Photos of event in Touquin

American WWI Air Force Commemoration - Saints, Touquin, Mauperthuis -

Here are the photos of our event:

Meeting in front of the Chateau de la Malvoisine, in Touquin

In front of the Chateau de la Malvoisine, in Touquin

On June 26, 1918, Roosevelt and the rest of the 1st Pursuit Grup moved forward from the quiet zone around Toul to the small village of Touquin (variously called Melon Field or Touquin - Pezarches after the town adjacent to Touquin), south of the Marne River and about 40 miles east of Paris. This brought the 1st Pursuit Group into the active Chateau Thierry sector.

The men arriving at the Chateau de la Malvoisine, in Touquin (photo courtesy Charlie Woolley)

The 1st Pursuit Group was tasked with three primary missions: 1) allow the Corps Observation Aviation to do its reconnaissance work to be able to spot for artillery and provide intelligence for the infantry, 2) interfere with enemy reconnaissance balloon and airplane counterparts so that they could not provide intelligence for their side, and 3) damage the enemy as much as possible, meaning strafing ground targets in addition to shooting at air targets.

In front of the Chateau de la Malvoisine, in Touquin

And while there may have been no provision for housing made initially, things turned out rather well for them as they ended up getting housed at a beautiful chateau - Chateau la Malvoisine - which sits adjacent the large Malvoisine Forest. "Malvoisine" means the bad (female) neighbor though what must certainly have been an interesting story behind how the chateau got its name appears to have gotten lost.

Narayan Sengupta, Luc DeGroote (owner of the Saints Aerodrome) and Mike O'Neal inside the Chateau de la Malvoisine.

Mike O'Neal shows Charley Woolley's book "Over the Front" about the American World War I aviators to Mayor Jean Fuzier of Touquin (left) and Monsieur Hibert (center), owner of the chateau.

Two unidentified Americans at the Chateau de la Malvoisine, in Touquin (photo courtesy Charlie Woolley). We were able to find this fireplace and the statue over it even other parts of the interior have changed over the past 90 years.

Jim Knowles (reclining) and Quentin Roosevelt (sitting) at the Chateau de la Malvoisine, in Touquin (photo courtesy Charlie Woolley). Looks like Roosevelt is writing one of the letters he sent home which is published in "Quentin Roosevelt: A Sketch in Letters".

This corner is where one of the famous photos from Charley Woolley's book was taken (see previous photo). The owners - Monsieur Hibert (holding blue folder) and Madame Hibert (white jacket) and their grandchildren are in the back row of the photo along with World War I aviation artist Mike O'Neal (looking very French in his beret), Touquin's historian Monsieur Georges (yellow shirt), Claude Barriere (blue jacket), Narayan Sengupta (behind Claude) and Claudine Thibault Barriere (front).

The pilots remained in Touquin and the chateau until July 9 when they moved to Saints and Mauperthuis.

United States Air Service in WWI 90th Anniversary event - July 14, 2008

United States Air Service in France Commemoration - summary
Photos of USAS Commemoration in Saints
Photos of USAS Commemoration in Touquin
Photos of USAS Commemoration in Mauperthuis
Exploring where the pilots lived in Mauperthuis
Event press coverage in Le Parisien and Le Pays Briard
Plans for a World War I USAS / American Air Force Monument
The USAS in Rembercourt - September 1, 1918-November 11, 1918
Meet the Commemoration and Website Organizers
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