Nieuport Ni-17; N.1662; Paul Tarascon, Escadrille N.62, Chipilly, France, November 1916
Paul Albert Pierre Tarascon was a formidable fighter pilot not only because of his record of twelve aerial victories (plus ten probable), but
also because of his perseverance. He lost his right foot in an aerial accident during his flying courses in 1911, flying Blériot XI. He finished the
training though and despite his handicap he was accepted to the air corps at the outbreak of World War One. His colleagues called him “l'as
la jambe de bois“ (the ace with the wooden leg) later. He served in the military aviation school as instructor from January 1915, but was sent
to the combat unit on October 6, 1915 upon his own request, and joined the Escadrille N.31. After short spell with N.3 he joined N.62 on his
own request together with six other pilots in May 1916. Shortly afterwards he acted as interim commanding officer from July 11 till the end
of the month, scoring his first victory during this time (on July 15, 1916). Tarascon than started naming his mounts with the Zigomar name.
The Zigomar was the name of fictional criminal, who was terrorising France and the Europe with his accomplices. Tarascon flew this Nieuport 17 in the autumn 1916. The aircraft was painted in factory silvery paint coat, the red painting of the nose was heavily worn out. Paul
Tarascon participated in the resistance against the German occupation During the World War II. He died at the age of 94 on June 11, 1977.
Nieuport Ni-17; N.1490; Charles Nungesser, Escadrille N.124, France, Bar-le-duc - Béhonne,
France, July 1916
Charles Nungesser was one of the most flamboyant French aces of Great War and, together with his good friend Jean Navarre, also the bogeyman for Paris pubs, clubs, and brothels. His apetite for wine, women and dangerous adventures made him popular (apart from his senior
officers), while his flying capabilities, bravery and instincts made him the third highest scoring French ace of WWI with 43 victories. Volunteering for the French Army on May 18, 1914, he was reassigned to the air corps and underwent a pilot training. From April 1915 he flew 53
bombing missions with Escadrille VB.106. In November 1915, after necessary training on Nieuports he moved to Escadrille N.65 staff. After
one of his many wounds, he suffered during the war, he was temporarily assigned to the N.124 Escadrille La Fayette in the period of July 12
to August 15, 1916. Nungesser was eager to fly before his wound caused by shrapnel fully hailed and the N.124 was located close to the hospital and so the physicians could take daily care of him. Nungesser’s aircraft carried the personal marking in the form of black heart with skull
and coffin between two funeral candles were painted and his camouflaged Ni-17 from La Fayette stint was no exception. Nungesser kept on
flying and risky ventures after the war, but on May 8, 1927 disappeared together with Francois Coli during the attempt to cross the Atlantic
flying the Levasseur PL 8 biplane.
INFO Eduard - February 2021