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Who was the Albatros pilot?

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Saw a documentary on thew final fight of WERNER VOSS. It says a lone Albatros joined the fight but was shot down or at least put out of the fight. Has it been established who this brave airman was & his unit? Did he survive or was he killed & truy shot down or just OOC to leave the fight damaged? He deserved an award for jumping into that mess.Alos why was he alone up there & not with his unit? Seems dangerous policy for any pilot. Thanks for any info on this brave man.

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Malcolm12hl

Menckhoff has long been identified as the Albatros pilot, but he does not apparently mention the episode in his memoirs (recently re-discovered and published in the United States with a rather stiff price tag), so he might not have been the man involved.

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Thanks for the possible name. No doubt there was such an attempt to help Voss as most of 56 Sqdn saw it too. I'd hate to think that this brave man will never be fully identified & given the credit he deserves for such a brave action.

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David Filsell

Mr M12

I would be interested in details of the publisher and tile of the Menckhof memoirs if you can provide them.

Regards

David

 

 

 

 

Edited by David Filsell

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Malcolm12hl

Sure thing - the book's details are as follows:

 

Hannes Trager (ed.), Carl Menckhoff: Reminiscenses of War and Captivity: A Knight of the Pour Le Merite Reports, Aeronaut Books, 2014

 

Aeronaut Books are U.S. based and appear to publish only on short print runs at high cost.  Amazon shows only five sellers, four of them in the U.S., with prices in the £58 to £63 range.

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alex revell

 

 

Hello all,

It’s amazing how the subject of Voss’ last fight reappears every now and again.  While researching the history of 56 Sqdn for HITEB, I was fortunate to be able to talk to Beery Bowman about it and  had access to Cronyn’s unpublished memoir, plus other, related material.  

There certainly was a red nosed Albatros involved in the fight, which joined  Voss after the beginning of the action.  Voss and its pilot cooperated very well. At one point, Maybery  zoomed away after firing a burst at Voss, and  found the Albatros on his tail. He climbed away, turned and dived on Voss again, firing both guns until his Lewis stopped. Both Voss and the Albatros then together attacked him and he was only saved by the intervention of two other SEs. It was after this that the red nosed Albatros disappeared, although none of the 56 Sqdn pilots claimed to have sent it down out of the fight or driven it off.

At this point in the fight Voss was fighting McCudden, Rhys Davids, Bowman, Maybery, and Hoidge, having despatched Cronyn out of the action with a badly shot up SE and Muspratt with a bullet in his radiator at the beginning of the action.  

After Rhys Davids had last fired at Voss, and zoomed away, he saw a red nosed Albatros a little to the south east of him. To quote from HITEB: ‘Evidence points to the possibility that this was Karl Menckhoff  of Jasta 3, although there is no evidence to suggest that Menckhoff was the pilot of the red nosed Albatos that had earlier  fought so superbly with Voss.   Rhys Davids attacked Menckhoff, opening fire at a 100 yards, and firing a continuous burst until, at 30 yards, his Lewis gun drum was finished and his Vickers had stopped. He zoomed away. When he looked again the Albatros was spiralling steeply down , 600 feet below him. Rhy Davids was sure the Albatros did not clear east , and this matches Menckhoff’s account of the fight, which states that his aeroplane damaged by Rhys Davids fire, he was forced to crash land north of Zonnebeke.’ EOQ   

I have not read the recently published biography of Menckhoff  so I can’t comment on anything that  might be said in it about the events of the evening of the 23 September,  but while researching HITEB  I discussed all aspects and questions appertaining to German involvement with Alex Imrie, whose knowledge of the GAS has, in my opinion at least,  never been equalled  to this day.  We spent many hours going through his vast and extensive material on the GAS, plus his knowledge gained by his personal friendship with many of its pilots. My mention of  ‘Menckhoff’s account of the fight’ came from Alex.  Please note that at the time of writing I was careful to say that there was no evidence that M was the pilot of the red nosed Albatros involved in the fight.  I am confident that this was because M’s  account of the evening, held by Alex, makes no mention of him being in the fight, only of his being shot down north of Zonnebecke.  

Hope this helps to clarify things a little, although, by the very nature of such things, there will no doubt still be additional speculation. :-)  

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Loader

Thanks for the info. It does seem that M was the pilot involved even if now it can't be proven. I've often played the what it game with VOSS. What if he had survived & was a POW or wounded & never able to fly again? How would he have fared in the coming dark days of the 1930's & 1940's? He was a brave man in any case & skilled flyer.

