We cross over into Ententeland at 1700 and approach Ypres, passing over Zonnebeke at about 4,000 meters. There are ten of us, Berthold, myself, Paul Strähle, Vater Turck, Runge, Otto Shober, Seppl Veltjens, Johannes Klein, Alter Herr Dingel, Sigi Keller.
Paul is the guardian angel above and behind us all.
The weather is starting to be cool now. Today it’s 9 degrees on the ground so I bundle up well, put on my new sheepskin boots which everyone admires so much and smear beauty cream on the exposed parts of my face.*
Klein has taken the second Pfalz and is flying it on its first combat mission.
*Anti-frost ointment or really any type of grease available.
A formation of the new SE types drops out of the clouds behind us.*
One of the SEs picks Berthold as his target and latches on to his tail, firing continuously. He goes straight down until I lose sight of him.**
*A Flight, Number 56 Squadron RFC, Cpt Gerald C. Maxwell, MC leading, then a twenty victory ace. “Iron Man, Rudolf Berthold” by Peter Kilduff
**Maxell reported that he “Dived on several and fired a drum of Lewis and about 100 rounds of Vickers at very close range. E.A. went down very steeply and I lost sight of him..” Although not credited with a victory on 10 October, Maxwell is believed to be the most likely to have shot down Berthold. “Iron Man, Rudolf Berthold” by Peter Kilduff
Some Bristols have now joined in, as have the black and white striped Albatrosn of Jasta 26, one of which shoots up an SE so that it breaks up in the air.*
*Ltn Xavier Dannhuber of Jasta 26 shot down Lt Wilkinson of 56 Squadron in SE5a B.23.
The Bristols were from Number 22 Squadron. “Iron Man, Rudolf Berthold” by Peter Kilduff
Caption – Jasta 26, Albatros DV Uprated. The skin furthest away with the star is the WOFF skin for Xavier Dannhuber, the Hakenkreuz belongs to Werner Dahm and is from the User Skins by Jerbear Mod, Pack 1.
Caption – The SE5a skin here is for H.J. ‘Hank’ Burden of Number 56 Squadron RFC.
Caption- the SE5a skin fighting Dingel is that of Indra Lal ‘Laddie’ Roy Number 56 Squdron RFC.
Caption – The SE5a opposed here to Veltjens is the skin for Harold John ‘Jackie’ Walkerdine of Number 56 Squadron RFC.
Caption – This Jasta 26 Albatros DV, fighting a 20 Squadron Bristol was made for Bruno Loerzer. It is from the Alternative Skins by Jerbear Mod.
off_Alb_DV_later_Ace_t_Jasta 26 1917_Bruno_Loerzer – new information has come out since the WOFF skin was made in 2013. The Osprey publication, “Aces of Jagdgeschwader Nr III,” published in 2016 indicates on page 13 that Xaver Dannhuber “was the pilot photographed with Albatros DV 2299/17 marked with a personal six-pointed star. This was not Bruno Loerzer as has often been stated.” This star device was given to Dannhuber’s DIII OAW and DV-later Albatri when they were updated, but continued to be on Loerzer’s 2013 DVa.
The photos and profile of Loerzer’s DVa show a white tail fin and rudder, along with his distinctive black bar on the bottom wing. I extrapolate that it is more than likely that he was using the same black and white wing bar on his upper wings as he did on his Fokker DR1 to distinguish himself in the air as Staffelführer.
I do not know the evidence behind the design with the extra, thin, black stripe used on Loerzer’s DV-later. But, I further hypothesized that he would have used the same Staffelführer design on his DV as he did on his DVa. I retained the extra stripe, but added the distinctive wings and tail as a compromise.
I’m the guest for the night of the commander here, a Hauptmann Muller who was previously a member of my Stammeinheit (parent unit), König von Sachsen 4. Infantrie-Reg. Nr. 103. He was an ensign in one of the other companies when I was among them.
Paul’s face was frozen yesterday, so was Otto Schober’s and Dingel’s. They should have been wearing beauty cream.
The rain is heavy all day so all of us go to the hospital to see der Eiserne.
Bart is there with him, grieved to tears and getting in the way of the medical staff.
Berthold’s sister, Sister Franziska Berthold in Berlin has been sent a telegraph. She is the nursing supervisor in the Viktoria-Lazarette (Victoria Hospital) there.
The doctors say that such a complicated injury is beyond the scope of any field hospital to adequately treat. After der Meister is in a stable enough condition he will have to be transferred to a hospital in the Heimat.
They have not cut away any of the damaged flesh as yet but have washed the wound in Carbolic Lotion and wrapped it in gauze soaked in the same.
Berthold is very weak and so full of morphine he’s not really fully awake. We don’t stay long.
Seppl tries to pretend the tears in his eyes are just from the chemical fumes in the hospital and we pretend not to notice.
Now, we will take up Carl's story, and that of Jasta 18 on 12 Oktober 1917, where we left off, with posting 75.
Oberleutnant Rudolf Berthold has been seriously wounded and is at Kgl. Bayer. Reserve Feldlazarett 45 (Royal Bavarian Field Hospital 45 in Kortrijk (Courtrai) until such time as he is in stable enough condition to be sent to a hospital in the Haimat (Homeland).
Oberleutnant Ernst Wilhelm ‘Vater’ Turck, as the senior officer in the Gruppe, is Staffelfuhrer of Jasta 18 and Jagdgruppenführer for Jagdgruppe 7, for now.
We’re unable to fly until 1345 when the blanket of fog lifts, leaving only the rain to deal with.
Vater Turck, as the senior officer in the Gruppe, is Jagdgruppenführer for now.
He has made some minor changes. The practice of taking off in formation has been abandoned and we do not fly as close to one another as Berthold insisted upon.
We give one another from 50 to 100 meters of space, both in height and breadth. At this distance, individuals can still be recognized and signals seen. The leader of the geschwader* flies lowest and at the front of the wedge.
The two Ketten fly behind and above the leader with their two wingmen on either side and above them.** If there is an eighth man or a third Kette, they will fly behind, centered on, and above, the other two.
*The term geschwader (squadron or formation) can be used to refer to any formation from a half-flight of three machines to a complete squadron of 12 to 18.
**This was the practice in Jasta 5. I have no idea as to whether Jasta 18 ever adopted this practice or not. I just wanted my, fictionalized, Obltn Ernst Wilhelm Turck to have his own way of doing things. Information is from Windsock’s ‘Jagdstaffel 5, Volume One’ by G.K. Merrill.
Although Vater commands the Staffel and Gruppe, Paul Strähle leads in the air, while Turck leads Paul’s Kette.*
The other Kette leaders, for the time being, are Seppl Veltjens, Alter Herr Dingel, and Harald Auffarth.
I am attached now to Paul’s Kette with Jan Klein and fly with Vater as my Kette leader in the air.
*not an unusual arrangement, especially in a commander who has subordinates with more experience and skill in the air than himself. Usually this is a temporary arrangement until the Staffelführer gets his feet on the ground.