French Connection

Local citizens and former French employees of Chaumont Air Base in northeastern France—now long closed—invited the 48th Fighter Wing to join in the exhibition commemorating the unit’s former home. Jointly organized by the Chaumont Air Base Association and Chaumont Militaria Association, the exhibition featured historic equipment, artifacts, photographs, and American food, as well as a full-size replica of the former base’s main gate. “The base was a window into the United States,” said Maurice Leseur, CABA president, who worked at the base as an interpreter. Lt. Col. Raymond Reyes and Maj. Ellis Kinzer represented the 48th FW, now based at RAF Lakenheath, England, at last week’s event. The wing operated out of Chaumont from 1952 to 1960 when it was known as the 48th Fighter-Bomber Wing and later as the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing. “It’s amazing the affection the French have for the Americans even after all these years,” noted Kinzer. (Villiers-Le-Sec report by SrA. David Dobrydney)