A brief history of Marcel Brindejone des Moulinais

By Willie Bodenstein


Marcel-Georges Brindejonc des Moulinais was a French aviator born on 18 February 1892 best known for long distance flights including crossing the Baltic Sea. He also flew as an exhibition and racing pilot and flew reconnaissance missions during the battle of the Marne in WWI.

His interest in flying started during the summer of 1909. In December 1910 he bought an aircraft from Alberto Santos-Dumont and then enrolled at a flying school at Pau, gaining his pilot's license on 13 March 1911. In June, he participated in the meeting at Abbeville in a Blériot monoplane. He then bought a Morane-Borel monoplane and started entering flying competitions.

In July, he returned to Paris, and was given a job as a pilot by Morane. The same month he was injured when he made a forced landing in a stone yard at Billancourt. This accident prevented him from taking part in the 1911 Daily Mail Circuit of Britain Air Race.

In 1913, his most successful year he flew from Paris to London, Brussels and returning to Paris (1,040 km 650 mi) in a Morane-Saulnier C monoplane. The flight, twice crossing the Channel) took place between 25 and 27 February. On June the 10th he won the Pommeroy cup for the longest flight between sunrise and sunset, flying 900 miles from Paris.

He was awarded the Legion of Honour on 11 August 1913, aged 21, becoming the youngest of holder of the honour. On 3 July 1913 he received the great gold medal of the Aero-Club de France. On 23 December 1913, he received the Medal of the Academy of Sport. He had been decorated at Saint Petersburg (by the Grand Duke Alexander) with the order of Sainte-Anne, Stockholm of the order of Gustav Vasa and Copenhagen (30 June by the king) in the order of Daneborg.

Called to perform military service, he enlisted on 10 October 1913 in the 1st aviation group at Versailles. He was promoted to Sergeant on 3 September 1914, to second lieutenant on 25 December 1914 and lieutenant on 26 December 1915. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre on 2 June 1915.

His plane was shot down on 18 August 1916 in Vadelaincourt near Verdun. He was buried in Souilly on 6 July 1922.

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