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German Airmen - Ferme Olivier


Ypres Salient, Battlefields Belgium, WW1, Flanders
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Grave J.8 Leutnant Alexander Kutscher Jasta 28. Age 34. DoW 1.5.17. He was severely wounded while flying his Albatros DIII in combat over Poperinghe. He was the victim of 2nd Lt E S T Cole and Lt F Sharpe of No.1 Squadron, who were flying Nieuport Scouts. Cole wrote of the action: ‘We each tried to better each other from 12,000 feet to 800 feet & when we got near the ground I managed to get in some good shots & down he came, burst into flames just before hitting the ground & the machine went vertically into a pond. I landed in a field next to him & rushed over; thousands of Tommies & people were watching & a cheer went up from all of them. However, we got the poor fellow out, the doctor found him with 5 shots through the heart so there was no chance for him. It was all frightfully exciting. Fortunately, I did not have a shot in my machine’.


Grave F.5 Leutnant Hans von Keudell, Commanding Officer, Jasta 27. Age 25. KIA 15.2.17. Keudell was educated in Berlin. In 1904, he joined the cadets at Bensberg. In 1911, he joined the Uhlans. He began World War I with the Uhlans and went into combat with them in both France and Poland. He was commissioned by April 1915, transferred to aviation, and began training on 7 June. On 13 December, he was posted to fly bombing missions, objectives Verdun, Toul, and Dunkirk, for Brieftauben Abteilung Ostende.


By early summer of 1916, Keudell was training as a fighter pilot. On 4 August, he joined KEK B under the command of Hans Bethge. From there, on 22 August, Keudell became a founding member of Jagdstaffel 1, destined to fly successively a Fokker D.I, a Halberstadt D.II and an Albatros D.III for them. On 31 August 1916, he shot down a Martinsyde Elephant for his first win. He then scored steadily through the rest of the year, reaching ten on 22 November

Ypres Salient, Battlefields Belgium, WW1, Flanders
Hans von Keudell (right)

On 1 January 1917, Keudell was awarded the Knight's Cross with Swords of the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern. He shot down his eleventh victim on 24 January 1917. On 5 February, he was appointed to raise and command Jagdstaffel 27. He then scored the brand new Jastas first victory on 15 February, only to be in turn killed in action flying an Albatros DIII . He crashed near Vlamertinghe, shot down by 2nd Lt V H Collins of 1 Squadron flying a Nieuport XVI. Keudell's Albatros landed behind British lines and was salvaged by the Royal Flying Corps to be renumbered G.11.

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