Who's Who - Jean Paul Elzeard Ambrogi

Jean Paul Elzeard Ambrogi Jean Paul Elzeard Ambrogi (1895-1971) was a leading French air ace during the First World War, carving out a particular reputation as a 'balloon buster'.

Born on 9 June 1895 in Marseilles, Ambrogi enlisted for military service towards the close of September 1914.

Serving for two years with 2nd Infantry Regiment Ambrogi requested and received a transfer to the air service in 1916, receiving his pilot's brevet in September that year.

Ambrogi was assigned to N507 the following February following further pilot's training.  He was given a Nieuport aircraft both at N507 and again at N90 to which he was re-assigned in April 1917.  His first successful 'kill' was achieved on 30 October the same year in the skies above Commercy.

However it was as a so-called balloon buster that Ambrogi achieved his greatest success.  Between May and October 1918 he was responsible for bringing down eleven German balloons - a dangerous occupation given the heavy defences applied to protect observation balloons.  During this remarkable run he downed two balloons within the space of five minutes.

By the armistice Ambrogi had amassed a tally of some 14 air successes and had been awarded the Medaille Militaire, Legion d'Honneur and the Croix de Guerre.

Eventually leaving the French air service in 1920 he returned to active service with the onset of the Second World War, and successfully brought down a Dornier Do-17 German aircraft while in charge of a Bloch 125 fighter aircraft, thereby achieving success in the air during both world wars.

He died on 25 April 1971 aged 75.

'Alleyman' was British slang for a German soldier.

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