Rene Mouchotte

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.


Date: 27th December 2009


Months ago, I wrote to the French Air Attache in London asking for help with my research into the French Pilot and War Hero - Rene Mouchotte.  (I understood that Col. Jean-Claude Piccirillo  spoke excellent English and wrote to him explaining what I wanted and telling him that my French was not fluent enough to correspond in that language.) I received a reply addressed to Monsieur Leeming (well I suppose in Holland Jan is a man's name!) telling me that the letter had been passed on to the Ministry of Defence in Paris.

I have now had a delightful reply - again addressed to Monsieur Leeming and all in French.  Had to get it translated to understand the nuances and basically I've been given the go-ahead to contact several Organisations which would help in my Reseach - AAD - The air force department of the Defence History Service and ECPAD which holds newsreels, propaganda films and photographic accounts.   However, it's the human side of Mouchotte about which I need information.  I know his sister had two sons because, in his diaries,  he refers to his nephews who would be in their 70's today.  I know, from a photo of the Mouchotte Family Vault in Pere La Chaise Cemetery in N.E. Paris, that the tomb is in good order which would suggest that there are still extant members of the family.  I also know that his mother lived in Bergerac during the War.  But I am hampered by my inadequate French.  So, if anyone reading this Blog - and I know there are several people in France who 'tune' in - could help with my research, I would be so grateful. 

(I have always wished to perfect my French and buy numerous books but never seem to get round to attacking them.  I'm not and never have been a good linguist much to my disappointment.  I can get by when I'm in France - but only in the most rudimentary way.)

Even if I can't get a documentary off the ground, I may well be able to write a good article about Rene.  So many people think the Battle of Britain was won entirely by we Brits, but, if you look at the Squadron Badges at the Capel-le- Ferne Memorial, you will see that there were pilots from Poland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, (even Iraq)  and many other parts of the world and it would be good to Honour them - through Rene Mouchotte -  in 2010 which marks the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain.


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