>> Mediterranean sea >> France >> Bouche du Rhone >> THE P-38 of ANTOINE DE SAINT EXUPERY

Picture of the P-38 wreck of Antoine de Saint Exupery
JC Bianco on his boat near the crash site.
The bracelet of Antoine de Saint Exupéry
Luc Vanrell and JC Bianco
Philippe Castellano in his office
Der Prinz, der Pilot und Antoine de Saint Exupery
A summary of the main events of the resarch project and more pictures on www.abtauchen.com
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Information about the research and the P-38 in by Luc Vanrell
Le F-5B Lightning de l'ile du Riou
Information about the research by Philippe Castellano on the AeroRelic website.
Saint-Exupéry, l'ultime secret. Enquête sur une disparition
This book by Jacques Pradel and Luc Vanrell is also available in german language.
Der Prinz, der Pilot und Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: Das Rätsel um den letzten Flug
Written by Claas Triebel & Lino von Gartzen. This book contains also a complete documentation and a list of references and sources. ISBN-13: 978-3776625691
Wreck site locationFrance-Bouche du Rhone
Îles de Riou
Mediterranean sea
GPS PositionArea: 43.169012N 5.408680E
Depth80 Meters /
Wreck statusWreck has been salvaged (some parts in 2003) /Wreck identified
On 31 July 1944 the well known aviation pioneer and author Cmdt. Antoine de Saint Exupéry did not return from a reconnaissance mission in southern france to his base in corsica and was missing. For almost 60 years, his aircraft was one of the most wanted wrecks researchers have been searching for. 1998 a bracelet of Saint Exupery was found by Jean Claude Bianco, a fisherman cleaning his net. Finally in 2000, the french diver Luc Vanrell found parts of the wreck of a P-38 near Marseille. This wreck was identified in 2003 with the help of Philippe Castellano. In 2005 i met Luc and Philippe to work on a research concerning a german DB601 engine found on the same location. This research directed me to the german fighter pilot, who likely shot down the P-38 the 31. July 1944.
AircraftLockheed P 38 F-5B
Serial/Werknummer42-68223 ( 2734 )
BuildAround 1942
The P-38 Lightning was a very powerfull US fighter that was called by the germans "Gabelschwanz-Teufel". The reconnaissance version, F5B, was unnarmed.
Mission/RouteReconnaissance mission
Airforce/AirlineUS Air Force
UnitGroupe de Reconnaissance II/33
Cmdt. Antoine de Saint Exupéry started at 8:45 with his P-38 in Borgo/Corsica for a reconnaissance mission in the area of Annecy-Lyon-Chalon/Saône in southern france. His aircraft was detected by the german radar. At about 11:40 he was likely shot down by the german fighter pilot H. Rippert belonging to the Jagdgruppe 200.
CrewCmdt. Antoine de Saint Exupéry, MIA
A complete documentation and a list of references and sources can be found in my book:
Der Prinz, der Pilot und Saint-Exupery
Claas Triebel/Lino von Gartzen
2008 Herbig Verlag
ISBN 978-3-7766-2569-1
Diving in this area needs authorisation.