Humanity continually enriches itself from the past. It is important that women and men pass on the knowledge of historical facts to the younger generations. Jérôme Batard is one of those individuals. How to define him? He is at once a storyteller of human and tragic stories, a passionate collector of rusted metal fragments, a sensitive and generous man, a farmer. We, members of 'Amicale du Super Constellation', have known him for a long time. Every year, he makes available his field adjacent to the F-BGNJ site to serve as a parking lot during the European Heritage Days. He joined the Club in 2019.
Jérôme is passionate about a specific history, that of aeronautical events around 'Château Bougon' during the Second World War. This passion arose fortuitously from the resurgence of aircraft parts buried since that time in the soft earth of the fields he cultivated. He could have just as easily discarded them, but no. Jérôme wanted to understand their story. So, he went to question the elders who had seen with their own eyes the last moments of strafed planes ending their infernal descent in a terrible crash! He delved into archives to discover the pilots, missions, departure locations, and nationalities. Everything, he wanted to know everything!
Gathering year after year these tragic stories and aircraft parts, he, along with other enthusiasts, created AREA: 'Association pour la Recherche d’Epaves Aéronautiques' (the Association for the Search of Aeronautical Wrecks). Most of these relics from the air slept in crates and only came out on occasion for temporary exhibitions. AREA lacked a permanent exhibition space.
Well, that has now been done! AREA had the opportunity to acquire a 40-foot maritime container to store its various historical pieces but had no place to put it. Due to our connection with Jérôme, the mission of the association, and the strong ties with Nantes Atlantique, formerly Château Bougon, it seemed natural to us to welcome the container next to the F-BGNJ, a container that, after some transformations, has metamorphosed into a small museum.
Now our visitors have the opportunity to continue their aeronautical exploration to the AREA museum. If they are fortunate, Jérôme, overflowing with anecdotes and touching human stories, will be present. Don't miss this visit!