This month, we are starting a new series of postings – The Olivier Le Floch Newsletters.
These deeply researched and informative Newsletters have been written by a devoted French student of the American 367th Fighter Group and give a valuable insight into the type of people who became fighter pilots in the USA in the Second World War. The Group were based initially at Stoney Cross in England from April to July 1944, while supporting the D-Day invasion, and then moved on, via Ibsley, to various bases in France and eventually to Germany. They were active during the severe winter of 1944-45 and took part in the ‘Battle of the Bulge’.
There are many insights, personal stories and recorded incidents, which have never been published elsewhere, which will be a valuable resource to students of aviation history, in the coming years.
Whereas information on organisation, tactics, equipment and many other aspects of WWII is often copied and repeated by successive writers down the years, commonly perpetuating errors and omissions made by the original authors, Olivier has done his own original research, by contacting aviators and their families directly and obtaining previously unpublished photographs and documents. These have validated his original research and now provide us with original sources and material. We are indebted to him for his perseverance and expertise.
While some knowledgeable experts may find minor errors here and there, the main body of this work is a superb record of the times and stands as a fine testimony to his knowledge and his skill in ‘bringing the pages alive’. In addition, it should be remembered that he is writing in a foreign language – English.
Olivier has graciously given permission for us to publish the Newsletters on the FONFA website. However, readers should note that all of the material remains his copyright and nothing can be re-published or used elsewhere without his express permission. The newsletters will be published on this website in a section entitled ‘The Olivier Le Floche Newsletters’, every two months, so that interested readers can absorb and enjoy the content in a steady stream, rather than as a single deluge. We hope that you will enjoy them.