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Staff-Sergeant Fernand CLAUDOT


Source (Photos and text) : Mr Aurélien HUBAC, Great grandson of Staff-Sergeant Fernand CLAUDOT

The few lines below summarise the military career of Staff Sergeant Fernand CLAUDOT, based on his service records requested by his widow

Fernand CLAUDOT was born on 19 November 1908 in Boutancourt (08 - Ardennes)

He signed a first 3-year contract on August 20, 1928 at the Military Sub-Intendence of Méziers and was assigned to the 38th Aviation Regiment.
He was appointed Corporal on 16 July 1929, then Master Corporal on 1 December 1929.
On 14 October 1930, he extended his contract for one year at the Bordeaux Military Commissariat, and remained attached to the 38th Aviation Regiment. He was appointed Sergeant on 16 April 1931.
On September 4, 1931, he re-enlisted at the Intendance Militaire of Thionville and continued his career still within the 38th Aviation Regiment.
Admitted to the career NCO corps in June 1933, he joined the 6th Air Squadron in October 1933.
In December 1935, he was transferred to the 15th Heavy Defence Aviation Wing at Avord.
From the 8th to the 18th of April 1936, he was assigned to the 3rd Company at Mourmelon. He then joined the Air Force Base No103 to join the 15th Heavy Defence Aviation Wing at Avord.
He was appointed Sergeant-Chef, licensed as an Aircraft Mechanic on July 1st 1938.
When the war was declared, he "joined the Armed Forces" on August 27th 1939, and was posted to the Air Battalion 101 of Toulouse from April 6th 1940.
In June 1940, it was directed to Marseille for its passage to North Africa and embarked on 22 June 1940 for Oran where it landed on 28 June before reaching Tébéssa on 30 June 1940.
It will be based successively in OUDJA, on July 11, 1940, then Tunis which it will join by the air way on August 22, 1940 to arrive finally at Istres where it arrives on August 26, 1940. He joined the GB I/38 on 16 November 1940, before being placed on automatic Armistice leave, according to the conditions set by the law of 25 August 1940 with a prior leave of 30 days from 16 January 1941. During his leave, he will be managed by the Air Base of Salon.
His Armistice leave is cancelled as from July 11th 1941 and Fernand CLAUDOT is assigned to the Bombardment Group GB I/38 based at Istres before joining the Transport Group GT I/15, 2nd Squadron first, then to the 1st Squadron.
It is initially posted on the Air base of RABAT in November 1941, then is detached on the Air base of Algiers Maison Blanche where it must arrive by the air on January 27, 1942.
But the FARMAN F222.2 No13 which was to ensure its connection will never arrive in ALGIERS: it crashes on a hill in the vicinity of TIZI-OUZOU, and 7 of the 8 people on board will be killed in the crash, of which the Sergeant-Chef Fernand CLAUDOT

But an incoherence remains on the real assignment of Sergeant-Chef CLAUDOT the last months before his death, and on the real flight realized by the FARMAN F222.2 No13 on January 27th 1942.

Indeed, I had the opportunity to exchange with Mr Dominique MARENCO, nephew of the only survivor of the Crash, Sergeant AUGIER, and the documents he shared with me make no doubt about the fact that the plane was in fact making a night flight from ISTRES to ALGER and not from RABAT to ALGER as described in the service record of Sergeant-Chef CLAUDOT. The latter was thus in ISTRES in January 1942, when these service records make him leave ISTRES in November 1941, with a presence on the Base of RABAT-SALE in January 1942

For more information, I invite you to visit the page dedicated to Sergeant AUGIER, the survivor of the crash: accessible by clicking here