Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Pithienville Frankreich Beute Flugzeug französische Douglas DB 7 Maschine - daily Ebay photo find #146

Also on offer via Marco Meyer koelsch333 Ebay sales and kindly reproduced here with the seller's permission

Armée de l'Air Douglas DB 7 (Boston/Havoc)

The story of the DB 7 (Douglas Bomber) in Armée de l'Air service is covered by Chris Ehrengardt in Aérojournal nos 41 and 42. Of the French order for around 750 machines, 116 crated machines arrived in Casablanca between November 1939 and the end of June 1940. Six crates went to France directly (Caen-Carpiquet) and the contents were never assembled. 99 were taken on charge by the Armée de l'Air before the armistice and 26 were delivered after 29 June 1940, of which only 8 were assembled. The DB-7 units were still undergoing conversion training when war broke out. 5 Groupes were envisioned at the start of the conflict, GB I/19 II/19, II/61, I/32, II/32. The last two never made it in to action and remained in North Africa, while II/61 under Commandant Schurck only reached the mainland on 9 June, arriving at Lissay-Lochey on 13 June. Under 75 attacks were made by the DB-7's and incomplete records account for 8 losses. During Operation Torch GB II/32 aircraft were surprised by US Navy Wildcats while taxing their bomb loaded aircraft and were strafed. The unit was destroyed and suffered heavy losses. The remaining units were luckier but did not see any real action during Torch. As soon as they could after Operation Torch the DB's were traded in for B-26s. Later on in 1944 a unit of 6 DB-7s and six Martin 167s was formed (I/34 "Bearn") as part of the FFI and flew 127 missions against by-passed German strong points on the Atlantic coast. Among this unit was also a captured Me-110.