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French Aero Engineer
Born Paris, France
January 22, 1892
Born Marcel Bloch in Paris, he graduated as one of France's first Aeronautical Engineers in 1914. A manufacturer of aircraft parts in World War I, his first product was the propeller for the famous SPAD fighter.
After the war he produced a successful line of Bloch transports, bombers and fighters, including the Bloch 152, one of the few French fighters available to combat the German Nazi invasion of 1940. He and his brother became important figures in the Resistance movement. Marcel was arrested by the Gestapo in 1944 and barely survived Buchenwald concentration camp. After the war, he changed his name to Dassault, his Resistance code name.
Dassault's greatest contribution to aviation history resulted from his postwar founding of the Dassault Company, which later became the leading aircraft builder in France. He revolutionized French national defense with such aircraft as the Ouragen and the supersonic Mystere fighters. The first European Mach 2 aircraft, the Mirage, gave new independence to French foreign policy, both politically and economically. The aerospace leadership of this French industry can be directly traced to Dassault's leadership.
He has been a member of the French Parliament continuously since 1951.
Invested 1973 in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame
From "These We Honor," The International Hall of Fame; The San Diego Aerospace Museum, San Diego, CA. 1984
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Updated: March 12, 2004