Chipley honoring French veteran in a unique way

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WASHINGTON COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — Members of the Washington County historical society is celebrating the life of a French veteran who called Chipley home.

After flying French fighter ace in World War II, Marcel Albert retired and moved to Chipley.

“Marcel Albert, who here, was known as Mr. Albert,” said Gweneth Collins the Washington County Museum Secretary.

Many community members still remember Albert after he retired from flying in the Normandy demon group.

“We are glad we can honor him in this way,” said Dorothy Odom the Washington County Historical Society Director. 

Odom and other Chipley residents gathered at Albert’s memorial because Friday marks 10 years since he died. 

“He is being honored by the Russian embassy also because he was known as the war hero in the soviet union because he flew in the soviet theatre,” said Odom.

Although COVID-19 has changed plans, historical traditions were followed.

“Where on the anniversary of their death, they leave a shot of vodka and dark bread,” said Odom.

The French Embassy honored him with a flower wreath, and so did the Russian Embassy. But they also sent a 300-pound bronze bust of Albert.

“Several are placed in Russia, and one placed in France, but they wanted to send one to where he was buried,” said Odom. 

That bust will soon go on display at the veteran’s memorial wall at the Washington County Historical Society. However, due to the pandemic, there have been no unveiling plans yet for Marcel Albert’s statue.

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