In 2014, we had the honour to invite Roland Lepers, for a flight in Piper L-4H (1943) on the D-Day beaches.
He had not flown there since that he was a pilot for the Lorraine group, alongside Romain Gary, Pierre Mendès-France, and many others just as heroic. 70 years gone by, before this last flight.
Magical instigator of this day, Jean-Marie Urlacher had immortalised this day with very nice pictures, and a reference article on the flypast over the D-Day beaches (see here).
Resistant at the age of 19 years, he was a pilot in the free French Forces in the United Kingdom, where he met his wife, Fortuna.
Wasquehal native (North) he joined in January 1941 in Marseille, the Ian-Garow network – Pat O'Leary, an underground group of assistance to soldiers of the British army and the Royal Air Force on the French soil.
On March 10th 1942, Roland Lepers left France to reach England via Spain and Gibraltar.
Then he was awarded the British Empire Medal. "In London, Pierre Mendès-France, who will later be appointed Commissioner of finance for the General de Gaulle, had given me the choice between money and this medal."
In 1943, he joined Canada for flight training. As a Lorraine bomber Group pilot, he returned in October 1944, joining the Free French forces on the air base of Vitry Artois (Pas-de-Calais), taken over from the Luftwaffe by the air forces of the Free France. He flew missions over Holland and Germany.
Roland flew to 96 years, joining his friends, to whom he had dedicated the bottle of champagne he opened at the end of our flight together.