Who's Who - Pavel Argeyev

Pavel Argeyev Pavel Vladimirovich Argeyev (1887-1922) was a leading Russian air ace who served with the French Air Service during the First World War, achieving 15 air 'kills' during 1917-18.

Born on 1 March 1887 in Yalta he moved with his family France while he was young.  Consequently when war broke out in Europe in August 1914 it was to France that Argeyev offered his military services.

As with many other Great War airmen Argeyev initially enlisted with the infantry - in this case the French 131st Infantry Regiment.  In due course - and following a wound received in action - Argeyev applied for and was granted a transfer to the French air arm, initially with N48 and then with Escadrille Spa124.

Sent to Russia in 1916 he opened his air account with a victory on 10 January 1917: flying a Nieuport aircraft he brought down an enemy Albatross C aircraft.  An unaccredited victory on 8 April 1917 was followed thirteen days later - again while flying a Nieuport - with another aerial victory.  In total between 10 January and 20 June 1917 Argeyev scored six victories, all with Nieuport aircraft.

Returning to France and the Western Front Argeyev scored his seventh victory almost a year later on 1 June 1918.  From this point onwards he flew SPAD XIII aircraft, achieving all his remaining victories with the aircraft.  Between 1 June and 30 October 1918 he achieved a further nine victories.

Aside from two Russian decorations - the Order of St. George and Order of St. Vladimir - Argeyev was also awarded the Legion d'Honneur and was mentioned in French despatches seven times.

Surviving the war Argeyev died on 30 October 1922 near Trutnow aged 35.

A "salient" is a battle line that projects into territory nominally held by enemy forces.

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