Michael Moutoussis

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Air Commodore

Michael Moutoussis
Michail Moutousis.jpg
Moutoussis c. 1912
Native name
Μιχαήλ Μουτούσης
Bornc. 1885
Erineos, Achaea, Kingdom of Greece
Died16 March 1956 (aged 70–71)
Athens, Kingdom of Greece
Years of service1912–1932
RankAir commodore
UnitHellenic Army Air Service

Michael Moutoussis (Greek: Μιχαήλ Μουτούσης, 1885 – 16 March 1956) was a Hellenic Army officer and pioneer of military aviation. Together with Aristeidis Moraitinis, he performed the first naval air mission in history during the Balkan Wars.[1][2]

Early career

Moutoussis c. 1913.

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 Hellenic Army.[3] In the following Balkan Wars (1912–1913) he initially carried out bombing missions on Turkish positions.[4] At the beginning of December 1912,[5] he was positioned in the Epirus front, where he performed various scouting and bombing operations in the region around Ioannina.[6] At the end of the month he was ordered to move to the Aegean front of the war, where he took part in the Battle of Lemnos.[7]

Reconnaissance over the Dardanelles

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 Dardanelles 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.[8] 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]

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

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.[9]


  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. Archived from the original on 18 July 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  3. ^ "Michail Moutousis (The History of the Hellenic Airforce)". earlyaviators.com. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  4. ^ Paris, Michael (1992). Manchester University Press ND. Manchester University Press ND. p. 112. ISBN 978-1-57607-345-2.
  5. ^ See pp. 248-256 of the article by Nikos D. Karabelas Etienne Labranche and Kostia Vlastos. Two war correspondents of Le Temps in Preveza during 1912-13, in Prevezanika Chronika, vol. 49-50, Preveza 2013, pp. 235-282.
  6. ^ "Aviation in War" (PDF). flightglobal.com. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  7. ^ See the article by James S. Curlin in Prevezanika Chronika, vol. 49-50, 2013, pp. 283-320.
  8. ^ Jon Guttman (23 September 1998). "Air Attack Over the Dardanelles - Sidebar: September '98 Aviation History Feature". historynet.com. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  9. ^ "History of the Hellenic Air Force", Vol. II, 1919-1929. Hellenic Air Force Publications .

External links