LUCIEN BOSSOUTROT—A SORT OF FRENCH CHARLES LINDBERGH/STEVE MCQUEEN/BERNIE SANDERS/ NOAM CHOMSKY PART 2
FRENCHMAN EXCEPTIONAL LUCIEN Bossoutrot was more than a pioneer aviator. Today in Part 2, we’ll see why I can include Steve McQueen, Bernie Sanders, and Noam Chomsky in my Bossoutrot description.
Bossoutrot, Race Car Driver. Like other sportsmen of the early 20th century, Bossoutrot was enamored of auto racing. The Le Mans 24-hour race was first run in 1923. Two years later, Bossoutrot participated as part of the Automobiles Gendron team. He and Marcel Gendron co-drove a GM (Gendron-Michelot) GC2 Sport, the car failing after some nine hours.
In 1926, Bossoutrot teamed with Marcel Michelot driving again for GM. Gendron and Adrian Drancé drove the other GC3 Sport. Both cars were withdrawn before the start.
In 1927, the GM team again withdrew, this time because of the tragic death of Bossoutrot’s co-driver Michelot when he was practicing the course.
The GM GC-2, after its crash approaching Arnage, in which Marcel Michelot perished. Image from the-fastlane.co.uk.
Bossoutrot, Radical-Socialiste. In 1936, Bossoutrot, a member of France’s Radical Party, was elected député (a national legislator) for the Seine.
One of the party’s coalition achievements during this time was the first paid holidays for French workers.
Pétain Redux. In 1940, staggering from early defeats, France’s National Assembly convened in Vichy. Bossoutrot was one of those voting in favor of giving Marshall Pétain full powers. However, Bossoutrot came to regret this. In February 1943, his opposition views got him interned by Vichy authorities.
Fifteen months later, in June 1944, Bossoutrot escaped to join the Resistance in southwest France. At the Liberation, though, he temporarily lost his rights because of his 1940 Pétain vote. In April 1945, based on his Resistance activities, his rights were reinstated.
Jean-Baptiste “Lucien” Bossoutrot, 1890–1958, French pioneer aviator, race car driver, politician, honored by a Croix de Guerre, World War I, and commandeur de la Légion d’Honneur, World War II. Bossoutrot died, age 68, in Viry-Châtillon, France, September 1, 1958.
Bossoutrot, Lingvisto. What about my earlier reference to noted linguist Noam Chomsky? During Bossoutrot’s Mauritanian adventure, he and his copilot were taken prisoner by bandits. Bossoutrot was able to negotiate release, according to French Wikipedia, “thanks to Esperanto.”