Jacques de Lesseps

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Jacques Benjamin de Lesseps was a French aviator born in Paris on 5 July 1883, killed in an air accident presumably on 18 October 1927 along with his flight engineer Theodor Chichenko. He was the son of French diplomat Ferdinand de Lesseps. In 1910 he married Grace Mackenzie, daughter of Sir Willam Mackenzie.

Early aviation career[edit]

Jacques de Lesseps's pilots license.

In 1910, Jacques de Lesseps became the second person to fly an aeroplane over the English Channel. His aircraft was a Blériot Type XI like the one Louis Blériot himself used for the first Channel crossing the year before.[1]

Military career[edit]

De Lesseps served with distinction in the French Air Force during World War I, commanding a squadron. He joined the Compagnie Aerienne Franco-Canadienne in air survey work after the war.


He and his flight engineer, Theodor Chichenko, were lost at sea during air photography operations along the Gaspé, Quebec coastline in October 1927.

A cairn erected to his memory exists near Gaspé. It records that de Lesseps was the second man to fly the English Channel by airplane. He was a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, held the Croix de Guerre and the United States Distinguished Service Cross.[2]


  1. ^ E. Charles Vivian https://www.456fis.org/A_HISTORY_OF_AERONAUTICS__PART_I__XV.htm
  2. ^ Frank H. Ellis Canada's Flying Heritage, University of Toronto Press, 1961, ISBN 0-8020-4018-7, page 240, 382

External links[edit]