French Air Force patch commemorating the service of Jean Mermoz. Mermoz (9 December 1901, Aubenton, Aisne – 7 December 1936) was a French aviator, viewed as a hero by many in both Argentina and his native France, where many schools bear his name. In Brazil, he also is recognized as a pioneer aviator. Mermoz joined the French Air Force in 1922, being assigned, as a pilot of the air force's 11th regiment, to duty in Syria. In 1924, he returned to France, having arguably been one of the most successful pilots in the Syrian operations. Mermoz relocated to Toulouse. Later on, Mermoz went on to become an airmail pilot, with Latécoère's company. In 1927, Latécoère began building his own brand of planes to replace the aging World War I aircraft Breguet 14. The Latécoère 25, (or "Laté 25") and, later, the Latécoère 26 and Latécoère 28 proved to be efficient aircraft when flying from Morocco to Senegal, and Mermoz himself flew the types on those routes on multiple occasions. On 7 December 1936 he turned back shortly after take-off to report a troublesome engine on his Latécoère 300 Croix-du-Sud (Southern Cross). After learning that he would have to wait for another one to be prepared, he took off again in the same plane after a quick repair, concerned that he would be late in delivering the mail. (His last words before boarding the plane were "Quick, let's not waste time anymore.") He disappeared at sea. This patch is in super nice condition and ready for any collection. It is 3.5" by 4".
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