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Remembered Today:

French Air Force ranks


healdav
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I have received the following request, and have absolutely no idea of the answer. Can anyone help?

"I have just received the letter below asking me for the rank of a French Flight Surgeon and whether it would outrank a flying Captain. I have little knowledge of French ranks; a 50 year old Flight surgeon in the British air service would probably be a Captain or Flight Lieutenant but I do not know the French equivalent, Medical ranks in the British service were not high, promotion was not given by medical skills but by length in service and ranks above Captain would be administrators, not clinicians! Was that the same in France?

'I am nearing the completion of a novel set in WWI France and am lacking a much needed, very small detail: the rank of a particular character who happens to be a French Flight Surgeon, approximately 50 years old. He is a minor character who wants to ground a certain pilot who happens to be a much decorated captain.

My question: could my Ace pilot outrank him, thus assuming he could not follow the doctor's order? (Of course I know that the doctor's order trumps all, but this pilot is just 22 and a national hero who thinks he can do as he pleases?'

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Did the 'Flight Surgeon' appointment actually even exist in the French Service Aéronautique prior to 1933?

If it did, and it's anything like the Flight Surgeons of the US Medical Air Service (where, I believe, the term originated in early/mid 1918), then theoretically,yes, a Capitaine could out-rank him - but not necessarily so as some Flight Surgeons held the rank of Major and Lt.Colonel, etc.

Dave.

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