F.A.F.L FREE FRENCH AIR FORCE WW2 PILOT WING SERVICE BADGE
A fine scarce excellent example. Free French Air Forces wing, enamel and numbered, with the cross of Lorraine and a brooch fixing.
The Free French Air Forces (French: Forces Aériennes Françaises Libres, FAFL) were the air arm of the Free French Forces during the Second World War from 1940.
They officially ceased to hold this title from 1943, with the merger of Free French Forces with General Giraud's anti-German forces, but were still commonly known by the title until the liberation of France in 1944, when they became the regular French Air Army.
They were commanded by Martial Henri Valin from 1941 to 1944, who subsequently became commander of the Air Army. On 17 June 1940, five days before the signing of the Franco-German Armistice, the first "exodus" (of 10 airmen) took flight from Bordeaux-Mérignac to England.
Others rallied to General Charles de Gaulle from France and French North Africa during the period June 1940 to November 1942. A contingent of volunteers from South American countries such as Uruguay, Argentina and Chile was also created, as Free French officials recruited there personally. From a strength of 500 on July 1940, the ranks of the FAFL grew to 900 by 1941, including 200 flyers[clarification needed]. A total of 276 of these flyers were stationed in England, and 604 were stationed in overseas theaters of operation. In the summer of 1940 General de Gaulle named then-Colonel Martial Henri Valin as commander-in-chief of the FAFL. Valin was at the French military mission in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the time of his appointment and he had to complete his assignment there by February 1941. It took him 45 days to get to London to see de Gaulle and it was not until 9 July that Valin formally assumed office taking over from the caretaker commander, Admiral Emile Muselier.
65 mm x 33 mm