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


Emile Francois Marie Leonce Fayolle was born on 8th September 1916 in France, the son of Pierre Marie Martin Fayolle (1886-1949) and Suzanne Tezenas Fayolle (nee du Montcel 1891-1982).

His father was an Admiral in the Naval Engineering Branch.



His grandfather Marshal Marie-Emile Fayolle (1852-1928) (above) was one of the best senior field commanders to emerge from the maelstrom of the Western Front. Beginning the war as a reserve division commander, by its end he was commanding France’s principal offensive army group in the advance to victory, and afterwards he would be made a Marshal of France.


In September 1938 Emile Fayolle joined the Armee de l'Air. When the Armistice was signed in June 1940 he was at the Fighter School at Oran.

He made his way to Port Vendres where he embarked with many other airmen on 24th June on the SS Apapa, it arrived in Liverpool via Gibraltar on 7th July.


Above; the embarkation point at Port Vendres is commemorated by a plaque.


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 10th August, where he flew Tiger Moths and Hectors. Fayolle was posted to 5 OTU Aston Down on 18th August to convert to Hurricanes.

He joined 85 Squadron at Church Fenton on 13th September. He moved to 145 Squadron on 3rd December and then to 242 Squadron on 26th April 1941.

On a late evening patrol over London on 10th May Fayolle shot down a He111.

He married Sybil Monica Clarke on 1st July 1941 in London, a girl Chantal was born in April 1942.

On 14th October 1941 Fayolle moved to 611 Squadron and three weeks later went to Turnhouse to join 340 Squadron, the first all-French fighter unit.

On 3rd May 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 19th August, his first one as CO, his Hurricane IIC HV557 was hit by anti-aircraft fire and he crashed and was killed. Other reports claim that he collided with or rammed a Fw190.

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 (above) 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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