Almost 70 years after the mysterious disappearance of French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, famous for his book “The Little Prince”, his legacyas an author and pilot was honored at a memorial event last weekend.
Among attending guests and family members was the Flying Bull’s notorious P-38,the model the French national hero crashed on July 31st 1944.
Aged 44, Saint-Exupéry set off from Corsica on an expedition towards the South of France in a P-38 Lightning and never returned. For a very long time it was uncertain what had happened to him. Finally, in 1998, a fisherman named Claude Bianco found a silver bracelet with the engraved name of the famous author and shortly after the discovery of pieces of the P-38 triggered an intensive search. In 2003, the aquanaut Pierre Becker found parts of the plane on the ground of the Mediterranean Sea close to the island of Riou near Marseille. Investigations suggested that a German lieutenant colonel had shot down Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s plane that day without knowing who the famous pilot was.
“It was an honor for us to present the P-38 from our collection in France and pay tribute to the internationally renowned legend,” says Flying Bulls chief pilot Raimund Riedmann.
The P-38 took to the skies above Cognac, the military base of the author as well as near the city of Cannes.
“The P-38 is one of the most majestic planes in the world and reminded everyone on-site just how great the famous French author was,” says Riedmann.