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Reconnaissance Group GR I/52
1st Squadron
2nd Squadron


Historical

On the date of the outbreak of the German attack of May 10, 1940, the GR I / 52 is attached to the 3rd Air Division of the "Air Forces Reserves" of the ZOAE (East Air Operations Area).

The GR I / 52 is first dissolved after the Armistice, before being reformed in September 1940. It is one of three Recognition Groups equipped with Potez 63-11 to be based overseas

 


Staff

Commanders of the group GR I/52
Captain POINSOT
 
Captain MASSIE Roger
 
Lieutenant-Colonel DE-VITROLLES René
October 1939
April 1940
 
Commander FAYE
April 1940
May 7, 1940
 
Commander MARTRE Marcel
May 8, 1940
 
Commander of the 1st Squadron
Lieutenant BERTAUX
June 2, 1940
 
Lieutenant LAYEC Gilbert
June 3, 1940
 
Commander of the 2nd Squadron
Lieutenant GUILLOCHON  
Lieutenant FOURQUET Michel

 

 


Personnel

Pilots and crew of the Group
Names of crew members
Rank
Function
Sqn.
Informations
Civil Statut
Photos
Citations
BARBIER Léo
Adjutant
Pilot
On March 24th, 1940, the Potez 637 No.36 is shot down during a fight opposing it to 4 Me109. The plane crashes to the ground. Adjutant BARBIER is injured    
BERTAUX Maurice
Captain
Pilot
EM 1st Sqn.
On June 2, 1940, during a test flight, Bloch MB 174 No.29 went into a spin and crashed to the ground. The crew was killed.    
BIOUSSE Henri
Staff-Sergeant
Pilot
     
BLANCHOT Hubert
Staff-Sergeant
Mécanicien
1st Sqn.
On June 2, 1940, during a test flight, Bloch MB 174 No.29 went into a spin and crashed to the ground. The crew was killed.    
BOULAY
Staff-Sergeant
Machine-Gunner
May 7, 1940, Bloch MB174 No.40 crashes shortly after takeoff. The aircraft is destroyed, but the crew is unscathed.      
BRABANT Roger
Lieutenant
Observer
May 13, 1940, Bloch MB174 No.11 is shot down by 3 Me109. The crew is killed.    
BRARD Raymond
Adjutant
Pilot
On September 26, 1939, the Potez 637 No.46 is shot down by German fighters and the Flak. Adjutant BRARD wounded, parachute but is taken prisoner,    
BRUGEROLLES Elie
Sub-Lieutenant
Observer
On March 24th, 1940, the Potez 637 No.36 is shot down during a fight opposing it to 4 Me109. The plane crashes to the ground. Sub-Lieutenant BRUGEROLLES is killed.    
BRUNERIE Roger
Sub-Lieutenant
Observer
On May 25, 1940, returning from a night mission, the Potez 637 No.35 crashes on landing. Sub-Lieutenant BRUNERIE, injured, is the only survivor.    
BUTZ Paul
Staff-Sergeant
Machine-Gunner
On May 25, 1940, returning from a night mission, the Potez 637 No.35 crashes on landing. Staff Sergeant BUTZ is killed.    
CAMPMAS
Master-Corporal
Machine-Gunner
   
CANONNE
Sergeant
Pilot
On September 6, 1939, returning from a night mission in bad weather, the Potez 637 No.47 must land in the campaign on the belly and is destroyed.The crew is unscathed.      
CARLIER
Lieutenant
Observer
     
CHAMPEAUX Eugène
Sub-Lieutenant
Pilot
Sub-Lieutenant CHAMPEAUX will be killed on 30/12/1941 in Rabat (Morocco) during the test of a Glenn Martin 167F  
CUGNOT Georges
Staff-Sergeant
Pilot
   
DENAIN Jacques
Adjutant
Pilot
Jacques DENAIN is one of the sons of General DENAIN, former Minister of Air. He wanted his two sons to fight in the GR I/52: the two brothers were killed 12 days apart .
- May 7, 1940, Bloch MB174 No.40 crashes shortly after takeoff. The aircraft is destroyed, but the crew is unscathed.
- May 13, 1940, Bloch MB174 No.11 is shot down by 3 Me109. The crew is killed.
   
