Maryse Bastié

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Maryse Bastié in 1932.

Maryse Bastié (27 February 1898 – 6 July 1952) was a French aviator who set several international records for female aviators during the 1930s.[1][2][3]

She was born Marie-Louise Bombec in Limoges, Haute-Vienne; Bastié's father died when she was eleven, and her family struggled to survive. As an adolescent she worked in a shoe factory, money was scarce and an early marriage that failed left her with a child, who died young, and limited means. As a result of her marriage to Louis Bastié, a World War I pilot, she became fascinated by the new phenomenon of powered flight and was determined to become a pilot and to own her own plane. She obtained her license to fly and although her husband was killed in a plane crash (in 1926), Maryse Bastié began doing aerobatics to earn money to keep herself flying and in 1927 purchased her own aircraft, a Caudron C.109.[2]

Records set by Maryse Bastié in the 1930s included international records for women in duration flying, distance, and a record time for a solo flight across the South Atlantic. Her performances earned her the Harmon Trophy in 1931. In 1935 she founded her own flying school at Orly Airport.[2]

Bastié served in the French Air Force, rising to the rank of Captain while logging more than 3,000 hours' flying time. The government of France made her a Commander of the Legion of Honor. In 1937, she published her story under the title Ailes ouvertes: carnet d'une aviatrice.[4]

On 6 July 1952, following a conference in Lyon, Maryse Bastié was killed when her plane crashed during take off.[1][2] She is buried in the Cimetière du Montparnasse in Paris.

Posthumous honors[edit]

The "Lycée professionnel régional Maryse Bastié" in Hayange-Marspich, the "Lycée Maryse Bastié" in Limoges, and the "College Maryse Bastié" in Reims as well as in Vélizy-Villacoublay are named in her memory. The Real Estate Services division of aircraft maker Bombardier Inc. named a street in her honor in Saint-Laurent, Quebec as did the French cities of Anglet, Bron, Haguenau, Châteaulin and Lyon.

In 1955, the Government of France honored Maryse Bastié with her image on an airmail postage stamp.[5]

There is a memorial to Maryse Bastile in the west of Paris in a small park of the Boulevard du Garigliano M. Valin not far from the Seine.


  1. ^ a b Maryse Bastié avait des ailes.
  2. ^ a b c d Maryse BASTIE 1898 – 1952.
  3. ^ Bastié Maryse.
  4. ^ Maryse Bastié (1937) Ailes ouvertes: Carnet d'une aviatrice. Grasset
  5. ^ Bastié Maryse.

Further reading[edit]

  • History Today article by Sian Reynolds, University of Sussex
  • Ailes ouvertes : carnet d'une aviatrice. Maryse Bastié (1937) Fasquelle ASIN B0000DTBTE
  • La Vie de Maryse Bastié. Marcel Migeo (1948) Editions du Seuil ISBN 2-02-004154-5
  • Une Française, Maryse Bastié. Vice-Amiral Amanrich. (1953) Editions Baudiniere ASIN B0000DUSXE
  • Une trace dans le ciel. Agnès Clancier (2017) Editions Arléa ISBN 9782363081407