Monday, 7 March 2016

Georges Guynemer

On a traffic island in the village of Poelkapelle stands this rather splendid memorial for French air ace Georges Guynemer.  Having been turned down for military service he was eventually accepted as a mechanic and became a pilot in June 1915.  By September 1917 he was a Captain commanding Escadrille N.3 'Storks' with 53 victories to his credit.  He failed to return from a mission in the Langemarck - Poelkapelle area on 11 September.  His funeral took place in Brussels, complete with an honour guard of Prussian Guards.  Guynemer was aged 22.

The memorial was erected by Belgian officers in 1923 and saved from demolition during WW2 by Luftwaffe generals.
One of Guynemer's claims to fame was having his SPAD XII fitted with a (manually loaded) 37mm cannon.  I should think that was something of a handful to fly!


Conrad Kinch said...

37mm cannon you say?

Tim Gow said...

Conrad Kinch
He was a bit of a lad!