SPA 81 'Lévriers' (Greyhounds)
originated as N 81 with bébé Nieuports during December 1916 and
received SPAD VII in June 1917 to become SPA 81. It's only during
1918 that the greyhound emblem was choosen and war ended with 28
SPA 37, 81 and SPA 93 constituting Combat Group N°15 formed, on 1st January 1920, the 1st Group of 1st Fighter Aviation Regiment based at Thionville in North-East France. Flying Nieuport-Delage NiD 29 the three SPAs, after dissolution of 1st Regiment in 1924, went to Mainz in Germany to be the 3rd Group of 3rd Mixt Aviation Regiment.
This later went in France in 1930 and was deprived of its 3rd Group, the fighter one, which installed at Chateauroux-Deols to become , in May 1930, the 3rd Group of the 3rd Aviation Fighter Regiment. With Armée de l'Air being built in 1933, 3rd FAR with SPA 37 and 81 became, inside the 3rd Fighter Wing, GC II/3 Fighter Squadron which transformed from NiD 62 to Dewoitine 500 type in 1935.
Having Dijon as airfield from October 1936, the squadron received Morane MS-406 fighters with which it enterd the war, SPA 81 integrating Czeh pilots decided to continue war against Germans. GC II/3 received Dewoitine D 520 by mid May 1940 and, after totalling 51 kills of which 34 were homologated for the loss of four pilots, retreated on 20 June 1940 to Blida via Algiers in North Africa. During Summer 1941 GC II/3 fought in Syria and got four new kills for same number of losses.
After Allied landings in North Africa the Squadron flew with Spitfires, next with Hurricanes and ended the war with Thunderbolts as 1st squadron of 4th FW, though always GC II/3 'Dauphiné' with which, from April 1944, it was mainly involved in coastal survey and vessels protection before to install on Corsica Island to specialise in ground attacks over Italia and South of France, next airfield being Amberieu on the Continent to operate over east of France and Germany and Luxeuil was its last war airfield.
Moving to Koblenz in Germany late in August 1945, pilots operated their Thunderbolts until sent to Friedrichshafen early 1947 to transform on Spifires.
It was at this time, on 1st July 1947, that GC II/3 'Dauphiné' became GC I/4 'Dauphiné' Squadron After this radical transformation the unit did an operation tour in Indochina with Spitfires between September 1947 and January 1949.
We see more about 4th FW constituting units with following pictures...