Notice: if you wish to know about french air force organisation during the first world war, have a look to excellent Patrice Gaubert's web following this link.

july 12th, 1917 :  Creation of flight 155 on Montdésir base, near Etampes, by Lieutenant GEORGE (picture coll.Thierry Nicolo - Tous droits réservés) who takes the lead. Firstly equiped with Nieuport 24 bis aircraft, this group is, for this reason, nammed N 155.


The flight is represented by his insignia, a "main-royal", which will be replaced on 1st of march 1918 by a new insignia: "Petit Poucet" (Tom Thumb) bounding over space, wearing huge riding-boots with spurs having a star as rowel". The "Petit Poucet" is black on a yellow oval-shaped background.
(The link: own Urbain Caluzio's insignia)


"main-royal" of the N155
(picture coll.Thierry Nicolo - All rights reserved)

Exceptional picture: the first Tom Pumb painted on Spad.... (picture coll.Thierry Nicolo - All rights reserved)


 Sergent Degorce
(picture coll.Thierry Nicolo - All rights reserved)



Pilots at escadrille creation

Lieutenant GEORGE, Flight Leader

Lieutenant BECHON

Sous-Lieutenant CASTAIGNET

Sergent GASTON


Sergent LEFOY



Caporal PRATZ




Caporal WILMART (Argentina)

Caporal WRIGHT (USA)



 The pilots..... (left to right)
(picture coll.Thierry Nicolo - All rights reserved)

Have joined flight:
On september 27th, 1917: Caporal PUISTIENNE.
Late 1917: Lieutenant TOURTAY, Sergent PAUMIER, Caporaux GANDRY, JOUBERT, GUY and PRAGOU.
On february 10th, 1918: Lieutenant PELISSIER.
Then on april 1st, 1919: Lieutenants or Sous-Lieutenants: RONDOT, DE LEVAQUE, LENERT, GAULLIER. Adjudants: LETOMBE and AUBAILLY. Sergents or Mal des Logis: PATRY, DELESTRE, CHAMPAVIE, TRAMINI, WINNAERT, CORDIER, POUCHOL, FREVEL, BAZIN, CHATELET, ROY. Brigadier: RESTAUX.
NOTICE: incomplete lists...


Spad XIII at tuning, 1918
(coll. Leaman/CCI)

Operations : Affected at IV Army (General GOURAUD), the N 155 settled on july 14th at La Noblette base (Marne), where it is enroled in the "Groupe des Escadrille de Chasse d'Armée", led by Capitaine COURRET DE VILLENEUVE,  already composed of escadrilles N 48 and N 94.
The N 155 stays at La Noblette for a short time; it moves on august 6th to Melette base (Marne), where it stays until end of january 1918.
On Champagne front line, his fighters operate, for the benefit of the Army, missions of enemy air force destruction, bombing protections, in the limit of the (yet quite short) range of Nieuport airplane, and reconnaissances deep in the enemy lines.

The first escadrille pilot killed by enemy is the caporal VILMART, shot down in dog fight on november 1st, 1917.

On this same november month, the flight exchanges his Nieuport 24 bis against Nieuport 27, faster and more manoeuvrable.



-brought in service: 1917
-engine the Rhone 9Jb, 9 cylinders, air cooling, 120 hp
-maximum speed: 187 km/h
-range: 1H30
-armament: 2 machine-guns

At the end of january 1918, the flight 155 which name is now SPA 155 since his transformation in late december 1917 on Spad X and XIII, is incorporated to the Fighting Group 18 created at the same time by the Capitaine SABATIER, on Plessis-Belleville base. The others flights of this squadron are SPA 48, 94 and 153.

- brought in service septembre 1917
- engine Hispano-Suiza 8Bec, 8 cylindres in V, liquid cooled,
235 hp
- maximum speed: 207 km/h
- range: 2H00
- armament: 2 machine-guns

On february 10th, 1918, the Fighting Group 18 incorporates the Escadre de Combat N°1, itself incorporated in the MENARD Group, itself incorporated in the Escadre de Bombardement 12 (Groups 5, 6 and 9, led by the Commandant VUILLEMIN).
The escadrille SPA 155 is engaged in the battles that enable our armies to stop the great german thrusts on the Somme and the Avre (march 21th-april 7th), on the Aisne and the Marne (may 27th-june 4th), on the Matz (june 9th-12th), on the Marne and in Champagne (july 15th-18th).

In the meantime of this missions, the flights ensure lots of reconnaissance missions, or protection of, or bombing missions of the differents rear enemy front lines.
The SPA 155 grows, his pilots gain more and more victories, but the enemy also takes heavy toll of it. The enemy makes huge effort to increase the number and the quality of his air force units, so that the encounters are more and more deadly.

In april, Lieutenant BECHON, Maréchal des Logis PAUMIER and Brigadier JOUBERT are killed in action. In may it is Caporal KIRIFOFF and Brigadier LAPICOTIERE turns, and on may 20th Lieutenant CASTAIGNET is missing in patrol.

Starting on july 10th 1918, the flight SPA 155 is involved with the Fighting Group 18 (led by Capitaine LAURENT and boosted by Lieutenant GEORGE, and then by Lieutenant LABITTE) in the victorious counter-offensive known as the second Marne victory (Xth Army of General MANGIN), and then with the IIIth Army (General HUMBERT) to the battle of Santerre (april 8th-30th) which lead to the fall of the Saint-Gobain forest.

It is engaged from 12th to 30th of september on the IIth Army front line (General HIRSHAUER), to the battle of Saint-Mihiel which gives to American Army the salient of the same name, deeply penetrated into French territory as a redoubtable wedge.
On september, the flight loses 2 of his pilots, the Brigadier BOULARD and the Sergent GRIMAUD, killed in mission, and on the 3th of october the Brigadier TALLET, is missing in patrol.

Finally it is also involved, in the area range of the IVth Army (General GOURAUD), into offensive operations of the last weeks of the war which lead the vanguards of this army to the Meuse, where november 11th, 1918 armistice stops them...

Settled on april 1st 1919 on the plateau of Malzéville, in Lorraine, the flight is transfered at the beginning of july on the base of Bron, near Lyon.

Here, it is dissolved late july, his members being posted to the 1st Compagnie of the 2nd Groupe d'Aviation.


 Caporal Kiriloff, at center. (killed may 1918)
(picture coll.Thierry Nicolo - All rights reserved)

Died Field of Honor






- killed in dog fight

Lieutenant BECHON


- missing in patrol

Mal des Logis PAUMIER


- missing in patrol

Brigadier JOUBERT


- missing in patrol



- missing in patrol



- missing in patrol



- missing in patrol

Mal des Logis CAUDET


- killed in plane crash



- Mechanic, accidentally killed

Brigadier BOULARD


- missing in patrol



- killed in the start of the mission

Brigadier TALLET


- missing in patrol

Adjudant MAHOMME


- killed in plane crash

The flight has shot down 15 enemy fighters, 12 officially confirmed, and 1 drachen.