top of page

The National Tribute Ceremony

Two days after the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Grenoble, on February 8 in Toulon takes place the ceremony of tribute to the victims of Minerva.

General DE GAULLE in uniform presides over the national tribute ceremony. He is accompanied by the Minister of the  defense, Pierre MESSMER.

A considerable crowd is massed on the Place d'Armes in Toulon where la religious ceremony takes place, in the presence of the Head of State._cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_

It is concelebrated by:

  • Bishop BARTHE

  • Mgr BADRE, Director of the military chaplaincy in France

  • The Canons:

    • Hubert VALLIET, Vicar General of the Navy

    • De MAGONDEAUX former lieutenant, and former teacher of LV FAUVE and GADONNET to prepare their baccalaureate.

  • Yves LE BIHAN brother-in-law of LV FAUVE

This ceremony is followed by a military ceremony.

The entire crew is quoted at the order of the army

The Minister of Armies,Mr. Pierre MESSMER, cite to the order of the Army, the commander, the staff and the crew of the submarine Minerve.

"Operating a high-performance submarine in the very demanding conditions of underwater navigation, have always given a high example of professional valor and devotion to the good of the service. Disappeared in commissioned service with their vessel off Toulon on January 27 1968."

General de Gaulle greets Marie-Thérèse Fauve, mother of Commander André Fauve,  next to Jacques Fauve brother of the commander in the foreground.

A pact with danger

The general gives a speech on this occasion  (audio on the right):

“Sailors have died at sea. They were volunteers. It is for this reason, in particular, that the submarine "Minerve" left a deep memory in the heart of France tout entière and its armies an example that will last. I salute their memory and I am sure that from what they wanted to do and what they have done will come out for our France something as strong as they had wanted. Long live France."

A dive aboard the Eurydice

He will present his condolences to the families and loved ones of the sailors. One of the family members present that day remembers it encore fifty years later.

"  When De Gaulle passed, I was impressed, because he knew all the names and surnames. I will always remember them."

  Then, to everyone's surprise,  we see him heading towards the Eurydice, a submarine of the same class as the missing submarine to go for a symbolic dive on board.


By a tragic accident of fate, it was this same submarine which, two years later in March 1970, was in turn to disappear in conditions similar to the Minerva._cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

The ceremony will be very long, the families of the disappeared will wait, like the other officials, for the return of the Eurydice, outside, in the cold of this month of February.

00:00 / 00:33
Vidéo cérémonie


Watch Now

Gaumont Archives:

bottom of page