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The Airmen's Stories - Adjutant E F M L Fayolle


Emile Francois Marie Leonce Fayolle was born on September 8th 1916 in France, the son of an Admiral in the Naval Engineering Branch and the grandson of a Marshal in the Army.

In September 1938 Fayolle joined the Armee de l'Air. When the Armistice was signed in June 1940 he was at the Fighter School at Oran. On June 30th he took an aircraft and with another pilot flew to Gibraltar, from where they sailed on July 3rd in the armed trawler President Houduce, arriving in Liverpool on the 13th. With other French pilots, Fayolle went to RAF St Athan in late July, moved to No 1 School of Army Co-operation on the 29th. He went to Odiham on August 10th, where he flew Tiger Moths and Hectors. Fayolle was posted to 5 OTU, Aston Down on August 18th to convert to Hurricanes.

He joined 85 Squadron at Church Fenton on September 13th. He moved to 145 Squadron on December 3rd and then to 242 Squadron on April 26th 1941. On a late evening patrol over London on May 10th Fayolle shot down a He111. On October 14th Fayolle moved to 611 Squadron and three weeks later went to Turnhouse to join 340 Squadron, the first all-French fighter unit. On May 3rd 1942 Fayolle claimed a Fw190 destroyed and on an evening patrol on the 11th he shot a Ju88 down into the sea. At the end of July 1942 Fayolle took command of 174 Squadron at Warmwell.

On the Dieppe operation on August 19th, his first one as CO, his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and he crashed and was killed. Fayolle was a Compagnon de la Liberation and had been awarded the DFC.

He is buried in Hautot-sur-Mer (Dieppe Canadian) Cemetery.





Fayolle is also commemorated (right) with other French airmen lost on the Dieppe operation with a plaque on the seafront.


His portrait was made by Eric Kennington in 1942 (below).


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