Romanian Armed Forces
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Pilot profiles
cpt. av. Horia Agarici
lt. av. Florin Alexiu
lt. av. Tudor Andrei
lt. av. Titus Axente
lt. av. Mircea "Gicu" Badulescu
lt. cdor. av. Corneliu Batacui
slt. av. Constantin Balta
adj. av. Mihai Belcin
lt. av. Emil Boian
lt. av. Romulus Bucsa
cpt. av. (r) Constantin "Bâzu" Cantacuzino
adj. av. Dumitru Chera
lt. av. Serghei Ciachir
lt. av. Ioan Cioroiu
slt. av. Vasile Claru
adj. av. Nicolae Cojocaru
cpt. av. Petre Coles
lt. av. Decebal "Desi" Constantinescu
cdor. av. George Davidescu
adj. av. Traian Dârjan
cpt. av. Dumitru Deica
cpt. av. (r) Ioan Dicezare
lt. av. Ion Dobran
lt. av. Gheorghe Dobrescu
lt. av. Constantin Dragomir
cpt. av. Boris Ferderber
adj. sef av. Spridon Focsaneanu
lt. av. Ioan Galea
lt. av. Vasile Gavriliu
slt. av. Rene Gânescu
slt. av. Costin Georgescu
lt. av. Emil Georgescu
lt. av. Gheorghe "Gâga" Georgescu
cpt. av. Marin Ghica
lt. av. Teodor Greceanu
lt. av. Eusebie Hladiuc
adj. maj. av. Dumitru Ilie
lt. av. Gabriel Ionescu
adj. maj. av. Petre Ionescu-Conta
adj. stg. av. Aurelian Livovschi
of. ec. cls. III Ioan Maga
lt. av. Tanase Mancu
cpt. av. Alexandru Manoliu
adj. av. Ioan Marinciu
cpt. av. Eugen "Matra" Marinescu
slt. av. Nicolae Sixtus Maxim
of. echip. cls. III av. Ion Milu
lt. av. Gheorghe Mociornita
lt. av. Lazar Munteanu
slt. av. Vasile Nasturas
lt. av. Traian "Ciocan" Nicolae
slt. av. Dumitru Pasare
adj. maj. av. (r) Vasile Pascu
lt. av. Alexandru Paun
lt. av. (r) Nicolae Polizu-Micsunesti
lt. av. Horia Pop
cpt. av. Gheorghe Popescu-Ciocanel
adj. av. Victor Popescu
lt. cdor. av. Alexandru "Popicu" Popisteanu
cpt. av. Eusebie Popovici
cpt. av. Traian Popteanu
cpt. av. Ion Profir
adj. sef av. Stefan "Grecu" Pucas
cpt. av. Craciun "Sbilt" Salajan
cpt. cdor. av. Ioan Sandu
cpt. av. Wilhelm Schmaltz
cpt. av. Dorin Sculi
adj. stg. av. (r) Niculae Sculy Logotheti
cpt. av. Alexandru Serbanescu
adj. sef av. Nicolae Stan
lt. av. Virgil "Ghinghi" Stanculescu
lt. av. Dragos Stinghe
lt. av. Dan Stoian
cpt. av. Gheorghe Stroici
cpt. av. Virgil Trandafirescu
slt. av. (r) Sorin Tulea
slt. av. Florin Vasilovschi
adj. av. (r) Tiberiu Vinca
cpt. av. Dan Vizanti
slt. av. Ion Vonica
cpt. av. Petre Coles

Recon Observer

Born: 27 September 1912, Pietrosita, Dambovita


  • 22 June - 16 October 1941: 21st Observation Squadron
  • 1942 - 23 August 1944: Photo Section of the 1st Information Flotilla
  • 24 August 1944 - 12 May 1945: Special Squadron of the 6th Information Flotilla

Combat missions: N/A

Victories: -


  • Virtutea Aeronautica Order Gold Cross class
  • Eiserne Kreuz 2nd class

War episode:

On 6 July 1941, the crew under the command of lt. av. Petre Coles was assigned an observation mission near Gerca. The pilot, slt. av. Gheorghe Cherciu, climbed to 1500 m and set course to the objective, which they reached after more than an hour. Lt. av. Coles noted all the Soviet troops movements they managed to spot, as well as the front line situation. The IAR-39 returned safely to the airfield. However, the squadron's CO asked for volunteers for another mission, in the Hotin area, in order to determine if the town had been taken by Romanian troops or not. Slt. Cherciu wanted badly to fly and lt. av. Coles agreed to volunteer. They took off and climbed to 1000 m. The mission was going well and it seemed that there would be no problems. Suddenly the pilot's cockpit was hit by several bullets. Lt. av. Coles thought that the friendly AAA was firing at them and ordered the machine-gunner, serg. Petre Neamtu, to fire a flare, but as he turned back, he saw slt. av. Cherciu, who was wounded, telling him to take over the controls. He took the extra stick and installed it. In the meantime the machine-gunner started to fire at the I-16 which had attacked them, but he was also wounded and could not continue. Left practically alone and defenseless, lt. av. Petre Coles headed back towards the river Prut at treetop height, to limit the fighter's attack possibilities. When the I-16 got on his tail and started to fire, he used his superior maneuverability to avoid the bullets. Then the fighter again took an attack position and so on. Finally the Soviet came very close, within several meters on his right and watched. Then he increased the throttle and made a turn in front of the damaged IAR-39 and left. Lt. av. Coles had managed to reach the Prut. But his troubles were not over, as the aircraft was experiencing serious engine and structural problems. He found a field and managed to put it down with difficulty (the observer did not have a brake). The biplane capsized. He managed to break the window and get out. With the help of a peasant lt. Coles took out the body of slt. av. Cherciu and the wounded serg. Neamtu, who died the next day in a hospital.

He is presently living in Bucharest


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