sheets and advertising.
1946 I resign from the S.N.C.A.C. to set up my own business as commercial artist. Proposed Team leader.
1947 In my account : Notes - Advertising.
Draftsman to the national centre for scientific research -
Creation of the Office of drawing of Professor OMBREDANE -
Director of the Center of Studies and Psychotechnical Searches - 13, Rue Chautard-PARIS (15 �) Dissolution of the Office due to the lack of credits of the C.N.R.S.
Art teacher compensating for the City of Paris.
Technical printers - 34, rue Duranton-PARIS (15 �)
Leader of Section Specification sheets and Industrial advertising.
This affair decays, in its beginnings, abolition of the Service.
1950 - 1951 Ets. Edgar ABRAVANEL - 28, rue Rennequin - PARIS (17°)
Studies and manufacturing electric engines for industrial machines and studies household electrical devices - Industrial Design
Technical assistant of the Director
1951 Draftsman, Added to the Technical Direction Ets DIMEM, Paris.
1951 - 1954 SNCASO in COURBEVOIE. Draftsman main 2nd level.
( Execution of the Notes of the SO 30. P Bretagne and of the Vautour).
1954 - 1955
SUD-EST AVIATION inLA COURNEUVE. Team leader of Specification sheets.
Creation, at the request of Mr . MARCHETTI of the Engineering consulting firm Specification sheets and Advertising.
Starting up of the Notes ALOUETTE 2 and commercial publicity of this helicopter
1956 SUD-EST AVIATION - same functions - Leader of Section Notes -
- Engineer Position II B -
1959 I manage then 15 draftsmen, myself under the orders, at first of Mr. LECARDONNEL and then Mr. MASLOFF, Leader of the Service Translations.
1959 Fusion S.N.C.A.-SO- SNCA-SE = SUD AVIATION.
- Engineer Position II B -
Leader of Section Specification sheets and Advertising (Studies and realizations Notes ALOUETTE 2 and diverse Advertisements.)
1961 SUD AVIATION - Engineer Position II C -
Same responsabilities.
I make realize the Notes of the ALOUETTE 3, the Super-Frelon and the advertising notes of these Helicopter (8 draftsmen under my orders.)
1962 - 1969 Moved to SURESNES - Service "Public relations" (Mr. MANESCAU- Mr. FOREY)
1970 - 1974 AEROSPATIALE in SURESNES - Engineer Position III A -
From 1975 to June 1st, 1978 AEROSPATIALE, Head Office, 37 Bd de Montmorency, PARIS 16°
Leader of Studio of the Advertising department, Added to the Leader of Advertising/exhibitions, for the execution and the manufacturing of all the advertisements of the Company.