Rene Mouchotte (Mouchotte Close)

 

Rene Mouchotte

Born on 21 August 1914 in Paris, Mouchotte did his military service in 1937 with the French Air Force at Istres, where he learned to fly and was promoted to sergeant. Recalled in 1939, he was posted to training establishments at Salon-de-Provence and Avord. Despite several requests to join a fighter squadron, he was transferred to Oran in May 1940. After the Armistice, the pilots on the base were ordered not to escape to join the Free French and the aircraft were placed under armed guard. Despite this, Mouchotte and five comrades escaped in a twin-engined Caudron Goéland aircraft, only to find that the propellers had been disabled. However they did manage to land in Gibraltar and later transferred to the Président Houduce and sailed to England. Finally he took command of No. 341 Squadron RAF with the Biggin Hill Wing. On 15 May 1943, S/L 'Jack' Charles (611 squadron) and Mouchotte both destroyed a Fw 190 of I./JG 2, as the Biggin Hill Wing's 999th and 1,000th kill claim.