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RAF342 "Lorraine" Squadron (Free French)

Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:52 am

11th October would have been my father's 100th Birthday.

Francois Joseph Dumont (1918 - 1997) received the Legion D'Honneur for his service to France during WW2, serving with the l'Armée de l'air and the RAF 342 "Lorraine" Squadron in Africa and northern Europe. He was on the merchant ship SS Mendoza, when it was attacked by a german U-boat off Durban in 1942. Of the 403 passengers and crew, 150 were killed. Most survivors had to spend 72 hours in the ocean on anything that would would float, while awaiting rescue.

He was later shot down over Falaise, France while on a night bombing raid. Two of his crew were killed.


Francois Dumont war diary
https://wartimememoriesproject.com/ww2/ ... id=5043385

SS Mendoza

RAF342 "Lorraine" Squadron

After the war Francois went on to become a Cipher at the French Embassy in Fort Lamy, Chad. We were part of the welcoming committee for the Aerospatiale Concorde prototype, and we were standing on the undershoot as she landed there in 1973, having sped across Africa filming a total eclipse.

http://www.cinemathequenouvelleaquitain ... hp?film423

He also met and flew with Jacques Cousteau on the Catalina over Chad.
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