Cold War History: French Ju 52s

Known to the Armée de l’Air as the Toucan, the Amiot AAC1 — the French-built version of the Junkers Ju 52/3m — was a mainstay of operations in Indochina, and in roles beyond its main transport purpose

Following the Japanese surrender, France was quick to return to its colonies in South-east Asia. By the autumn of 1945, French colonial administration had been restored to Indochina, comprising Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. However, back in 1940, things had changed. A Vietnamese liberation movement, led by Ho Chí Minh, had declared Vietnam’s independence on 2September. A guerrilla war between Viet Minh and French forces soon erupted, lasting until 1954 and resulting in the defeat and withdrawal of French forces from Indochina.


An AAC1 of GT I/64 ’Béarn’ flying over Hanoi in February 1950.



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