DENAIN Jean
Staff-Sergeant
Pilot
JEAN DENAIN is one of the sons of General DENAIN, former Minister of Air. He wanted his two sons to fight in the GR I/52: the two brothers were killed 12 days apart .
On May 25, 1940, returning from a night mission, the Potez 637 No.35 crashes on landing. Staff Sergeant DENAIN is killed.
     
DE-VITROLLES René
Lieutenant-Colonel
Observer
Staff Group
On March 16, 1940, the Potez 637 is hit by the flak during a low-altitude mission. The Pilot being wounded, it is the Lieutenant-Colonel DE-VITROLLES who thanks to the double-orders, succeeds to return and to land without encumbrance on his ground.    
DU TERTRE
Lieutenant
Observer
On September 6, 1939, returning from a night mission in bad weather, the Potez 637 No.47 must land in the campaign on the belly and is destroyed.The crew is unscathed.      
DUMAS Serge
Sergeant
Machine-Gunner
On March 24th, 1940, the Potez 637 No.36 is shot down during a fight opposing it to 4 Me109. The plane crashes to the ground Sergeant DUMAS badly wounded, will die soon after.    
FAYE
Commander
Observer
Staff Group
May 7, 1940, Bloch MB174 No.40 crashes shortly after takeoff. The aircraft is destroyed, but the crew is unharmed, Commander FAYE being slightly injured.      
FEVRIER Jules
Sub-Lieutenant
Pilot
On April 20, 1940, his aircraft, the Bloch MB174 No.31 is shot down by German Fighters. The crew is killed    
FOURQUET Michel
Lieutenant
Pilot
EM 2nd Sqn.
   
FULCRAND Jean
Lieutenant
Observer
- Le 19 Mai 1940, le Bloch MB174 n° 8 est abattu par la chasse Allemande et s'écrase au sol.L'équipage est tué.      
GABRY Roger
Captain
Pilot
 
Assigned to the CIR of Rennes from 9 September 1939 to 7 June 1940, he joined the GR I/52 on 11 June 1940 as Deputy Commander of the Group.
When the Group was dissolved at the end of 1942, he joined the GR I/22.
He was killed by accident in July 1943 in Morocco during a test of a Douglas DB7
Born 23 June 1911 in Bougemont (25 - Doubs)
Died on 10 July 1943 at Khemisset, Morocco)
   
GRAND Marie
Staff-Sergeant
Pilot
- Le 19 Mai 1940, le Bloch MB174 n° 8 est abattu par la chasse Allemande et s'écrase au sol.L'équipage est tué.      
GUILLOCHON
Lieutenant
EM 2nd Sqn.
     
GUYOT
Chief-Warrant-Officer
Pilot
     
HEILTZ Erwing
Sergeant
Machine-Gunner
On September 26, 1939, the Potez 637 No.46 is shot down by German Fighters and the Flak. Sergeant HEILTZ is killed at his machine-gunner position by the Me109.    
HUBIN Lucien
Staff-Sergeant
Machine-Gunner
1st Sqn.
On June 2, 1940, during a test flight, Bloch MB 174 No.29 went into a spin and crashed to the ground. The crew was killed.    
HURTEVENT
Chief-Warrant-Officer
Observer
     
