Born in 1903, Maryse “Marie-Louise” Hilsz (1903 – 1946) became interested in flying. She made parachute jumps and performed stunts by standing on the wings of airplanes to raise money for flying lessons. After receiving her pilot’s licence in 1930. She mostly flew alone, without a mechanic, which forced her to repair her plane on her own.
A woman of action, elegant, and with a strong personality, she held numerous records for speed and distance by airplane in the 30s. She undertook some daring endurance flights: Paris – Saigon – Paris on a Gipsy Moth in 1931 and Paris – Tokyo – Paris (30,000 km) on a Bréguet 33 R in 1934. She established multiple altitude records such as the women record altitude (10,000 m) in 1932, the world record altitude of women flying a Morane at 11,800 meters in 1934, and the unbroken women world record altitude in a propeller-driven airplane of 14,310 m in an airplane propeller in 1936.
She entered the French Resistance in 1941 and flew covert missions. In 1945, she was one of prestigious women aviators that was selected to form a group female military pilots. She was selected as the leader of the group. However, recruiting for the group stopped in 1946.