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Today in History

Name: Dieudonné Costes
Légion d'Honneur
Médaille Militaire
Croix de Guerre with 7 Palmes and 1 Etoile de Vermeil
Country: France
Rank: Sous Lieutenant
Service: French Air Service
Units: MF55, MF85, N506, N507, N531
Victories: 8
Born: 14 November 1892
Place of Birth: Septfonds, France
Died: 18 May 1973
Place of Death: Paris, France
On 6 February 1928, Lieutenant Dieudonné Costes and Lieutenant Commander Joseph Lebrix landed at Boiling Field, Washington, D.C., in the plane which had carried them from Paris across the South Atlantic and over South America to Mexico and the United States. In 1930 Costes and Maurice Bellonte made the first Paris to New York flight. The following year Costes was named the world's No. 1 airman by the International League of Aviation. In 1949 a French military court acquitted Costes on charges of spying for the Nazis during World War II. Needing six votes for a conviction under French military law, four judges voted to convict while five judges voted to free Costes.
Légion d'Honneur
"Detached to the aviation of the Allied armies in The East, serving with Greek Escadrille 531. An officer of great spirit and faultless bravery. On 8 September 1918, he successfully attacked an enemy balloon on the ground which has been unable to rise since this date. On 10 September 1918, during the course of combat with five scouts, he disengaged one of his comrades whose plane was seriously damaged, and downed one of the enemy planes. Six planes downed. Médaille Militaire. Six citations of which five were by the army." Légion d'Honneur citation
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 29 Apr 1917   EA  
2 26 Jan 1918   Roland Mrzenci-Negorci
3 30 Apr 1918 0930   Scout NW of Negorci
4 01 May 1918   Two-seater NW of Mrzenci
5 08 Jun 1918 1630   Scout Borlovc
6 13 Jun 1918 0645 N531   Two-seater 1 S of Hudovo-Kovanec
7 24 Jun 1918   LVG C Staravinc
8 10 Sep 1918   Scout NE of Guevgueli

1 Shared with Adj Basile Saune
Over the Front
by Norman L. R. Franks, Frank W. Bailey / Hardcover / Grub Street the Basement (May 1992)
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