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Old 15th March 2008, 19:17
canonne canonne is offline
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Pilot Horst Rippert claimed Saint Exupéry : 31 July 1944 / 15 March 2008 !

French newspaper (Daily) Le Monde published one hour ago this news : !Former Luftwaffe pilot Horst Rippert claimed Saint Exupéry : 31 July 1944 !

http://www.lemonde.fr/web/depeches/0...17@7-54,0.html

can we confirm please ?
Philippe
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  #2  
Old 15th March 2008, 19:31
jmallard jmallard is offline
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Re: Pilot Horst Rippert claimed Saint Exupéry : 31 July 1944 / 15 March 2008 !

There is an article today in the local Newspaper "La Provence" published in Marseilles.

Horst Rippert claimed Saint Exupery Lightning near Marseilles, He was at Jgr. 200 based in Aix Les Milles Airport.

A book on this story (St Exupery 's missing in action) will be published in France on march 20th by Jacques Pradel et Luc Vanrell "St Exupery, l'ultime secret, enquête sur une disparition"

Friendly
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  #3  
Old 15th March 2008, 22:16
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Re: Pilot Horst Rippert claimed Saint Exupéry : 31 July 1944 / 15 March 2008 !

Though a great man, he was not a saint. Please write Saint-Ex for short.
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Old 15th March 2008, 22:32
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Re: Pilot Horst Rippert claimed Saint Exupéry : 31 July 1944 / 15 March 2008 !

I'm sceptical about this. I did some research research into it years ago when somebody contacted me from France, when I was working on Operation Dragoon, but I couldn't come up with any evidence that Jagdgruppe 200 was involved in St. Exupéry's disappearance.

Rippert's claim is not in the surviving lists, although one of his from a week before 31 July is and another JG 200 pilot's claim is recorded for 30 July. Claims by the Gruppe from August 1944 were recorded however.

The relevant ULTRA decrypt is XL 4317 on file DEFE3/65 (Fliegerdivision 2 operations for 31 July 1944. I would need to search for my copy of it but from memory there was no indication of any success by JG 200 that day.
Nor did I find anything in No. 276 Wing's Signals Intelligence logs (intercepted W/T traffic) although other JG 200 combats do feature there.

There are further research possibilities in files released more recently but I have not had a chance to check these out yet.

Of course because there is nothing in the records, that does not make it impossible but deciphered daily operations reports from Fl.Div. 2 seem to be present throughout the Summer of 1944.
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Old 15th March 2008, 22:57
Brian Bines Brian Bines is offline
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Re: Pilot Horst Rippert claimed Saint Exupéry : 31 July 1944 / 15 March 2008 !

On YouTube there is a 10 minute film called ''Der letzte Flug'' which seems to refer to this incident. My German is not good enough to follow whether this is supposed to be a factual reconstruction anyone else seen it ?
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Old 15th March 2008, 23:42
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Re: Pilot Horst Rippert claimed Saint Exupéry : 31 July 1944 / 15 March 2008 !

Philippe Castellano, the man who dug up Saint-Ex's wreck, posted on a French board that when the German HQ learned whom Rippert had shot down, they concealed the whole thing and destroyed the claim files.
That sounds strange to me.
How did they learn it was Saint-Ex and when?
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Old 15th March 2008, 23:55
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Re: Pilot Horst Rippert claimed Saint Exupéry : 31 July 1944 / 15 March 2008 !

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJE View Post
Philippe Castellano, the man who dug up Saint-Ex's wreck, posted on a French board that when the German HQ learned whom Rippert had shot down, they concealed the whole thing and destroyed the claim files.
That sounds strange to me.
How did they learn it was Saint-Ex and when?
And it sounds like a bunch of crap to me! The lack of evidence is not proof that the records were destroyed.

Here's the promised text of ULTRA XL 4317:

XL 4317

Fliegerdivision 2 total effort on 31st was 12 sorties including two Ju 88 security ASV [FuG 200] recce, three Ju 88 and one Ju 188 convoy recce, two Arado A/S patrol. Four Arado security recce. No losses.
Details:

One Ju 88 from 21.24 to 01.36 hours [GMT] Minorca, due east to Sardinia offshore to northwest tip.

One Ju 88 from 21.50 to 00.42 hours Marseilles - 4212/0615 east - off northwest Corsican coast - 4252/0615 east - Marseille.

One Ju 88 from 22.53 to 00.37 hours broken off at Spanish frontier at 23.55 hours.

One Ju 88 from 23.02 to 23.47 hours (on 30th) broken off in 4252/0415 east at 23.10 hours.

One Ju 188 up 10.21 hours convoy route African coast.

Two Arado 12.00 to 14.50 hours search recce to spanish frontier.

Two Arado up 16.46, down 17.15 hours, security recce Gulf of Lions to frontier broken off at 17.00 hours in 4252/0515 east.

Two Arado up 17.34, down 19.37 hours, security recce Gulf of Lions to frontier carried out.

One Ju 88 up 21.40 hours ASV area west and northwest of Corsica.

Secondly on 30th an experimental flight for fighters was carried out to North African coast (comment no details but XL 4202 para. C may be relevant).

011802Z/8/44
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Old 16th March 2008, 00:11
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Re: Pilot Horst Rippert claimed Saint Exupéry : 31 July 1944 / 15 March 2008 !

I am also sceptical.

This looks like announcement of discovery of holy family´s tomb. There were two or three such discoveries in last 30 years if I am not mistaken ...

I was doing some research on 31.7.44 recently. And some time ago I was in touch with Rippert, but not about this topic.

Since 70´s there is another candidate for killing of Saint-Ex. After extensive research, that person is realistic in time and place, but engagement on July 31 is otherwise more likely legend.

If Nick Beale could make overview of Jafü Süd operations of 31.7.1944, it would be great. I would be not surprised if there was simply no engagement.

BTW I also found The Last Flight movie some time ago. IMHO it is very good fiction movie.
Here with English subtitles:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WKK1RQoewM

Behind camera was Alex Thomson, an expert in his field.
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Last edited by Jan Bobek; 16th March 2008 at 00:23. Reason: typo
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Old 16th March 2008, 00:14
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Re: Pilot Horst Rippert claimed Saint Exupéry : 31 July 1944 / 15 March 2008 !

Due to Nick´s post, most of my previous post is overcomed
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  #10  
Old 16th March 2008, 01:57
Tom Semenza Tom Semenza is offline
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Re: Pilot Horst Rippert claimed Saint Exupéry : 31 July 1944 / 15 March 2008 !

My wife was just watching "Le Journal" on the French channel TV 5 and there appeared a story about divers recovering artifacts from Saint Exupery's Lightning from the bottom of the Med off Marseille. Then there was a telephone interview with Horst Rippert recounting his downing of Saint Exupery. Rippert was speaking in German and there was a translater speaking over him in French, so it was difficult for me to follow the details. Apparently Rippert is still alive so perhaps some Luftwaffe expert such as Dr. Prien could get to the bottom of this. Persanally I found it fascinating that such a revelation would appear so long after the fact and apparently out of the blue, so to speak.

Tom
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