League President Michael O’Neal says farewell to retiring Managing Editor Lance Bronnenkant in “Between the Lines.”
The Winter 2016 issue kicks off with Peter Kilduff’s “Cowboys of the Air: A History of the 88th Aero Squadron, USAS,” which as the title states is the story of one of the US Air Service’s 18 operational observation units that served in World War I. This carefully researched account begins with the unit’s origin in August 1917 and chronologically highlights several of its missions and the men who carried them out, including one action in which all of the American participants were awarded France’s Croix de Guerre. The 88th Aero Squadron was one of the few American squadrons to remain in service after the war and its “Flying Cowboy” insignia is still employed today by the USAF’s 436th Training Squadron.
Dieter Gröschel then tells the story of one way in which Germany aided Turkey in “Providing Airplanes to Turkey in 1915: A Difficult Task for the German Aviation Commands in Southern Hungary.” With belligerent or neutral countries physically separating the two allies, covert methods often had to be created to attempt to bring German aircraft to the Ottoman Empire. Gröschel describes those intriguing efforts – some of which succeeded and others of which did not –and provides several tables detailing the men and aircraft that were involved.
The interesting story of “Lieutenant Kenneth P. Culbert: The First USMC Aviator in the Pantheon of US Army Air Heroes” is told by Terrence Finnegan. Culbert, a Harvard man, was assigned to the USAS’s 1st Aero Squadron as an observer and eventually became the first US Marine Corps aviator to be awarded an honor in combat. Finnegan provides a detailed narrative of Culbert’s wartime experiences and accomplishments – one of which earned him the Silver Star – that is supplemented by several photos of the man and his unit.
Greg VanWyngarden examines one of Germany’s most successful and numerous aircraft of the war in “The LVG C.V – A Photo Essay.” His richly illustrated account of the type begins with its design history and then delves into the colors, camouflage and markings applied to the type throughout its two years of service. This article will be a key resource for years to come for persons investigating the C.V and for model builders in particular.
While researching American aircraft, author Robert Casari encountered an unexpected version of “alternative facts” and decided to write about it in “Discovering the Fake Navy Aircraft Record Cards.” Casari carefully examines key records that were once considered definitive regarding the first US Navy’s first airplanes and explains how and why they inadvertently became corrupted.
The late Gary Sunderland provided a complete and authoritative account of “Designing at Albatros.” Sunderland made good use of his considerable experience as an engineer and aviator in compiling this work, which offers numerous interesting insights into the inner workings of the Albatros Flugzeugwerke. The article is supplemented with multiple photographs of the people and aircraft types highlighted in the text.
Lance Krieg tells the story of his rendition of 1/Lt Charles H. Woolley’s 95th Aero Squadron mount in “The Modeling Corner: Another Nieuport 28.” Krieg built the Nieuport 28 model as a presentation piece to Woolley’s son, Charlie.
The issue closes with our recurring columns, “Mentioned in Despatches,” “In the Cockpit” and “Between the Bookends” (where 12 recent World War I aviation-related publications are reviewed by Peter Kilduff, Carl Bobrow, Jon Guttman, James Miller and Aaron Weaver).
Look for your 2017 renewal form inside (the zip code was omitted; it's 55447-2228), or renew online.
In “Between the Lines,” League President Michael O’Neal announces the winners of 2015’s Hooper Awards as voted by our members.
The Autumn 2016 issue then begins with “Max Immelmann – Legend and Truth” by Issue Editor Dr. Hannes Täger. It explores and addresses many of the legends surrounding the noted German aviator, including the flight maneuver named after him, his and Oswald Boelcke’s relationship, the three-machine gun airplane associated with him, his sobriquet the “Eagle of Lille” and even the theory that he was a “Mama’s Boy.” The article is well researched and presents a wealth of new information and insight into one of Germany’s earliest aces.
Dr. Täger follows up with “The Article that Coined Max Immelmann’s Sobriquet The Eagle of Lille,” which is a study of how Immelmann got the nickname that became the title of the 1934 biography published by his brother Franz. It is traced back to an April 1916 article whose origin may surprise many of you. Both the article and Dr. Täger’s commentary on it are presented.
