Many moons ago, I wrote about Airlene. She was born in an airplane in 1929.
Many of the sources I consulted for that post explicitly stated that Airlene was the first baby born in an airplane. I hadn’t seen any contradictory evidence at the time, so I assumed this was true.
Just the other day, though, I discovered that a French baby had been born in an airplane in the summer of 1922 — seven years earlier.
The French baby was the son of Madame Georges Breyer of Lyon. She was staying at a seaside resort in Southern Italy when she went into labor. She chartered a plane northward to Naples, and gave birth 40 miles south of Naples and 6,000 feet over the Mediterranean.
She said she would name the baby Guynemer, in honor of famous French military aviator Georges Guynemer.
This news was printed in papers all over the U.S. for a day or two. Then…nada. No follow-up, no interviews, no extra details. I’ve had no luck tracking down the mom, the baby, or even the Breyer family of Lyon — at least not in any of the English-languages sources I’ve checked. (Anyone want to do a quick search of French or Italian sources for me?)
As far as I know, Airlene is still the first U.S. airplane baby. But it looks like Guynemer could be the world’s first airplane baby, if this story checks out.
I’ll let you know if/when I have any updates…
Source: “Boy Born in an Airplane 6000 Feet Above the Sea.” Providence News 1 Jul. 1922: 1.