Biplane fighter aces


Flying Officer Jean Fernand René Gérard Moreau de Melen, Belgian no. 44198, RAF no. 138884

26 February 1914 - 20 September 1965

Jean Moreau was born on 26 February 1914.

He served as Adjutant with the 4/II/2. Aé equipped with Fiat CR.42 at the time of the German invasion of Belgium in May 1940.

On 10 June, he damaged an enemy reconnaissance aircraft near Chartres at around 13:40. This claim is not confirmed.

Moreau managed to escape to the England where he in 1944 served in the 349 Squadron as a Flying Officer.

In the afternoon on 21 April 1944, Flying Officer Moreau took part in dive-bombing near Abbeville. During the mission, he was forced to abandon his Spitfire MJ962 and bale out south of Beachy Head. He was rescued by ASR Sea Otter JM796 of 277 Squadron.

On 6 June, Flying Officer Moreau and Flight Sergeant J. Moureau of 349 Squadron (Spitfire LF.IX) took off at 14:50. At 15:45, they intercepted a Ju 88 in the Cabourg area at 5,000 feet and Moreau reported:

“I was Blue 1 (F/O.J.Moreau). I saw one JU 88 3 miles S.W. of Cabourg diving from cloud flying westward, jettisoning bombs in the fields at approximately U 1473, probably because our section was seen by him.
The e/a dived at zero ft along the canal running N.E. of Caen. I followed in line astern firing a burst with Cannon and M.G. without result from 600 yards. Blue 2 (F/Sgt.Moureau J.) fired at the same moment a short burst with M.G.
Chasing him to a point near Caen I fired again two seconds Cannon and M.G. bursts and saw strikes on the fuselage. S of Caen the e/a flew westward. I closed in again and fired a 4 second Cannon and M.G. burst line astern from 250 yards to 200 yards with many strikes on starboard engine and front part of fuselage. A cowling and many pieces flew away. I broke away short of ammunition.
Blue 2 closed in line astern and gave 3 two second bursts from 200 to 150 yards and saw strikes in fuselage and cockpit. The e/a climbed out of control to starboard. Blue 2 followed and gave a last 3 second burst with Cannon and M.G. from 30o. He broke away and saw e/a dived and exploded on the ground 10 miles W. of Caen. Blue 1 took a photo of the e/a burning on the ground.
They landed again at 16:20 and were credited with a shared Ju 88.

On 3 August, Flying Officer Moreau of 349 Squadron was flying as Blue 3 (Spitfire Mk.IX) when coming back to base at 6,000ft after escorting bombers in Ramrod 1136.
At 21:45, approximately 5 miles south of Maidstone, he saw 1 'Diver' (V-1) steering at 2,000 feet towards London. He saw a Mustang chasing the 'Diver' dead astern and firing on it without results. When the Mustang broke away, he dived from 3,000 feet and closed dead astern, firing a 2 second cannon and machine-gun burst from 100 yards and saw many strikes on the tail. At once, the 'Diver' went into a dive and exploded in an open field in the area of Tunbridge Walls. This was the 'Diver' destroyed closest to London at this time (21:50). The Mustang pilot saw the incident and could confirm it as could two aircraft following a thousand yards behind.
Flying Officer Moreau was credited with 1 V-1 destroyed.

Moreau ended the war with one shared victory.

Post-war, Moreau served with Sabena from 27 April 1946.

Moreau passed away on 20 September 1965.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  10/06/40 13:40 1 Enemy aircraft Damaged Fiat CR.42   near Chartres 4/II/2 Aé
  06/06/44 15:45 ½ Ju 88 Shared destroyed Spitfire IX   3m SW Cabourg 349 Squadron
  03/08/44 21:50 1 V-1 Destroyed Spitfire IX   5m S Maidstone 349 Squadron

Biplane victories: 1 damaged.
TOTAL: 1 shared destroyed, 1 damaged, 1 V-1 destroyed.

AIR/50/133 AIR/50/438
RAF Fighter Command losses: Volume 3 - Norman L. R. Franks, 2000 Midland Publishing Limited, ISBN 1-85780-093-1
Additional information kindly provided by Serge Bonge, Colin Pateman, Peter Taghon and Henk Welting.

Last modified 16 August 2011