Saint-Exupéry the missing aviator
July 31 1944, the commander Antoine de Saint-Exupéry gets into his plane, a Lockheed P-38 Lightning. His mission is: take photo over the Grenoble and Annecy to prepare the landing of Provence during the World War 2. Sadly the plane disappeared from radar control at 14:30, close to the côte d’azur. We will never see again the plane nor the writer Saint-Exupéry !
Mystery starts here.
The chain bracelet of the aviator is found
On 7 September 1998, a fisherman from Marseille, Jean-Claude Bianco, brought back in his nets a bracelet lettered with the name of the aviator. This discovery amazed the explorer and underwater photographer Luc Vanrell. This scubadiver did spot in the 80’s a plane wreck he thought was German at 70 meters deep, near the island of Riou in the harbor of Marseille. Was it the plane of “The Little Prince” father ?
The Saint-Exupéry’s plane is finally identified
Began a very difficult archaeological investigation because two planes are lying on the seabed at the exact same place and their remains are nested. We were able to identify the plane thank to the discovery of the turbocharger’s panel. The number of the writer’s aircraft 2734 followed by the letter L were written on the panel, with that unique piece there is no more doubt, this spot is the final destination for this great French aviator.
Today parts of the plane can be observed at the Paris museum and the rest still remains underwater but sadly disseminated by fishing nets…
We would like to thank Pierre Kosmidis and his website: www.ww2wrecks.com really rich for World War 2 history and wreck lovers.