I read once that as a former 2 seat pilot he had a soft spot for such crews & would try to hit only the engine & spare the crew when he attacked such targets. Thank you all for your input on my question.

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josquin

Menckhoff may have confirmed that he was brought down by Rhys Davids but omitted his earlier participation in Voss's

last fight because he had qualms about telling posterity that he withdrew in mid-fight and left Voss on his own.  A prudent

choice, perhaps, but not a decision that reflects particularly well on Menckhoff--or whoever was the pilot of the red-nosed

Albatros.  Such an omission from the historical record is perfectly understandable, and I also suspect that Menckhoff was

the other German pilot in the Voss fight.

 

Josquin

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alex revell

Josquin,

I agree,  M may well have well omitted from his report  as being there in the initial stages of the fight. Very natural that he would not want to admit that he was driven out and didn't return before Voss was finally shot down. I doubt we will ever know the whole truth of the matter. Barry Diggins in his book September Evening, published by Grub St in 2003, went into the question of the fight very thoroughly,. and it's well worth a read. I'd be interested in reading M's account, in the recent biography, of his being in action and forced down on the evening of Sept. 23, but frankly the book is too expensive for me.  As for my own conclusions in HITEB: over thirty years have  gone by since researching the book, but I know that Alex and I must have been convinced of the conclusions we drew that the Albatros that RD attacked and forced to land after the fight was M. All the evidence pointed to that.

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madrid

Not Menckhoff. Very unlikely that a small red nose was remembered, but not the large “M“ in bold letters on both sides of the fuselage of the highly decorated/camouflaged Albatros.

 

A realistic view of the aerial fight by Russ Gannon, 18 January 2008 in the other Forum:

 

„My take on the Voss fight is that Voss along with an Albatross (Wendelmuth?) and a Pfalz (Bellen?) attacked the rearguard of 60 Sqn damaging both SE5's. A three strong B/56 intervened with a dive and zoom attack on Voss. In this Cronyn's engine chocked scotching his zoom whereupon Voss set upon him, badly damaging his SE. McCudden & Rhys Davids then returned to the fray joined by Bowman, Mayberry and Hoidge. Up till this point Voss had been dictating terms. Now however low on ammo & fuel it became a fight for survival as 5 proven pilots in 5 very good fighters drove him down, his only support the gallant red nosed Albatross. Voss could not break off because he could not outrun the 200hp SE's - moreover he would provide a straight shot. It was the conumdrum of Hawker in his last fatal fight with MvR. Eventually Voss's luck ran out, probably hit as Alex Revell states by Rhys David's penultimate attack. Thereafter in my humble opinion wounded and at only 1,000 ft over British lines, he flew straight so as to work out which way to make his last bid for safety. It was at this point that RD administered the coup de grace. Jumping back to the red nosed Albatros. Gottsch of Js 8 was credited with his 15th luftseige in a fight on 6 Sep 17 - a time and loc match to an engagement fought by 10 Naval in which 2 Albatross were claimed OOC. One of these Albatross was described as having a red nose. For the record Nav 10 had no losses - possibly someone was shot about. On this date however a Vfw Klein of Js 8 is recorded in Kofl 4 returns as being wia as the result of an airfight. This loss has been overlooked in the JWC.“

 

 

Ltn.d.R. Friedrich Rüdenberg, who flew in the Kette with Ltn. Werner Voss, wrote to his brother shortely after Voss' death:

 

"I told you that he flew a special machine that did not allow us to catch up with him. When he attacked a single-seater our cover of his rear was missing and fate took it course. It was quite obvious that the single German triplane was attacked from all sides because every Englishman could figure out that it did not contain a beginner. It's a bad loss for the army here. Please inform Papa of the special circumstances that he does not get too upset."

 

Later on Rüdenberg remembers:

 

"At night we received news from our first line about an aerial fight between one German  and six Englishmen, the German crashed. The next morning we all flew over the front and dropped a letter with a long black-white-red  banner requesting notification about the fate of Voss.  About ten days later the Geneva Red Cross reported that Werner Voss was found dead after the aerial fight and was buried by the RAF."

