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World War One: Nieuport Ni.24 Gilbert Discours

The Nieuport 24 was the immediate successor to the Nieuport 17 but incorporated a number of changes. The streamlining of the N.24 was far better as the fuselage sides were rounded and not flat as that of the N.17 - the horizontal stringers which helped provide this shape are easy to see under the fuselage fabric.

 

As well as being used by the French Air Corps, the American Expiditionary Force Air Service purchased 140 Nieuport 24's which were used primarily as fighter trainers.

Nieuport 24The Nieuport 24 was also built at Tokorosawa in Japan as the Nakajima Ko.3 after the end of the war, replacing the SPAD XIII in the Japanese Army Air Force.

The colour scheme of this aircraft is taken from that of a Nieuport 27 (N5426) which was flown by Sous Lieutenant Gilbert Discours of N87 (a French unit), who ended the war with a score of four victories.

Discours began the war as a cavalryman and eventually transitioned to the French Air Corps in late 1917. Discours survived the war and remained in the French military, finally retiring as a Major in 1934, though he was later recalled for service during the Second World War.

Gilbert Discours was born in 1893 in a rural part of the south of France near Avignon. In October 1911 at the age of 18 he decided to join the army and signed to served in the cavalry (in the 13th regiment de dragons), and by early 1914 had reached the rank of Sergeant.

N.24At the beginning of WWI, he served in his regiment, attached to a cavalry division in Lorraine. He was dismounted in Sept 1915 and served on foot.In May 1916 he was decorated with the Croix de Guerre for a successful action during a night patrol.

Following the advice of one of his officers he decided to ask for a transfer to an air unit. He was sent to the pilot school in Juvisy during the summer of 1917 and received his wings in September 1917. By December he had been assigned to the 87th air unit (where he flew Nieuports and Spads).

On the 16th of February 1918, he gained his first victory by shooting down a german aircraft, followed by a second in March. For these actions, he received another Croix de Guerre.

In April 1918, he shot down a third aircraft, but this victory was not recorded. Named adjudant in April 1918, he gained his 3rd official victory in August that year. He shot down another enemy aircraft in September, and received his third Croix de Guerre In October with the citation:

"Excellent pilot, gifted with the greatest quality of agility and cold blooded courage".

In October 1918 he was transferred to the Spad 169 air unit and ended the war in this position. In recognition of his actions, he received a fourth Croix de Guerre in September 1919.

Nieuport 24After the war, he decided to stay in the army, and served as a pilot instructor in Finland in 1919, and then as a test pilot in France. He received the Médaille Militaire in 1920.

In 1926 he was named an officer in the air army, and sent to French Indo-China where he was noted for a daring air raid between Hanoi and Bangkok. He received the Legion of Honor in 1928. After that, he served in Africa (Mauritanie and Sénégal) and made other desert raids in hostile territory.

He retired from the military with the rank of Captain in 1937.

During the campaign of France in 1939, he was called up again as a pilot instructor, and then served in a combat unit until July 1940. He received a second Legion of Honor in 1943. In 1944 he served in a transport air unit.

He retired from the military for a second time 1947, and died in 1967.

 


 

Two Nieuport 24's including that of Gilbert Discours.

 


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