LABOURDETTE Alexis
Adjutant
Machine-Gunner
May 13, 1940, Bloch MB174 No.11 is shot down by 3 Me109. The crew is killed.    
LAGARDE René
Chief Warrant Officer
Observer
On September 26, 1939, the Potez 637 No.46 is shot down by German Fighters and the Flak. Chief Warrant Officer LAGARDE parachutes, but too low and kills himself when he gets to the ground.    
LANEUZE Pierre
Sub-Lieutenant
Observer
On April 20, 1940, his aircraft, the Bloch MB174 No.31 is shot down by German Fighters. The crew is killed    
LAYEC Gilbert
Lieutenant
Pilot
EM 1st Sqn.
- On March 16, 1940, the Potez 637 is hit by the flak during a low-altitude mission. The Lieutenant LAYEC being wounded, it is the Observer who thanks to the double-commands, succeeds to return and to land without encumbrance on his ground.
- June 15, 1940, his camera, a Bloch MB 174 is damaged by the Flak, but he manages to bring it back to the ground. Lieutenant LAYEC is unharmed.
   
LE-SAOULT Henri
Adjutant
Pilot
- On October 3, 1939, Potez 637 No.39 was badly damaged by the Flak during a low-altitude mission. The Pilot managed to join the French lines, but crashed on landing. The crew is unscathed.
- December 21, 1939, the Potez 637 No.41 is shot down by German Fighters and crushes on the ground. The crew is killed
     
MARTRE Marcel
Commander
Observer
Staff Group
June 15, 1940, his camera, a Bloch MB 174 is damaged by the Flak, but he manages to bring it back to the ground. Captain MARTRE is injured    
MASSIE Roger
Captain
Observer
Staff Group
   
MELOT jean
Sergeant
Machine-Gunner
- On September 6, 1939, returning from a night mission in bad weather, the Potez 637 No.47 must land in the campaign on the belly and is destroyed.The crew is unscathed.
- On October 3, 1939, Potez 637 No.39 was badly damaged by the Flak during a low-altitude mission. The Pilot managed to join the French lines, but crashed on landing. The crew is unscathed
- On December 21, 1939, Potez 637 No.41 was shot down by German fighters and crashed to the ground. The crew is killed
     
MOUGEL Paulin
Chief Warrant Officer
Machine-Gunner
- Injured during an air fight on September 9, 1939
- On April 20, 1940, his aircraft, the Bloch MB174 No.31 is shot down by German Fighters. The crew is killed
   
POINSOT
Captain
Staff Group
     
POULARD       Engaged in the Resistance (Alliance Réseau) under the pseudonym "Mathurin", he was shot by the Germans.      
RAGUANT
Staff-Sergeant
Machine-Gunner
On March 16, 1940, the Potez 637 is hit by the flak during a low-altitude mission. The Pilot being injured, it is the Observer who thanks to the double-controls, manages to return and land safely on his ground. Staff-Sergeant RAGUANT is unharmed.      
ROZES Paul
Lieutenant
Pilot
     
RUAS
Capiain
Observer
Artillery Detached Observer
     
VERON Adrien
Chief Warrant Officer
Observer
- On October 3, 1939, Potez 637 No.39 was badly damaged by the Flak during a low-altitude mission. The Pilot managed to join the French lines, but crashed on landing. The crew is unscathed
- December 21, 1939, the Potez 637 No.41 is shot down by the hunt and crushes on the ground. The crew is killed
     
ZINCK Emile
Staff-Sergeant
Machine-Gunner
May 19, 1940, the Bloch MB174 No.8 is shot down by German Fighters and crushes on the ground. The crew is killed.      

 

 

Stories of crews

Crews of Group
Names of crew members
Rank
Function
Informations
Crew
BERTAUX
Lieutenant
Pilot
Potez 637 n°45
CARLIER
Lieutenant
Observer
Crew
CANONNE
Sergeant
Pilot
Potez 637 n°47 :Aircraft accident, placed on the stomach on September 6, 1939
DU TERTRE
Lieutenant
Observer
MELOT
Sergeant
Machine-Gunner
Crew
BRARD
Adjutant
Pilot
Potez 637 n°46 : Destroyed in air combat on September 26, 1939. Chief Warrant Officer LAGARDE and Sergeant HEILTZ are killed. Adjutant BRARD wounded is taken prisoner
LAGARDE René
Chief Warrant Officer
Observer
HEILTZ Erwing
Sergeant
Machine-Gunner
Crew
LE-SAOULT Henri
Adjutant
Pilot

