Jean Navarre
Jean Navarre
Jean Marie Dominique Navarre
  • Country: France
  • Rank: Sous Lieutenant
  • Service: French Air Service
  • Units: MF8; MS12; N67
  • Victories: 12
  • Date Of Birth: August 8, 1895
  • Place of Birth: Jouy-en-Morin
  • Date Of Death: July 10, 1919
  • Place of Death: Villacoublay

Navarre was the first French ace. Assigned to MS12, he began the war by shooting at enemy aircraft with a rifle from his Morane-Saulnier L. On April 1, 1915, he scored his first victory in the Fismes sector, bringing down an Aviatik with three well placed shots. With his transfer to N67, Navarre began flying the Nieuport 11 and on February 25, 1916, he became the first French pilot to shoot down two enemy aircraft in a single day. He was also the first French pilot to be cited in orders. A solitary hunter, he would attack from behind and below his opponent's aircraft, standing in the cockpit to fire his wing mounted machine gun. Shot down over the Argonne on June 17, 1916, Navarre suffered a head wound from which he never fully recovered. Following two year at an asylum in Paris, he returned to the front but never flew another combat mission. In 1919, having been selected to fly a Morane-Saulnier through the Arc de Triomphe during a post-war celebration, Navarre was killed in a crash while preparing for the event.

Médaille Militaire

"Sergent pilot of Escadrille MS12 of remarkable skill a d audacity. He has battled two enemy planes in one week, meeting them and attacking from a few meters in spite of the enemy observer's fire. He forced one of them to land behind our lines, allowing the pilot and observer, both of whom had been wounded by his observer's fire, to be taken prisoner." Médaille Militaire citation

Légion d'Honneur

"Adjudant pilot of Escadrille MS12, remarkably adroit and devoted, he has had several aerial combats, one of which permitted the capture of two enemy officers and an enemy plane. He volunteers for all the delicate missions, and has executed special and particularly perilous missions with complete success." Légion d'Honneur citation