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#1 J2_Trupobaw

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 09:02 PM

Salute JG1!

When gathering matherials for thread under same title on 777 forums, I often come across facts that are interesting to fans of Jasta Boelcke or JG1, but too detailed for "general" WW1 aviation. I keep the copy of this thread on J2 forums to cover all the details like changes of leaders, bios of pilots most people never heard of etc, that would bore most people of 777 forums - and I have quite a lot on JG1 that's not suitable for that forum, too.

So, I propose a thread dedicated to history of JG1, and squadrons that made it, posted 100 years after it unfurled. Please get rid of if you don't like the idea :)

And, of course, please contibute! I never wanted to run such a thread by myself, let  alone three, more to initiate it and see it grow. I propose to keep stuff important to JG1 here and move stuff interesting to everyone to 777 forums.

 

Ekhm. 100 year ago, future JG1 founder,  Manfred von Richthoffen, started making name for himself...

Day after death of Stefan Kirmaier, MvR was top scoring pilot of Jasta 2, and one of three ten-victories aces competing for position of third best living German pilot. Next day, he moved firmly to third place with his 11th victory, after 15 victories Jewish-German pilot Wilhelm Frankl (of Jasta 4, so I will write of him more),and 12 victories Walter Höhndorf (who at this time was either in Jasta 1 or already in Jasta 4, but wasn't scoring anymore). More importantly, he gained recognition by shooting down the father of RFC fighter force. This was a stepping stone of MvRs career, which eventually led to him forming JG1.

 

 

To say that Hawker was a legend among RFC would be understatement. He left his footprint on many aspects of pilots craft; spin recovery techniques, design of service boots suitable for flying, design of gunsights and ammo drums - the man was very involved, dedicated, and succesful at improving the lot and the efficiency of RFC pilots. His aggressive doctrine, summarised in his "attack everything" order, wasn'texactly Dicta Boelcke, but he brought much needed attitude to the fledgeling RFC fighters.  He was given Victoria Cross for downing three enemy planes in one sortie, using unsynchronised gun shooting sideways at angle.


So, 100 years ago, Hawker went on patrol with Captain Andrews, who was one of two pilots who killed Kirmaier day ago. Hawker at the moment was a squadron CO, and officially not flying; he attached himself to the flights to work on leadership of his officers. Their patrol spotted flight of five Jasta 2 Albatrosen. They set off to climb for altitude, and in climb, engines of two wingmen  failed, forcing them to RTB. Andrews and Hawker dived on five Germans anyway, which avoided the attack and initiated a turn fight. Quickly, Andrews was hit in the engine and had to glide for home, while Harker went for Albatros piloted by Manfred von Richthofen. The rest is history.

 

 

The Englishman tried to catch me up in the rear while I tried to get behind him. So we circled round and round like madmen after one another at an altitude of about 10,000 feet. 
First we circled twenty times to the left, and then thirty times to the right. Each tried to get behind and above the other. Soon I discovered that I was not meeting a beginner. He had not the slightest intention of breaking off the fight. He was traveling in a machine which turned beautifully. However, my own was better at rising than his, and I succeeded at last in getting above and beyond my English waltzing partner.
 
When we had got down to about 6,000 feet without having achieved anything in particular, my opponent ought to have discovered that it was time for him to take his leave. The wind was favorable to me for it drove us more and more towards the German position. At last we were above Bapaume, about half a mile behind the German front. The impertinent fellow was full of cheek and when we had got down to about 3,000 feet he merrily waved to me as if he would say, "Well, how do you do?"
 
The circles which we made around one another were so narrow that their diameter was probably no more than 250 or 300 feet. I had time to take a good look at my opponent. I looked down into his carriage and could see every movemeof his head. If he had not had his cap on I would have noticed what kind of a face he was making.

My Englishman was a good sportsman, but by and by the thing became a little too hot for him. He had to decide whether he would land on German ground or whether he would fly back to the English lines. Of course he tried the latter, after having endeavored in vain to escape me by loopings and such like tricks. At that time his first bullets were flying around me, for hitherto neither of us had been able to do any shooting. 

