Nieuport Ni-17; N.1560; Mathieu Tenant de la Tour, Escadrille N.3, France, Cachy, August 1916
Nine victories French ace Mathieu Tenant de la Tour was member of famous „Bande noire“ (Black Band) formed in June 1916 by four friends.
Apart of him the members were Alfred Hertaux (21 victories), Albert Deullin (20 victories) and the most famous one – Georges Guynemer
(53 victories). All had black triangle on the upper side of the fuselage painted. Although de la Tour began his military service with cavalry,
he changed for air corps and received his military pilot license on May 6, 1915. He continued with advanced combat training, during which
he survived an accident on October 30, 1915. He was assigned to Escadrille N.57 on December 29, 1915. His first aerial victory was over
observation baloon on January 25, 1916. After wounded in action on April 25, 1916 he joined Escadrille N.3, the famous Les Cigognes, where
he started flying Nieuports. During the period between July and September 1916 de la Tour shot down five aircraft and another baloon.
After being promoted to Lieutenent, he changed the unit to command the Escadrille N.26 where he scored his last victory. On December 17,
1917, de la Tour conducted an aerobatics exhibition in Auchel (Pas-de-Calais). He lost control of his SPAD XIII and died in fatal accident. His
Ni-17 from the summer 1916 sported the famous stork on the fuselage, which might be full red, or red with black wing feathers.
INFO Eduard - February 2021