 

Edited by madrid

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alex revell

Madrid,

Just a small comment on your post, regarding Russ' take in 2008. Russ and I have been friends for many years and there is no one who admires his research more than I. I trust it implicitly. However,  his statement  that Voss could not escape from the fight, 'could not outrun the SEs,' is not correct. In Bowman's statement to Bolitho he said ' This left Voss alone in the middle of six of us which did not appear to deter him in the slightest. At this altitude he had a much better rate of climb or rather zoom than we had and frequently he was the highest machine of the seven and could have turned east and got away had he wished to, but he was not that type and always came down into us again.'

I checked this with Beery B in conversation and he confirmed it. I also asked why McCudden thought he was the only one to see the triplane crash. Surely, I asked it would have come out in later conversation in the Mess about the fight that he too had seen it. He was a little testy in his answer. I remember it well; 'We didn't chew the fat about such things, you know. It wasn't a bloody cricket match.'

 

 

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madrid

Werner Voss fought for his life, no chance to escape.

 

Interesting Rüdenbergs comment: „that did not allow us to catch up with him“.

Speed? Climb?

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alex revell

 

Madrid

No chance for escape?  I'll take Bowman's word for it. After all he was there!

Plus what we know about the relative performance of the aeroplanes involved

Alex

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madrid

When Voss tried to escape he was shot down.

 

"He made no attempt to turn until I was so close to him I was certain we would collide. He passed my right hand wing by inches and went down. I zoomed. I saw him next with his engine apparently off, gliding west. I dived again and got one shot out of my Vickers. However I reload and kept in the dive, I got another good burst and the triplane did a slight right hand turn still going down. I had now overshot him (this was at 1,000ft) zoomed and never saw him again."

2/Lt. Rhys Davids

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Jasta72s

Hello,

 

my name was mentioned here and my book „Carl Menckhoff - Reminiscenses...“ as well. So, I think it is my turn now.

 

Remark 1: Two other German airplanes were involved in Voss’ (German: Voß) last fight and not only one! Rhys Davids [see Diggens „September Evening“, page 94] told Baring:

„I saw three Huns attacking one SE; one triplane, light grey and brown, with slight extensions, one red-nosed V-Strutter, one green-nosed Scout. I never saw the green scout again after the first dive. I then saw four SEs fighting the triplane and the red-nosed Scout. ...“

 

Maybery [Diggens, p 96/97, also p 125] confirmed a „green Scout“ and a red-nosed Scout. Hoidge [p 97] reported a „green Hun“ and a „red-nosed Scout.“

However, in 1942 Bowman recalled two green Albatros fighters with red noses [sic!; p 135]

Keep these descriptions in mind! The British pilots combat reports are printed in appendix 1 of Diggen’s book.

 

Remark 2: It was claimed once more that Menckhoff anyhow „confirmed“ his participation in a letter to the Voss family. To my knowledge no living historian has ever seen such a letter! The claim came from the late Englishmen Douglas Whetton who did die in a car accident a long time ago. Different historians have very, very contradicting opinions about this man and his reliability. Anyway, without the letter there is no proof for this claim. Even its discovery would still require a careful check if such a claim was really made and if the details fit the known details of the fight!

 

Remark 3: It is important to keep in mind that a number of German red-nosed Scouts was in action at this sector of the front in September 1917! McCudden’s [see „Flying Fury“] lines about the fighting some days ago on 14 September makes this fact pretty clear. He wrote:

„I saw Rhys Davids fighting a very skillful Hun, whose Albatros was painted with a red nose, a green fuselage and a silver tail“. Later McCudden reported: „...’crack, crack, crack, crack’, came from behind, and I looked over my shoulder and saw three red noses [sic], coming for me...“ [page 182 in the edition by Lionel Leventhal, 2000].

 

On 14 September 1917 No 56 Sqn was assaulted by Jasta 3 from bigger altitude and other airplanes were probably attracted to this fight as well. Jasta 3’s top scorer Julius Schmidt and the rising star Carl (not Karl) Menckhoff claimed victories. Menckhoff’s claim was allowed, so he had witnesses for his kill of Lt Crow, No 56 Sqn. However, Schmidt’s claim was refused. Schmidt was most-likely the „very skilful Hun“ who made Rhys Davids (also No 56 Sqn) fly for his life with shots in tank and central section. Finally Rhys Davids escaped and landed very late on another air field.

