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Today in History

Name: Joseph Denis Bernard Robert De Bonnefoy
Légion d'Honneur
Médaille Militaire

Croix de Guerre
Country: France
Rank: Sous Lieutenant
Service: French Air Service
Units: BR131
N65, N68, N84
SPA15, SPA23
Victories: 6
Born: 29 October 1894
Place of Birth: Saint-Jean-le-Vieux, France
Died: 27 September 1946
Place of Death:  
Joseph Denis Bernard Robert De Bonnefoy was a pre-war cavalryman who volunteered for aviation as soon as the war began. His first flying assignment was with Escadrille 101 as a Voisin pilot. He was removed from the front for a spell as an instructor and then served with two Nieuport squadrons: Escadrille 68 and Escadrille 65. He scored his first aerial victory on 2 July 1916 and scored five more by 5 November 1916. In 1917, he re-joined Escadrille 84 and scored another victory on 21 August 1917. After a well deserved rest behind the lines, De Bonnefoy went on to serve with Escadrilles 15, 31 and 23 before the end of the war. Post-war, he remained in the military and became an Officer de la Légion d'Honneur.
Médaille Militaire
"A pilot of exceptional ardor and bravery. He has distinguished himself in a number of long distance bombardments, and has given proof of the highest military qualities during the course of recent operations. On 27 July 1916, he downed an enemy plane and forced a second to land in its lines. Having had, on 30 July, his plane riddled by bullets during the course of aerial combat, he nevertheless succeeded, by the grace of his energy and sang-froid, to return his plane to our lines. On 3 August he downed another machine. Already cited three times." Médaille Militaire citation, 25 August 1916
Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur
"Officer of great worth, model of sang-froid, of strength and character, has distinguished himself during the course of his latest offensives by attacking a heavily protected enemy balloon. Médaille Militaire for feats of war. Eight citations, two wounds." Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur citation, 10 July 1917
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 02 Jul 1916 N65   EA Samougneux
2 27 Jul 1916 N65   EA Brie
3 03 Aug 1916 N65   EA Amiens
4 23 Aug 1916 N65   EA Marchélepot
5 05 Nov 1916 N65   EA Ferme d'Hopital
6 21 Aug 1917 N84   EA Beaumont
Over the Front
by Norman L. R. Franks, Frank W. Bailey / Hardcover / Grub Street the Basement (May 1992)
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