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The Airmen's Stories - Adj. C P Guerin

 

Charles Paul Guerin was born in Paris on 19th August 1916. He was in the French Air Force at the outbreak of war. After call-up, he went on a refresher course and there met Rene Mouchotte. They were posted as instructors to North Africa. In June 1940 they were on a course at the Fighter School at Oran.

When the Armistice was signed on 22nd June, Guerin and Mouchotte decided to go to England. They conspired with Henri Lafont to fly to Gibraltar, which they did on 30th June with two others in a Caudron Goeland. The aircraft's propellers had been damaged deliberately to disable the aircraft and it flew barely above stalling speed. From Gibraltar they sailed for England on 3rd July 1940 in the French armed trawler President Houduce, arriving in Liverpool on the 13th.

 

(Above: Guerin (left) and Mouchotte during their escape)

 

Guerin was one of eleven French pilots who went to RAF St. Athan in late July. He moved to No. 1 School of Army Co-operation at Old Sarum on 29th July and then went to Odiham on 10th August where he flew 15 hours on Tiger Moths and Hectors. On 18th August Guerin went to 5 OTU and, after converting to Hurricanes, he joined 232 Squadron at Castletown on 14th September.

Guerin was posted to 615 Squadron at Kenley on 17th December 1940. He was lost on 3rd May 1941, whilst on a convoy patrol. He had a glycol leak and his engine seized. Instead of baling out, Guerin decide to ditch in the sea near to the convoy. At 50 feet the Hurricane suddenly lurched to the right, hit the sea, turned over and disappeared. No trace of Guerin could be found.

He received a posthumous Mention in Despatches.

 

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