I share Alex Imrie’s opinion that Jasta 3’s airplanes were red-nosed at this time. And if McCudden did not make a mis-observation then Schmidt (?) had a red-nosed Albatros with green fuselage and a silver tail. Then only individual markings of airplanes allowed a safe differentiation between Jasta 3’s Albatros fighters. However, the British pilots reports did not reveal such an important information like the individual markings of the Germans, neither a „silver tail“ nor a big „M“ was mentioned for Voss’ last fight.

Therefore it is not possible to determine if Saxon Julius Schmidt or Herford-born Menckhoff or any other Jasta 3 pilot tried to support Voss.

Rhys Davids reported he downed „the“ red-nosed Scout. However, even if this Albatros was Menckhoff’s then he was not necessarly the same „red-nose“ fighting some time with Voss.

It seems Rhys Davids concluded: „Red nose - ah, must be the same plane like before“. However, we know now, there were more „red noses“ around there. If Bowman’s late statement would be correct, then there were two of them in the fight for a short time.

 

BTW Menckhoff’s crash landing in the own lines was shown to a handwritten add-on in German language but with a mistake typical for English speakers by „Madrid“ aka M. Thiemeyer many years ago on The Aerodrome, if I recount this correct after so many years.

 

Summary:

When I begun to research Menckhoff’s biography it seemed to me that rock-solid proof existed for his participation in Voss last fight. However, this was and is not the case. I repeat what I wrote many years ago: I would not outrule Menckhoff but there are more potential candidates. For example Diggens suggested Wendelmuth; Jasta 8. Therefore it is necessary to continue this research to get more reliable information, especially about Jasta 3.

This discussion here will not solve the problem because there are no new facts available.

 

Happy New Year!

Edited by Jasta72s

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alex revell

Remark 1, There has never been the contention that more than one Albatros was involved in the fight.

The green scout, that Hoidge described as bright  green was shot down out of control directly before the main fight with Voss. Hoidge was latter credited with a Pfalz OOC. It's important to realise  that Bowman and his Flight were involved  in two combats almost directly preceding the action with Voss. In  the first of these, B's Flight attacked six enemy scout in the vicinity of Houthulst Forest and drove them east. Gardiner had  lost the other SEs in the attacking dive and attacked a two seater which he shot down. Bowman reformed the Flight (now only himself Maybery and Hoidge ) and attacked a group of four enemy scouts over Westroosbeke. Six or seven additional enemy scouts then came down and attacked Bowman, Maybery and Hoidge, three concentrating on Bowman who had stoppages in both guns. Maybery and Hoidge went to Bowman's assistance and Hoidge shot down one, the bright green scout, ooc. Bowman rectified his guns and again joined up with Maybery and Hoidge. They were now in the same vicinity as McCudden and B Flight and saw them in action with a Triplane and a red nosed Albatros. They dived into the fight.  

Note that RD reported that  'I saw three Huns attacking one SE; one triplane, light grey and brown, with slight extensions, one red-nosed V-Strutter, one green-nosed Scout.'  (This was at the very beginning of the Voss action, with the Voss and others attacking the SE, Hamersley  from 60 Squadron.)  'I never saw the green scout again after the first dive. I then saw four SEs' - this was the rest of McCudden's Flight - . 'fighting the triplane and the red-nosed Scout.' 

Remark 2.  The Menckhoff letter. The contention that no living historian  has seen this letter does not prove that it never, or indeed, does not exist.

I know that  historians  of his  generation had doubts about the veracity of Whetton , but from personal knowledge this is because Whetton was very reluctant to share the results of his research with some of them  because of the way he had been treated in the past. I never met him, but had lots of correspondence with him and personally always found him very helpful. The mystery is, what happened to his collection after his death. That's a long story, but the conclusion is that it was purchased under very dubious circumstances by an unknown collector and has never since seen the light of day. This was after  Whetton's  girlfriend, Valerie Murfin, had  contacted me  after his death for advice about the disposal of the collection and I had advised her that the RAF Museum should have it. After quite a few letters discussing how she could get the collection to the RAF Museum - I offered to drive it and her -  she suddenly  stopped answering any further letters.  Both myself and the people at the RAF Museum tried very hard to trace her, but  without success. I traced a friend of Murfin who was equally puzzled by her complete disappearance from the area.

