Maurice de Seynes
On the 15th of July 1944, the group "Normandie" was
transferring to a new airfield. It left Doubrovka for Mikountani;
a small village located in old pre-World War Two Poland, which had
been annexed to the USSR. At 9 AM, the first Escadrille departed,
followed twenty minutes later by the second. A few minutes after
the takeoff of the last group, the patrol Seynes - Le Bras was
returning, Maurice de Seynes' airplane appearing to be in trouble.
Pierre Matras now narrates this sad story.
"He attempted a first landing, but being too fast he missed the
approach and regained altitude for another attempt. The pilot
obviously blinded and affected by fumes in the cockpit appeared to
have problems controlling his airplane. He kept on trying to the
end, attempting to land three times despite the radio order of
Delfino who was begging him to bail out, which would have been
"We understood his predicament - As we all did, he had taken his
Russian mechanic along with him, ridding in a very small place
located behind the dorsal armour plate. After a half roll, the
airplane hit the ground and exploded immediately. On the wreckage,
de Seynes' airplane number was still visible…His faithful mechanic
Bielozub not having a parachute, de Seynes deemed that he had no
rights to abandon him".
Maurice de Seynes' sacrifice considerably impressed the Soviet
personnel of the Normandie Group. Although they never had any
doubts as to their mutual fraternity with the French pilots, they
just had witnessed this tragic demonstration of sacrificial
Maurice de Seynes had participated in the French campaign with GC
II/6 (Fighter group 2/6) achieving two victories as the group had
just transitioned to the Bloch 152 fighters.
He rejoined GC 3 in January 1944 but never had the opportunity to
add more victories to his personal record.
Seynes (de) Maurice
05.06.40 (2) He 111 Nevers 
06.06.40 (2) Bf 109 Roye