Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the famous author of Le Petit Prince, one of the world’s most famous children’s books, also was an aviator who loved to perform complex and death-defying stunts. Later in his life, he was determined to enter World War II to do his duty for his native France. This was despite his advanced age, and to the disadvantage of many of the other air pilots assigned to work with him on missions. He was seen as a liability, and made several mistakes in his aviation career, but none more costly than the one he made on July 31, 1944.
He crashed his plane taking off for a mission over the Mediterranean, and the wreckage was not found until 2000. His body was never located.