Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Nungesser et Coli

Erik, over at ¡No Pasarán!, has a great story about two intrepid French aviators who nearly beat out Charles Lindbergh for the distinction of being the first to fly across the Atlantic.

Another good article on these heroic aviators is here.

The reason this article caught my eye is because Charles Nungesser has always been one of my personal heroes. A great fighter pilot, officially credited with 42 aerial victories, he also had "issues" with military authority. Something I hid rather well for most of my 24 years of service.

François Coli I had not heard of before today, which is unfortunate because he was a fascinating chap. He was a civilian sea captain and when the French Navy could not find a place for him at the start of World War I, he enlisted in the infantry as a private. He eventually gained a commission in the infantry and after being so badly wounded that he could not continue as an infantryman, he became a pilot. Quite a man I would say!

Ltt Charles Nungesser
Né le 15 mars 1892 à Paris
Nungesser's Nieuport-28
Cne François Coli – Pilote de l’escadrille N 62
Né le 5 juin 1881 à Marseille
To a pair of aviators we should know, and remember. Santé!

Repose en paix mes braves!


  1. I LOVE that first photo... mainly for the ciggies hanging out of their mouths. Nannys all over America would have terminal cases of the vapors if today's heroes struck a similar pose.

    Ah, Former Happy Days. Sigh.

    1. The cigs, the determined manly pose for the camera. Nowadays the liberals would be fainting and screaming for laws to "protect the children".

      Happy Days, Aye!

  2. Very interesting website, thank you, some great photos and links!
    We recently visited the memorial at Nungesser and Coli Etretat, Normandy - some pictures here
    It's a stunning memorial at the place Nungesser and Coli last saw France.
    Also posted is an old image of the original memorial blown up by the Germans in WW2. It is a great image of these heroes, you are welcome to use on this site.

    1. Love your website. I didn't know that les Boches had destroyed the memorial to Nungesser and Coli. Barbarians!

      Now I need to do a follow up on those two brave aviators!


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