To supplement both of these excellent investigations, Lance Bronnenkant shares some of the photos of Max Immelman that he has collected in “Max Immelmann – A Photo Essay.” Most of the 22 original images have rarely, if ever, been published before, including one right after Immelmann’s receipt of his uniquely-awarded Commander’s Cross of the Military St. Henry Order, several of him and the group of men visited by Friedrich August III (King of Saxony) in November 1915, some candid shots of him entertaining soldiers at his airfield and a closeup of his Pour le Mérite that shows evidence of his fatal crash.
The issue switches gears and turns to a biography of a noted Italian aviator in “Luigi Bologna, Italian Naval Air Leader over the Adriatic” by Mauro Antonellini. The author outlines the entire life and career of this pioneering airman who fought against Austro-Hungarian and German forces over the Adriatic Sea. Bologna, like so many other aviation veterans of the time, survived the war only to be killed in a flying accident in 1921. Numerous original photos supplement the story of this celebrated aviator.
“An Observer on the Front in Palestine – Part IV” wraps up the story of German aviator Hans Joachim Seidel that was begun in Volumes 27:1 (2012), 27:2 (2012) and 29:2 (2014). The final World War I narratives from Seidel are translated and annotated by his son, Michael, who also provides a multitude of photographs from his father’s personal album. Having suffered and recovered from two previous injuries, Seidel continued to serve on the frontlines until a devastating crash in April 1918 ended his war flying career; but his life continued until 1973 when he died from what the family suspects was the aftermath of his wartime injuries.
Dr. Täger concludes his issue with “Photo Essay: Pictures from Alfred Lipfert’s Aviation Career.” Today, Lipfert is known to few although he was one of Germany’s earliest aviation pioneers who built, flew and taught others such as then 16-year-old Curt Wüsthoff to fly airplanes. Readers are given the privilege of seeing 50 unpublished photographs from Lipfert’s personal album.
The Summer 2016 issue begins with “Remarks on the Study of the Markings and Paint Schemes of the German Jagdstaffeln of the First World War” by Bruno Schmäling. Herr Schmäling shares his perspective – gained from decades of experience and personal interviews with some of the surviving pilots and their families in the 1970s and 1980s – on determining how and why certain Jagdstaffeln (fighter units) and their pilots painted their aircraft the way they did. A thorough, logical review of available resources, information and methodologies is given in this well-illustrated article that should be a “must” for all World War I aircraft marking enthusiasts.
“The Use and Performance of French Bombers in the ‘Grand Guerre,’ by Steve Suddaby, is a statistical assessment, based on the author’s database of nearly 3,000 French bombing raids, of how French aircraft were used and performed as bombers. All the well-known types (Voisin, Caudron, Maurice Farman, Breguet) are included as well as the airships and British Sopwiths employed by the French Air Service for such purposes. Various factors such as flight altitude, duration, bomb load capacity and reliability are considered and addressed in this fresh look at France’s efforts to bring the war to the enemy during World War I.
“Paul Bäumer’s Parachute Escape – His Own Account” is just that – the German ace’s own story, translated by Adam Wait, of his escape from a burning airplane using one of Germany’s not-always-reliable parachutes. Editor Greg VanWyngarden does his usually thorough job of providing supplemental information and photographs that place the account in the wider context of German parachutes and their use during the Great War.
Wade Eakle and Brent Moné detail the history and use of Nieuport 28 originals and replicas provided for a mulitude of films in “Saving Garland Lincoln’s ‘Nieuport 28.’” Lincoln was a pilot who served with the 14th Aero Squadron, USAS, during the closing months of the war. Following its end, he bought four Nieuport 28s that he used to create three flightworthy aircraft for use in American films such as Hell’s Angels (1930) and The Dawn Patrol (1930). Eventually, the originals wore out and Lincoln had a replica built that enjoyed a long history of movie roles and changed hands several times. Finally, it ended up in Brent Moné’s hands who has been restoring it to flying condition.
We have a special treat for our modelers in “The Modeling Corner: Jagdstaffel 18 Diorama” by Rainer Absmeier and Uwe Sierts. The authors provide a detailed and sometimes humorous account of how a team of model builders went about creating a large diorama display featuring the famously red-nosed and red-winged aircraft of Jagdstaffel 18. But that’s not all: it also includes wooden and ‘canvas’ hangars, mechanics and their equipment and even a captured DH.4, DH.9 and SPAD XIII. The award-winning display can now be viewed by the public at Munich’s Deutsches Museum Flugwerft Schleissheim.
