70th anniversary of the famed Normandie Niemen

The French Air Force (Armée de l'air ) has just celebrated the 70th anniversary of the famed Normandie Niemen at Mont de Marsan as it reforms on the Rafale. Present at the ceremony was this Yak-3 along with Normandie veteran Georges Masurel, 91 years old, a former Yak mechanic who served in Russia from November 1942 to October 1943. While a Yak-3 and a Mirage F-1 were present, of the other aircraft flown by the Normandie Niemen there was no NC-900 (French version of the  FW-190) nor Mosquito, a type that the unit flew in Indo-china. 

Along with the Cigognes, the Normandie-Niemen must be one of the most "symbolic" of all Armée de l'air units today. As an aside the group has also recently acquired a balalaïka presented in 1960 by General Zakharov to Héléne Pouyade, daughter of former Normandie wartime CO Pierre Pouyade...

More pics of the aircraft at 

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