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Great War pilot tributes

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#1 JG1_Butzzell

  • Posts: 1348

Posted 27 October 2016 - 18:38

S! All


J2_Trupobaw Has started the "Happened 100 years ago" thread as a way to illustrate the history of the Great War. We are marking many 100 year anniversaries of events that changed the world. This conflict brought forth new and horrific weapons. Mankind would never be the same and would not learn from this tragic lesson.


Trupobaw has suggested that Flanders in Flames missions be dedicated to the memory and achievements of the pilots of the Great War.


When one thinks of fighting units of the Great War many stand out as exceptional, such as No.56 Sq or Jasta 11. Military units are numbered. Very rarely they carry the name of a person.


It is fitting that our first tribute is to Oswald Boelcke.


At a time when aerial warfare was a chance encounter between  planes with a weapon for the observer Boelcke was allowed to fly in a plane that would soon dominate the skies. The Fokker Eindecker had a machine gun that could fire through the propeller arc. A pilot could aim the gun and the plane at the same time. The idea was based on the aircraft of Roland Garros but greatly improved upon. The fighter plane was born and with it a new concept, aircraft would be built and flown with the express purpose of fighting other aircraft. Others flew this plane and were successful at downing enemy planes but Boelcke realized that this was a new endeavor. He looked at what was developing and soon found that there were some basic ideas that would be involved in air combat. Written down as a set of rules, the became know as the Dicta Boelcke. This doctrine is so fundamental and insightful, that it is still taught today. He would go on to develop squadron tactics. He was teacher to many future aces.


On 28, October, 1916 Boelcke  with Erwin Böhme and Manfred von Richthofen were flying Albatros D.II machines as they engaged Airco DH2 machines from No. 24 Sq. During the engagement the machine of Erwin Böhme touched that of Oswald Boelcke. Boelcke's machine took damage to the wing and aileron. He could not control the aircraft and crashed to his death. On December 17, 1916 Jasta 2 was renamed Jasta Boelcke.


The administrators of Flanders in Flames wish to dedicate the Saturday, 29, October, 2016 mission to the achievements of the "father of air fighting tactics" Oswald Boelcke.



Information on Oswald Boelcke can be found at:



Military wikia

Spartacus educational

Jagdstaffel 2

Jasta Boelcke  by Norman Franks

And of course our own RoF group  Jasta 2

Attached Files

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#2 56Sqn_Badger

  • Posts: 72
  • LocationLos Angeles, CA

Posted 29 October 2016 - 07:00

A video tribute today to Boelcke on YouTube:


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Alex "56Sqn_Badger"

CO, No 56 (V) Sqn

#3 JG1_Butzzell

  • Posts: 1348

Posted 14 November 2016 - 18:22

S! All


Trupobaw  suggested our next tribute be either Maj. Lanoe Hawker, VC, DSO or Oblt. Stefan Kirmaier, House Order of Hohenzollern, leader of Jasta 2 after Boelcke's death.  Their deaths occured on the 23 and 22 of Nov. respectively.  This falls in the middle of a week. I would like to go with the 19th because the next weekend is a US holiday weekend and we may have poor turn out.


Instead of picking Hawker who is the more famous, I would like to do both at the same time.



I think there is a bigger picture. This is not just the death of two pilots during a war.


Stefan Kirmaier was a proficient pilot that had done his time in eindeckers. In Jasta 2, with the Albatros D.II he had brought his score up to eleven.  Kirmaier was Staffelfeuhrer of Jasta 2 following Boelcke's death. Unlike Boelcke, Kirmaier was killed in action on November 22, 1916 by members of No. 24 Sq. flying DH2 machines. While Boelcke's death was a tragedy, this was a death to be avenged.  Revenge would come the following day.



November 23, 2016,  No. 24 Sq. would take to the air in their DH2 machines. "A" flight, led by Captain J. O. Andrews, would meet the Albatros D.II machines of Jasta 2. Captain Andrews machine was quickly disabled. He was escorted out of the action by a wing man. There is some possibility that Jasta 2 had set a trap. One account describes that there were a couple of planes low while the remainder were higher waiting for the bait to be taken. Captain Andrews wanted to call off the attack but Maj. Hawker was diving for the bait. The usual confusion and dispersal of planes in the course of action left two planes locked into a deadly duel. From No. 24 Sq. the nine victory ace, Major Lanoe Hawker, VC, DSO, was an outstanding pilot and exceptional marksman. After taking command of No. 24 Sq. in early 1916, he quickly taught his pilots the proper spin recovery for the DH2. Originally the DH2 has a swivel mount for the gun. It was Hawker that designed the fixed forward modification. Now you pointed the plane and the gun at the same time. Under his command the DH2 remained a killing machine even though it was out performed by the new Albatros machines. Unfortunately for Hawker, his opponent was a determined adversary, Leutnant Manfred von Richthofen of Jasta 2. The fight went on with each avoiding the shots of the other. In the end, Hawker was low on fuel and had to head for friendly lines. Richthofen was almost out of ammo having fired close to 900 rounds. A bullet from his last burst found Hawker and killed him. Another of the great leaders of combat aviation had fallen.  Kirmaier had been avenged.


 Now the airplane was and instrument of death and revenge. Men were falling from the sky they once dreamed of flying in.



On 19, November 2016, The Flanders in Flames tournament will be dedicated to the memory and achievements of  Oblt. Stefan Kirmaier and Maj. Lanoe Hawker.

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