It was announced today that Général André Lanata, Chief of the French Air Force is to become the new Vice President of the Allied Air Forces Memorial & Yorkshire Air Museum. Général Lanata becomes the third Chef de la Armée de l’Air to take up this post following his appointment in September this year. André Lanata is a former Mirage F1CR fighter pilot and has seen service in Chad, Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo amongst other fields of operation.
The Memorial Museum, based at Elvington near York, was the historic wartime location of the only two French heavy bomber squadrons of World War ll when over 2300 French airmen were based there. Since that time the Museum has maintained strong links with France and other allied nations, and the Chief of the RAF is also Vice President along with the Supreme Allied Commander NATO, Général Denis Mercier, who was promoted to this position in September this year. The Museum/Memorial is involved with events and commemorations around UK and France and has a permanent Bureau Français with French staff.
Museum Director, Ian Reed said, “We are delighted that Général Lanata has agreed to continue the tradition and close connection with the Allied Air Forces Memorial and look forward to welcoming him here”.
The Annual Allied Air Forces Memorial Day is held at Elvington every September and in 2015 diplomatic representatives attended from many countries including Russia, Germany, U.S.A. France, Netherlands, Qatar, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Next year Allied Air Forces Memorial Day will take place on Sunday 4th September 2016.