Marie Louise Driancourt
Collection of Dave Lam
via email from Dave Lam, 10-17-04
     Marie-Louise Driancourt is another of the early women aviators about whom very little is known. Even the Musee de l’Air in Le Bourget has very little in their files about her.
     Marie-Louise Martin was born in December 1887 at Lyon. She subsequently married Monsieur Driancourt of Paris, and already had 3 kids (all daughters) when she started to fly.
     She first trained at the Bleriot School near Chartres in 1910. By early summer 1911 she transferred to the Caudron School at Le Crotoy . She won License #525, 15 June 1911 in a Caudron.
Marie Louise Driancourt
L Aviatrice Mme Driancourt sur biplan Caudron
Collection of Dave Lam
       The Caudron was well-noted for its speed and controllability. It was not considered one of the most difficult aircraft to fly, as was the Antoinette flown by Marie Marvingt. During training, she apparently had several crashes on the beach at Le Crotoy, but was not seriously injured.
     Only a few days after her licensing, she had a crash. After having flown at an altitude of 500 meters, she prepared to land when the ignition on her engine failed. It continued to sputter, and in order to land rapidly while avoiding the crowd, she crashed into a hanger, where the aircraft splintered, and she suffered minor injuries.
Marie Louise Driancourt
Meeting de Troyes - Aérodrome de St-Lyé
Madame Driancourt avant le láchez-tout

Collection of Dave Lam
       She competed and participated in many exhibitions in 1911, including Crotoy (September) and Pamplona, Spain. She also flew at St.-Lye (Troyes) in August. Reportedly, in Pamplona she was personally congratulated by the king, Alphonse XIII for her achievements.
     Her husband, who had supported her aviation interests, died in a car crash in early 1912, leaving her a widow with three small children. On 9 March 1912, she had a severe crash at Issy-Les-Moulineux, destroying her aircraft. She participated in only one later event, that at Juvisy in April 1912, and then she left aviation forever.
     As of 17 March 1914, she was one of only 7 pilots who were members of The Stella. Most women airplane pilots never joined, for social and economic reasons.
     She died at L’Hay-les-Roses France in late 1914, probably of Tuberculosis. (Some have reported that she died of injuries suffered in an airplane crash in 1914, but I can find no evidence of this. Nothing I have access to notes that she flew after Spring 1912, and she does not appear on any list of aviation deaths to which I have access.) I suspect this is mis-reporting, but I cannot confirm or deny at this time her cause of death.

via email from Rod Filan, 10-15-04
     I'm interested in finding out more on Marie Louise Driancourt (licensed 1911 - 5th French woman) She seems to have been a recent widow who aligned herself with the Caudron Brothers early 1911 perhaps and flew until March 1914 when she suffered a serious crash. Mme Driancourt died in November 1914 of injuries sustained in the accident.
     Jean-Pierre Lauwers suggested that Dave Lam was an expert on early aviatrices and if anyone had data on this lady, it would be Dave Lam

     If you search for "Marie Louise Driancourt", using the Google search engine, (10-16-04), you will find just four links.
     In addition, Rod Filan has supplied us with two especially helpful links which you will find immediately below.

"Madame Marie Louise Driancourt"
Newpaper interview clipping courtesy of Régis Gatineau, grandson of Mme Driancourt.
Written and published sometime between 2 April and 16 April 1912. Paris.

Translation courtesy of Rod Filan
     This page offers extensive information on the life and career of Madame Driancourt which were made available by her grandson, Régis Gatineau. It was translated by Rod Filan who also added other explanatory materials. You can access the site by clicking on the title above.

"Madame Driancourt ~ Pioneer Aviatrix"
Submitted by Régis Gatineau
     This page on Rod Filan's Rosebud's WWI and Early Aviation Image Archive website offers a text file and six images of Madame Driancourt. It is a unique and precious collection of memorabilia which help to tell the story of this pioneer French aviatrix. You can access the site by clicking on the title above.

The Aerodrome Forum - Marie Louise Driancourt
     This page on the Aerodrome Forum offers the first in a series of messages which were initiated by Rod Filan on the subject, Marie Louise Driancourt. You can start to read the string of messages by clicking on the title above.
     If you are not already acquainted with the Aerodrome website, and if time permits, I suggest you visit the many other resources which are available.

via email from Gisele Gatineau, 10-22-04
     Bonjour, je suis le petit fils de madame DRIANCOURT,et je recherche des documents surma grand mère.Mariée à mon grand père d'une famille très bourgeoise,l'activité de ma grand mère à été très mal reçu,et sitot son decès les souvenirs ont dus ètre détruits (pour exemple,en 1955 à la mort de mon arrière grand mère,la belle mère de madame DRIANCOURT,une tante de ma mère a dit à celle çi "si votre père avait interdit à votre mère de voler, elle serait certainement encore parmis nous"Les documents que mon frère ou moi mème pouvont posséder ,sont très rares et j'espère pouvoir trouver de la documentation parmis les membres de votre association
     Je vous prie de croire en mes salutations,amicalement
     Hello, I am the grandson of Madame Driancourt, and I am searching for documents on my grandmother. Married to my grandfather from a very bourgeois family, the activity of my grandmother was very poorly received, and soon after her death the souvenirs had to be destroyed. (For example, in 1955 upon the death of my remaining grandmother, the mother-in-law of Madame Driancourt, an aunt of my mother said to her that “if your father had forbideden your mother to fly, she would certainly still be among us.” )
     The documents which my brother or I could possess are very rare and I hope to find such documentation among the members of your association.

Translation from the French courtesy of Dave Lam

Editor's Note: If anyone reading the message from Giselle can help by providing any documents, please contact me and I will forward your response to him. I know he would appreciate any help you might be able to offer. Thank you.

Madame Marie Louise Driancourt was born in Lyon on 17 December 1887 and died on 6 November 1914 from the results of a serious accident.
Personal communication from Régis Gatineau,

If you have any information on this pioneer aviator
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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