A new addition was officially unveiled to the public at the Allied Air Forces Memorial and Yorkshire Air Museum earlier this month by Brigadier General Lesellier, Deputy Chief of the French Air Force, who formally presented the Mirage IV A BR 45 strategic nuclear bomber to the popular attraction.
This majestic conqueror of the skies was first pledged to the museum by the French Government and Armée de l’Air more than 12 years ago.
The promise was in recognition of the historic links from WWII, when Elvington was home to the two unique French Squadrons of Bomber Command, 346 “Guyenne” and 347 “Tunisie” Squadrons.
These Squadrons returned to France in October 1945, with the Halifax bombers they had served with, to Bordeaux Merignac, to form the post–war French Air Force.
Ian Reed, ONM FRAeS, Director of the Allied Air Forces Memorial, said: “The poignant, annual Allied Air Forces Memorial Day, with it’s pageantry of the Yorkshire Military Marching Band and Corps of Drums leading the grand Parade of Service Association Standards to the Commemoration Service, with three National Standards being presented, offered the perfect occasion to officially unveil the Mirage IV to the public.
“This will be the only example of this amazing aircraft on display to the public outside France, making it a very special part of our collection of historic aircraft.”