Henry Lafont, Pilot, Dies at 91; Fought in Battle of Britain


Henry Lafont, a French pilot who took part in a harrowing aerial escape from North Africa to fight for the honor of France after its capitulation to Hitler and who became the last surviving French veteran of the Battle of Britain, died on Dec. 2 in Trémuson, in the Brittany region of France. He was 91.

His death was announced by the French Embassy in Washington.

When France fell to the Germans in June 1940, and a collaborationist government based in Vichy was being formed, Mr. Lafont, a noncommissioned officer, was stationed in Oran in Algeria, then a French colony. Shortly after midnight on June 30, Mr. Lafont and five fellow servicemen, several of them pilots, convinced an airfield sentry that they were on a patrol, then stole a twin-engine, six-passenger transport plane that they knew carried fuel and set off to link up with British forces in Gibraltar.

What they did not know made for an unnerving flight....

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