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Charles Nungesser
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Military Personnel
    (March 15, 1892-circa May 8, 1927)
    Born in Paris, France
    French fighter pilot during WWI
    Third ranking French fighter pilot of WWI behind Rene Fonck (75 kills) and Georges Guynemer with 53
    Appeared posthumously in the movie, Dawn Patrol.
    He survived WWI only to die trying to fly non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean.
    While in the military, he was arrested repeatedly for various infractions such as; disobeying orders, flying without permission, and being AWOL.
    He designed a gruesome logo of a skull & crossbones and coffin for his plane.
    He was extraordinarily arrogant even for a Frenchman and nicknamed himself, 'The Knight of Death.'
    He was quite the party animal and was known to show up for morning patrols in a tuxedo accompanied by a female companion from the night before.
    He died in his attempt to cross the Atlantic just two weeks before Charles Lindbergh made his successful solo flight.
    The cause of his death/disappearance is unknown and his body and that of his co-pilot and their plane have never been found.
    He was a major publicity hound.
    He was French.
    He was extraordinarily skilled as a fighter pilot with many of his 'kills' coming against German 'aces.'
    He was repeatedly wounded and injured and an official summary at the end of the war read, 'Skull fracture, brain concussion, internal injuries (multiple), five fractures of the upper jaw, two fractures of the lower jaw, pieces of anti-aircraft shrapnel imbedded in right arm, dislocation of both knees, re-dislocation of left knee, bullet wound to the mouth, bullet wound to ear, atrophy of tendons in left leg, atrophy of muscles in calf, dislocated clavicle, dislocated wrist, dislocated right ankle, loss of teeth, contusions to numerous to mention.'
    Serving in the cavalry before entering pilot training, he saved a wounded comrade by stealing a car and loading the wounded man into it and driving him to safety while under fierce fire from the Germans.
    He worked as an auto mechanic before the war.
    He was quite the jock as a youth competing in; boxing, swimming, cycling, and soccer.
    He was extremely likable and popular with the public.

Credit: tom_jeffords

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