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French Aircraft of WWII

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Caudron C.714
Caudron C.714
Morane-MS 406
French Morane-Saulnier 230
Morane-MS 230
P-40 Warhawks (Free French)
P-40s Free French
Spitfire IX (Free French)
Spitfire Free French

* French national insignias - aircraft
Prior to the fall of France

French national insignias were placed upon the wings, fuselage and tail fin of the aircraft.

French national insignia

French national insignia - navel airThis was the French national insignia at the beginning of WWII. It consisted of concentric circles of red, white and blue and was placed on the wings and fuselage of aircraft. A black anchor was placed over the insignia for French navel aircraft.

Free French tail insignia

A red, white and blue stripe was placed on the rudder and sometimes on the stablizer.


After the fall of France in June of 1940, two governments claimed to represent France: the Free French, lead by de Gaulle and Vichy France which collaborated with the Nazis.

To distinguish the two government, additional symbols were used as described below.

* Free French national insignias - aircraft

Cross of Lorraine Free French insignia The Free French continued the use of the national symbols as described above with the addition of the Cross of Lorraine on the fuselage. Sometimes the Cross of Lorraine was enhanced with a white roundel as a background.


The Free French retained RAF or US national insignias when they received aircraft from these nations, adding the Cross of Lorraine.


* Vichy French national insignias - aircraft

Tail stripes - Vichy FranceVichy France also continued the use of the national Vichy France engine cowlingsymbols used prior to the fall of Fance with the addition of red and yellow stripes to the engine cowling and the tail fins.


* In general, factory applied markings tended to be far more uniform than markings applied in the field. After relatively short periods in service, many markings were re-applied in the field. The illustrations here are stylistic representations of the insignias rather than factory specified drawings.