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French Air Force

346/3-JD

Mirage 2000N

EC.02/003

30th August 1995
17:00h

 

Jose Souvignet

  Frederic Chiffot

 

During a sortie from Cervia, Italy as part of the NATO bombing raids against Serbian positions a French Air Force Mirage 2000N crewed by Jose Souvignet and Frederic Chiffot was shot down by a SAM-7 missile near Pale, Bosnia at around 17:00h. Both ejected and paracguted into enemy territory.

Efforts were made to locate and rescue the two crew members on the nights of nights of September 6, 7 and 8 with aircraft from USS Theodore Roosevelt
in the Adriatic and from Brindisi AFB , Italy. These efforts ended when the two crew were reported as captured. They remained in Bosnian Serb captivity as POWs for 104 days when pressure from the French Government secured their release on 13th December 1995

The two French airmen held for 104 days after being shot down by Bosnian Serbs returned to a hero's welcome from President Jacques Chirac.
Jose Souvignet, left, and Frederic Chiffot, right, were released after threats of military action