Paul de Montgolfier
Paul-Joseph de Montgolfier was born in Saint-Marcel (Ardèche, France) on 28 April 1913. He flew in the French Air Force
French Air Force
The French Air Force , literally Army of the Air) is the air force of the French Armed Forces. It was formed in 1909 as the Service Aéronautique, a service arm of the French Army, then was made an independent military arm in 1933...

, flying Curtiss 75 Hawks
Curtiss Hawk
Curtiss Hawk was a name common to many aircraft designed and produced by the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company, most of them fighters:-Curtiss Model 34 & Hawk I:...

 with the GC II/5 fighter group when World War II began.

On 6 November 1939, Paul de Montgolfier and 8 other pilots were escorting bombers over the Sarre region when they were jumped by 27 Messerschmitt fighters of JGr 102. The French pilots scored 5 victories (and another 5 probable victories, including one shot down by Montgolfier) for the loss of only two of their own. This fight - known as the "9 against 27" fight was to became legendary and Hannes Gentzen, the CO of JGr 102, was summoned back to Berlin and threatened with court-martial for such disastrous results.

Montgolfier went on top score more victories until the Nazi invasion of France : he was shot down on 15 May 1940 and wounded. He was credited with 5 aerial victories. After recovering, he went back to active service and was killed in action fighting the Allied landing at Casablanca
Casablanca is a city in western Morocco, located on the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Grand Casablanca region.Casablanca is Morocco's largest city as well as its chief port. It is also the biggest city in the Maghreb. The 2004 census recorded a population of 2,949,805 in the prefecture...

 on 8 November 1942.

List of aerial victories

1. Me 109; 06 Nov 39 - Probable, shared with Lt Trémolet

2. He 111; 23 Nov 39 - Destroyed, shared with Sgt Audrain, Sgt Bouhy and 3 RAF pilots. Over Boulay.

3. Do 17; 02 Mar 40 - Probable, shared with A/C Gras, S/C Janebas

4. Me 109; 10 May 40 - Destroyed over Luxemburg.

5. ??


  • Légion d'Honneur
    Légion d'honneur
    The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the Consulat which succeeded to the First Republic, on 19 May 1802...

  • Médaille Militaire
    Médaille militaire
    The Médaille militaire is a decoration of the French Republic which was first instituted in 1852.-History:The creator of the médaille was the emperor Napoléon III, who may have taken his inspiration in a medal issued by his father, Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland...

  • Croix de Guerre
    Croix de guerre
    The Croix de guerre is a military decoration of France. It was first created in 1915 and consists of a square-cross medal on two crossed swords, hanging from a ribbon with various degree pins. The decoration was awarded during World War I, again in World War II, and in other conflicts...

    avec palme
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