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French Jean MERMOZ

French aviator

Source :  Pascal BOULLET

Born: on December 09, 1901 in Aubenton, France
Died: on December 07, 1936 in At Sea, Brazil


Mermoz was a poetry lover. He also admired sculpture and other forms of art. He has been described as shy and as a quiet adolescent. He also liked literature, but he shunned potential careers in any art fields to concentrate on becoming a pilot. In 1919, he graduated from school.

In 1920, he met Max Delby, a teacher who helped Mermoz increase his interest in aviation. In April 1921, he flew as a pilot for the first time.

Mermoz, whose infancy had been marked by World War I news, joined the French Air Force in 1922, being assigned, as a pilot of the air force's 11th regiment, to duty in Syria. In 1924, he returned to France, having arguably been one of the most successful pilots in the Syrian operations. Mermoz relocated to Toulouse. Later on, Mermoz went on to become an airmail pilot, with Latécoère's company, and almost failed his entry exam by performing dangerous stunts to impress the director. (The director, Didier Daurat had this famous quote: "We don't need acrobats here, we need bus drivers.") He then did a normal, flawless flight and was hired. It was there that Mermoz met Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. At the Compagnie Générale Aéropostale, Mermoz travelled to Morocco, Senegal and other African areas.

In 1926, one of Mermoz's flights ended with an accident, when his plane crashed in the Sahara. Taken hostage by a group of rebel Tuaregs, he was later found alive.

Source :  © Copyright Wikipédia authors - This article is under licence CC BY-SA 3.0 .

See Also :

- Category Aviator