the units of the French Air Force, massed on the North-East front,
moved little of the mobilization on May 10th 1940, they were, on
the other hand, pushed by the events after the German attack of
May 10th. . Pushed away ceaselessly westward and the South, sometimes
to North Africa, they kept fighting in spite of these changes of
grounds so frequent..
the ground staff sometimes well had difficulty following the rhythm
of the movements. He had to join the new airfield by borrowing roads
blocked by refugees, and it was not rare that the pilots arrive
on a new airfield, not prepared by the ground staff, a part of this
one having been even sometimes taken prisoner on roads, by the German
avant-gardes. The pilots then had to help to make the heights and
to maintain planes: we are far from the image of the pilot casual,
which sipped a glass of champagne in the bar of the Squadron between
In this section, I wanted to trace the movements of each of these units in order to visualize the difficulties encountered by the pilots. These, exhausted by the daily combat at high altitude and the permanent danger, often had, on their return, only precarious installations on grounds not foreseen to receive a squadron of combat. These lands are also often targeted by German bombers.
Just before the armisitice, Southwest lands were often congested by many retired Air Force units. Without organization, ground collisions were numerous and sometimes fatal.
This section is divided into three parts:
- Movement of the units :
I retraced on a map, the accomplished route of the mobilization
to the Armistice, for each of the 144 units listed on this site.
Location of the units by date :
The units little moved, as saw higher, of the mobilization on
May 10th, 1940, but things were afterward very fast linked. That
is why, I chose to draw, on maps, the position of the units, by
weapons (Fighting, Bombardment) in the Mobilization, on May 10th,
1940, on May 25th, in 2, 10, 15, in June 20th and finally in the
Armistice. The whole giving a "livened up" overview of the retreat
of the units
- The main airfields:
listed nearly 400 airfields used by Air Force units. You will
find here the units that have passed through, sometimes briefly
on each of these airfields. These are classified by Regions and
Departments, with the current administrative division, which differ
from that in place in 1940.
Thanks to Mr M. BARON who helped me to complete the list of units having parked on the Bordeaux-Mérignac ground
this last part, I used for some research on the site "Anciens-Aérodromes"
very interesting and detailed.