A local researcher, Peter McManus, who had met Whetton and had seen the extent of the collection, later published a book in which he stated  that he had visited Whetton's mother to ask about the collection, but was told that a book dealer had offered her  £3000. He offered her a little more, but finally learnt that the dealer had been again and purchased the collection, telling her that i would be housed in a 'magnificent library in a beautiful Cotswold manor house and historians  from all over the world would be able to consult  it.' I can't vouch for the truth of this story, but I've never heard of anyone who has since seen it, or any institution which has claimed to have it.  But as McCudden would have said, I digress.   

Remark 3. It's  long been a  generally accepted knowledge that many German scouts had red noses. Wasn't it a dictum of von R that the Jasta of JG1 should have.  However, I believe that it was not until I showed an ex RFC photographer an issue of Cross & Cockade (American) with the well known photograph of the Pfalz of Jasta 10 on the cover, that he immediately said that the noses were red, from his technical knowledge of the type of film used at  that time. He volunteered this information.  I had not taken the journal for the particular reason of asking about colours of German aeroplanes. I had met him by chance in his photography shop in Hatfield  and he had told me that he had been in the RFC as a photographer. I took the journal only  to show him how people were seriously researching the subject both here and in the USA.

I have that Lt Crow of 56 Sqdn was possibly the victim of either Menckhoff or Schmidt. a conclusion arrived at by Alex Imrie, and  Dr Bock.

I don't agree that because the 56 Sqdn pilots did not mention the large M or a silver tail that it is not possible to determine that no pilot of Jasta 3 was in the fight . That is  non sequitur.

I do not have the report of M's forced landing after being attacked by RD. But to my recollection it was not an 'handwritten add on in German language' (whatever that is), and was certainly not 'a mistake typical of English speakers'. Alex Imrie and Dr Bock both of whom I consulted on anything pertaining to GAF matters while researching HITEB, were both fluent German speakers and practised readers of old German script. Thiemeyer has the reputation of being a mischievous and  notorious time waster, which he has himself freely admitted several times. Alex's son, Alistair has his father's collection and if asked by Jasta 72s would not doubt look for and find the M report of his false landing after being attacked by RD 

Summary. Surely there never was any 'rock sold proof ' that M was the pilot of the red nosed Albatros who supported Voss during the fight. As far back as while I was writing HITEB, ten years or so before it was eventually published, I said, commenting on the red nosed Albatros later shot down by RD after the Voss fight. 'there is no evidence to show that Menckhoff  was the pilot of the red nosed Albatros that had earlier fought so superbly with Voss.'  HITEB was not published until 1995, so perhaps you are too young to have seen it

then. :-) 

Happy New Year to all.

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madrid

When Alex Imrie wrote his famous book  "The Fokker Triplane", he mentioned to people by name "who have assisted with this book by making information available": Peter M. Grosz and Manfred Thiemeyer, "an active German researcher, who, not being content with already recorded information, contacts relatives of First World War German airman to rescue from obscurity personal letters, diaries and photographs. One area of Manfred`s interest concerns the origin of aircraft markings and he kindly made his findings available, these included, inter alia, the interpretation of the Voss engine cowling face marking." Introduction, pg 9.

 

Checking the Jasta 3 Albatros photographs, there is no evidence for red noses as a Staffel marking, Alex Imrie accepted this in later times. Unfortunately it was to late for him to see the Schulte-Schlutius Collection.

 

 

 

 

Edited by madrid
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Jasta72s

Summary. Surely there never was any 'rock sold proof ' that M was the pilot of the red nosed Albatros who supported Voss during the fight..

 

This was exactly the confirmation that I always hoped to get!

If I remember heated discussions at The Aerodrome many years ago (with you too) then I can not remember that this came over with the same clarity and too many discussers refer to HITEB as if it had provided afore mentioned „rock-solid proof“. Therefore, thank you for the final clarification! You should never think I would be sad if I would discover positive proof for Menckhoff’s participation (what I doubt), then I could solve this open problem of CM’s aviation career and also inform his son’s family about another interesting episode in Carl’s Menckhoffs life. The current situation is also unsatisfying for me.

 

 

Remark 3. It's  long been a  generally accepted knowledge that many German scouts had red noses. Wasn't it a dictum of von R that the Jasta of JG1 should have.  However, I believe that it was not until I showed an ex RFC photographer an issue of Cross & Cockade (American) with the well known photograph of the Pfalz of Jasta 10 on the cover, that he immediately said that the noses were red, from his technical knowledge of the type of film used at  that time. He volunteered this information.  I had not taken the journal for the particular reason of asking about colours of German aeroplanes. I had met him by chance in his photography shop in Hatfield  and he had told me that he had been in the RFC as a photographer. I took the journal only  to show him how people were seriously researching the subject both here and in the USA.

