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Private First Classe Georges CARTERON

Biography :

Source (Photos and Documents) :
- Mr Jean-Claude CARTERON, nephew of Georges CARTERON

Georges Albert CARTERON was born on October 20th, 1917 in Lyon, 2nd district. He will be called Georgie.

On July 31, 1930, Georges obtains his certificate of Primary Studies. Aged 15, he is engaged as an apprentice on January 21, 1932 at the hairdresser "Delrieux" located at 3 rue Bonnand in Lyon to learn his future job. He left this first employer on May 8, 1933.

Georges then joins the Hairdresser "Gabier", Montplaisir street in Lyon. He will stay from September 12, 1933 to October 7, 1934.

He will work for a while at the hairdresser "Monnier" in Macon, from April 1 to June 15, 1934, in parallel, it seems, his job at the hairdresser "Gabier"

On mobilization, he was posted on November 1, 1939, as a 1st class soldier, at GAO 586.

This unit, created in Tunis on 1st May 1937 under the name "GAR 586" (Regional Air Group), takes its final name "GAO 586" on 1st January 1938. The Squadron is commanded by Captain PENICAUT, replaced by the Captain DODELIER in May 1940. The GAO 586 is located on the Air Base EL-AOUINA (Tunisia), base commanded by Commander FARGE. The insignia of the unit, present on the aircrafts, is a Flamingo with wings edged with red and blue on a closed red crescent.

Georges CARTERON was eager to become an air gunner onboard the Group's aircraft. He had therefore asked Captain Dodelier, his squadron leader, for permission to join a crew. On May 8, 1940, the latter granted him a place at the position of rear gunner aboard the Potez 630 No. 43 departing for a training flight.

But for unknown reasons, the aircraft, though piloted by a seasoned pilot, hit the ground at nearly 400 km / h while I was on a flying flight ... Georges CARTERON miraculously survived the shock, but died in the ambulance who took him to the hospital. He was 22 years old...

Georges CARTERON is buried in the Borjel cemetery in Tunis. On May 28, 1968, his burial was transferred to the military necropolis of Gammarth, which includes soldiers who died during the various conflicts in Tunisia.

Story of the May 8, 1940 accident by Captain Dodelier and Commander FARGE :

Extract from Commander FARGE's letter to Mr CARTERON Auguste, Georges' father

"The Captain of Squadron of your son, Captain PENICAUT has been absent because of the current events.At his return, I will ask him to give you details about the unfortunate accident and the last moments of your child.I can already to make sure that he didn't seem to suffer and that, almost miraculously, in this tremendous shock at 400 kilometers an hour, he was not mutilated at all, while his comrades, Chief Warrant Officer GUEDET, piloted and Staff-Sergeant BERNARD mechanic, killed on the spot, suffered the effects of the explosion of fuel.Your son died on arrival at the Military Hospital a few minutes after the accident that occurred not far from the airfield The accident itself is still unexplained, it is believed a fault of piloting low alitude, yet the pilot counted nearly 4000 hours of flight.

Excerpt from Captain DODELIER's letter to Mrs. CARTERON, Georges's mother
(Captain Dodelier will be killed during a mission on 9 September 1940 in Ethiopia

"The accident as it happened, I can't tell it better than Captain Penicaut did in his farewell address to the funerals of the unfortunate victims, I send it to you with this letter, and I It also includes the Quotes that the General has established following the accident.
You will read there that your son has been cleared by a comrade. Placed behind the other passengers, he had suffered a shock a little amortized though terrible, and he was still alive. Before the ambulance arrived, he was heard to say, "I'm not dead ..." He didn't seem to be in pain, the shake having probably taken away the possibility. His face was calm, his features relaxed; when the ambulance car won, accompanied by our chaplain, we even hoped to see him survive. But it would have taken a miracle. This state in which he did not seem to be suffering was a kind of coma, resulting from the violence of the shock, and upon arrival at the hospital, everything was over. "

"You are surprised that your son was on a plane, but you must understand the attraction that a weapon like the air force should have on an open, frank and sporty character like Georges's, he wanted to become an air gunner and had asked for a flight, I had given him a seat on the plane, and I will see him and always hear him saying, with a big smile of joy "Thank you, Captain! "While he was running for flight clothes, so be sure, Madam, that the last moments your son was aware of were happy moments and that the poor boy did not have time to realize what happened to him before being precipitated from satisfaction into the semi-unconsciousness without suffering that preceded his death shortly.


Citations :
9 Mai 1940
General Order II: Citation to the Order of the Air Force Command of Tunisia

General GASTIN Commander of the Air Forces of Tunisia quotes to the order of the Commander of the F.A.T the soldiers whose names follow:

Private First Class CARTERON Georges G.A.O 586

Excellent soldier aid mechanic passionate aviation. Wishing strongly to be admitted to the aircrew as a gunner

Found death in air service on May 8, 1940 during a flight of addiction