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Name: Armand Pinsard Balloon-Buster
Légion d'Honneur
Médaille Militaire
Croix de Guerre with 19 palms
Armand Pinsard Military Cross (MC)
Country: France
Rank: Capitaine
Service: French Air Service
Units: MS23; N26, N78; Spa23
Victories: 27
Born: 28 May 1887
Place of Birth: Nercillac
Died: 10 May 1953
Place of Death: Paris
 
 
Pinsard joined the army in 1906 and was decorated twice for service in Africa. In 1912, he transferred to the French Air Service and was serving with MS23 when the war began. On 8 February 1915, he was captured when his aircraft was forced down behind enemy lines. More than a year later, after several unsuccessful attempts, Pinsard and a fellow prisoner succeeded in tunneling through a 12 foot wall and escaped from a German prison. Promoted to Lieutenant and retrained on aircraft developed during his incarceration, he returned to combat duty with N26. Pinsard is believed to be the first frontline pilot to fly the SPAD VII in combat.

During World War II, Pinsard served with Groupe de Classe 21, losing a leg during a bombing raid on 6 June 1940. Post-war he was imprisoned for collaborating with the Nazis. He was later pardoned. General Pinsard died at the age of 66 in Paris.
 
Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur
"Has shown, under particularly difficult circumstances, exceptional energy and tenacity. Posted to an escadrille de chasse, at his request, he has had numerous combats during the course of which his plane was riddled by bullets. On 7 August 1916, during an infantry attack, he made six strafing runs from a height of 200 meters as German reserves massed for a counter attack. Already cited twice." Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur citation
 
Officier de la Légion d'Honneur
"Incomparable escadrille commander, and at the same time an admirable pilot. Constant example of self-denial, spirit and sacrifice, a model of bravery, audacity and strength. Possesses the highest qualities of a leading pilot. Seriously wounded in 1917, he returned to take his place at the front and continue his glorious exploits, bringing his total to 25 victories. Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur for feats of war, cited 13 times in army orders." Officier de la Légion d'Honneur citation
 
Victories
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 01 Nov 1916 1525 N26 SPAD VII (S122) EA Lechelle
2 23 Jan 1917 N78   Two-seater S of Pompelle
3 15 Feb 1917 N78   EA Juniville
4 25 Feb 1917 1455 N78   EA Orefeuil
5 06 Mar 1917 N78   Rumpler C N of Laval
6 11 Apr 1917 N78   Albatros St. Souplet
7 12 Apr 1917 N78   Albatros S of Epoye
8 14 Apr 1917 N78   Two-seater W of Somme-Py
9 21 Apr 1917 N78   EA Moronvillers
10 21 Apr 1917 N78   Albatros Brimont-Nauroy
11 06 May 1917 N78   EA Vaudesincourt
12 06 May 1917 N78   EA E of Beine
13 20 May 1917 N78   EA  
14 28 May 1917 N78   EA 1  
15 31 May 1917 N78   EA 2  
16 05 Jun 1917 N78   EA 3  
17 20 Feb 1918 Spa23   EA  
18 04 May 1918 Spa23   Balloon  
19 30 May 1918 Spa23   Balloon  
20 06 Jun 1918 Spa23   Two-seater Ornes
21 08 Jul 1918 Spa23   Balloon Boinville
22 19 Jul 1918 Spa23   Balloon Bois d'Emont
23 31 Jul 1918 Spa23   Balloon Lancon
24 11 Aug 1918 Spa23   Balloon Mangiennes
25 14 Aug 1918 Spa23   Balloon 4 Romagne
26 20 Aug 1918 1840 Spa23   Balloon Mangiennes
27 22 Aug 1918 Spa23   Balloon Romagne

1 Shared with S/Lt Sauvage, Adj Fauvet, Adj Dramand
2 Shared with Adj Fauvet
3 Shared with S/Lt Hugues
4 Shared with Lt Simeoni
 
Books
Over the Front
by Norman L. R. Franks, Frank W. Bailey / Hardcover / Grub Street the Basement (May 1992)
 
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