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Bernard Barny de Romanet

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Title: Bernard Barny de Romanet  
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Subject: Flight airspeed record, Gordon Bennett Trophy (aeroplanes)
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Bernard Barny de Romanet

Bernard Henri Barny de Romanet
Born 28 January 1894
Saint-Maurice-de-Satonnay, France
Died 23 September 1921(1921-09-23) (aged 27)
Allegiance France
Service/branch Cavalry; infantry; aviation
Years of service 1913 - 1918
Rank Lieutenant
Unit Escadrille 51, Escadrille 37
Commands held Escadrille 167
Awards Legion d'Honneur, Medaille Militaire, Croix de Guerre

Lieutenant Bernard Henri Barny de Romanet was a World War I flying ace credited with 18 aerial victories.

Bernard de Romanet joined the French army in October 1913. When World War I began, he went into combat with both cavalry and infantry regiments. He transferred into the French air service in July 1915. Six months later, in January 1916, de Romanet received his brevet (permit) as a pilot. His first assignment to Escadrille 51 was as a Caudron reconnaissance pilot. He trained as a fighter pilot in February 1917 and made the transition to flying single-seated Nieuport fighters for Escadrille 37. His first victory was scored on 3 May 1917. He waited almost a year before continuing, with his second triumph coming on 31 March 1918. He became an ace on 30 June 1918, and a double ace on 22 August.[1] That was his last victory and last day with Escadrille 37. He was then charged with forming Escadrille 167, a Spad squadron, assumed its command, and scored eight more victories while leading it.[2]

After the war de Romanet became a successful sporting pilot, breaking the World Air Speed record on two occasions in 1920.[3][4][5] Barny de Romanet died in a flying accident on 23 September 1921, testing the aircraft he was to fly in the 1921 Coupe Deutsch de la Meurthe race: the accident was ascribed to the fabric becoming detached from the aircraft's wing.[2][6]

Honors and awards

Médaille Militaire citation, 23 May 1917

Elite pilot, as brilliant in pursuit aviation as he was in reconnaissance. Has had numerous combats giving proof under all circumstances of the highest military qualities. On 3 May 1917 he attacked, over their lines, two enemy scouts and downed one of them. Already cited three times in orders.[7]

Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur citation

Elite officer, who received notice in the cavalry at the beginning of the war by bold reconnaissances, then in observation aviation, and finally in pursuit aviation where his brilliant qualities as a pilot, his coolness, and his daring in combat are always cited as examples. He inspires his patrols to attack enemy planes very superior in number putting them to flight and flaming one of them. Also, recently he downed successively two German planes, reporting therewith his 16th and 17th victories. Médaille Militaire for feats of war. Six citations. Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur citation.[7]

Sources of information

  1. ^ Retrieved 22 December 2009.
  2. ^ a b SPAD XII/XIII aces of World War I. p. 20. 
  3. ^ Cooper, H.J. "The World's Speed Record". Flight, 25 May 1951, pp. 617–619.
  4. ^ "Meeting at Buc". Flight, 14 October 1920, pp. 1090–1091.
  5. ^ "De Romanet Breaks Records". Flight, 11 November 1920, p. 1166.
  6. ^ "Death of Bernard de Romanet". Flight, 29 September 1921, p. 651.
  7. ^ a b "French Aces of WW1 - Bernard Barny de Romanet" Retrieved 7 September 2010.


  • SPAD XII/XIII aces of World War I. Jon Guttman. Osprey Publishing, 2002. ISBN 1-84176-316-0, ISBN 978-1-84176-316-3
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