When he had come down to about three hundred feet he tried to escape by flying in a zig-zag course during which, as is well known, it is difficult for an observer to shoot. That was my most favorable moment. I followed him at an altitude of from two hun-
dred and fifty feet to one hundred and fifty feet, firing all the time. The Englishman could not help falling. But the jamming of my gun nearly robbed me of my success.

My opponent fell, shot through the head, one hundred and fifty feet behind our line. His machine gun was dug out of the ground and it ornaments the entrance of my dwelling.



Without a flying leader (Jasta 2 was led by its not-flying adjutant, Karl Bodenchatz, who was also JG1 adjutant through its existence so we'll hear more of him), the strong-willed, ten-victories MvR was likely best choice to lead patrols in the air. Bagging Hawker must have only helped other pilots look up to him. In next month, Leutnant von Richthofen was turning from one of Bloelckes students then one of best wingmen in the Staffel, into independent leader capable of taking over Jasta 11.


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#2 Klaiber

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 09:48 PM

Hi Trupabow,

 

This is a great idea!  Thanks so much for starting it here!

 

I'll pin this topic, so it's easily found.

 

And I'll try and contribute when I can. :)


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#3 Barton

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 11:10 PM

Great thread. Looking foreward to making contributions as well!

#4 Luftritter

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Posted 24 November 2016 - 03:12 PM

...where is this friggin Trupabow!?


I see I've created some history here :)

Let everybody know I coined this phrase :D

A respectful S! to the gentleman who had made himself such a nuisance to our team!
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#5 J2_Trupobaw

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Posted 27 November 2016 - 09:36 AM

And S! to you, Luftritter!
 

100 years ago the future Jasta 10 leader, Werner Voss, scored his first victory while flying with Jasta 2. His victim was the notorious Captain G. A Parker, the BE2 pilot that 12 days earlier forced another Jasta 2 pilot to land behind enemy lines and has his Albatros captured intact. CaptainParker was KIA.
 
Voss scored his second victory, an F.E.2, the very same day.

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#6 J2_Trupobaw

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 11:14 AM

100 years ago, two legends met. Manfred von Richthofen claimed his 15th victory, a D.H.2. D.H.2 fell behind Entetne lines, well visible to Ground observers, so he had no problem finding a witness.
This victory made MvR one of two best scoring living German fighter pilots.

The D.H.2 was not, in fact, shot down. It was piloted by none other that James McCudden. The future British ace saved himself after his gun jammed by diving for friendly lines, then going into a spin - just like MvR and German ground troops, his comrades saw him go down. In fact he recovered the plane over the deck, made sure MvR is climbing back to his flight, and returned home where he was already declared MIA.
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#7 J2_Trupobaw

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 03:29 PM

On 4th january 1917, Leutnant Manfred von Richthofen scored his 16th victory, a Sopwith Pup from No.8 naval squadron. This victory made him best living German ace, and earned him Pour le Merite.
 
It was also his last victory with Jasta Boelcke,

On 7th January, first Albatros D.IIIs arrived at Jasta Boelcke, one of if not the first deployment of the type. 

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#8 J2_Trupobaw

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 09:43 AM

15th January 1917 Leutnant Manfred von Richthofen was ordered to take command of Jasta 11. It was by that time a demoralised unit, with no victories after 4 months of service despite being based in area of heavy air fighting, led by apparently inept Oblt. Rudolf Emil Lang and crewed by unheard-of pilots such as Krefft, Allmenroder or Kurt Wolff. 

It's worth noticing that MvR was still a Leutnant (2nd Lt) at this time; he will be a Rittermaister (Captain) after Bloody April, earning two promotions over 4 months. I have no idea when he was promted to Oberleutnant; if anyone can shed a light here, please do.


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#9 Luftritter

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 03:06 PM

....I have no idea when he was promted to Oberleutnant; if anyone can shed a light here, please do.

 

Seems to be Thursday, 22 March 1917:

 

Frontflieger

 

 

März 1917

 

"Beförderung zum Oberleutnant

  • 22. März, Donnerstag"

 

Rittmeister (Hauptmann) was on Saturday, April 7.