I have that Lt Crow of 56 Sqdn was possibly the victim of either Menckhoff or Schmidt. a conclusion arrived at by Alex Imrie, and  Dr Bock.

I don't agree that because the 56 Sqdn pilots did not mention the large M or a silver tail that it is not possible to determine that no pilot of Jasta 3 was in the fight . That is  non sequitur.

I do not have the report of M's forced landing after being attacked by RD. But to my recollection it was not an 'handwritten add on in German language' (whatever that is), and was certainly not 'a mistake typical of English speakers'. Alex Imrie and Dr Bock both of whom I consulted on anything pertaining to GAF matters while researching HITEB, were both fluent German speakers and practised readers of old German script. Thiemeyer has the reputation of being a mischievous and  notorious time waster, which he has himself freely admitted several times. Alex's son, Alistair has his father's collection and if asked by Jasta 72s would not doubt look for and find the M report of his false landing after being attacked by RD.

 

I know very well that it is generally accepted knowledge that many red German scouts had red noses but it was not mentioned in this thread before. It is of greatest importance for the correct identification of the pilot of of the red-nosed fighter.

 

Menckhoff and Schmidt made claims with the same referenced location and slightly different times. Schmidt’s claim was not allowed and Menckhoff’s confirmed. So, they were either claiming (maybe Imrie’s assumption) the same opponent or - and this would make much sense because Schmidt was Jasta 3’s top scorer and a skilful flier - Schmidt chased Rhys Davids without final success. However, I will not exclude other opportunities.

 

Frankly, I am afraid I don’t understand your sentence „I don't agree that because the 56 Sqdn pilots did not mention the large M or a silver tail that it is not possible to determine that no pilot of Jasta 3 was in the fight .“ This was not quoted from my post and it is possibly a misinterpretation. What do you mean?

 

Meanwhile I could also check my notes. You can calm down because MT referred to a note about Wissemann’s death on 28 September 1917, probably from an American source (maybe Puglisi). Sorry, my fault but I wrote „if I recount that correct after so many years.“

 

You wrote: „Alex's son, Alistair has his father's collection and if asked by Jasta 72s would not doubt look for and find the M report of his false landing after being attacked by RD.

Do you mean a real German report (lines of text about the landing in German language) or short German notes copied from the original KTB Jasta 3 (or any another source)? This would be of importance because I don’t trust the American English „versions“ (which I know). So, indeed, I would be grateful if Alex son Alistair would be willing to do me this favour.

 

Remark 2.  The Menckhoff letter. The contention that no living historian  has seen this letter does not prove that it never, or indeed, does not exist...

I did never refuse the search for the letter but there is no positive proof for its existenc until now! The existence of this letter or letters (or even the claim about Menckhoff’s visit in the house of the Voss family) will always stay a conjecture if no further and finally successful research is done. It is only an indicator what and where to search for information. And it seems to be in a dead end currently or is there any progress since 2007?

 

In 2007 you asked for the whereabouts of Whetton’s collection at The Aerodrome

and MikeW answered:

 

„Alex,

it got dumped into boxes, was sent to auction (without being advertised) and a dealer purchased most of it.

 

Tony Mellor-Ellis purchased some of the collection in dribs and drabs as the dealer saw fit to release it.

 

It was a sad business, as Whetton often used to borrow stuff without ever returning it.- he even had papers and a logbook from an Australian museum. Things had to get very acrimonius before the „lady friend“ was forced to return them to Australia.

 

I suggest you have a word with Tony.

 

Regards,

Mike“

 

So, we have a „lady friend“ that had to be forced to return items to Australia and (allegedly) „vanished“ without any trace when she expected an financial advantage.

Furthermore, we have a researcher who (allegedly) developed a habit of not returning borrowed items.

And we have some contemporary historians like Alex Imrie who did not hold high esteem for Mr Whetton, obviously for very good reason.

Mr Whetton may have been helpful to you and may have complained about unfair treatment.

