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Hommage aux 10 aviateurs tombs sur Pisseleux le 6 fvrier 2014 Tribute to the ten airmen fallen on Pisseleux, Feb

6th 1944
Bonjour et bienvenue tous, Good morning, and welcome to you all.
Bienvenue aux lves de ce collge et aux lves du primaire. Welcome to the pupils of this secondary school and to those of the
primary school.
Bienvenue leurs professeurs et lensemble de lquipe ducative et
aux adultes qui uvrent dans ce collge.
Welcome to our teachers and to the whole education community and
adults involved here.
Bienvenue nos invits. Welcome to our guests.
Nous sommes runis ici, 6 fvrier 2014, afin de commmorer le crash sur
notre quartier de Pisseleux dun bombardier amricain il y a 70 ans.
Today, February 6th 2014, We are here gathered together, to
commemorate the crash on our Pisseleux borough of an american
bomber, seventy years ago.
Il y a 70 ans aujourdhui, 10h41, un bombardier amricain B-17G
Forteresse Volante se disloquait dans le ciel au-dessus du pont de
Pisseleux; des hommes et des morceaux davion scrasrent sur le
quartier de nos coles.
Seventy years ago today, at 10:41, an american B-17G bomber known as
the Flying Fortress broke apart in mid-flight in the sky right above the
Pisseleux bridge; men and aircraft parts crashed onto our schools'
borough.
En 1944 la Seconde Guerre Mondiale entrait dans sa dernire phase. In 1944, World War Two was entering its last phase.
Comme lavait espr Winston Churchill quatre ans auparavant, ctait
enfin le dbut de la fin.
As Winston Churchill had hoped four years before, it was at least the
beginning of the end.
Mais cette fin narrivera que quinze mois plus tard. LAllemagne nazie
ntait pas encore vaincue; elle enchainait dfaite sur dfaite depuis
1943, mais un long travail restait encore faire.
But this end would only come some fifteen months later. Nazi Germany
was not yet defeated; it had been going through defeats on end since
1941, but a long work remained yet to be done.
La situation ce 6 fvrier 1944, jour de la tragdie de Pisseleux, tait trs
tendue.
The situation on that February 6th 1944, day of the Pisseleux Tragedy,
was very tense.
Deux problmes se posaient au commandement des Allis; Two issues had yet to be dealt with by the Allied High Command;
Dabord il fallait absolument empcher les allemands de bombarder
Londres car tous les jours ils lanaient depuis le nord de la France des
dizaines de petits avions sans pilotes que lon appelait des bombes
volantes et qui tombaient, semant la mort et la destruction, dans Londres
et ses environs.
First of all, germans had to be prevented from bombing London for, on a
daily basis, they were launching little unmanned aicrafts, called buzz
bombs and which fell in London and its vicinity, spreading death and
destruction on the way.
Il tait impratif de dtruire ces cibles. Destroying these targets was mandatory.
Au mme moment, le commandement Alli tait en train de prparer le
dbarquement en Normandie qui aura lieu exactement quatre mois plus
tard, le 6 juin 1944.
At the same time, the Allied High Command was currently preparing the
Normandy Invasion which was to take place exactly four months later, on
June 6th 1944.
Il tait impratif pour les amricains, les anglais, et les canadiens de
dtruire larme de lair allemande, afin que le jour du dbarquement
aucun avion allemand ne soit au-dessus des plages pour lempcher.
The americans, british, canadians, considered it compulsory to destroy the
german air force so that on D-Day no german plane would be flying over
the beaches to prevent the landing.
Cest face ces deux impratifs que ce 6 fvrier 1944 larme de lair
amricaine a lanc un raid, un raid norme; 1400 avions ont dcoll
simultanment: 800 bombardiers de la mme taille que celui que vous
avez en face de vous et 600 chasseurs descorte.
Facing these two necessities, on february 6th 1944, the United States Air
Force launched a raid, a massive one: one thousand and four hundred
aircrafts took off simultaneously: eight hundred bombers the same size as
the one pinted on the ground in front of you and some six hundred escort
fighters.
Les cibles ce matin-l taient les lanceurs de missiles V-1 installs dans le
nord de la Somme, et les arodromes quutilisaient les allemands pour
leurs oprations au-dessus de la France. Les arodromes viss taient
ceux de Nancy, de Dijon, de Caen-Carpiquet, de Chateaudun et de Romilly
sur Seine.
