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Today in History

Name: François Marie Noel Battesti
Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur
Médaille Militaire
Croix de Guerre with 8 palms
François Battesti
Country: France
Rank: Lieutenant
Service: French Air Service
Units: BL3, BL18; C10; N73
Victories: 7
Born: 04 May 1890
Place of Birth: Azanna (Corsica)
Died: 24 August 1977
Place of Death: Corsica
Battesti enlisted in the army in 1908. After five years in the infantry, he reenlisted for an additional year. In January 1914, he transferred to the French Air Service, obtaining his Pilot's Brevet on 3 April. By the summer of 1916, Battesti had been wounded on three separate occasions. All of his victories were scored while serving with N73 as a pursuit pilot.
Médaille Militaire
"Very good pilot filled with endurance, spirit and zeal. He has executed many reconnaissances under enemy artillery fire; has accomplished his obligations with skill and noble humor highly earned during an accident in a plane in the early days of the war that left him crippled." Médaille Militaire citation
Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur
"Magnificent officer with audacity and initiative. He distinguished himself as a pilot for an Army Corps, executing over the German lines, numerous spottings of long range guns and by missions at low altitude despite the presence of enemy planes. Transferred to pursuit aviation at his request. Has had daily hard combats and has given proof of the highest offensive spirit. Has downed several enemy aircraft which have crashed in their lines, especially on 4 July and 12 November 1917. Three wounds, three citations." Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur citation
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 24 Apr 1917 1800 N73   EA Ste Croix
2 04 Jul 1917 1600 N73   EA Berry-au-Bac
3 12 Nov 1917 N73   EA Foret de Houthulst
4 22 May 1918 N73   EA Birches
5 12 Jun 1918 N73   EA  
6 16 Jul 1918 N73   EA 1  
7 29 Oct 1918 N73   EA N of Laon

1 Shared with S/Lt Claude Fontaine
Over the Front
by Norman L. R. Franks, Frank W. Bailey / Hardcover / Grub Street the Basement (May 1992)
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