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#10 J2_Trupobaw

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 04:51 PM

According to MvRs autobiography (and one bio of his I have), 16th January was the day the German Emperor bestowed on him order Pour le Merite. Other sources say 12th January. Perhaps he changed facts in his biography for dramatic effect, or after decision was made on 12th it took 4 days for news to reach him?


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#11 Luftritter

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 10:10 PM

From what I've read, there may be some discrepancy between when the order was received, and when it was effective.  A given source, even an autobiography, might not differentiate between the two.


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#12 Barton

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 11:28 PM

The 12th is likely when he was awarded the Pour le Merite but the 16th was when he recieved it.  Consistent with what I've experienced with awards in the military even now.


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#13 J2_Trupobaw

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 08:49 AM

100 years ago, Manfred von Richthofen scored first confirmed victory for Jasta 11, an F.E.8.


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#14 J2_Trupobaw

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 01:00 AM

100 years ago (24th), Manfred von Richthofen scored another victory, forcing to land an  F.E2.b. When he descended to check on his victim, he was jumped by another British plane and, while evading, lower wing of his Albatros D.III broke. MvR managed to glide to safety and crash land.
 
It occurred to me to have my crate painted all over in staring red. The result was that everyone got to know my red bird. My opponents also seemed to have heard of the color transformation.
 
During a fight on quite a different section of the Front I had the good fortune to shoot into a Vickers' two-seater which peacefully photographed the German artillery position. My friend, the photographer, had not the time to defend himself. He had to make haste to get down upon firm ground for his machine began to give suspicious indications of fire. When we airmen notice that phenomenon in an enemy plane, we say: "He stinks!" As it turned out it was really so. When the machine was coming to earth it burst into flames.
 
I felt some human pity for my opponent and had resolved not to cause him to fall down but merely to compel him to land. I did so particularly because I had the impression that my opponent was wounded for he did not fire a single shot.
 
When I had got down to an altitude of about fifteen hundred feet engine trouble (sic!) compelled me to land without making any curves. The result was very comical. My enemy with his burning machine landed smoothly while I, his victor, came down next to him in the barbed wire of our trenches and my machine overturned.
 
The two Englishmen who were not a little surprised at my collapse, greeted me like sportsmen. As mentioned before, they had not fired a shot and they could not understand why I had landed so clumsily. They were the first two Englishmen whom I had brought down alive. Consequently, it gave me particular pleasure to talk to them. I asked them whether they had previously seen my machine in the air, and one of them replied, "Oh, yes. I know your machine very well. We call it 'Le Petit Rouge'."

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#15 Ludwig

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Posted 21 April 2018 - 02:49 PM

I really thought that this topic would have been a lot more popular, but with time and tide all things move along and some that should be seen and heard simply are not. April 21 is an important date in history... and easy one to remember for me being a Native Texan because in 1836 Texan forces under the command of Gen. Sam Houston defeated vastly superior numbers of regular Mexican troops at the battle San Jacinto. The murderous coward that was Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna would not be found until the next day hiding among his own troops in the uniform of a private. It is however another event that took place on this day which is the reason for this writing.

 

April 21, 1918 Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen was to fly his last mission of the war. He was shot down and killed famously as I am more than certain everyone reading this already knows well, in the Somme Valley in the pursuit of a Sopwith Camel flown by a new pilot Lt. May while being pursued by Capt. Roy E. Brown also in a Camel.  (This is done totally from memory so please forgive any technical errors) Credited with 80 aerial victories, this number has been assailed as has most everything in the last 200 years by "writers" and worse.... "experts"  which have studied the subject and force fed their OPINION as fact on the subject. In the end, it doesn't matter. The First World War was an absolutely horrific event... for which their can be no explanation,   ever.  Wholesale slaughter of human beings most of whom simply died from disease in the trenches or from being in close proximity to so many other diseased humans in camp.

 

Manfred's death, the source of a never ending argument as to who can take credit for his demise was seized upon by Roy Brown claiming that he had brought down the "Red Baron"  and then trying to be humble.

