The Albatros D.I you see below was flown by Prince Tassilo Wilhelm Humbert Leopold Friedrich Karl of Prussia. (Henceforth, this fella shall be referred to as 'the Prince'.) The Prince, besides being royalty, was also an Olympic athlete, having participated in the 2012 Summer games in Stockholm, Sweden. During the First World War he commanded FA(A)258, an artillery observation unit equipped with 2-seaters, but sometimes flew patrols with Jasta Boelcke.
On March 21st, 1917, while flying one such patrol, he was forced down into 'No-Man's Land' with an engine damaged by gunfire, and a minor foot wound. After setting his crate down, the Prince attempted to run toward the German lines, but was fired on by an Australian outfit, hit, and captured. A little over a month later, he succumbed to his wounds. More info HERE.
This photo shows the Albatros D.I flown by the Prince on that day in March of 1917, surrounded by a group of mostly Australians... presumably the same lot who had fired on and captured him.
Today we bring you a nifty shot of Leutnant Paul Billik of Jasta 12 and his early-production Albatros D.V. Billik finished the war with 31 victories to his credit and may have been awarded the Pour le Merite (Blue Max) had he not been shot down and captured on August 10th, 1918. He continued on into civil aviation after the war and was killed in a landing accident at Staaken, Berlin on March 8th, 1926 while flying a Junkers F.13.
Project 914 Archives
And no, the crooked cross on his Albatros had nothing whatever to do with the National Socialist movement. That symbol which has come to be reviled the world over used to actually represent a number of good things, hope and good fortune among them, before Herr Schicklgruber and his cronies adopted it as their own...
Today we bring you a photo with alotta character... and it shows some characters, too. Generally we like to try and pretty up most of the images we share, but in this case we've left things untouched... except for some fooling about with levels and saturation to help the details show through decades of fading.
Anyhoo, the photo shows an Avro 504 of either the Royal Flying Corps or maybe the very early days of the Royal Air Force. The original image was found on a forum, and the fella who posted it seemed to think that it's a post-war photo... if so, then it would be RAF and not RFC.
The fella who posted this photo on that forum (HERE) was also looking for more info as to the who, what, where, why, when, and how of it... but, sadly, the thread received no replies whatsoever. As your blogmeister has mentioned in the past, he loves these early birds, but knows relatively little about them. So we present this here both because it's a groovy photo, and also in the hopes that someone with a bit of specialized knowledge will see it and be able to help the guy from that forum out a bit...
Here's something different... an early O2 system (we assume) being demonstrated by Wilhelm Hippert of Jasta 74 next to his Fokker D.VII. A nice idea for modelers who like to display their work as... not necessarily a diorama, but perhaps a 'vignette' of sorts, with a figure or three.
Project 914 Archives
Speaking of modeling, Hippert's mount would be a nice choice for any Fokker fan...
Alrighty... according to the info that accompanied it, Leutnant Rudolf Stark of Jasta 34b is shown in this photo... although we have not been able to determine which fella is Stark. If your blogmeister had to make a choice, he'd go with the guy on the left in the foreground, based on the few photos of the man we've found online.
Anyhoo, the bird looks to be a Pfalz, perhaps a D.III? Dunno... just guessing. The photo itself is somewhat poor quality, even with a bit of tweaking in Photoshop... but what it lacks in that department it makes up for with atmosphere and sheer grooviness.
Project 914 Archives
Another poor quality image... this one shows Stark with a Fokker Dr.1 which, according to info found HERE, apparently had been transferred to Jasta 34b from Jasta 11. Also, there's a smaller but better quality image of this same photo on that page.
Project 914 Archives
Here's an anecdote from Stark that we came across HERE, concerning Jasta 34b's accommodations at Foucaucourt Aerodrome during 1918...
"Some of us have dogs, one owns a cat, another has brought three magpies along, while yet another has caught a fox-cub. All this menagerie has to be parked in the one hut, over and under the beds, thus curtailing the space available for humans. Unfortunately all the dogs are at war with one another in addition to cherishing the most evil intentions towards the cat. The latter lies in ambush for the magpies, with the result that we often arrive home in the middle of a scrap and just in time to prevent a tragedy. The fox-cub is the only one that sits good and quiet in his corner, but he gets so bored that he goes and grabs everyone's boots in turn and gnaws them. Owing to the presence of the aforesaid menagerie the air in our hut is not exactly what one would call pure ozone."
As your blogmeister has confessed in the past, he really digs the birds of WWI but doesn't know all that much about them, compared to other things with wings. As such, we can provide you with little in the way of concrete info concerning this photo.
But here's what we see, or... what we think we see: the main subject is an Albatros D.-Sumthin' which has what appears to be (mostly) over-painted stripes on the rear fuselage and tail. Also, it appears that an older style fuselage cross may have been over-painted and replaced with a later style cross. Finally, call us crazy... but is that a roundel on the wing of this crate's neighbor? If so, this suggests the possibility that one of these is a captured machine.
We missed a few days this past week, so here's an extra post for today. According to the info which came along with the photo, this is an Albatros D.III with a D.V rudder... don't ask me if it's true or not, I just post the photos 'cuz I think they're groovy.
An interesting thing about this Albatros, though... it carries a skull and crossbones motif very similar to the crate shown in our last post... hmmmm... makes you wonder...
Long story short... the German pilot of this Albatros reportedly ran low on fuel and landed his crate in French territory on March 5th, 1918. His name is said to have been Lothmann, and he was apparently with Jasta 65.
Your blogmeister had intended to post this yesterday for the Fourth of July, but got a bit sidetracked, and initially decided to save it for next year. Then he thought, "Who knows if we'll all be around next year?", what with the whole Mayan calendar prophecy thing supposedly predicting Armageddon on December 21st, 2012, which seems to coincide with the marked climate changes we're currently experiencing, not to mention the rising seas, natural disasters occurring with greater frequency, the L.A. Kings winning the Stanley Cup, and most strange of all, the cats and dogs in my neighborhood actually seem to be getting along. I mean, think about it... Dick Clark died... who the hell is gonna bring in the New Year? The writing is on the wall, folks.
Anyhoo, long story short, with our impending doom fast approaching, your fearful blogmeister figured, "what the hell"... better late than never.
Here's Eddie Rickenbacker with his Nieuport 28, adorned with the famous red, white, and blue 'Hat in the Ring' emblem of the 94th Aero Squadron... enjoy it while you can. =P
The info which came with this photo says that the two fellas are 'Leutnants Mueller und Feist mit ein Pfalz D.IIIa'. Ich kenne nicht... uhhh... I mean, I dunno if that's correct or not... I'm just the messenger here. However, it does look like a Pfalz to me and I *do* know that the presence of a third member of whichever Jasta these guys were from is clear evidence that just about everyone has a sense of humor.
Your blogmeister feels it necessary to preface this first post with the following disclaimer... he is fascinated by the flying machines of the First World War, but knows relatively little about them compared to things with wings of other eras. So when there is accompanying information readily available, it will be included with each photo posted. However, more often than not, no great effort will be made to confirm or expound upon that information... the photos will quite often stand alone to speak for themselves.
So... here you go... three guys and an Albatros D.III. (I think)