Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 1900-1944
Published on November 30, 2012
July 31, 1944, 08: 45. The Lightning F-5B #223 takes off from Bastia Borgo, Corsica on a reconnaissance mission east of Lyon. At 14:30 the airplane, which by then would have run out of fuel, had not returned to base. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry had, somewhere between the sky and the sea, met the death of "fire and ice," that the hero of his Fighter Pilot so keenly desired. "Saint-Ex" may have been shot down in mid-day near Saint-Raphael by Lieutenant Heichele’s Focke-Wulf 190 D-9. Saint-Exupéry was a pilot unlike any other. A gifted writer, who also pioneered air mail, Saint-Exupéry recorded this history in Night Flight and Southern Mail. When the War broke out, he joined the most dangerous reconnaissance unit, 2/33. Flying behind enemy lines, this unit lost 17 of its 23 planes. Saint Exupéry’s best known work is the enchanting story, The Little Prince. Published during the War, the poetic beauty of its prose made The Little Prince an immediate classic. In 1941, Saint-Exupéry went to New York to persuade the United States to come to France’s aid. When the United States took up arms to fight for liberty in Europe, Saint-Exupéry fought alongside the Americans, just as his ancestor Georges Alexandre Césarée de Saint-Exupéry (author of War Notebooks) had when he joined his compatriot La Fayette, in America’s fight for independence.