Jacqueline Auriol was the first woman to break the sound barrier France's first woman test pilot; in 1963 she flew at 1,261 mph in a Dassault Mirage IIIR, more than twice the speed at which she had first set the world record a decade earlier. She was also the daughter-in-law of a President of France, Vincent Auriol, who was head of state from 1947 to 1954. Slim, blue-eyed and extremely pretty, Jacqueline Auriol acted as his hostess at many official functions, and at one dinner in 1948 found herself seated next to Raymond Guillaume, one of France's best-known pilots. He declared that flying was the closest thing to true freedom and offered her lessons. Two years after her face was crushed while she was a passenger in a 1949 plane crash, she volunteered to fly a jet fighter and set the world record for female aviator.

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