 

Why was Manfred's plane painted red?  So many have read this subject, studied it... quoted it but did you ever know how it came to be? Because one of the London newspapers offered a bounty to the pilot that brought down this scourge of the Western front's skies. Manfred was so distraught over the personalization of the war to his persona that he immediately instructed his crew to paint his aircraft a bright red so that when he was killed the correct person that killed him would get the credit and the prize. The other pilots of his group were so upset over this that after an ENORMOUS amount of protest, they immediately went out to have their machines painted as well. Initially, the idea was to have them painted red as well but Manfred put a stop to that by forbidding ANY aircraft other than this to be painted red. So... every other garish color that could be found was used... and you of course know the rest.

 

Furthermore, if you built model airplanes as a kid (good for you!) or are still building them (even better for you!) you already know that his aircraft was not completely red. Only the wings were painted red on one of the machines (he flew several in red coloring) and none of them were the high gloss RED that you see at airshows and (gak, even worse) Hollywood. Some aircraft were more red than others and the exact coloring/markings of xxx/17 his final aircraft are unknown though some of the actual aircraft survives to this day. I remember that the crosses were found... someone had saved them as a relic, and I think there was some other fabric

 

Sadly after his glorious career in the air, he ended up dying in the cockpit uttering the final word "kaput" heard by observers who them promptly dragged his lifeless body out of the machine and stripped it leaving his corpse almost naked (no one took his underwear) lying face down in the mud. Souvenirs were pulled from the aircraft itself as well and it was left in probably better condition than Manfred himself.

 

Manfred was not the only Richthofen on that flight that morning, his younger cousin Wolfram was flying his first sortie and when it was reported that "Richthofen" was missing, it was initially thought that it was Wolfram that had not returned.

 

Manfred had the habit of awarding himself a small silver cup each time he achieved and aerial victory. These were kept and displayed at the family home in Silesia (Schweidnitz) which if you go looking for it on the map you won't find it because it is Poland now and has a Polish name. Supposedly, when he reached 60 kills silver was becoming so scarce and expensive that he stopped the practice. Unfortunately the family home was ransacked by Russian soldiers during WW II and nothing remains to this day. I have earnestly followed this story and tried to learn if anything was ever recovered but only rumors exist it would seem. Some items were removed before the house was plundered that survived, but I have never heard of any of the silver cups being located.

 

I attempted to find the home in Poland when I was nearby, but did not make it that far. I also attempted to get to the "pyramid" marking the spot where Hans Joachim Marsaille's body and aircraft crashed, and actually got to within 30 miles before being advised that it was not wise to go any further. Americans not being particularly welcomed in that area.

 

Manfred was not particularly known as a skilled pilot, rather as a dead shot. He was never compared in the skills of flying with the likes of Bolke or Voss but his marksmanship was quite remarkable.

 

Manfred did not achieve his first aerial kill as a pilot, but rather as an observer/gunner on either a recon or bombing mission. Also, he reached out with his left hand to point at something to indicate to his pilot and lost the tip of his finger when it was nipped by the prop. (OUCH!)  Sorry...don't remember the aircraft type.  SO...actually you can now say that he was responsible for eighty-ONE confirmed aerial kills... but since of the way the rules are....  you know....

 

Even in death, he was still plagued with attention as his body was removed from the grave where he was buried by British troops at a military cemetery in Bertrangles, with full military honors. When the war ended he was moved to a different military cemetery by the French. A few years after that his younger brother Bolko wanted to bring his remains back to Germany and be buried with his father and brother (Lothar had been killed in a plane crash after the war) but the German government got involved (pre-Hitler) and wanted him to be buried in a State funeral in Berlin at which von Hindenberg himself attended.  Well.. that lasted until after the second war and there was a big deal with the current occupying forces of Berlin and he was moved again to a cemetery in Wiesbaden in 1975 where any one that went in and out of the USAF installation there could easily travel and visit the grave (which you can still do) If you have never done so.... for anyone... military or famous or political...  it is an interesting feeling that one encounters when standing so close to something that really happened, someone that really lived and died and did all those things that you read about. It makes no sense, but it is your senses that seem to notice it the most.

