Roland Garros (pilot)

Article

July 5, 2022

Roland Garros (French Roland Garros; Saint Denis, October 6, 1888 - Vousier, October 5, 1918) was a French pilot. Roland Garros was a pilot in the early days of aviation. In the history of aviation, he was remembered for his bravery in the First World War as a military pilot.

Biography

Garros was born in the town of Saint-Denis on the island of Réunion. Even before the First World War, he was a noted pilot. In 1913, he became famous thanks to the first non-stop flight across the Mediterranean Sea from Freges in the south of France to Bizerte in Tunisia, which he performed on September 23 in 7 hours and 53 minutes. The next year he joined the French army. After flying a few missions for the military, he realized that flying and shooting at the same time was too difficult, so he attached an automatic rifle (machine gun) to the front of his fighter plane, rather than the side. Thus, he made it easier for himself to shoot and hit the opponent, and in order to protect the wooden propeller of the plane from being damaged by enemy bullets, he attached metal wedges to it. On April 1, 1915, he began shooting down German planes. In a short period of time, he knocked down three of them, and gained a great reputation. Garos was shot down on April 18, 1915 and taken to the German part of the battlefield. He managed to escape from captivity only after three years (1918). As soon as he escaped, he re-enlisted in the French army, but on October 5, 1918, he was shot down again near the town of Vousia, in the Ardennes. This time with tragic consequences.

Places named after Garos

In the 20s of the 20th century, the tennis stadium was named after Garros (Stade de Roland Garros). The Grand Slam tournament, the French Open, also known as Roland Garros, is held at that stadium. The international airport on Reunion Island is also named after him.

Points of interest

Although one of the world's biggest tennis tournaments was named after him, Roland Garros never played competitive tennis during his life. Although he often played sports, and it is recorded that he was the champion of France in cycling in 1906, he played tennis only recreationally.

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