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Brewster B-339 Martinique 1940

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Glenn Gilbertson:
Brewster B-339 Martinique 1940
22 June1940: Franco-German Armistice is signed, as part of the provisions France guaranteeing that her fleet would not operate against Germany, but  that her forces would resist an attack by any power.  3 July 1940: Operation Catapult - the Royal Navy bombard the French fleet in Mers-el Kebir, killing 1,297 French servicemen, sinking a battleship and damaging five other ships. Presented as a regrettable necessity, it was largely regarded as a betrayal and atrocity in France.

The French island of Martinique was governed by Admiral Georges Robert, who firmly supported Petain's government and refused to join General de Gaulle's Free French. The aircraft carrier Bearn had arrived on 15th June and on board were  15 new Curtiss H-75A-4 fighters, 25 Stinson 105 utility aircraft, 44 Curtiss SBC Helldiver biplane dive bombers and 6 Brewster Buffalo fighters intended for the Belgian Air Component.

In the real world, American influence ensured that the Bearn was effectively interned until 1943 and the aircraft landed and sabotaged or abandoned.

What if [/b]Admiral Robert had been more pro-active? There was hope for a long time that the French-owned aircraft might be allowed to be sent to Indo-China, but could the Belgian B-339s be considered abandoned?
Incensed by Operation Catapult, Robert decided to requisition the Belgian aircraft to show that Martinique would defend itself against any British (or American) attack. An airfield was rapidly constructed, and pilots recruited from the Aeronovale  - the Navy was to run the operation. The unit was Escadrille Martinique, bearing the island's flag of a St Michael's cross with four snakes on the fin. The aircraft were named after French naval heroes of the battles in support of the American War of Independence. Reluctantly, yellow neutrality markings were applied to nose and tail. The aircraft served until 1943, when Free French forces took over the island; disarmed, two survivors were kept as aerobatic trainers until 1945.


Brewster B-339 "Comte de Guichen", Escadrille Martinique


Brewster B339 Martinique by Glenn Gilbertson, on Flickr

PR19_Kit:
Very believable. and colourful too.  :thumbsup:

NARSES2:
I like that  :thumbsup:

TomZ:
Very good!

TomZ

Glenn Gilbertson:
Thanks, gentlemen. :cheers:

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