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Roland Garros (aviator)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the French aviator. For the tennis tournament named after him, see French Open (tennis).

Roland GarrosRoland Garros (October 6, 1888 – October 25, 1918) was an early French aviator and a fighter aircraft pilot during World War I.

Biography
Garros was born in Saint-Denis, Réunion.

He was already a noted aviator before World War I; in 1913 he gained fame for making the first nonstop flight across the Mediterranean Sea from Frejus in south of France to Bizerte in Tunisia. 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. In order to protect the propeller from the bullets, he fitted metal wedges to the prop. Starting from April 1, 1915, he soon shot down three German planes and quickly gained an excellent reputation.

On April 18, 1915, he was shot down and glided to a landing on the German side of the lines. After examining Garros's plane, aircraft engineers 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.

Garros managed to escape from prisoner-of-war camp in Germany in February 1918 and joined the French army again. On October 5, 1918, he was shot down again and killed near Vouziers, Ardennes, a month shy of the end of the war.

Garros is erroneously called the world's first fighter ace. In fact he shot down three aircraft, and the honor of the first ace went to another French airman, Adolphe Pegoud. Nevertheless, Garros was an outstanding aviator and probably the first real fighter pilot in the world[citation needed].


Places named after Roland Garros

In the 1920s, a tennis centre was named after the pilot, Stade de Roland Garros. The stadium accommodates the French Open, one of tennis' Grand Slam tournaments. Consequently, the tournament is officially called Roland Garros.

The international airport of La Réunion, Roland Garros Airport, is also named after him.

Peugeot Car Manufacturers (French) commissioned a 'Roland Garros' limited edition version of its 205 model in celebration of the Tennis Tournament that bears his name. The model included special paint and leather interior. Due to the success of this special edition, Peugeot later created Roland Garros editions of its 106, 206, 306 and 806 models.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_Garros_(aviator)
 

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Why they named a stadium after Louis Armstrong in the US Open site? ;)
 

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Yes I read that too under the guide link in the website. He is a very influential person :) Thanks for the post!
 

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A few years back I wondered what Roland Garros meant so I looked it up and found out that not only was he a person but also the other information mentioned in the article.
 

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I know who he was but my point is both is nothing to do with tennis :p
Louis Armstrong Stadium was there at the Flushing Meadows site before the USTA built the National Tennis Center. Slew Hester, president of the USTA at that time, decided to keep the name.
 
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