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Garros, Roland

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Born: 1888 AD
Died: 1918 AD, at 30 years of age.

Nationality: French
Categories: Aviators

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1888 - Roland Garros born on the 6th of October in Saint-Denis, Réunion. He was an early French aviator and a fighter aircraft pilot during World War I.

1913 - He was already a noted aviator before World War I.

       - He gained fame for making the first nonstop flight across the Mediterranean Sea. The next year he joined the French army at the outbreak of the conflict. After several aerial missions he decided that shooting and flying at the same time was too difficult, so he fitted a machine gun to the front of his plane so the tasks became one and the same.

1915 - In order to protect the propeller from the bullets, he fitted metal wedges to the prop. Starting from the 1st of April, he soon shot down three German planes and quickly gained an excellent reputation.

       - On the 18th of April, he was shot down and glided to a landing on the German side of the lines. After examining Garros's plane, German aircraft engineer Anthony Fokker team designed an improved system known as the interrupter gear. Soon the tables were reversed against the Allies due to Fokker's planes shooting down nearly every enemy plane they met, leading to what became known as the Fokker Scourge.

1918 - He managed to escape from prisoner-of-war camp in Germany in February and joined the French army again.

       - On the 5th of October, he was shot down again and killed near Vouziers, Ardennes.



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Page last updated: 12:06pm, 29th Mar '07