Who's Who - Gabriel Guerin

Gabriel Guerin Gabriel Fernand Charles Guerin (1892-1918) achieved 23 victories as a French air ace during the First World War.

Born in Morocco Guerin enlisted with the French Army in 1913, remaining with the infantry until his transfer three years later, in August 1916, to the French Air Service.  The following April Guerin - following pilot lessons - was assigned to Escadrille N15.

Guerin lost little time in notching up air successes; by August the same year he had reached the rank of Sergeant, achieved four air 'kills' and won the Medaille Militaire.  Four months later he was promoted to Sous Lieutenant.  The following year, in February 1918, Guerin received the Legion d'Honneur as his victory tally continued to mount.

Wounded following victory number 22 on 11 May 1918 Guerin returned to active service following several weeks of recuperation.  In early July he was handed command of Spa88 and promoted Lieutenant within a week.

Guerin was killed on 1 August 1918 when the aircraft he was piloting, a SPAD VII, spun out of control and plunged to the ground soon after take-off near Mont l'Eveque.  Aged 26 he had achieved some 23 victories.

In WW1 an "ace" was a pilot who scored five confirmed "kills".

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