The targets on that morning were the V-1 missile launching sites located
in the north of the Somme county, and the airfields used by the germans
for their own operations over France. Airfields targetted on that day were
those of Nancy, Dijon, Caen-Carpiquet, Chateaudun and Romilly-Sur-
Seine.
La cible de Romilly sur Seine tait celle de lavion de Pisseleux. The Romilly-Sur-Seine target was that of the Pisseleux aircraft.
Ce matin-l, depuis la base de Snetterton dans le Sud-Est de lAngleterre,
ont dcoll 189 avions B-17 comme celui-ci, et parmi eux se trouvait
lquipage de lavion de Pisseleux.
On that morning, from the Snetterton airfield in the South-East of
England, some 189 B-17 similar to this one took off, and among these
was the crew of the Pisseleux aircraft.
Malheureusement pour eux, ce sera leur dernire journe de guerre; une
tragdie va se jouer et un miracle en sortir.
Unfortunately for them, this will be their last day of war; a tragedy was
about to unfold and a miracle to get out of it.
Une tragdie parce que notre quipage na pas eu de chance. Depuis le
dbut de la matine, la malchance les a attendus tous les tournants.
A tragedy because our crew has been unlucky. From the early morning
on, bad luck was waiting for them at every corner.
Alors quau dcollage ils se trouvaient en position numro 3, cest--dire
la position la plus protge, celle qui est en milieu de formation, ils ont d
sortir de la formation, durgence ; ils ont vit juste aprs le dcollage une
collision en plein vol avec une escadrille de B-26 qui rentraient de mission.
Le pilote, Jacob Kurtzberg, est sorti de sa formation, et, comme le voulait
la procdure, il a d retrouver sa formation et se placer en position
arrire. Les pilotes le savaient bien; la position arrire tait la moins
protge, celle que personne ne voulait prendre.
While they found themselves in number three position for take-of, which
is the most protected one, the one in the middle of the formation, they
have had to leave the formation in an emergency situation; they avoided,
right after taking off, a dead-on in-flight collision with a B-26 squadron on
its way back from its mission. The Pilot, Jacob Kurtzberg, flew out of his
formation, and, as the procedure would have it, had to fly back in
formation and place himself in the tail. Pilots knew it all too well; the rear
position was the least protected one, the one nobody wanted to take.
Quelques minutes plus tard, arrivs au-dessus de leur cible, comme ce
matin, la couverture nuageuse rendait la cible invisible depuis le ciel; ils
venaient donc de survoler la France, de survoler un territoire qui leur tait
hostile, pour au final, ne pas pouvoir mener bien leur mission.
A few minutes later, once arrived over their target, as it is the case this
very morning, the cloud cover made the target invisible from above; they
had just been flying over France, over a territory which was hostile to
them, to eventually not be able to carry out their mission.
Ils ont d faire demi-tour, mais un autre coup du sort les attendait
quelques minutes plus tard alors quils rentraient vers lAngleterre ; au
moment o ils sapprochaient de la ville de Melun ils ont eu la malchance
de tomber sur lun des derniers as de la chasse allemande cette poque-
l, le Lieutenant Willius Karl, qui, leurs dpens, signait sa quarantime
victoire. Le Lieutenant Karl a mitraill lavion de queue, celui de Pisseleux,
celui du Lieutenant Kurtzberg. On sait quil a mitraill le cockpit car on a
trouv le copilote avec un bandage autour de la tte, il a mitraill laile
gauche qui a pris feu et teint lun des moteurs. Vingt minutes plus tard,
cet avion en perdition, a t vu par les habitants de Pisseleux crevant les
nuages de ce ct-l au-dessus de la fort de Villers-Cotterts tournant
sur sa gauche, essayant dsesprment de suivre la ligne de chemin de
fer et lAvenue de la Gare, peut-tre pour essayer de se poser avant de se
disloquer en plein ciel au-dessus de pont de Pisseleux.
