For the 80th anniversary of the founding of the legendary Normandie-Niémen fighter regiment, the organization has invited its current and former members and their entourage to share a unique moment.
The Normandie-Niémen fighter regiment, which appeared during the most uncertain hours of the Second World War, is a part of French history in its own right. It came into being in Lebanon on September 1, 1942, following an agreement between the USSR, the United Kingdom and the Free France of General de Gaulle. Its prime objective: to get to the Soviet Union and help it in combating Nazi Germany.
On December 2 of the same year, the group – via Iraq and Iran – arrived in Ivanovo, north of Moscow, to begin its training on board the Yakovlev Yak-1 and Yak-7. On this famous Eastern Front, the first victories came a few months later, in April 1943, against the Focke-Wulf FW 190, a formidable Luftwaffe fighter aircraft. The legend of the unit was on the march! This was followed by a second campaign to East Prussia – the Normandie-Niémen was the first French regiment to land on German soil, at Gross-Kalweitchen – as well as a third, where it contributed to the fall of the Third Reich before being acclaimed on its return, first in Moscow and then in Paris.
After the war, the group was present in Morocco, Indochina and Algeria, before returning to France to set up bases in Orange and then Reims. It had been the subject of numerous films since the 1960s and in the 1990s the Normandie-Niémen was in Bosnia and Rwanda. In the 2000s, the “Neu-Neu”, as it is nicknamed, was acknowledged by Russia and France with the inauguration of a monument in Moscow (with President Sarkozy in attendance) before being made dormant in 2009.
The 2/30 Normandie-Niémen made its reappearance in the early 2010s, participating in operations Barkhane and Serval, and has since been stationed in Mont-de-Marsan (base 118). Now equipped with the Rafale, the squadron is celebrating its 80th anniversary with a Rafale flying unique colors to mark the occasion. This provides the opportunity for former and current members of the regiment—and their nearest and dearest—to take a glorious trip down memory lane.
Event. 80 years of the “Normandie-Niémen” fighter squadron Base 118 at Mont-de-Marsan Tuesday, June 21, 2022.