Aces of Jagdstaffel 17 by Greg VanWyngarden

By Greg VanWyngarden

Initially shaped to aid within the defence of town of Metz opposed to French bombing raids, Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 17 might cross directly to turn into some of the most distinguish German fighter devices of global conflict 1. Its first victory was once scored by means of the pilot whose tale is inextricably interwoven with that of his unit - the 'Blue Max' recipient Julius Buckler. He was once principally accountable for inspiring the unit's detailed Esprit de Corps, expressed in its recognized and distinctive 'battle-cry' of 'Malaula!' certainly, in its ultimate days the unit received the nickname Zirkus Buckler, or the 'Buckler Circus'. along with Buckler, Jasta 17 boasted such aces as Karl Strasser, Alfred Fleischer and Christian Donhauser. moreover, the roster integrated vibrant characters just like the profitable Jewish airman Jakob Wolff, who at over forty eight years of age was once the oldest German fighter pilot of the warfare. the tale of this illustrious unit is informed with many first-hand debts through Buckler, Fleischer and others, besides as...

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His score remained at zero. Six days later he crashed into some trees (probably in OAW-built Albatros D II 933/16) but survived unhurt. On 8 February 1917 Jakob Wolff crashed his Albatros into some trees, and several photographs recorded the accident. This top view reveals some of the camouflage pattern on the top wing and tail of OAW-built D II 933/16. The tactical band marking on the fuselage was augmented by the number ‘2’ on the forward fuselage A close-up of Wolff’s crashed OAW-built D II 933/16 shows the number ‘2’ on the fuselage and provides details of the interior structure.

Of the first mission, he wrote, ‘Over Pont-à-Mousson, a fight with Nieuport and Caudron at 3000 metres’. On the second flight of that day (lasting 132 minutes) he had another inconclusive engagement with a Nieuport fighter. 75 flying hours and engaged in seven aerial combats. Despite their best efforts not a single confirmed victory had been achieved. Even without any confirmed combat successes, former infantrymen like Buckler could appreciate the comfortable amenities of life in a Staffel situated close to a major German city.

He would remain a popular and reliable, if not outstanding, member of the Staffel until June 1918. Ltn d R Günther Schuster joined Jasta 17 on 23 December 1916 and attained his first victory on 29 January 1917. He is seen here at the end of the war, after he had achieved six victories and commanded the Staffel. He was a talented musician and an enthusiastic horseman (note the riding crop) Meanwhile, misfortune had continued to follow the efforts of the indefatigable Vzfw Jakob Wolff, who was now approaching his 48th birthday.

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