Marcel Albert

Marcel Albert was born in Paris on the 25th November 1917. On leaving school he took a job as a metal worker with the Renault Company before joining the Armée de l'Air on the 7th December 1938. Qualifying as a fighter pilot Albert was posted to the 1/3 Groupe de Chasse-Escadrille in early 1940, although he did not see any combat until the German Invasion in May. On the 14th May Marcel achieved his first combat victory when, flying a Dewoitine D.520, he shot down a Dornier Do 17 north of Suippes. Later that day he shot down a Messerschmitt Bf.109 although this was not confirmed. On the 20th he accounted for a Heinkel He 111 near Ham, but as France fell to the Germans, he and a few comrades escaped by plane from Oran to Gibraltar, and from there to England to join 340 Squadron 'Ile de France' of the Free French Air Force. with which he flew 47 missions.

In 1942 he volunteered to join the groupe de Chasse No.3 'Normandie' to serve in Russia flying YAK fighters. Over the next few months his score of victories gradually increased, including a Junkers Ju.88 and two Focke-Wulf Fw.190s on the 15th October. By the end of October, now as the Commanding Officer of No.4 Escadrille his score had reached 23 plus two probable.

Returning to France in 1945, Marcel was decorated by both the French and Russian Governments (including the Crois de Guerre, aves 15 palmes et trois etoiles de Vermeil, and the Order of Lenin) . After the war he served as French Air attaché to Prague, and later emigrated to the United States where he became a successful businessman.

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