A brief history of Marie Marvingt


Marie Marvingt, a qualified surgical nurse and the first trained and certified Flight Nurse in the world first flight was in 1907 when she ascended as a passenger in a free-flight balloon. On 19 July 1907, she piloted one and in September 1909, she made her first solo flight as a balloon pilot. Two months later on 26 October 1909 Marvingt became the first woman to pilot a balloon across the North Sea and English Channel from Europe to England. She earned her balloon pilot's certificate (#145) from the Aero-Club Stella in 1910.

In September Marvingt had her first flight as a passenger in an aeroplane piloted by Roger Sommer. During 1910. On 8 November 1910 she became she was the third Frenchwoman received a pilot's licence from the Aťro-Club de France.

During World War I she disguised herself as a man and, with the connivance of a French infantry lieutenant, served on the front lines as a soldier, 2nd Class. She was discovered and sent home but later also served as a Red Cross nurse.

In 1915 Marvingt became the first woman in the world to fly combat missions when she became a volunteer pilot flying bombing missions over German-held territory and she received the Croix de guerre (Military Cross) for her aerial bombing of a German military base in Metz.

Marie Marvingt died on 14 December 1963, aged 88, at Laxou.

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