About my parents.

Posted by on May 12, 2011

The year I was born, 1938, was a year of sheer happiness for my parents.  My father, 21 yrs old Hubert Claude Dumas was a handsome aviator in the French Air Force.  He was full of life and very happy to become a father.  My mother was a college graduate,  who also embraced motherhood.  They had an idyllic marriage, and mother soon expected the birth of another child.  But 1939 came, and Hitler reared his ugly head and created havoc everywhere.  My dad was immediately drafted into combat.  He and his crew flew missions over Germany, taking photos of the enemy’s position and warheads.  My sister, Regine, was born on March 3rd 1940.  On the 20th, dad flew a few circles over our home, something he did everytime he went on a mission, and Mom waved at him from below, her three-week old daughter in her arms, and me climbing to her skirt;  I was 21 months old.  She would never see  dad again.  His airplane climbed out of the clouds over Germany only to encounter 6 Messerschmidt fighter planes.  A furious battle ensued.  Dad and his co-pilot (my godfather) shot down 4 German planes, but got hit.  Dad managed to fly the crippled airplane and landed it right on the border between France and Germany.  My godfather burned to death.  French and German ground troops battled fiercely over the wreckage, and France won, recovering the precious footage.  My mother was told that her husband had survived the crash.  Unfortunately he died of internal injuries 12 hours later.  He was buried at St. Louis les Bitch, near the frontier.  Mother stood by his grave as bombs fell around the town.  His body was later returned to a French military cemetary and buried along comrades of his squadron.  He received la Croix de Guerre,  and was  declared a hero.  My next blog will describe the next few war years.  Mother was 21 years old, a widow with two small babies, and the German army pouring into France.  The one happy note for my dad is that he never knew France lost the war in August of that year, and our hometown of Nancy was under German occupation, in a “zone interdite”… a forbidden zone,  which meant that no one was allowed to come into the zone of leave it.  By the way, Nancy is in Lorraine, about half way between Paris and Germany, and on the direct route of the Germans.

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