A Knight of the Air part of a family of soldiers

This is the translation of the article written late in 1944.

It was in a French newspaper most probably in Quebec. The article pays homage to Pierre Lecoq aka Peter Logan.

A Knight of the Air part of a family of soldiers

Captain Pierre Lecoq of Savoyard Origin and a RCAF Hero


The press have talked extensively lately of the exploits of the F.F.I. (French Forces of the Interior). It praised them and they well deserved it.

Today we would like to pay a well-deserved homage to a glorious family of soldiers who traces its roots around Bonneville. Almost all of its members have distinguished themselves from the start of the hostilities, always as volunteers and always posted at the most dangerous places in various Allied air and naval services.

This family is the Lecoq family. The father, who immigrated to Canada, died there ten years ago, from wounds suffered on the Western Front during the First World War. He was buried in Montreal. After the death of the head of the family, his widow, Mrs. Lecoq, came back to her native country and settled in Bonneville with her four younger children, leaving her eldest son Pierre. She actively devotes herself to charitable organizations in Bonneville, assuming in particular, with remarkable zeal, the functions of secretary-general of l’Entr’Aide.

Staying in Canada after his mother left, Pierre Lecoq quickly understood in 1940 that his duty was calling him to the rescue of his homeland for which his father had given his life. He joined as a volunteer the Royal Canadian Air Force at the age of 20. First as a student-pilot, he got noticed by his superiors because of his brilliant intelligence, as well as showing these fine virile qualities of boldness and composure which all true pilots possess. He quickly earned his wings with his behavior, and then he became one of the youngest instructors in the U.S. Air Force. He was entrusted with the difficult task of instructing young student pilots about the theory of aerial warfare.

This lasted until May 1943.

It was at that time that the High Command asked for volunteers for fighting in Europe. Pierre Lecoq took on the challenge and was posted with a RCAF fighter squadron stationed in England. By that time he had been regularly promoted though successive ranks before becoming a captain at the age of 24.

Then came June 1944. Our young captain, always eager to served France, was transferred to one of the most famous squadron, RCAF No. 403 Wolf Squadron.

He then took part in the D-Day operations protecting paratroopers. After he took part in the Normandy campaign harassing German forces in full retreat, and attacking planes of the Luftwaffe.

If he shot down several enemy planes, Pierre Lecoq came very close several times to being killed himself. He managed to survive though his skills and also maybe by a sixth sense that seems to protect some people who are predestinated in life. To illustrate this, two anecdotes are taken from his military career.

Everyone knows that every pilot has a plane allocated to himself which he is used to, and the only pilot flying it. One of Pierre Lecoq’s friend who was also a fighter pilot paid him a visit and asked him to used his plane for a raid. First he refused by telling him: “I can assure you that if you use it, you won’t come back.” The pilot insisted and Pierre Lecoq reluctantly agreed. His friend never came back…

Another time, before a mission, he had the premonition he would not come back. So certain was he that he gave all his belongings to his mechanic with his last instructions. He came back nevertheless, but his plane was all shot up and full of holes and totally wrecked. He never could understand how he had managed to extricate himself from a complete desperate situation. His intuition had fooled him, but it was a close call.

 After the Normandy campaign, under direct orders from High Command, Pierre Lecoq had to get back to England and was posted as an instructor. Highly valued instructors are rarer than fighter pilots and their role, while more thankless, nevertheless contributes with a higher degree of efficiency to the final victory.

Pierre Lecoq participated nevertheless while being an instructor for pilots defending against V-1 rockets.

 

Finally let us say that he received several medals.

Now, having said all this about a great pilot, let us say a few words about other members of his family.

His two brothers, Jean and Yvon, who are well known by everyone living in Bonneville, want to follow on their brother’s foot steps. While waiting to join the Canadian Armed Forces, they are presently working at the Canadian embassy in Paris.

Their mother, Mrs. Lecoq, has also relatives fighting for the same common cause: naval officer Georges Lecoq, her brother-in-law, volunteered in the U.S. Navy during WWI, and again volunteered since 1941, fighting with the naval forces fighting the Japanese in the Pacific; pilot officer André Glorieux, her nephew, is now a member of a bomber squadron in England; naval offier André Ligot, her cousin, volunteered since June 1940 with General de Gaule’s naval forces. He is currently on a corvette and is posted in England. Another of her nephews, Raymond Glorieux, 27 years-old, was shot down and died on the first raid on Cologne. His bomber was shot down in combat and he is buried in Cologne.

At  a time when France is slowly ending its nightmare and erasing the last traces of a servitude that some people so docilely accepted, it seemed fitting to cite the fine example of a family whose all members gave the signal of this moral recovery that allowed France to reawaken at take its rightful place in the world.

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s