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Today in History

Name: Del Antoine Gaston Vial
Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur
Médaille Militaire
Croix de Guerre with 8 palms
Del Vial
Country: France
Rank: Sous Lieutenant
Service: French Air Service
Units: BL49
Spa152, Spa315
Victories: 8
Born: 27 December 1891
Place of Birth: Val d'Ajol
Place of Death:  
After serving in an artillery regiment during 1912, Vial transferred to the French Air Service in 1913 and obtained his Pilot's Brevet in July 1915. In aerial combat on 25 September 1915, he was struck in the right forearm by a piece of shrapnel. Vial served with various Escadrilles throughout the war, scoring all of his victories in 1918 as a pursuit pilot with Spa315 and Spa152.
Médaille Militaire
"A very adroit and courageous pilot, who has taken part in twenty long distance bombardments. Attacked by two enemy planes on 22 July 1916, he downed one of them. Already cited twice in orders." Médaille Militaire citation, 31 July 1916
Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur
"An officer of exceptional bravery and stamina. Took part in a great many long distance bombardments both by day and night. Transferred to pursuit aviation, he has not ceased to demonstrate his qualities of audacity and sang-froid. He recently attacked, at the head of his patrol, three enemy two-seaters and with his pilots downed two, reporting therewith his 7th and 8th victories. One wound, six citations." Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur citation, 24 August 1918
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 22 Jul 1916 MF29 Maurice Farman EA  
2 03 Feb 1918 Spa315 SPAD EA Wittelsheim
3 20 Mar 1918 Spa315 SPAD Two-seater  
4 18 May 1918 0920 Spa315 SPAD Scout W of Soulz
5 08 Jul 1918 Spa152 SPAD Two-seater Genevieve
6 08 Jul 1918 Spa152 SPAD EA  
7 20 Jul 1918 1005 Spa152 SPAD Rumpler C Nogent l'Abbesse
8 20 Jul 1918 1015 Spa152 SPAD Two-seater 1 Faverolles

1 Shared with S/Lt Ernest Maunoury
Over the Front
by Norman L. R. Franks, Frank W. Bailey / Hardcover / Grub Street the Basement (May 1992)
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