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- 03 -222018

« A dedicated life », episode 15: Alfred Heurtaux

Birth: 20 May 1893
Death: 30 December 1985
Companion of the Liberation – Decree of 12 June 1945

An officer cadet of Saint-Cyr Military School and then second lieutenant in the Hussars, he was wounded when fighting began in 1914. He joined the air force and shot down his first enemy in May 1916, then joined the legendary group of “Les Cigognes” (“The Storks”). An ace among aces in this elite unit, he flew alongside exceptional pilots such as René Fonck and Georges Guynemer. He led Escadrille N3 after the Somme offensive in November 1916 and was rewarded with the new and elegant SPAD VII plane. Wounded twice in March and September 1917, he had to be taken away from the front. An “Incomparable fighter pilot” and a master of the new tactics that relied on daring and skilful pilots, by the end of the war he had achieved 21 certified victories and 16 citations.

Demobilised after the defeat of June 1940, the Great War ace joined the Resistance by creating the Hector information network. The German military police tracked him down and arrested him in November 1941. He was deported to Germany and interned in various prisons and then Buchenwald concentration camp until the end of the war.

Credits: Alfred Heurtaux in front of his SPAD plane. © Musée de l’ordre de la Libération

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