Allow me to put St Exupery in perspective.
Antione de Saint Exupery was Antoine de Saint Exupery. You can't really put a label on him like Altruist, Collectivist or Objectivist.
He was a pilot for Latecoer and later Aeropostal, which where early French air-mail services. A lot of Noth-Africa was French in that days. So part of his job was to fly with the airoplanes of the 20's and 30's above deserts filled with hostile nomads.
In the beginning of his writing career, he wrote the dangers he and other pilots faced , later on, he wanted to be known as a "serious" writer not a writer of adventure novels. So he tried his hands at more philosophical works (without really doing philosophy).
In his work about the first airmail pilots, there is much heroism. I recall a passage where one of his friends (Mermoz I think) planes is crashed in the Andes. Mermoz is willing to give up, shut his eyes and die of cold when he thought about his wife and children. The tought of his children being orphan pushes him on. Later on Mermoz said, what I did there in those mountains, no animal would have done. Only humans are capable of such great deeds. Very altruistic indeed.
Saint Exupery also said there is a Mozart being killed every day by parents and teachers who tell children to behave and sit still instead of developing their creativity.
He also thought aviation would change politics. Seeing the world from above, indiscriminately, the good and the bad would enable leaders to make better decisions. In the past the leaders would travel the country but see only what the bureaucrats, servants and such wanted them to see.
The Litle Prince is a lot like Gullivers travels where every world and every character represents a certain attitude, way of life or phenomenon of society. There's a ruler of the universe who only gives reasonable orders, who will order you to sleep when you're tired, order a sunrise when it's time for the sun to rise. There's the drunk who drinks to forget the shame of being a drunk. There is the story of a mapmaker who can't make maps. To make maps, you have to start from reality; you can't make maps without suveilling and discovering new territories. However, the mapmaker is far too intelligent to spend his time on tasks like travelling the universe and discovering new territories. The prince also comes on a very small planet where there day and night only last one minute. On that planet there live a worker who lights and extinguishes the gas lights. He is a very busy man, attending to a light with no purpose. However he has no time in his busy schedule to question the orders he was given.
In La Citadelle, he gets philosophical and defends a very strong, authoritarian government.
Ted, I don't know where that part of the suicide mission comes from. As far as read, he flew a reconnaissance mission and his plane disappeared.
In my opinion, Saint Exupery had some good ideas. He had his own opinions which where not always those of his fellow men. He relied much on his own experiences but his work misses the philosophical foundation that Rand's novels have. His ideas can be used as a way to trigger reflection and discussion (as on this forum) but not the way french teachers do, as an authority.