In December 1914, Garros, as a reconnaissance pilot with the Escadrille MS26, visited the Morane-Saulnier Works. Saulnier's work on metal deflector wedges attached to propeller blades was taken forward by Garros; he eventually had a workable installation fitted to his Morane-Saulnier Type L aircraft. Garros achieved the first ever shooting-down of an aircraft in which deflector wedges were used, on 1 April 1915; two more victories over German aircraft were achieved on 15th and 18th April 1915.
On April 18, 1915, either Garros' fuel line clogged or, by other accounts, his aircraft was downed by ground fire, and he glided to a landing on the German side of the lines. Garros succeeded in burning the aircraft before being taken prisoner but the gun and armoured propellor remained intact. After examining the plane, German aircraft engineers, led by Fokker, designed the improved interrupter gear system. The tables were reversed against the Allies due to Fokker's planes shooting down nearly every enemy aircraft they met, leading to what became known as the Fokker Scourge.
Garros managed to escape from a prisoner-of-war camp in Germany in February 1918 and rejoined the French army. On October 5, 1918, he was shot down and killed near Vouziers, Ardennes, a month shy of the end of the war and one day before his 30th birthday.
In the 1920s, a tennis centre was named after the pilot, Stade de Roland Garros. The stadium accommodates the French Open, one of tennis' Grand Slam tournaments. Consequently, the tournament is officially called Roland Garros.
Peugeot Car Manufacturers (French) commissioned a 'Roland Garros' limited edition version of its 205 model in celebration of the Tennis Tournament that bears his name. The model included special paint and leather interior. Due to the success of this special edition, Peugeot later created Roland Garros editions of its 106, 206, 306 and 806 models.