| Cavalry; aviation|
| December 17, 1917, Auchel, France|
Legion of Honour, Croix de Guerre
Escadrille SPA.57, Escadrille 3
Capitaine Mathieu Marie Joseph Antoine Tenant de la Tour (5 December 1883 - 17 December 1917) was a World War I flying ace credited with nine aerial victories. He was a prewar pioneer in aviation who went on to score one of the first aerial victories over an observation balloon.
Mathieu Tenant de la Tour Wikipedia
He was born on 5 December 1883 in Paris. In 1910 he attempted to fly a round trip from Paris to Brussels to win the Automobile Club prize of $20,000, but failed to finish the return flight.
Tenant de la Tour began his military service in the cavalry. He became an air force pilot on 6 May 1915 when he was awarded Pilot's Brevet No. 1919. He underwent advanced training, then survived an accident on 30 October 1915. On 29 December 1915, he was assigned to Escadrille 57. On 25 January 1916, flying in a literal fog of war, de la Tour helped down a German kite balloon from an altitude of fifty meters in one of the first air-to-air wins over an observation balloon. The feat earned him the Legion d'honneur.
He was wounded in action on 25 April 1916. After he healed, he was assigned to Escadrille 3 to pilot a Nieuport fighter. During July, August, and September, he claimed another balloon and five enemy airplanes. On 27 December 1916, he had switched to a Spad VII for his eighth kill by downing Gustav Leffers.
In April 1917, after being promoted to Lieutenant, he was given command of Escadrille 26. He scored his last victory on 7 May 1917.
He died in a flying accident on 17 December 1917.