In this publication, Patrick de Gmeline looks back over the life, if not the work, of the pilot who was completely devoted to aviation and France. Quite simply unmissable!
1914. At the age of 22, Charles Nungesser completed his military service after having worked in a number of different professions in South America. The Great War broke out. He stood out right from the beginning of the war. His first military feat involved infiltrating behind enemy lines to neutralize four officers and steal their secret documents.
What happened next? His career within the French Air Force, flying a Nieuport-17, was simply staggering. He achieved forty-three victories, and received the Légion d’Honneur, the Croix de Guerre (France), the Military Cross (United Kingdom), and the Distinguished Service Cross (United States). All this despite two hospital stays which may have denied him the title of Ace of Aces for the French Air Force.
With experience also as a mechanic, a member of the military, a boxer, an actor, and a director of a flying school, he led a heroic life, though one with a tragic end! This tragedy occurred several years later when, accompanied by François Coli, he attempted to reach New York taking off from Paris, to make a sea landing in front of the Statue of Liberty. However, their aircraft, a biplane named “L’Oiseau blanc” [The White Bird], did not manage to reach the Big Apple, for reasons that still remain unknown to this day. Did they run out of fuel? Was there a storm? The aircraft was never found.
Charles Nungesser became a legendary figure in his own right, at the age of 35, during the night of August 8 to 9, 1927. To sum up, this is a long-haul depiction penned by an author who has already written a number of books about the war. A must-read!
Book: “Charles Nungesser, de l’As de la Grande Guerre au disparu de l’Atlantique.” Patrick de Gmeline. Éditions du Rocher. EAN: 9782268104805