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Monday, 23 March 2015

Roland Garros

Roland Garros (October 6, 1888 –  October 5, 1918) started his aviation career in 1909 flying a Demoiselle (Dragonfly) monoplane, an aircraft that only flew well with a small lightweight pilot.

In September 1911 Garros established a new world altitude record of 18,410 feet.

Roland Garros became on September 23, 1913, the first person to fly a plane across the Mediterranean (from St. Raphael, France to Bizerte, Tunisia).

Roland Garros Wikipedia Commons

Roland Garros was the first man during the First World War to shoot down an enemy plane by firing through his propeller.

Roland Garros was shot down and captured by the Germans on April 18, 1915. He managed to escape from a POW camp in Germany in February 1918, after several attempts, and rejoined the French army.

On October 5, 1918, Garros was shot down and killed near Vouziers, Ardennes, a month before the end of the war and one day before his 30th birthday.

Roland Garros in 1910

A tennis center, which Garros attended religiously when he was studying in Paris, was named after him in the 1920s, the Stade de Roland Garros. The stadium accommodates the French Open, one of tennis' Grand Slam tournaments.

The French Open tennis stadium is not the only thing named after Roland Garros: the airport on Réunion in the Indian Ocean, also bears his name.

Sources Daily Express, Wikipedia 

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