It does not mean that he was always truthful. Also MT has been helpful sometimes and he has frequently complained about unfair treatment. So, we have parallels here. Nevertheless, I have not the feeling you would trust him. :-)

 

Remark 1, There has never been the contention that more than one Albatros was involved in the fight.  ...

 

Thanks for the reconstruction but it is fact that Bowman claimed in 1942: „I then saw about six SE5s being chased back to our lines by three Huns; two green Albatri with red noses and a sky-blue triplane.“ So, this contention exists but it is a very late one.

 

I have a kind of problem with Baring’s book in general. I bought it years ago for other reasons and I was very, very disappointed. The lines recorded by Baring are an important part of your reconstruction but they seem to contradict the original combat report by Rhys Davids. He wrote:

„At 6.25 saw an SE.5 being attacked by an E.A. triplane and one red-nosed Albatros Scout. Our second ES.5 formation now appeared and for 20 minutes, leader, myself, Lt. Hoidge and Lt. Maybery engaged the two and one other scout west of Westroosebeke. About 11 other E.A. awaited us higher and further east, but did not come down as there were six Spads & four Camels protecting us very well.

The other scout now vanished but the red nosed Albatros and the triplane fought magnificently. ...“

It looks like another scout was still around for a (limited) time when the fighting with Voss started.

All current reconstructions share the same problem. We have not enough information about the involved German planes and pilots. Also a single report by a Flugmeldepunkt or in a Flugmeldebuch could result in a more detailed or even very different picture.

 

Finally, I think we need other, „new“ traces which lead to other sources and reports. Neither the research concerning Whetton’s collection nor in Menckhoff’s family branches were successful but I am convinced there is still important unknown information out there. In the worst case anybody is just sitting in front of its computer and laughing about our efforts, and waving with an old sheet of paper and deciding to keep it a secret for some more decades. :-) 

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nils d
On ‎30‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 11:21, Jasta72s said:

 

 The claim came from the late Englishmen Douglas Whetton who did die in a car accident a long time ago. Different historians have very, very contradicting opinions about this man and his reliability.

 

 

How do claims dating from the 1980's regarding Whettons  dealings with other reseachers  mean that his published work is unreliable?

He may have been difficult to deal with [l have no evidence of this] but his research could still have been top notch. Judging from some of his articles lve read l find them all to be

up to standard. A bad person can still write good history.

 

 

 

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madrid
14 hours ago, Jasta72s said:

Meanwhile I could also check my notes. You can calm down because MT referred to a note about Wissemann’s death on 28 September 1917, probably from an American source (maybe Puglisi). Sorry, my fault but I wrote „if I recount that correct after so many years.“

 

 

see next

Edited by madrid
double post

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madrid
14 hours ago, Jasta72s said:

Meanwhile I could also check my notes. You can calm down because MT referred to a note about Wissemann’s death on 28 September 1917, probably from an American source (maybe Puglisi). Sorry, my fault but I wrote „if I recount that correct after so many years.“

 

Neither American, nor KTB 3 excerpt, or Alex Imrie, but from a letter of Staffelführer Jasta 3 Obltn. Kohze to the parents of Wissemann.

Edited by madrid
Alex Imrie

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alex revell

My answers in italics. AR.

 

Summary. Surely there never was any 'rock sold proof ' that M was the pilot of the red nosed Albatros who supported Voss during the fight..

Top of Form

This was exactly the confirmation that I always hoped to get!

If I remember heated discussions at The Aerodrome many years ago (with you too) then I can not remember that this came over with the same clarity and too many discussers refer to HITEB as if it had provided afore mentioned „rock-solid proof“. Therefore, thank you for the final clarification! You should never think I would be sad if I would discover positive proof for Menckhoff’s participation (what I doubt), then I could solve this open problem of CM’s aviation career and also inform his son’s family about another interesting episode in Carl’s Menckhoffs life. The current situation is also unsatisfying for me.

I can only say that the information you mention in HITEB was out there in 1996. From where did you get the impression that there was rock-solid proof?  I don’t recall the details of the discussion on the Aerodrome (too many time wasters started ‘questions’ to be answered) but on this particular question I must have quoted HITEB

 

 

Remark 3. It's  long been a  generally accepted knowledge that many German scouts had red noses. Wasn't it a dictum of von R that the Jasta of JG1 should have.  However, I believe that it was not until I showed an ex RFC photographer an issue of Cross & Cockade (American) with the well known photograph of the Pfalz of Jasta 10 on the cover, that he immediately said that the noses were red, from his technical knowledge of the type of film used at  that time. He volunteered this information.  I had not taken the journal for the particular reason of asking about colours of German aeroplanes. I had met him by chance in his photography shop in Hatfield  and he had told me that he had been in the RFC as a photographer. I took the journal only  to show him how people were seriously researching the subject both here and in the USA.

