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Sub-Lieutenant André GIRON


Source Mr Gérard MENUT, son of the widow of Second Lieutenant André GIRON

André GIRON was born on the 9th of April 1917 in Saint-Maurice (75 - Paris, Ex Seine)
He was killed on June 5th 1940 aboard Potez 63-11 No592 from GAO509 shot down by 6 Messerschmitt Me109

Here is the story of this fight:

"On Wednesday 5th June, Sub-Lieutenant GIRON, pilot, Sub-Lieutenant GUILLERME, Observer and Lieutenant DUTARTRE, Machine Gunner, left at about 2 p.m., to carry out a delicate photographic mission over the Somme, at an altitude of 9000m.

It is on the return from this mission, that the plane was attacked by a group of six Messerschmitt fighters. The pilot defended himself with rare energy, doing everything humanly possible to save the crew, circling around clumps of trees to track down the enemy, even managing to shoot down one. But an enemy had managed to overtake him, cornering him in a thicket. The plane suddenly went up in a candlelight burst, to fly over the wood or change its direction. A burst of machine-gun fire hit the second lieutenant and he was killed. Dismayed, the aircraft immediately crashed at 450mph, hitting the trees hard for over 150 metres. The death of the other members had to be instantaneous.

It was at THYL-MANNEVILLE that the plane fell. The parish priest of LAMMERVILLE witnessed its fall and was able to give the three victims a final absolution. The bodies were taken to the hospital in BACQUEVIILE (Seine-Inférieure). In agreement with the civil and military authorities, the burial was fixed for the following Saturday, 8th June, at 10 a.m., and the three coffins were to be taken to the church on Friday at 7 p.m. Unfortunately, that same Friday evening, at 6.50 p.m., Bacqueville received a hundred bombs, nine people were killed and everyone fled. By the care of the parish priest, the three coffins were immediately placed in the prepared graves (the cemetery was very close to the church) and the priest could only say a short prayer, all alone.

On 23 July, when the population had more or less returned, a solemn service was held for the three airmen and for the nine victims of the bombing. Since then, a simple wooden cross has been planted on the graves and a young girl from the locality keeps flowers there, a symbolic gesture of fidelity and gratitude of the French Patria towards her best children who died for her.