In Canada
Jacques de Lesseps
Postcard of Count Jacques de Lesseps and women passengers
aboard a Bleriot aircraft.
     I would like to add to your information about Jacques deLesseps. He was the son, not grandson of Feredinand deLesseps.The women in the plane: the one looking forwards is Grace Mackenzie, daughter of Sir William Mackenzie, the one looking at us from the photo looks like Ethel, though I have seen very few photos of her. Jacques and Grace are my great grandparents. He had two sons and two daughters. Both boys died young, but the girls have lived long lives. Both were present at the dedication of the monument in Gaspe, I can send you photos of the dedication, but they do not show the monument very well.
Tony Dickson, 4-28-11
Grandson of Catherine Buthane Hicks (nee deLesseps)

Photo from The Frank Coffyn Collection
Courtesy of Empire State Aerosciences Museum.

via email from Dave Lam, 10-27-06
     Count Jacques de Lessups (1883- 19 Oct 1927) earned his French pilot's license (#27) on 6 Jan 1910, flying a Bleriot. He participated in numerous competitions or meetings in 1910, including Barcelona, Montreal, Niort, New York, and Toronto. On 21 May 1910 he made the second ever crossing of the English Channel in an airplane, and won the French Ruinart Prize which had been offered for the first Channel Crossing. Although Bleriot had actually flown over the channel the year before, he was not eligible for the prize due to having filled out some of the paperwork inaccurately.
      During WWI he served the French military as pilot of night bombardment and observation aircraft, and was one of the pioneers of aerial photography. After the war he became the Technical Director and Primary Pilot for a French/Canadian aviation company. He died in 1927 in the crash of a Schreck flying boat carrying out aerial surveys (model FBA 21) near Gaspey. As an aside, I have been told he was the grandson of Ferdinand de Lesseps, the builder of the Suez Canal.

via email from Carl Mills, 7-24-09
Hi Ralph
     I wanted to make contact with you about Count Jacques de Lesseps who is listed on your web. Next year is the 100th anniversary of his flights over both Montreal (2 July 1910) and Toronto(13 July 1910). You web has some great info and photos and links -all very helpful. I have some info that is not mentioned on your site;

- Photo with the two women -(see above)
After or during the air meet in Toronto in July 1910, the Count was introduced to a wealthy fellow named Mackenzie at one of the exclusive clubs in Toronto. Mackenzie invited the Count to his home where he met Mackenzie's three daughters. The oldest was Grace (22) - the Count was 27. In October, while Mackenzie was away on business, the three girl snuck off to the Belmont, NY air meet to visit with the Count. It was here that the Count took Grace for a flight (25 Oct 1910) and then the two younger sisters- the same day. Grace became the first Canadian woman to fly. They were married the next year. In the photo of the two women and the Count on your web, the woman looking at the camera is very similar to an image of Grace from a wedding photo. OR it could be the two sisters(Kathleen and Ethel) - I'm reasonably certain that the women are of the Mackenzie family and probably at Belmont. The photo is from the Frank Coffyn collection, however, he was also at the Montreal and Toronto air meets.

Count De Lesseps body
After he disappeared at sea, his body washed up in Newfoundland at a place called Port au Port (Clam Bank Cove) near Stephenville on 5 Dec. 1927. He disappeared on 18 0ct. 1927 with his mechanic and had been missing for 48 days. Port au Port is north-east of Gaspe across the open-waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and about 300 miles (480 kilometers) distance. For some reason he requested that he be buried in Gaspe - I'm not sure how that came about as they had several children - in Toronto. A monument to both aviators was erected in 1932 - haven't seen a photo of this as yet.

This information is reasonably accurate.
I think that the aviation folks in Montreal are planning a significant celebration of the 100th - I am planning an article which ties in with the Trethewey farm where he flew from at the Toronto air meet.

I'm sure that I will find more info as time goes, however, it would be interesting to communicate with the others who have previuosly sent info to your web.

Carl Mills

The Knoxville Journal,
Knoxville,Tennessee, June 29, 1910
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 10-16-03
Montreal, Que., June 28. - "The aviation meet was delayed by a heavy wind until 5:30 this evening. Walter Brookins, of the Wright team, started before the heavy wind had gone down, remaining up nine minutes, 50 seconds. In a second ascent he mounted to an altitude of approximately 4,000 feet and was in the air twenty minutes and thirty seconds.
Count DeLesseps made two exhibition ascensions. On his second flight he ascended higher than he has yet done in Canada and in both descended in his usual graceful way. Lachappelle, a member of the Wright team, made good time in speed circles, doing the first lap in two minutes, two seconds."

"Veteran Airman Is Missing,
Part of Jacques de Lessep's Ship Found in Gulf."

The Knoxville Journal,
Knoxville,Tennessee, October 23, 1927
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 10-16-03
QUEBEC, Que., Oct. 22 (AP). - "Fears for the safety of Count Jacques de Lesseps, veteran airman, missing with his machanic since they took off on a survey flight Tuesday, were increased tonight with the finding of parts of his hydroplane in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
     The main portion of Lessep's plane was found on the beach at St. Felicits last night. Other parts were found nearby. Officials of the department of land and fisheries said that a study of the parts revealed that the plane must have been traveling at full speed when it struck the water. The wings and the rudder were stripped off the body and were found some distance away.
     There was hope that the two airmen, after having been forced down by the storm which raged after their departure, were able to reach land inaccessible of approach by regular means of communication. Search parties have been sent up the coast of the Gulf of St. Lawrence on the assumption, airplanes also kept a wide lookout along both banks of the St. Lawrence. The two men took off from Gaspe for Val Brilliant. They carried life preservers."

Taken by Count Jacques de Lesseps
Jacques de Lesseps
Aerial Photo of Montreal & Quebec City
     "I remembered I had bought 15 years ago as a bookseller, about 30 aerial photographs of Montreal and Quebec city taken by de lesseps in the twenties. Unfortunately I sold the originals but I did make copies of them all. Here are some."
Photo & text from Francois Auger, 8-15-05

Jacques de Lesseps
Aerial Photo of Montreal & Quebec City
Photo & text from Francois Auger, 8-15-05

Jacques de Lesseps
Aerial Photo of Montreal & Quebec City
Photo & text from Francois Auger, 8-15-05

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