Airacobras to the Free French

Last revised July 3, 1999

165 Airacobras were supplied to the Free French Air Force, headquartered in Algiers. P-39Ns equipped two fighter groups in North Africa. First to receive the Airacobra was GC III/6, which received its planes in April of 1943. It was followed by GC I/4, GC I/5, GC III/5 and perhaps GC II/3. GC II/6 had been disbanded under the Vichy regime, but was later reformed as GC II/6 Travail. The Free French P-39Ns and P-39Qs operated initially on coastal patrols in North Africa, and then flew close-support missions over Southern France and Italy until the end of the war in Europe.


  1. War Planes of the Second World War, Fighters, Volume Four, William Green, Doubleday, 1964.

  2. The American Fighter, Enzo Anguluci and Peter Bowers, Orion Books, 1987.

  3. United States Military Aircraft since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989.

  4. P-39 Airacobra in Action, Ernie McDowell, Squadron/Signal Publications, 1980.

  5. The Calamitous 'Cobra, Air Enthusiast, August 1971.

  6. Airacobra Advantage: The Flying Cannon, Rick Mitchell, Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, Missoula, Montana

  7. Flying Cannon: Bell's Cobra Family, Ken Wixey, Air Enthusiast, No. 81, 1999.