I stand by that statement.

I have that Lt Crow of 56 Sqdn was possibly the victim of either Menckhoff or Schmidt. a conclusion arrived at by Alex Imrie, and  Dr Bock.

I don't agree that because the 56 Sqdn pilots did not mention the large M or a silver tail that

it is not possible to determine that no pilot of Jasta 3 was in the fight . That is  non sequitur.

I do not have the report of M's forced landing after being attacked by RD. But to my recollection it was not an 'handwritten add on in German language' (whatever that is), and was certainly not 'a mistake typical of English speakers'. Alex Imrie and Dr Bock both of whom I consulted on anything pertaining to GAF matters while researching HITEB, were both fluent German speakers and practised readers of old German script. Thiemeyer has the reputation of being a mischievous and  notorious time waster, which he has himself freely admitted several times. Alex's son, Alistair has his father's collection and if asked by Jasta 72s would not doubt look for and find the M report of his false landing after being attacked by RD.

 

I know very well that it is generally accepted knowledge that many red German scouts had red noses but it was not mentioned in this thread before. It is of greatest importance for the correct identification of the pilot of of the red-nosed fighter.

See my  previous remarks about Remark 3

tbc

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alex revell

Menckhoff and Schmidt made claims with the same referenced location and slightly different times. Schmidt’s claim was not allowed and Menckhoff’s confirmed. So, they were either claiming (maybe Imrie’s assumption) the same opponent or - and this would make much sense because Schmidt was Jasta 3’s top scorer and a skilful flier - Schmidt chased Rhys Davids without final success. However, I will not exclude other opportunities

You are now talking about the combat on 14th September, yes?  Alex Imrie and  Dr Bock were of the opinion that it was impossible to say with any positivity if it was M or S who claimed  Crow. Hence the ‘either or’ in HITEB.  Above the Trenches  gives it as Meckhoff.  Maybe the authors had other information, I don’t  know, but I’ll stick by Alex and Dr Bock until I see otherwise.  

 

Frankly, I am afraid I don’t understand your sentence „I don't agree that because the 56 Sqdn pilots did not mention the large M or a silver tail that it is not possible to determine that no pilot of Jasta 3 was in the fight .“ This was not quoted from my post and it is possibly a misinterpretation. What do you mean?

Because your statement was a non Sequitur. A conclusion that does not follow from the premise. A statement having little or no relevance to what proceeded it. From the Latin; literally: . it does not follow.

 

To the question of the M marking and the silver tail. Several reasons why 56 Sqn pilots did either not see or report it. There are any number of mundane reasons why it was not seen or reported

1 Where did this knowledge of the marking come from?  Does it confirm that M’s Albatros carried this marking in September 1917? 

2.  M could simply have been flying a different Albatros in the evening of 23 Sept. 

 

Meanwhile I could also check my notes. You can calm down because MT referred to a note about Wissemann’s death on 28 September 1917, probably from an American source (maybe Puglisi). Sorry, my fault but I wrote „if I recount that correct after so many years.“

I’m perfectly calm. I don’t think I commented on Wisemann’s death . I’m afraid that Puglisi, good researcher that he was, was sometimes  not above stretching the facts to what he wanted to believe.

 

You wrote: „Alex's son, Alistair has his father's collection and if asked by Jasta 72s would not doubt look for and find the M report of his false landing after being attacked by RD.

Do you mean a real German report (lines of text about the landing in German language) or short German notes copied from the original KTB Jasta 3 (or any another source)? This would be of importance because I don’t trust the American English „versions“ (which I know). So, indeed, I would be grateful if Alex son Alistair would be willing to do me this favour.

I can’t remember from this distance in time, and my many questions that Alex, Dr Bock and I discussed about the GAS, the exact format of the text or where it came from, but both believed it to be a document of reliable evidence.   You could ask Alistair to search through his father’s collection for it. He has a Facebook page. 

tbc

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alex revell

I am having trouble posting my reply and am having to send it in parts. Sorry about that. Please be patient 

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