The Story of My Life so Far - Part 28 - Summer 1970 - The "Jeanne d'Arc"

in story •  2 years ago  (edited)

This is the story of my life so far: 67 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France

The story starts here
Previous episode: Part 27

Summer 1970

In the last episode, I said that I left the École Navale at the beginning of July 1970. That was not quite correct.
Before leaving the naval academy, we participated in the military parade in Paris on the "14 juillet", that is Bastille day on July 14.
And I was the flag bearer in front of the whole school.

The Guard of the Flag of École Navale on the Champs-Élysées on Bastille Day 2013

No, that is not me on the picture. This picture has been taken in 2013, not in 1970. And there were no female Navy cadet in 1970.

Every year, after the military parade, the President of the French Republic throws a party in the garden of his residence in the center of Paris: the "Palais de l'Élysée" (the Elysee Palace).
And every year, the flag bearer and the guard of École Navale are invited to this garden party.

So, I went to the Elisee Palace.

Bastille Day Party in the Garden of the Elysee Palace

There, we were introduced to the President, Georges Pompidou (very briefly) and to the Prime Minister, Jacques Chaban-Delmas who talked to us for around one minute.

Jacques Chaban-Delmas and Georges Pompidou

Needless to say that they quickly forgot about us. We were some of the many people that they were meeting every day.

The, I started my last long summer vacation. I believe I spent it mostly at the Abbey.
And in September 1970, I took the train to Brest to embark on the helicopter-carrier Jeanne d'Arc.

The "Jeanne d'Arc"

If you have read the story of my family, you may remember that my maternal grandfather was also on a ship called "Jeanne d'Arc" in 1912-1913, after his two years at the École Navale. This Jeanne d'Arc finished its carrier as a school ship in 1928.

It was replaced by another school ship Jeanne d'Arc from 1931 to 1964.

During the 1950s, the French Navy realized that it would need to replace the current Jeanne d'Arc after almost 30 years. But, this request was denied for budgetary reasons.

So, the Navy thought about a plan B. Approximatively at the same time that the French Navy was authorized to build 2 aircraft carriers (the Clemenceau and the Foch). The Navy said that they needed also an helicopter carrier. It was authorized by the government under the name "La Résolue" (the Determined). When it was almost built, the Navy said that the could put quarters for the cadets in the one half of the helicopter hangar, and if needed, these quarters could be quickly removed to put more helicopters in the hangar.

This trick worked and the ship was quickly renamed Jeanne d'Arc. It was the French Navy school ship from 1964 to 2010.

Helicopter-Carrier Jeanne d'Arc

I was going to spend seven months on this ship, including five months around South America and the the Mediterranean Sea.

Continue to Part 29

If you like this story, please consider to follow me

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8
Part 9 - Part 10 - Part 11 - Part 12 - Part 13 - Part 14 - Part 15 - Part 16
Part 17 - Part 18 - Part 19 - Part 20 - Part 21 - Part 22 - Part 23 - Part 24
Part 25 - Part 26 - Part 27

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

That is a nice ship @vcelier. Most of my family is in the Navy and they have told me many stories. Only one was enlisted during time of war...Great post mate. Always appreciate anyone that serves.

Thank you.

Thank you very much my friend, for this article. I really like it when they write about their relatives and about themselves. When they know their ancestry. I also tried to write about my roots a little, wrote an autobiographical story about my grandmother, who was born in a very difficult time in 1919 in Ukraine, then it was a very gloomy time. I also wrote an article about my great-grandfather Spaniard, who moved to Odessa from Spain in the 1900's. I think that it is very important to remember your relatives and their roots. It is a pity that it is difficult for us in Ukraine to restore history and search documents in archives. I will wait for your stories to continue, I wish you success in your affairs. @vcelier

Oh, sounds like a transition time! Looking forward to finding out if you toured around on the ship for seven months or what happened... such an interesting life story.

Did you take notes at the time or are you recalling all these details (and names)? --

I remember many details from my life. And I also know how to use Wikipedia!

When you are 20 and you meet the President and the Prime Minister, you remember their names.

I find that when I start writing, I can remember details in a way that I can't otherwise. Almost like the act of writing unlocks some of those memories.

But of course you'd remember such a huge event as meeting the President!

curious about that 7 months in the ship already

You're such an interesting an inspiring person. I've been following you since part one and love this blog series @vcelier. I remember the day you actually upvoted a couple of my posts 3 weeks ago - Made me happy to know you enojyed them!

Can't wait for the next part!

Well, you will have to wait a few days.
I will try to never have more than one week between each episode.

Great post!

It s a pleasure to read old man story . And good luck on steem

What a life it was the good time of the french army not the same as today. I am also french but leaving in south east Asia for about 18 years now and when i read your story i see the story of my father at the same time. He was at the Elisee palace for 3 years as a garde republicain but he was also in Algeria and Laos. That was the good days of our army, today when i look at my country i want to cry it looks like we gonna have a real hard time in a not far futur. I follow you.

How old are you?
I am sure that you are not old enough to suffer from the "good old days" syndrome.

Things were not extremely better forty years ago, they simply were different.

This is actually awesome. I didn't know you already posted so many parts of your life. This is so openhearted. I m travelling atm, but will make time to go through your old posts as soon as I return. Thank you for sharing!

You are welcome.

You should start with the prequel: the story of my family in France.

Tes histoires de vie sont passionnantes, j'ai commencé à lire hier soir, et je ne m'arrête plus! Tu devrais écrire un roman! En tout cas je me réjouis de lire la suite! Au plasir, salutations de Suisse.
Et sent toi libre de jetter un oeil à mon dernier post, peut-être que tu aimeras, ou détésteras. Haha ;)

Je ne savais pas que la Suisse etait dans la Galaxie du Triangle. ;-)

J'ai deja du mal a ecrire un post par semaine, aussi je ne me lancerai pas dans un roman, au moins pas tout seul.

This is very inspiring! I really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I look forward to the next part :)

Thanks for sharing this story and your other stories! Now I have to wait a little for more! Really interesting post! See you around Have a great weekend :)

Thank you, yoo too.

Thanks for sharing your life story with us ! It s an experience that should be taken into consideration and we must learn from it this way we could develop our lives more !!

Thank you.

You re welcome ! It s a pleasure to read your post about your story life I'm still young and lack many things such as experience so posts like these is my chance to learn more and more about life !