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Paul Albert Pierre Tarascon - Nieuport 11
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He volunteered for the French Air Service in August of 1914. He was accepted and received a Pilot's Brevet in December. By the autumn of 1916 Tarascon had shot down eight German aircraft, and received the Medaille Militaire and Legion d'Honneur. Following his unit's upgrade with SPADs, he raised his score to 12.During World War I, he became known as "l'as la jambe de bois" (the ace with the wooden leg). Tarascon's personal insignia of a fighting cock had become adopted by his squadron.Tarascon survived the war and later became a colonel. In World War 2 he worked with the French Resistance, and in 1955 received the Grand Croix de la Legion d'honneur. Paul Albert Pierre Tarascon died on 11 June 1977 aged 94.The painting depicts Tarascon in his Nieuport 11 whilst with Escadrille N62, summer 1916 tackling an Albatross C.III. Having silenced the observer (gunner) and scoring hits on the engine Tarascon watches as the stricken aircraft raises up out of control prior to plummeting to the earth. With no parachutes the pilot either jumped or went down with his aircraft.
Paul Albert Pierre Tarascon - also known as the ‘Ace With The Wooden Leg.’ (8 December 1882 -11 June 1977) In 1901, at the age of 19 he entered the military and served with the Colonial Infantry. Interested in aviation, he began learning to fly in 1911 but was seriously injured in a crash, resulting in the amputation of his right foot.