Tuesday, 6 September 2016
Amiot AAC Toucan (Ju 52) in French Indochina (Vietnam)
The Junkers Ju 52 first flew in 1932 and was a key bomber and transport aircraft of the early Luftwaffe and continued front-line service right through the war. During the German occupation of France the Vichy authorities set to work to produce aircraft for the Germans as a means of re-establishing French industry and industrial employment. The former Amiot factories in the Paris suburb of Colombes produced 321 Ju 52s for the Germans. Post-war, one of the quickest ways of re-establishing the French Air Force (Armée de l'Air) was to put this and other German types straight back into service and re-open production lines. The Amiot factory was re-named the Atelier Aéronautiques de Colombes (AAC) and continued to turn out Ju 52s under the designation AAC 1 Toucan. The first post-war Groupe de Transport GT 3/15 was formed at Le Bourget on 1 February 1945 and the type was to play a major role in French Indochine (Vietnam) as a transport, bomber, medi-vac and paratroop transport type - exactly as it had in the Luftwaffe- serving principally with GT 1/64 Béarn, GT 2/60 Franche-Comté and GT 3/64 Tonkin..
French paratroops preparing to board JU-52 (Amiot AAC 1 Toucan) trimotor transport aircraft for an air drop. Puppy dog mascot seen amongst their packs. They board the aircraft. Views of French paratroops descending from the JU-52 trimotor aircraft, and landing in a field in Indochina.