Armée de l'air en Indochine - latest Icares - the fall of Dien Bien Phu, May 1954

..our cousins across the Channel messed up in Vietnam a bit before our other cousins messed up there; combat sorties in Junkers 52s and Fieseler Storks over Dien Bien Phu anyone !?... two recent Icares of a planned 3-vol series on the Armée de l'air in Vietnam. Icare is large format glossy softback mostly featuring personal accounts and at 18 euros is very good value for money if you read French. These volumes feature accounts of operations in, out and over North Vietnam along with some great pics, both 186 pages ...via

It is quite amazing to think that there is barely ten years between the fall of Dien Bien Phu in May 1954 and French Junkers Ju 52 and Stork/Criquet ops in North Vietnam and the arrival of US F-4s. The French initially were operating Ki-43 Oscar fighters that had been abandoned by the Japanese! Most of them had actually been abandoned in Burma rather than Indochina, and at least one was test-flown in Australia during the war. They only operated in French colours for around two months before the RAF delivered some Spitfires. There were quite a few other ex-Japanese types used as well, including a 'Zero' floatplane that crashed on its first flight!

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