the man who shot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry identified????

German Luftwaffe 1935-1945.
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Marc Binazzi
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the man who shot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry identified????

Post by Marc Binazzi » Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:17 pm

The French pilot and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, known the world over as the author of "the little Prince", disappeared on July 31st 1944 while flying a recco Lightning. He was presumably shot by a Luftwaffe pilot who, finding out whom he had shot, preferred to remain silent. Today this Luftwaffe pilot, Horst Rippert, admitted having shot Saint-Exupéry but after finding out he had shot an aviation pioneer and writer, he remained silent for more than six decades!
"the iron fist had a glass jaw" (Ronald Reagan in Raoul Walsh's Desperate Journey)

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John W. Howard
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Tell Us More Marc

Post by John W. Howard » Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:45 pm

Hey Marc:
Do you have any more info Marc?? That is very interesting. His death has always been a little mysterious. Best wishes.
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Post by phylo_roadking » Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:58 pm

Mysterious, and all the musings about depression and possible suicide by historians and the media have caused his family a LOT of upset over the years.
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Post by Marc Binazzi » Sat Mar 15, 2008 2:36 pm

There even were doubts about the place where his plane crashed, some people thought he had crashed in the Alps, but a couple of years ago a fisherman on the South Coast on the Mediterranean brought his chain bracelet with his name engraved on it in his nets!

At the same time historians targeted a number of potential "predators" for Saint-Exupéry's Recco Lightning and apparently they found the one. He was interviewed and admitted he had shot the plane, while obviously ignoring he was at the same time putting a term to the life of one of the most famous writers of the 20th century. Soon after he found out the identity of the pilot he had shot and decided to shut up. Actually Saint-Exupéry was shot by one of his (many) readers and admirers!

I believe Saint-Exupéry was quite distressed at the idea of not flying any more (he was 44 when he died and considered as far too old for the job but he had got an "age exemption" on account of his fame) but I never really heard of a suicide, but it really took some time to put the whole jigsaw puzzle together and find the Lutwaffe man who had done the job.

Ironically, his mysterious death added a lot to the legend and perhaps he would not have been so incredibly admired had he just died in his bed at the age of 90......
"the iron fist had a glass jaw" (Ronald Reagan in Raoul Walsh's Desperate Journey)

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Post by phylo_roadking » Sat Mar 15, 2008 2:44 pm

Among numerous theories are that the crash was caused by a mechanical failure in engines or oxygen supply, or that the author committed suicide. The suicide theory is supported by the fact that the location of the plane indicates that it was very far off course, and appeared to have crashed vertically into the sea at a time when St. Exupery was depressed about being labelled a traitor by the deGaulle leadership of the Free French
There used to be a very detailed section in his Wiki entry regarding all the suicide theories...but it has already beem updated with the Rippert material and all the rest lost now except for that one paragraph.
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Post by Doktor Krollspell » Sat Mar 15, 2008 3:30 pm

Hello Gentlemen!

Some details concerning Obergefreiter Horst Rippert's combat career over at 12 O'Clock High! Rippert's victories/claims numbered 29 shot down enemies.

http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=5447


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Krollspell
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Exemption

Post by John W. Howard » Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:16 pm

Wow!! I am very glad this was posted; I had read about his mission and disappearance a few years back and wondered whether there was any new information. I believe his recce mission was in preparation for the Anvil/Dragoon landings. What was Rippert flying at the time?? Just curious. Best wishes.
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Post by phylo_roadking » Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:27 pm

All the reports have said "Me109" but none as yet mention the mark. It may do so in Ripperts own book "Saint-Exupery; The Ultimate Secret"
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Post by phylo_roadking » Sun Mar 16, 2008 3:12 pm

Just came across this on the Net when searching...
It is interesting that there were a number of Luftwaffe pilots whose Jewish ancestry made them anathema to the powers that be, however the ancestry seemed to have been remote enough to keep them out of the concentration camps. One in particular who comes to mind is Horst Rippert who was long relegated as a lowly Obergefreiter flight instructor with JGr. Süd. He came to note in the spring & summer of 1944 with the Einsatzstaffel of JGr. Süd (later JGr. 200) claiming 19 Allied aircraft over Southern France. Presumably this sufficiently proved his loyalty to "Volk und Führer" as he subsequently was posted to IV./JG 27. He remained an Obergefreiter until at least March of 1945. In April 1945 he as a Feldwebel serving in II./JG 27 against the Soviets, surviving the war with a total of 28 victories.
Looks like Rippert was one of the approximately 150,000 Jewish servicemen within the ranks of the Wehrmacht during the war.

One thing I found out entirely by accident was....he's also the brother of the legendary Ivan Rebroff, born Hans-Rolf Rippert, the German/Russian singer with the rare vocal range of four and a half octaves who died last month.
"Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle." - Malcolm Reynolds

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Thanks

Post by John W. Howard » Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:40 pm

Thanks For the additional info Phylo :wink:
John W. Howard

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