By Greg VanWyngarden
Initially shaped to aid within the defence of town of Metz opposed to French bombing raids, Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 17 could pass directly to turn into some of the most distinguish German fighter devices of global battle 1. Its first victory was once scored by way of the pilot whose tale is inextricably interwoven with that of his unit - the 'Blue Max' recipient Julius Buckler. He was once mostly accountable for inspiring the unit's specific Esprit de Corps, expressed in its recognized and targeted 'battle-cry' of 'Malaula!' certainly, in its ultimate days the unit won the nickname Zirkus Buckler, or the 'Buckler Circus'. along with Buckler, Jasta 17 boasted such aces as Karl Strasser, Alfred Fleischer and Christian Donhauser. additionally, the roster incorporated 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 battle. the tale of this illustrious unit is advised with many first-hand money owed by way of Buckler, Fleischer and others, to boot as...
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Extra info for Aces of Jagdstaffel 17
He attended the Militär-Flieger-Schule in Halberstadt from 19 June to 23 August, and then finished his training back at FEA 5. Promoted to unteroffizier on 18 September, Gros was posted to FAA 207 on the Champagne Front about five weeks later. Rising quickly, he qualified for his Flugzeugführer-Abzeichen (pilot’s badge) on 11 January 1916 and earned promotion to vizefeldwebel on 13 April, having already received the Iron Cross 2nd Class. Gros was awarded Baden’s Silver Military Medal on 10 June 1916 and promoted to leutnant in the reserves on 28 September.
The machine gun seen here featured a different sighting device than the one seen in the other photographs of Wolff’s Fokker. Wolff was one of those who transferred from Kampfstaffel Metz to the newly formed Jasta 17 upon its formation ‘The Staffel was assembled on Frescaty airfield, the former Fliegerstation Metz, as a field aviation unit of the 5. Armee. The task of the Staffel was the aerial protection of Metz and the nearby industrial area, and to attack squadrons breaking though into the homeland.
However, official records clearly state that Strasser’s first victory did not come until Christmas Eve, when he was credited with a Caudron at 1640 hrs northwest of Fort Douaumont. This is believed to have been a machine of Escadrille C34 that fell in flames northwest of Douaumont at Aspach on 24 December – the crew of MdL Jean Hourcade and Sous Lt Lombart both perished. Strasser’s own record of a claimed victory on 17 December is still noteworthy. On just his 14th flight as a fighter pilot, he took off in D II 1712/16 toward Verdun; ‘North of Douaumont a hellish artillery fire and about six Caudrons flying infantry cooperation patrol at 200 metres height.