Drabier, Jacques Paul

Passed: June 15, 2015

Obituary

Jacques Paul Drabier, 93, of Goodyear (Pebble Creek), Arizona died June 15, 2015 in Goodyear, Arizona.

He was born June 3, 1922, to René Drabier and Pauline Drabier in Saigon, Vietnam.

He served in the Airforce from 1939-1945 as a fighter pilot.

In 1939 Mr. Drabier agreed to escort some children bound back to Paris from the countryside train.  This event changed his life.  Despite having Red Cross designations on the train cars indicating non-combatants by the Geneva Convention rules, German aircraft strafed the train killing and injuring many.  He vowed to avenge that attack. He stretched the truth about his age, he was accepted for air school and became a pilot for the Free French Air Force.

He fought with Allied air forces throughout Europe on 84 combat missions and hundreds of sorties as an instructor.  He knew how to fly at least 25 different types of aircraft.

In 1941 he was the designer of the Free French Air Force insignia approved by General Charles De Gaulle.

Mr. Drabier was the recipient of numerous commendations, medals and awards for his service including the Cordon of Merit for the Battle of the Bulge.  His most prestigious award was in 2010 when he received France’s highest national award of valor, the Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour, presented to him by the President of France Nicolas Sarkozy.

Mr. Drabier wrote a non-fiction book entitled War Pilot Memoirs: A Mirror on 1939.

Mr. Drabier is survived by his loving wife of 34 years, Janine B. Drabier; daughter, Anne Elizabeth Heric; son, Jean Michel Drabier; grandchildren Tristan Drabier and Cassandra Heric.

A memorial mass will be held at 10 am on Thursday, June 25th at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic, 13720 W. Thomas Road, Avondale, AZ 85323.  Burial service following at Holy Cross Cemetery, 10045 W. Thomas Rd., Avondale, AZ 85392.

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4 responses to Drabier, Jacques Paul

  1. Lors de la perte d’un être cher, notre peine est immense.
    Dans ces moments de douleurs profondes, les gens se rassemblent pour soutenir ceux qui restent.
    La distance rend ma présence impossible, cependant, j’espère que cette pensée sincère de sympathie et de compréhension pourra vous être d’un certain réconfort.

    Mes souvenirs avec Jacques, lors de ma visite aux Etats-Unis, resteront imprégnés dans ma mémoire pour longtemps.

    Pensées.

    Christophe Linglart, Bondues 59-France

  2. “L’Arbre et la graine” de Benoît Marchon

    Quelqu’un meurt, et c’est comme des pas qui s’arrêtent.
    Mais si c’était un départ pour un nouveau voyage ?

    Quelqu’un meurt, et c’est comme un arbre qui tombe.
    Mais si c’était une graine germant dans une terre nouvelle ?

    Quelqu’un meurt, et c’est comme une porte qui claque.
    Mais si c’était un passage s’ouvrant sur d’autres paysages ?

    Quelqu’un meurt, et c’est comme un silence qui hurle.
    Mais s’il nous aidait à entendre la fragile musique de la vie ?

    Sincères condoléances.

    Christophe Linglart, Bondues, France

    1. Fort beau, comme la prose de Jacques est belle. Les meilleures heures de ma vie … je les ai passees en travaillant avec Jacques.

  3. Daniel Lyddy says:

    For the rest of my own life, I will boast about the small part I played as your messenger-boy.

    Au revoir, Monsieur Le Chevalier. You did indeed fight the Nazis for my freedom, and I will never forget you.

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