Who's Who - Pierre Marinovitch

Pierre Marinovitch Pierre Marinovitch (1898-1919) achieved 21 victories as a leading French air ace during the First World War.

Within five months of entering the French army at the age of 17 in February 1916 Marinovitch had applied for and received a transfer to the French Air Service.  Emerging in mid-November 1916 with his pilot's brevet Marinovitch was assigned to Escadrille N38 the following March.

Flying Nieuport aircraft Marinovitch achieved his first aerial 'kill' on 8 September 1917, bringing down an enemy German Albatros; this was followed by two successes in December plus a further on New Year's Day 1918.  This brought him the Medaille Militaire in mid-January.  After a further victory later in the month Marinovitch suffered ill-health which required a period of hospitalisation.

By the armistice Marinovitch had racked up 21 confirmed victories (including Prince von Bulow) in addition to a further probable three successes; all his 16 victories from May 1918 - when he returned to duty - were with Escadrille Spa94.  On 11 August 1918 he was awarded the prestigious Legion d'Honneur.

Promoted to Sous Lieutenant in late October Marinovitch survived to see the armistice on the Western Front, but was killed in a flying accident in Brussels on 2 October 1919.  He was aged just 21.

In slang a "beetle" was a landing craft for 200 men.

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