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Name: Léon Jean Pierre Bourjade Balloon-Buster
Légion d'Honneur, chevalier and officier
Croix de Guerre with 17 palms, 1 etoile de vermeil
Léon Bourjade
Country: France
Rank: Lieutenant
Service: French Air Service
Units: N152, Spa152
Victories: 28
Born: 25 May 1889
Place of Birth: Montauban
Died: 22 October 1924
Place of Death: Yui Island, British New Guinea
 
 
When the war began, Bourjade was in Switzerland training for the priesthood. Having served with the 23eme Regiment d'Artillerie during the Battle of the Marne, he transferred to the 125e Brigade de Bombardiers in 1915. In 1917, he requested a transfer to aviation and received his Military Pilot's Brevet on 17 June. Following additional training at Pau, he was posted to Escadrille N152 and became the highest scoring ace to serve with this unit. By the end of the war, he was credited with downing 27 balloons and 1 enemy aircraft. In 1924, Bourjade died while serving as a missionary in British New Guinea.
 
Légion d'Honneur (Chevalier)
"Officer pilot of uncommon bravery and audacity. After brilliant conduct in the artillery, he has proven the highest qualities of courage by attacking numerous balloons and has downed four. Four citations." Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur citation, 5 June 1918
 
Légion d'Honneur (Officier)
"Officer of the highest value; pursuit pilot of heroic bravery. Specialist in the attack of enemy observation balloons, has rendered brilliant service, proven by the numbers of his victories and by magnificent personal examples. Fourteen citations. One wound." Officier de la Légion d'Honneur citation, 16 June 1920
 
Victories
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 27 Mar 1918 1215 Spa152   Balloon Geberschweiler
2 03 Apr 1918 Spa152   Balloon 1 Willer
3 04 May 1918 1135 Spa152   Balloon Geberschweiler
4 11 May 1918 0835 Spa152   Balloon 2 Willer
5 25 Jun 1918 Spa152   Balloon St. Etienne-a-Arnes
6 28 Jun 1918 Spa152   Balloon St. Pierre-a-Arnes
7 29 Jun 1918 Spa152   Scout N of Rosnay
8 30 Jun 1918 1145 Spa152   Balloon Marvaux-Rosières
9 05 Jul 1918 Spa152   Balloon 3 Hauvine
10 08 Jul 1918 Spa152   Balloon Iviory
11 15 Jul 1918 Spa152   Balloon  
12 15 Jul 1918 Spa152   Balloon  
13 15 Jul 1918 Spa152   Balloon Main de Massiges
14 17 Jul 1918 Spa152   Balloon N of Nauroy
15 19 Jul 1918 Spa152   Balloon Tahure
16 30 Aug 1918 0820 Spa152   Balloon 4 Chavonne
17 01 Sep 1918 1840 Spa152   Balloon 4 Pont Arcy
18 04 Sep 1918 0645 Spa152   Balloon 5 Pont Arcy
19 15 Sep 1918 0715 Spa152   Balloon 4 Ailles
20 15 Sep 1918 0730 Spa152   Balloon 4 Hubertise
21 01 Oct 1918 1350 Spa152   Balloon 4 Grainville
22 01 Oct 1918 1350 Spa152   Balloon 4 Grainville
23 03 Oct 1918 1540 Spa152   Balloon 6 Cheresy
24 04 Oct 1918 0720 Spa152   Balloon 7 Orgeval
25 08 Oct 1918 0645 Spa152   Balloon 6 Chamouville
26 27 Oct 1918 1315 Spa152   Balloon 6 Château-Porcien
27 29 Oct 1918 1125 Spa152   Balloon 8  
28 29 Oct 1918 1300 Spa152   Balloon Serancourt

1 Shared with Brig de Freslon
2 Shared with Cpl Vallot, Cpl Bebely, Cpl Marsaudon
3 Shared with Sgt Robert, Cpl Lac
4 Shared with 2Lt Ernest Maunoury
5 Shared with 2Lt Ernest Maunoury, Cpl Manson
6 Shared with 2Lt Garin
7 Shared with Adj Manson
8 Shared with 2Lt Garin, Sgt Fos
 
Books
Over the Front
by Norman L. R. Franks, Frank W. Bailey / Hardcover / Grub Street the Basement (May 1992)
 
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