 

Around the world, I can tell you that on this day every year,  pilots sitting somewhere... in hotels on overnights, in a pub, a bar or a saloon will hoist a beverage in his memory.  It was not what he wanted, but was thrust upon him. I have read his book in English and in German.... German is better. You get the feel of the man and you can understand his frustration as time goes by as he is writing it.  He is a dead man and he knows it. He never fully recovered from the wound he suffered when he was hit, grazed as it were by a bullet from an observers machine gun. He was never the same after that happened and became more bitter and depressed as the days passed. He had already flown multiple prototypes and his first combat ready assigned Fokker D.VII was due to be delivered to him in a matter of days.

 

Think what he could have done with that machine.


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"Zwei stunde mit ohne zigarren.....  furchbar"    Adolf Galland to me about flying to the airshow.

 

"Chuck Yeager says... the first time ever I see a jet, I shoot it down.... I say.. the first time I see Chuck Yeager... I shoot him down"   Gunter Rall to me at a picture signing.


#16 Sturtz

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Posted 21 April 2018 - 04:10 PM

A snappy salute to the man and the myth.  ~S~

The very first name of flight many of us learned as small children. Much like Wild Bill Hickcock and his pistol marksmanship. His name lives on when we think of the best of the best. 

Most of you I've met here so far are ardent readers. And most have read volumes on the early air war machines. Considered by many modern pilots today as death traps with a prop. I have to think of those days and the young men that climbed in those wooden winged kites. Strapped into to their wicker seats without a chute. And flew higher than ever before to serve their country.

Knowing all along that they may end up like the guy they drank with the week before who never came home. 

 

http://www.usaww1.co...ter_Pilots.php4


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#17 Schäfer

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 09:59 PM

The advancements made in aircraft during that very small period has never been equaled. Its interesting to note that the Aileron was first penned in 1864 by the British scientist Mathew Boulton. As we know ailerons were starting to be utilized early in the war and by the end of WWI wing warping was obsolete. The dynamics of aircraft and their capability at that time grew exponentially and so pilots such as MvR et al had to grow with the aircraft and techniques helping to create the "personalities" of the time.

 

As to the demise of MvR it wasnt until letters were discovered in 1937 that the truth of his death started to emerge. It was recorded that when the Australians reached his Dr1 he "sighed" as he died with no words being uttered at all. Further investigations revealed the actual cause of death which is now noted in the anals of history.

 

It is unlikely that humanity will witness such events again compared to the days when Flight was still young.

 

S!


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#18 Wilhelm_Reinhard

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 08:00 AM

The advancements made in aircraft during that very small period has never been equaled. Its interesting to note that the Aileron was first penned in 1864 by the British scientist Mathew Boulton. As we know ailerons were starting to be utilized early in the war and by the end of WWI wing warping was obsolete. The dynamics of aircraft and their capability at that time grew exponentially and so pilots such as MvR et al had to grow with the aircraft and techniques helping to create the "personalities" of the time.

 

As to the demise of MvR it wasnt until letters were discovered in 1937 that the truth of his death started to emerge. It was recorded that when the Australians reached his Dr1 he "sighed" as he died with no words being uttered at all. Further investigations revealed the actual cause of death which is now noted in the anals of history.

 

It is unlikely that humanity will witness such events again compared to the days when Flight was still young.

 

S!

 

"The advancements made in aircraft during that very small period has never been equaled."

 

That has always amazed me, too. Most pilots since, including me, had our initial training in "modern" aircraft that don't perform as well as the late-war fighters did.

 

"... by the end of WWI wing warping was obsolete."

 

I've heard that many times, but you just wait...

 

"It is unlikely that humanity will witness such events again compared to the days when Flight was still young."

 

I share your awe of the actions and achievements of those days, but I always feel an obligation to warn people about making such predictions. It's a tempting way to highlight those incredible achievements, but humans usually manage to do their ancestors one better.

 

S!

 

Wilhelm






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