Potez 637 n° 39 : Destroyed by the Flak on October 3, 1939. The crew is unscathed

VERON Adrien
Chief Warrant Officer
Observer
MELOT jean
Sergeant
Machine-Gunner
Crew
LE-SAOULT Henri
Adjutant
Pilot

Potez 637 n° 41 : Shot down by German Fighters December 21, 1939. The crew is killed

VERON Adrien
Chief Warrant Officer
Observer
MELOT jean
Sergeant
Machine-Gunner
Crew
LAYEC
Lieutenant
Pilot
Potez 637 n° ? : Damaged March 16, 1940. The wounded Pilot, it is the Lieutenant-Colonel DE-VITROLLES who manages to bring back the Aircraft thanks to the double-command
DE-VITROLLES René
Lieutenant-Colonel
Observer
RAGUANT
Staff-Sergeant
Machine-Gunner
Crew
BARBIER
Adjutant
Pilot
Potez 637 n° 36 : Shot down by BF109E on March 24, 1940. Sergeant DUMAS and Sub-Lieutenant BRUGEROLLES are killed. Adjutant BARBIER is injured
BRUGEROLLES Elie
Sub-Lieutenant
Observer
DUMAS Serge
Sergeant
Machine-Gunner
Crew
FEVRIER Jules
Sub-Lieutenant
Pilot
Bloch MB174 n° 31 : Shot down in aerial combat by a BF109E patrol on April 20, 1940. Crew killed
LANEUZE Pierre
Sub-Lieutenant
Observer
MOUGEL Paulin
Chief Warrant Officer
Machine-Gunner
Crew
DENAIN
Adjutant
Pilot
Bloch MB174 n° 40 :Destroyed by accident at take off on May 7, 1940. The crew is unharmed, except Commander FAYE who is slightly injured
FAYE
Commander
Observer
BOULAY
Staff-Sergeant
Machine-Gunner
Crew
DENAIN Jacques
Adjutant
Pilot
Bloch MB174 n° 11 : Shot down in air combat on May 13, 1940. The crew is killed.
BRABANT Roger
Lieutenant
Observer
LABOURDETTE Alexis
Adjutant
Machine-Gunner
Crew
CUGNOT
Sergent
Pilote
Bloch MB174 : Attacked by Messerschmitt BF109s, the crew managed to shoot down one aircraft and damage another. The aircraft returned to the field heavily damaged, but the crew was unharmed
CHAMPEAUX Eugène
Sous-Lieutenant
Observateur
CAMPMAS
Caporal-Chef
Mitrailleur
Crew
GRAND Marie
Staff-Sergeant
Pilot
Bloch MB174 n° 8 : Shot down in air combat on May 19, 1940. The crew is killed.
FULCRAND Jean
Lieutenant
Observer
ZINCK Emile
Staff-Sergeant
Machine-Gunner
Crew
DENAIN Jean
Staff-Sergeant
Pilot
Potez 637 n° 35 : Crashes when landing on May 25, 1940, returning from a night flight. Staff-Sergeants DENAIN and BUTZ are killed. The Sub-Lieutenant BRUNERIE is injured.
BRUNERIE
Sub-Lieutenant
Observer
BUTZ Paul
Staff-Sergeant
Machine-Gunner
Crew
BERTAUX Maurice
Captain
Pilot
Bloch MB 174 n° 29 : Destroyed by accident on June 2, 1940. The crew is killed.
BLANCHOT Hubert
Staff-Sergeant
Mechanic
HUBIN Lucien
Staff-Sergeant
Machine-Gunner
Crew
LAYEC
Lieutenant
Pilot
Bloch MB 174 n° ? : Damaged by Flak on June 15, 1940. Captain MARTRE is injured
MARTRE
Captain
Observer

