The sacrifice of Jean Maridor
Jean Maridor was born in Le Havre in 1920.
A son of shopkeepers, he became fascinated by aviation from a very early age after visiting an air show. A gifted and applied student, he joined the school for training air force NCOs in Istres when he left high school. At the same time he obtained his private pilot’s licence at the age of 17.
Admitted into Istres in 1939, he followed the squad of trainee pilots during the winter months of 1939 to 1940. On 24 June, he and five classmates, travelling with a group of Polish airmen, boarded a boat leaving Saint-Jean-de-Luz for England. Following further training at the air base in Odiham, Jean Maridor was appointed to the rank of sergeant in the Royal Air Force on 1 October 1940.
Enlisted to Winston Churchill’s squadron, in 1941 he intensified the attacks against German ships in the Channel and the North Sea, interspersed by attacks against German fighters.
Promoted to the rank of sub-lieutenant then lieutenant in 1942, he was made captain in 1943 and received, after being awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Croix de la Liberation (the Liberation Cross).
In 1944, he specialised in chasing V-1s, long-range flying bombs that were fired at England.
On 3 August 1944, Captain Jean Maridor chased after a V-1 that was heading towards a hospital. Firing at very close range, Jean Maridor sacrificed his life to prevent the bomb striking its target.