Navy Day was celebrated in New York City from May 20 to 23, 2017. This project was originally developed by the sailors of the NATO transformation staff in Norfolk, Virginia to bring together the French sailors stationed in the United States to restore the Étendard IVM which has been on display aboard the USS Intrepid Sea, Air and Space museum since 1997. The Norfolk team was joined by two technical experts from the Landivisiau Naval Air Base, student pilots in training in Tennessee, officers on exchange at the Naval Academy and the Pentagon, those in training in American military schools, and, of course, by the Naval Attaché. The General of the Cousin Air Division, Defense Attaché, also joined the team, demonstrating the project’s importance beyond the French Navy. It took 48 hours to give the airframe a thorough cleaning, change the canopy, wheels, brake assemblies and arrester hooks, change the aircraft’s markings and finally to apply corrosion protection over the entire aircraft to preserve it as best as possible.
The spare parts were provided by the French Navy, taking advantage of the Modernized Super Étendard being withdrawn from service, while the major French defense industries, in partnership with associations, provided financial support for the project to be successfully completed.
The rain on Monday did not prevent the official transfer of ownership to the USS Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, in the presence of the French Consul to New York, along with a friendly get-together of French veterans and former servicemen living in the United States.
This event was also an opportunity to pay tribute to the 25 French sailors who died in New York City in the final months of World War I and who were buried in Brooklyn Cemetery, and to Eugene Bullard, former legionnaire, former pilot in the La Fayette squadron and the first African American pilot. This last tribute was part of wider celebrations by French sailors stationed in the USA to mark the one hundredth anniversary of the USA entering World War I.
TUESDAY, JUNE 8, 2017, AT 2 P.M.
Palais de la découverte – Paris 75 008, France
Open event with free admission (subject to seat availability)