François Émile Fayolle’s name is almost forgotten today. Yet this native of Auvergne fled to England as early as July 13, 1940 to keep fighting the German invaders and became one of the most prestigious Free French pilots.
After several assignments to RAF fighter squadrons, he joined No 340 (Free French) Squadron with other great names of the Free French Air Forces such as Bernard Dupérier, François de Labouchère or René Mouchotte. The height of his career came when he was given command of No 174 Squadron, a rare distinction for a French pilot, but also saw his demise.
On 19 August 1942, during Operation Jubilee (the Dieppe landings), he was killed while flying his Hurricane, either shot down by German Flak or an enemy fighter. Until 1998 Fayolle had no official burial site as his remains were never located. Examination of RAF squadron archives make it possible to retrace his career and honour his memory.
Thibaut Coupiac has created a booklet (in French only for the moment) retracing Fayolle’s life and career. This booklet is richly illustrated with photos, maps, archives and illustrations.