They have had to fly back, but another trick of bad luck was waitingn for
them a few minutes later as they were on their way to England; at the
very moment when they were approaching the city of Melun they have
been unlucky enough to fly across one of the last surviving aces of the
german fighter air force at that time; Lieut. Willius Karl, who, to their
detriment, signed his fortieth victory. Lieutnant Willius Karl machine-
gunned the rear aircraft, the one of Pisseleux, the one of Lieutnant
Kurtzberg. We know he gunned the cockpit and the copilot was found
wearing a bandaid over the head, he gunned the left wing which took fire
and he knocked out one of the engines. Twenty minutes later, the
inhabitants of Pisseleux spotted this plane piercing down through the
clouds, in distress, on this side over the Villers-Cotterts forest, turning on
its left, trying desperately to follow the railway and the Train Station
Avenue, maybe trying to land, before breaking apart in mid-air above
Pisseleux Bridge.
Ce matin-l, des morceaux davion et des aviateurs qui nont pas eu le
temps dactionner leur parachute sont tombs sur notre quartier.
On that morning, aircraft parts and airmen who did not have the time to
use their parachute fell on our neighborhood.
Cette tragdie qui venait de se jouer a t aussi le moment dun miracle
car cet avion de vingt tonnes, charg de bombes, na fait dans les rues de
Pisseleux aucune victime. Par un heureux hasard des choses, les habitants
taient pour la plupart la messe. Cet avion de vingt tonnes qui est
tomb a laiss derrire lui neuf morts.
This tragedy that had just happened has also been a moment of miracle
for this twenty tons aircraft, bomb ladden, made no local victim in the
streets of Pisseleux. By a happy trick of luck, inhabitants had for the most
part gone to attend the mass. Yet this twenty tons aircraft left behind
nine dead american airmen.
Un aviateur est tomb au bon endroit, au bon moment, et sur les bonnes
personnes. Laviateur Joe Pino est tomb sur le tas de bois de lusine
Dequecker qui, cette poque, se trouvait sur la droite de la Rue du
Presbytre. Il a t sauv par les habitants de Pisseleux.
An airman fell in the right spot, at the right time, and near the right
people. Airman Joe Pino fell on a sawdust pile in the Deckequer factory,
which, at the time, was located on the right of the Presbytere street. He
was saved by the inhabitants of Pisseleux.
En 1995, la ville dEl Paso do venait Joe Pino a dcid de remercier les
habitants de Pisseleux et de Villers-Cotterts en faisant deux les citoyens
dhonneur dEl Paso. Cette distinction se transmet de gnration en
gnration; vous tes, les enfants, habitants de Villers-Cotterts, les
citoyens dhonneur dune ville des Etats Unis, au Texas, et vous devez en
tre fiers.
In 1995, the city of El Paso from which came Joe Pino decided to thank the
inhabitants of Pisseleux and Villers-Cotterts by making all of them its
honorary citizens. This distinction is transmitted through generations;
children present here and living in Villers Cotterts, you all are the
honorary citizens of a big city in the United States, in Texas, and you must
be proud of it.
Cela na t possible que grce au travail de Mr. Presson qui est avec
nous aujourdhui, du maire de lpoque Georges Bouaziz, et de Pierre
Baudier notre historien local. Je tiens rendre hommage ces personnes.
This was only made possible thanks to the work of Mr. Presson, who is
present with us today, and the mayor of the time Mr. Georges Bouaziz,
and Pierre Baudier, our local historian. I wish to pay a tribute to these
people too.
Et si cela a t possible cest parce que le 6 fvrier 1944 les citoyens de
Pisseleux ont fait preuve dun courage et dune attitude exemplaire.
And this has been made possible only because on February 6th 1944
citizens from Pisseleux displayed both an exemplary courage and
behaviour.
Je pense en particulier Madame Camille Alupmica qui a donn lalerte
et dit quelque chose bouge dans la sciure.
I particularly have in mind Miss Camille Alupmica who gave the alert and
said "something is moving in the sawdust pile".
Je pense Monsieur Jacques Rudeaux et Monsieur Ren Dupuis qui ont
couru pour sauver la vie de cet aviateur, lont sorti du tas de sciure, lont
port dans leurs bras et lont amen chez Madame Thrse Dequecker.
I have in mind Mr. Jacques Rudeaux and Mr. Ren Dupuis who ran to the
rescue of this airman, dragged him out of the sawdust pile, bore him in
their arms and brought him in Mrs. Therese Dequecker's house.
Je pense Madame Thrse Dequecker qui lui a donn son premier abri. I think about Mrs Therese Dequecker who was the first to give him a
shelter.
