Nungesser’s first battle

Charles Nungesser (1892-1927) became the third highest scoring ace in French service during World War I with 43 claimed kills (3 shared). In 1914, he was with the 2nd Regiment of Hussars. His first fight was a ground skirmish behind the lines.

His actual citation reads:

“Brigadier [Corporal] of the 2nd Light Cavalry Regiment, on 3 September 1914, with his officer having been wounded during the course of a reconnaissance, he at first sheltered him, then with the assistance of several foot soldiers, after having replaced the officer who was disabled, he secured an auto and brought back the papers by crossing an area under fire by the enemy.” – Medaille Militaire citation

Now another book claims:

“Enlisting in the 2e Regiment de Hussards after war broke out, he ambushed and killed the four occupants of a Mors automobile on 3 September and drove it back to French lines, earning himself the Medaille Militaire and the car.”

Is there a better and more detailed account of this event?


P.S. The picture is of a 1914 MORS 12/15 CV from the movie Aces High (1976).

P.P.S. From what I have been able to determine the 2nd Hussar Regiment on the 3rd of September was at  “Aisne, Courpopil, Farm de la Gouttier, Epied, Courbin and Maison-rouge.” (source:

P.P.P.S I have the 2nd Hussar Rgt reporting to the 4th Light Cavalry Brigade (Verdun) reporting to the 4th Cavalry Division (Sedan) which on 2 August was reporting to the II Army Corps which reported to the Fourth Army on 8 August 1914. Then I lose it as it is not reported with the II Army Corps on 5 August and it ends up in September 1914 reporting to the Second Cavalry Corps, which I am not sure who they reported to (in December 1914 they report to the “Groupement de Nieuport”).

P.P.P.P.S. Confirmation of award (Citations a l’Ordre de l’Armee):


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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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