 


Airfield

Airfields
Period of use of airfields
Names
County
Nancy-Azelot
54 - Meurthe et Moselle
August 28, 1939
Chaumont Semoutiers
52 - Haute-Marne
August 31, 1939
Auzainvilliers
88 - Vosges
September 17, 1939
Saint-Dizier
52 - Haute-Marne
April 2, 1940
Feurs
42 - Loire
May 11, 1940
Châtillon-Sur-Seine
21 - Côte d'Or
June 11, 1940
Bourges Le Subdray
18 - Cher
June 13, 1940
Limoges / Bergerac
87 - Haute-vienne
June 16, 1940
Lézignan
11 - Aude
June 19, 1940
Perpignan / Alger
66 - Pyrénées orientales
Algérie
June 20, 1940
Oran La-Sénia
Algérie
June 22, 1940
Oulad-Okba
Maroc
June 23, 1940

Click on the map to enlarge :

Itinerary of the GR I/52

 


Aircrafts

The GR I/52 was equipped since its creation, following aircrafts :

The used aircrafts are described in the accessible file by the link below. You will find N ° of series, Registration, date of affectation to the group, and fate of the plane there.

In this list are identified :

  • 8 Potez 637
  • 2 Potez 63-11
  • 7 Bloch MB174

Casualties

Crewmen killed
21
Chief Warrant Officer LAGARDE (Combat)
September 26, 1939
Sergeant HEILTZ (Combat)
September 26, 1939
Chief Warrant Officer VERON (Combat)
December 21, 1939
Adjutant LE SAOULT (Combat)
December 21, 1939
Staff-Sergeant MELOT (Combat)
December 21, 1939
Sub-Lieutenant BRUGEROLLES (Combat)
March 24, 1940
Sergeant DUMAS (Combat)
March 24, 1940
Sub-Lieutenant LANEUZE (Combat)
April 20, 1940
Sub-Lieutenant FEVRIER (Combat)
April 20, 1940
Chief Warrant Officer MOUGEL (Combat)
April 20, 1940
Lieutenant BRABANT (Combat)
May 13, 1940
Adjutant DENAIN (Combat)
May 13, 1940
Adjutant LABOURDETTE (Combat)
May 13, 1940
Lieutenant FULCRAND (Combat)
May 19, 1940
Staff-Sergeant GRAND (Combat)
May 19, 1940
Staff-Sergeant ZINCK (Combat)
May 19, 1940
Staff-Sergeant DENAIN (Accident)
May 25, 1940
Staff-Sergeant BUTZ (Accident)
May 25, 1940
Captain BERTAUX (Accident)
June 2, 1940
Staff-Sergeant HUBIN (Accident)
June 2, 1940
Staff-Sergeant BLANCHOT (Accident)
June 2, 1940
Crewmen injured
7
Adjutant MOUGEL (Combat)
September 9, 1939
Adjutant BRARD (Combat)
September 26, 1939
Lieutenant LAYEC (Combat)
March 16, 1940
Adjutant BARBIER (Combat)
March 24, 1940
Commander FAYE (Accident)
May 7, 1940
Sub-Lieutenant BRUNERIE (Accident)
May 25, 1940
Captain MARTRE (Combat)
June 15, 1940
Crewmen prisoners
1
Adjutant BRARD
26 septembre 1939

 


Sources

- Mr Thierry CUGNOT : Staff-Sergeant Georges CUGNOT was his Father
- Mr Joel GARRON : Captain Roger GABRY was his maternal grandfather
- The citations or decorations listed are extracted from the Official Journals archived in « Source gallica.bnf.fr / Bibliothèque nationale de France »
- The dates and places of birth of the Group's personnel are taken mainly from the site : "Mémoires des Hommes"
- Book : "Ils étaient là" by Mr Jacqueline and Paul MARTIN - Editions Aéro-Editions
- ...