Je pense Madame Gaudron, secouriste, qui lui a donn les premiers
soins.
I think about Mrs Gaudron, first-aid worker, who provided him with the
first care needed.
Je pense Madame Marnais qui, au mme moment, quelques
centaines de mtres plus loin, tait en train de donner laviateur
Huhtala sa premire spulture.
I think about MrS. Marnais who, at the same time, a few yards away, was
busy giving the airman Huhtala his first grave.
Je pense surtout Madame Vigneron qui nous fait lhonneur dtre
prsente parmi nous, qui, avec des copines, lge de douze ans, cest--
dire votre ge pour la plupart dentre vous, est alle jeter des fleurs
dans la cour de la mairie de Pisseleux pour honorer les amricains,
bravant linterdit dune sentinelle allemande. Ce geste dune grande
beaut fait honneur notre communaut.
Above all, I think about MrS. Vigneron who is today honouring us by her
very presence, who, with her friends at the time, only aged twelve, which
is your age for the most part of you, went to throw some flowers in the
courtyard of what was then Pisseleux's Townhall to "honour the
americans", defying the german sentry who forbade her entry. This
gesture of a great beauty honours our community.
Et je pense tous les habitants de Pisseleux, anonymes, qui ont brav
linterdit de larme allemande et qui, pendant la nuit, sont venus dans le
cimetire, furtivement, fleurir les tombes de ces aviateurs. Ce trs beau
geste doit nous inspirer aujourdhui.
And I think about all the inhabitants of Pisseleux, whose names are of no
fame, who dared to face german prohibitions and who, during the night,
went in the cemetary, stealthly, to flower the graves of these airmen. This
very beautiful gesture must be an inspiration for us all today.
Les habitants de Pisseleux nous ont donn cette reconnaissance de la ville
dEl Paso. Mais plus encore; pendant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale, des
millions dhommes et de femmes, aviateurs, marins, soldats, rsistants et
civils se sont battus pour notre libert et la paix. Nous avons tous
aujourdhui hrit de ce trsor, nous avons donc des devoirs.
The inhabitants of Pisseleux have given us this distinction received from
the City of El Paso. But even more than that; during the Second World
War, millions of men and women, airmen, sailors, soldiers, underground
warriors and civilians have fought for our freedom and peace. We have
all inherited from this treasure today, hence, we do also have duties.
Notre 1er devoir est de veiller ce que cette paix soit toujours auprs de
nous, quitte nous battre pour la dfendre.
Our first duty ist to make sure this peace will always be by our side, even
if we may have to fight to defend it.
Notre 2eme devoir est de veiller ce que cette libert soit toujours
dfendue.
Our second duty is to make sure this freedom will always be defended.
Notre 3eme devoir est de surtout ne jamais oublier. Our third duty is, above all, to never forget.
Notre 4eme et dernier devoir est de servir la mmoire de ces aviateurs et
de ne jamais nous servir deux.
Our fourth and last duty is to take care of the memories of these airmen,
without never using them.
Cest la raison pour laquelle ce B-17 peint dans la cour interrogera,
gnration aprs gnration, les lves qui viendront dans ce collge. Ils
se demanderont pourquoi il y a un avion dans cette cour, et ce sera
vous, les enfants, de tout leur expliquer. Ainsi, vous transmettrez la
mmoire.
This is the reason why this B-17 shape painted in the playground will raise
questions in the minds of pupils, generations after generations. They will
wonder why there is an airplane in this playground, and it will be your
duty, dear kids, to explain it to them. Hence, you'll be transmitting this
memory.
Il y a 70 ans, des aviateurs tombaient du ciel sur le chemin de nos coles.
Ils sont tombs quelques mtres dici. On les croise tous les matins en
allant en classe.
Seventy years ago today, airmen fell from the sky onto the path leading
to our schools. They fell a few yards away from here. We walk along them
every morning on our way to school.
Il serait bien que ces fantmes ne disparaissent pas. Il serait bien quils
nous hantent un peu.
It would be great if these ghosts did not vanish. It would be a great thing
if they could haunt us a bit more.
Je vous remercie. Thank you.
Mr. Lambiel Fabien. 6 fvrier 2014. Lambiel Fabien. February 6th 2014. 10:30.

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