Dieselpunks

Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Doing a research on the Fokker Dr.I triplane, I came across something unusual.

As you may know, the Dr.I was the last and most famous mount of Manfred "the Red Baron" von Richthofen, the WWI ace-of-aces officially credited with 80 air victories (though only 19 of his air kills were made with in the bright-red triplane). It was also flown by other German Army Air Service celebrities like Hermann Goering or Ernst Udet. Of course, you can find info on many other aviators who flew the Dreidecker, but it's unusual to see a blogpost dedicated not to Richthofen and his Flying Circus but to a less-known unit.

The unit is Jasta 19 and the author is Kevin Barrett, a miniature models enthusiast. I recommend you to read his post as it is. Here, just five extracts.

"In late March and early April, Jasta 19's leader was Leutnant Walter Gottsch.

He was fated to be shot down on April 10th, 1918, just as the Jasta was starting to come into its own. His final victory total was 20 enemy aircraft.

He was credited with 3 victories in this build's swastika-marked* triplane before he was killed in action. "

"As I mentioned, Jasta 19 was a somewhat under-performing unit. JG II's new commanding officer, Rudolf Berthold, sent his own man to the squadron in order to give them a kick-start. This pilot was Leutnant Arthur Rahn.

Rahn scored twice in his diamond-banded triplane. He was wounded on July 17 and finished the war with a total of 6 victories. "

"Leutnant Rudolf Rienau spent most of his flying career with Jasta 19. He scored once in his striped-fuselage triplane in early March, and then ran up his tally to 6 (flying a Fokker D.VII) towards the end of the war.

He was shot down on September 13th 1918, but was saved by his parachute. He was killed in a flying accident in 1925. "

"Leutnant Hans Korner scored once in his zig-zag marked Jasta 19 triplane on the last day of March, 1918.

He survived the war with a final victory total of 7. He remained in aviation after the war, but was killed in a motorcycle accident on the way to his airfield. "

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* If you are surprised and/or annoyed by the use of swastika here, I must explain that before 1930s this ornament was a common symbol of good luck, widely used all over the world. Swastika was a part of the official Lafayette Escadrille "Sioux" insignia. We can see it on this 1917 American souvenir medal and elswhere (military unit emblems, Coca Cola tokens, World Fair souvenirs, public building facades, etc. ).

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