Last but not least, we have the final installment of Stewart K. Taylor’s “Röth’s 19th: Lt T.C. Martin, 85 Squadron, RAF – Part II.” Taylor concludes the brief military career of T.C. Martin that ended abruptly on 12 August 1918 when he was shot down by German ace Friedrich Röth. But the story does not end there. Some of the men and families from both sides of the event got in contact with one another after the war, with some surprising results.
This issue introduces a new column, “In the Cockpit,” by Blaine Pardoe. Blaine intends to assess Great War aerial combat games on a routine basis for our readers and kicks off this effort with a look at “Sky Baron: War of Planes,” for use on mobile devices.
In our “Between the Lines” column, President Michael O’Neal provides more details on the League’s upcoming seminar, “The Centennial of Aviation Warfare – Part II,” to be held in Dayton OH on 28-30 September 2016.
“Between the Bookends” gives our readers in-depth reviews of 14 recent publications centered on World War I aviation that were conducted by Peter Kilduff, Carl Bobrow, Jim Streckfuss and Lothair Vanoverbeke.
Finally, a mail-in order form for Over the Front journal protective binders will be inserted in this issue for those readers who do not wish to use the website’s order form.
The Spring 2016 issue opens with “Eclipsing the Enemy over the Western Front: A History of Escadrille102” by the late F.W. Bailey, Jon Guttman and Peter Kilduff (issue editor). These noted authors collaborated in researching, translating and writing this record of a noteworthy French escadrille’s activities throughout the course of World War I. The unit’s personnel, bases and principal achievements are carefully reviewed and presented in full along with a number of rare images that help complete the tale of Escadrille 102.
Douglas Lantry, PhD, a curator in the Research Division at the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton OH, offers a sampling of the works produced by a French aviator and artist in “A New Art is Born – the Aviation Art of Henri Farré at the National Museum of the US Air Force 2014-2015.” Farré served on the front lines with Escadrille VB 101, and it was from his experiences there that he created over 100 portraits of the dawn of aerial warfare and the men who participated in it. As Lantry notes in his conclusion: “The body of Henri Farré’s aviation art is important because it presented – with great skill, vision, and sensitivity – a new perspective to an audience unfamiliar with the reality of aerial warfare, and because the work’s subject and style signifies the transition from the sensibilities of the 19th century to the emergent realities of the 20th.”
Steve Suddaby, Javier Arango and Kimball Worcester take a different approach in “SPAD VII & XIII Aircraft of Escadre 1: New Research with a Statistical View of Fighter Operations.” Rather than concentrate on a few individual pilots, the authors collected data on an entire fighter wing’s activities over a three-month period in the summer of 1918 to examine how it used its aircraft and what resulted from that use. The goal was to offer a new way of analyzing World War I fighter aircraft operations and the challenges they faced.
League member emeritus, Stewart K. Taylor, contributes his biography of a Canadian pilot in “Röth’s 19th: Lt T.C. Martin, 85 Squadron, RAF – Part I.” It is an in-depth look into the life of a young man who answered the “call of the air” and did his duty before joining the ranks of the world’s millions who gave their lives for their country. Martin’s career, spanning from his training days to his death at the hands of Germany’s ace, Friedrich ‘Fritz’ von Röth, is given full treatment and is accompanied by photos originating from family albums. Part II of this biography will appear in a future issue.
Peter Kilduff’s “Bombers over the Southern Rhine” concludes the issue. It is a study of the efforts carried out by Entente Powers to bomb targets in western Germany and the German military’s response to such incursions. Beginning with French raids on military objectives at Müllheim, Düsseldorf and Cologne, bombing runs were later expanded to include civilian centers after German attacks on Paris and Reims. The British joined in as well and conducted the final air raid of the war when one machine from No.55 Squadron, RAF, dropped a handful of bombs on Bensdorf Railway Station on 9 November 1918 – the day Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated.
This issue introduces a new, regularly-appearing column entitled “In the Cockpit.” In it, Blaine Pardoe will use his considerable expertise to assess and review role-playing games involving World War I aviation, beginning with “Wings of Glory.”
In our “Between the Lines” column, President Michael O’Neal tells us about the League’s upcoming seminar, “The Centennial of Aviation Warfare – Part II,” to be held in Dayton OH on 28-30 September 2016.
“Between the Bookends” provides our readers with in-depth reviews, written by Peter Kilduff, Carl Bobrow, Noel Shirley and Steve Suddaby, of 13 recent publications centered on World War I aviation.