Callsign = Lascar


Aviation flight 7C3 was created in 1938 on NAS Saint-Raphaël, and in October 1938 became AC2 squadron as it moved to Hyères. It was then equipped with Dewoitine 373/376s until December 1939.

Insignia of 7C3 flight.

It was stationed at Calais from March to May 1940 equipped with Potez 631s delivered in January 1940. It moved once again, this time to Querqueville, with Bloch 151s which were delivered in June to back up the Potez fighters. After seeing a lot of combat during the French campaign, it retreated to Sidi-Ahmed until June, and was renamed 2AC squadron. It then moved to Tafaraoui from September to December 1940. Meanwhile Its Bloch 151, left at Hyères were replaced by Dewoitine D 520s (delivered at Toulouse in June 1940 - then an additionnal batch of ex-French Air Force Dewoitines was received in Tunisia), that had been desperately needed during the French campaign, by both the French Air Force and the French Aéronavale. 2AC will keep these planes until May 1944.

Insignia of AC2/ 2AC/ 2C flights.

The squadron returned to Sidi-Ahmed during the first 2 months of 1941, and left for Lartigue until August. It came back to it’s African home port, Sidi-Ahmed, from September to October 1941. After assignments to several other bases in North-Africa (Lartigue, Port-Lyautey, Agadir, Thiersville) during which it is renamed 2C squadron on October 1st 1943, the squadron is deactivated on May 15th 1944 at Lartigue, under the command of LV Gilbert Guyon.

On August 1st 1948 at Hyères, 2C squadron came back to life and was renamed 12F ; it’s first CO is LV Sanguinetti. It was attached to Naval Air Wing n°2 based at Hyères. It was equipped with 18 Supermarine Seafire Mk.IIIs, but didn’t receive all it’s planes until December 20th 1948. This new airplane is a navalised version of the famous Battle of Britain fighter, the Spitfire. Early 1949, 12F squadron only had 12 planes left. Faced with this serious situation, the Navy created an inquiry commission. Eventually carrier operations were prohibited for the Seafire and the plane was restricted to ground based operations.

Initial insignia  of 12F squadron.

In April 1950, 12F squadron was sent to Karouba to train on the F6F-5 with squadron 1F. In May 1951, it briefly deployed on the Dixmude and headed for the USA, along with 4F squadron, to take over the new French aircraft carrier Lafayette, ex CVL-27 USS Langley. The training on Hellcat took place with VF-174 Hell’s Razors on the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Lafayette finally returned to Toulon with 1F squadron and it’s new Hellcats on September 11th . With the Indochina conflict stepping up, 12F squadron was assigned to the Arromanches, which set sail August 29th 1952.

Current 12F squadron's insignia.

From October 8th to May 11th, it performed many CAS, attack and armed recce missions from carriers or ground bases at Haïphong and Cat-Bi. On May 16th 1953, the squadron received the War Cross for overseas operations. On June 10th 1953 after its return to Hyères, 12F squadron gave up its Hellcats.

In August 1953, the squadron went to Karouba to transition onto its new workhorse: the F4U-7 Corsair. April 13th 1955, the squadron embarked once again on the Lafayette and headed for Indochina. Operational missions were performed from May 2nd to November 14th. The return to Bizerte took place on December 13th. But another theatre was opening in French Algeria; three Corsair squadrons including 12F were eventually deployed there and flew CAS and attack missions. February 8th 1958, it participated in operation Panache Blanc which consisted in bombing a village on the Tunisian border. In July it traded its dash 7 (F4U-7)s for new AU-1s. In July 1961, it helped to defend the Bizerte base against Tunisian forces. 12F squadron was finally disbanded on August 8th 1963 on the Karouba base. But it was reactivated on October 5th 1964 at NAS Lann-Bihoué with LV Lefebvre as CO. It received a dozen F-8E Crusaders.

The squadron’s first carrier landing took place on April 24th 1964 aboard the Clemenceau. 12F is officially declared operational on March 1st 1966. On July 30th 1968 the "lascars" (12F callsign) moved to NAS Landivisiau with squadrons 11F and 15F. April 4th 1977, ten Crouzes deployed on the Clemenceau and headed for the Gulf of Aden for operation Saphir. September 7th 1982, six F-8Es then deployed on the Foch for operation Olifant IV, until March 31st 1984. On September 17th 1984, the new target is Colonel Ghadafi’s Libya. On July 30th 1987, the Clemenceau set sail for the Sea of Arabia, with anti-aircraft frigates Suffren and Duquesne and the Meuse support ship. In August 1989 the Foch returned to Lebanon for a humanitarian mission. F-8Ps now equip 12F squadron, and are often deployed on both carriers off the coast of Yugoslavia for operations Balbuzard.

The Crouzes flew their last combat missions between February and June 1999 on board the Foch in the Adriatic Sea for operation Trident over Kosovo. The 12F’s venerable workhorse was finally retired December 3rd 1999, while 12F squadron was temporarily deactivated. Indeed it reactivated on May 18th 2001 on NAS Landivisiau with CF Planchon as CO. It currently operates 5
Rafale M F1s, but n° 6-7-8 are to be delivered before the end of this summer.


Rank/ Name

From (dd/mm/yy)

Rank/ Name

From (dd/mm/yy)

LV Sanguinetti


LV Birot


LV Schloesing


CC Sermier


LV Vercken


LV Gaucherand


LV Barnouin


LV Witrand


LV Vercken


LV Fourreaux


LV Tarze


LV de Balmann


LV Besse


CC Deniel


LV Caneau


CC Arnault de Guenyveau


LV Beauchard


CC Hébert


LV Bachelot


CC Bresson


LV Jacobi


CC Faugeron


LV Hamel de Monchenault


CC Gerbier


LV Lefebvre


CC Levieux


LV Le Pichon


CC Alech


LV Regnault


CF Guillot


LV Argouse


CF Planchon


Source : "les commandements de l'Aéronautique Navale" (1912-2000) - Major Norbert Desgouttes ARDHAN 2001


How to buy patches from 12F squadron :

write to :

"Monsieur l'officier des relations publiques de la flottille 12F"

Flottille 12F Base Aéronavale Landivisiau 29400 St SERVAIS FRANCE

or phone :

from France: 02-98-24-20-00

overseas: 00-33-2-98-24-20-00

sources - acknowledgements :
Lucien Morareau