Michael Moutoussis

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Michael Moutoussis
Michail Moutousis.jpg
1912 picture of M. Moutoussis
Born 1885
Tragano, Achaia
Died 1956
Athens
Allegiance  Greece
Service/branch Hellenic Air Force Roundel.svg Hellenic Army Aviation
Years of service 1912–1932
Battles/wars Balkan Wars (1912-1913)
World War I (1917-1918)
Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922)

Michael Moutoussis (Greek: Μιχαήλ Μουτούσης, 1885 – 16 March 1956) was one of the first military aviators in the Greek Armed Forces. During the Balkan Wars (1912–1913) he performed together with Aristeidis Moraitinis the first naval air co-operation mission in history.[1][2]

Early career[edit]

Moutoussis, originally an Engineers officer, became one of the first six Greek officers in 1912 that were selected to receive aviation training in France, in order to man the newly established aviation branch of the Greek Army.[3] In the following Balkan Wars (1912–1913) he initially carried out bombing missions on Turkish positions in the Macedonian front.[4] In December 1912, he was positioned in the Epirus front, where he performed various scouting and bombing operations in the region around Ioannina, during the Battle of Bizani.[5]

Reconnaissance over the Dardanelles[edit]

The Farman MF.7 of Moutoussis and Moraitinis collected by Velos after their Dardanelles mission.

On 5 February [O.S. 24 January] 1913 a few days after the Greek naval victory at Lemnos, First Lieutenant Moutoussis and Ensign Aristeidis Moraitinis were ordered to spot the position of the retreated Ottoman fleet in the Dardaneles with their seaplane, a converted Maurice Farman MF.7. When they reached the Nara naval base they noted down the Turkish ships and installations. Additionally, before they left the area they dropped four bombs, but without inflicting any serious damage or casualties.[1] During the return flight an engine failure forced them down in the Aegean Sea and they were finally collected by the crew of the nearby Greek destroyer Velos.[6] This operation is regarded as the first naval-air operation in military history and was widely commented upon in the press, both Greek and international.[1][2]

Moutoussis also participated in the Macedonian front of World War I as well as in the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922), where he was positioned in Proussa Air Field (in modern Bursa).[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Boyne, Walter J. (2002). Air Warfare: an International Encyclopedia: A-L. ABC-CLIO. pp. 66, 268. ISBN 978-1-57607-345-2. 
  2. ^ a b "History: Balkan Wars". Hellenic Air Force. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  3. ^ "Michail Moutousis (The History of the Hellenic Airforce)". earlyaviators.com. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  4. ^ Paris, Michael (1992). Manchester University Press ND. Manchester University Press ND. p. 112. ISBN 978-1-57607-345-2. 
  5. ^ "Aviation in War" (PDF). flightglobal.com. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  6. ^ Jon Guttman. "Air Attack Over the Dardanelles - Sidebar: September '98 Aviation History Feature". historynet.com. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  7. ^ "History of the Hellenic Air Force", Vol. II, 1919-1929. Hellenic Air Force Publications .