18 April 1915 – Roland Garros captured

Roland Garros’s brief career as a fighter pilot is over. Following his first victory on 1 April 1915, he shot down two further aircraft, on the 15th and earlier today.

However his luck ran out while attacking a train stopped in Lendelede station (North of Kortrijk). He attacked with a steep dive, then flew over the train in a loop and as he rose up into the sky again with his wings almost vertical, he threw a bomb at the train.

It missed the target and there was no damage. As the plane had swooped down over the train German troops fired on it from a distance of only 100 metres. After he had thrown his bomb at the train he tried to escape, switching his engine on again and climbing to about 700 metres through the shots fired by our troops. But suddenly the plane began to sway about in the sky, the engine fell silent, and he began to glide the plane down in the direction of Hulste.

A German bullet had apparently hit the fuel pipe on Garros’ plane, forcing him to land. Although the daring airman attempted to set the plane on fire and escape on foot once he hit the ground, both he and the plane were captured by the Germans.


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