Marcel Albert

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Marcel Albert
Marcel Albert.jpg
Born 25 November 1917
Paris, France
Died 23 August 2010(2010-08-23) (aged 92)
Harlingen, Texas, U.S.
Allegiance  France
Awards Hero of the Soviet Union
Order of Lenin

Marcel Albert (25 November 1917 – 23 August 2010) was a French World War II flying ace who flew for? the air forces of the Vichy government and the Free French forces, and also for the Soviet Air Force and the Royal Air Force. He was born in Paris.


Albert grew up in a working-class family. He became a mechanic, building gearboxes for Renault, and was accepted for pilot training in the French Armée de l'Air in May 1938. After primary and advanced training, he was posted at the fighter training center in Chartres, where he flew Bloch 152, Morane-Saulnier MS.406 and Hawk 75 fighters.[1]

World War II

In February 1940 Albert was assigned to Groupe de Chasse I/3, a unit operating France's top fighter, the Dewoitine D.520. When German troops invaded France in May 1940, his squadron was redeployed to the Reims airfield. On 14 May 1940, Albert shot down a Do 17 bomber and later that day, a Messerschmitt Me 109 fighter, although this victory was not confirmed. He also earned a probable victory over a Heinkel He 111 bomber before the armistice.

Under the Vichy government, his squadron was redeployed to Algeria where Albert flew a few missions against the British forces in Gibraltar. On 14 October he and two other pilots defected and surrendered their airplanes to the British.

Having reached England, Albert joined the RAF and flew 47 missions in Spitfires with 340 Squadron.

In late 1942, Albert joined the Normandie fighter group, a Free French fighter unit that was being sent to the Soviet Union to help fight the Germans. The Normandie group entered the fight in April 1943, flying Russian-built Yak-1 fighters, and later Yak-9s and Yak-3s.

Albert quickly proved to be one of Normandie's best pilots. His first kill was over a Focke-Wulf Fw 189 on 16 June 1943. In July he claimed 3 more, and he was given command of the 1st escadrille on 4 September 1943. During the offensive against Eastern Prussia in October 1944, he scored 7 victories.

His score totaled 23 victories (including 15 shared)[1] in 262 combat missions, making him the second highest-scoring French ace of World War II. On 27 November 1944 he was awarded the Soviet Union's highest decoration, the Gold Star and title of "Hero of the Soviet Union" — an award almost never given to foreigners.[2][3]


After the war Albert flew as a test pilot in 1946 and was later sent to Czechoslovakia as air attaché, where he met his future wife, an employee at the American embassy. In 1948, he left the military and moved to the United States with his wife, and lived in Chipley, Florida, then his last two years in Harlingen, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley.[4] Albert died there on 23 August 2010.[5]


List of credited aerial victories

Aerial Victories
Plane shot down date Unit Plane flown Location
Do 17 14 May 1940 GC 1/3 D.520 North of Suippes (France)
Fw 189 16 June 1943 Normandie Yak-1 Brusna-Mekovaïa (USSR)
Bf 110 14 July 1943 Normandie Yak-9 Jagodnaja (USSR)
Fw 190 17 July 1943 Normandie Yak-9 Jagodnaja-Krasnikovo (USSR)
Fw 190 17 July 1943 Normandie Yak-9 Beloto-Orel (USSR)
Ju 88 19 July 1943 Normandie Yak-9 Krasnikovo (USSR)
Ju 87 31 August 1943 Normandie Yak-9 Yelnya (USSR)
Fw 190 1 September 1943 Normandie Yak-9 Yelnya (USSR)
Fw 190 17 September 1943 Normandie Yak-9 10 km W of Yelnya (USSR)
Fw 190 22 September 1943 Normandie Yak-9 30 km SE of Smolensk (USSR)
Hs 126 4 October 1943 Normandie Yak-9 Krasnoe (USSR)
Fw 190 12 October 1943 Normandie Yak-9 Gorki (USSR)
Ju 88 15 October 1943 Normandie Yak-9 10 km N of Gorki (USSR)
Fw 190 15 October 1943 Normandie Yak-9 7 km N of Gorki (USSR)
Fw 190 15 October 1943 Normandie Yak-9 7 km N of Gorki (USSR)
Ju 87 16 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 Pillupönen (East Prussia)
Ju 87 16 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 Pillupönen (East Prussia)
Fw 190 16 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 SE of Stallupönen (East Prussia)
Hs 129 18 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 S of Stallupönen (East Prussia)
Hs 129 18 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 S of Stallupönen (East Prussia)
Fw 190 18 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 Stallupönen (East Prussia)
Bf 109 23 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 8 km S of Stallupönen (East Prussia)
Bf 109 26 October 1944 Normandie Yak-3 SE of Stallupönen (East Prussia)


  1. ^ a b "Marcel Albert, french fighter pilot". Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  2. ^ (in Russian)Biography at the website on Heroes of the Soviet Union and Russia
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2010-02-11. 
  4. ^ Aaron Pena. "A CAPITOL BLOG". Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ DEFM1008929D
  7. ^ "Ordre de la Libération". Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c "Герой Советского Союза Альбер (Albert) Марсель (Marcel) :: Герои страны". Retrieved 5 September 2015. 

External links

  • "French fighter pilots 1939–1945." Aerostories
  • Interview with Marcel Albert at (French language)
  • Marcel Albert at Find a Grave
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