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Chief-Warrant Officer Emile FLAMANT


Source (Photos and biography) : Mrs Anne Claire Ratajczak, Granddaughter of Chief Warrant Officer Emile FLAMANT

Emile Philippe FLAMANT was born in Sierck-les-bains (Moselle) on 22 October 1909.
He obtained his pilot's licence on 3 August 1927 at the age of 17 1/2, becoming the youngest pilot in France at that time.
Only 18 years old, in December 1927, he joined the military aeronautics attached to the French Army. The Air Force was not created until July 2, 1934. Emile FLAMANT joined the Military Aviation School of Istres and his training was completed in May 1928.
In June of the same year, he was assigned to the 3rd GAA (Groupe Aérien Autonome) based in Setif in Algeria. Emile FLAMANT was then transferred to Syria - Escadrille du Levant. He stayed there from January 1929 to October 1931.
He returned to the GAA in Algeria from February 1932 to September 1933, before joining the 11th Defence Aviation Wing based in Metz.
From May to November 1936, he was transferred to the 101st Air Wing based in Toulouse and in November 1936, he finally joined the 31st Bombing Air Wing in Tours where he took part in the French Campaign.
Warrant Officer Emile FLAMANT obtained his Command Aptitude Certificate on 27th August 1937.
At the outbreak of War, on 1st September 1939, the 31st Wing left for Connantre in the Marne. Emile FLAMANT fought in GB I/31.
During Reconnaissance missions, his cameras being frozen by the altitude, he will not hesitate to take pictures by hand despite a hand that starts to freeze. He will be cited for this feat of Arms.
Emile Flamant was wounded in the leg on 18 May 1940 during the bombardment just before boarding the plane and was transferred to Paris to the St Michel hospital.
The arrival of the Germans pushed him onto the roads to avoid being taken prisoner. He went to Tours, then Toulouse where his Colonel announced a departure for Marseille but without him because of his leg. Emile FLAMANT, born in Moselle, spoke German perfectly, and he was asked to contact the Control Commissions. He was assigned to several interpreting posts. Arrested by the Gestapo, he defended himself thanks to his excellent German and was released. He was again an interpreter at the Limoges air base. He joined the Resistance under the name "Félicien". His interpreter's job and his contacts with the German General Gleininger and the Gestapo chief Mayer enabled him to inform the Resistance about all German movements in the region. He took part in the liberation of Limoges.
He then joined the 1st Army as a security officer, and left for Germany and Austria during the occupation. He took part in the arrest of Pierre LAVAL on 30 July 1945.
After the war, he was Commander of the BEA in Cazaux, and ended his career in 1963, as Commander of the Nancy Air Base in Essey-les-Nancy and Officer of the Legion of Honour.
He ended his career as Commander of the Nancy Air Base at Essey-les-Nancy in 1963.

Emile FLAMANT's decorations

1/ Officer of the Legion of Honour
2/ Military medal
3/ War Cross, 3 citations for war in combat
4/ Resistance medal
5/ Voluntary Resistance Medal
6/ Combatant's cross
7/ Medal of courage and devotion
8/ Medal of the Levant Syria Cilicia