Maryse Bastié

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Maryse Bastié in her early flying days.

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

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.

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.

Maryse 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.

On July 6, 1952, following a conference in Lyon, Maryse Bastié was killed when her plane crashed during take off. 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 and Lyon.

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

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.


  • 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