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Shiloh

2 days, 2 aces

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As long as I've been flying OFF (2 years), I have never had the opportunity to down a 20+ victory ace. Well all that changed over the last few days. My Jasta 5 D.VII pilot, Leutnant Ansel Loebe downed two high-scoring aces in 2 days and almost downed a third.

 

It all started with a scrap with RFC-74 and their SE5a Vipers. I fly without visual aids but will quickly turn on labels to see who I'm fighting. When I did I saw "L Grid Caldwell" and was able to down him after a 2 minute fight. He was a 25 victory ace. His boys roughed me up afterwards but I was able to crash-land at Bellevue.

 

The next day we met up with some Camels and I latched on to "Cecil Frederick King" from RFC-43 and roughed him up pretty good until my wingman swept in and sawed one of his wings off. I was a bit upset at this since my hard work led to a non-victory but that's the way it goes I suppose. He was a 22 victory ace.

 

But then I spotted "Henry Winslow Woollett". I found out later he once downed 6 aircraft in one day. He flew like the devil but I stayed with him and sent him down in flames before too long. I was thrilled to find out he was a 35 victory ace. Not a bad few days for young Ansel Loebe during his first week with Jasta 5.

Edited by Shiloh

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As long as I've been flying OFF (2 years), I have never had the opportunity to down a 20+ victory ace. Well all that changed over the last few days. My Jasta 5 D.VII pilot, Leutnant Ansel Loebe downed two high-scoring aces in 2 days and almost downed a third.

 

It all started with a scrap with RFC-74 and their SE5a Vipers. I fly without visual aids but will quickly turn on labels to see who I'm fighting. When I did I saw "L Grid Caldwell" and was able to down him after a 2 minute fight. He was a 25 victory ace. His boys roughed me up afterwards but I was able to crash-land at Bellevue.

 

The next day we met up with some Camels and I latched on to "Cecil Frederick King" from RFC-43 and roughed him up pretty good until my wingman swept in and sawed one of his wings off. I was a bit upset at this since my hard work led to a non-victory but that's the way it goes I suppose. He was a 22 victory ace.

 

But then I spotted "Henry Winslow Woollett". I found out later he once downed 6 aircraft in one day. He flew like the devil but I stayed with him and sent him down in flames before too long. I was thrilled to find out he was a 35 victory ace. Not a bad few days for young Ansel Loebe during his first week with Jasta 5.

First week with Jasta 5?? Me thinks Ansel has more than a few horse shoes protecting his ass!!

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What's alarming as a German pilot in July 1918 is that you can 'feel' the endless wave of activity. You are not meeting small flights, but rather 7+ craft in each fight. Jasta 5 is elite which helps a great deal but when you are fighting Camels, Vipers and Brisfits from elite groups it sure makes for a daily challenge.

 

I'm trying to see if this pilot can have a long run - perhaps to the end of the war - and I think the key is to keep the fight on my side of the lines and take the fights down to the shelf. This way I can crash land if need be. I do love a low level fight. It keeps my enemies in striking distance and cuts down on their ability to maneuver.

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So good old Henry Wollett is still around, I see? We used to have a tackle or two.

 

When you look at Ernst Udet's victories, you'll find he made 46 of his 62 victories in 1918,

when he could fly the D.VII or the Siemens-Schuckert.

Maybe many German aces made their highest scores in the late war.

But it was impossible to win - you witnessed it: waves of Entente aircraft...

And the risk of the high-scorers is so much higher too - remember Werner Voss...

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Good to see you back Olham. I had the men fire up the Fokkers to go searching for you but I've since recalled them back to the mess for some Warsteiners. :drinks:

 

Yes, there are many opportunities to score but winning fights against those kinds of numbers is going to be pretty rare. I do love the summer of 1918 and all the action.

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One of my earlier OFF pilots served from May to August 1918, with Jasta 9.

Leutnant Mahlo became Hauptmann in the rather short time, and he collected a lot of victories

(over 40 if I remember right). He finally fell in a collision with a SPAD in a fierce fight.

I still remember him as if I had been there - he was probably my most immersive OFF pilot.

Here is one of his "Reports from the Front" - if you like reading, you'll find more before and

after this one, until his obituary.

 

http://combatace.com/topic/37518-off-bhah-reports-from-the-front/page-4?do=findComment&comment=288784

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I had read about a German ace (Georg von Hantelmann, Jasta 15) who was once credited with THREE noticeable aces among his ten claims within one week in September 1918 : David Putnam on 12 (13 confirmed kills, top-scoring American ace at that time), Maurice Boyau on 16 (35 kills, 4th highest-scoring balloon-buster with 21 - but as debatable as for the Red Baron: may have been killed by an AAMG rather), and Joseph Wehner on 18 (6 kills, Frank Luke's trustful wingman, put Luke into a fateful rage). Both last ones while protecting balloons. What a rampage!
 

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One of my earlier OFF pilots served from May to August 1918, with Jasta 9.

Leutnant Mahlo became Hauptmann in the rather short time, and he collected a lot of victories

(over 40 if I remember right). He finally fell in a collision with a SPAD in a fierce fight.

I still remember him as if I had been there - he was probably my most immersive OFF pilot.

Here is one of his "Reports from the Front" - if you like reading, you'll find more before and

after this one, until his obituary.

 

http://combatace.com/topic/37518-off-bhah-reports-from-the-front/page-4?do=findComment&comment=288784

 

I remember Mahlo well Olham. I'll have some time this coming week and will certainly give those reports a look as I enjoy your accounts.

 

I had read about a German ace (Georg von Hantelmann, Jasta 15) who was once credited with THREE noticeable aces among his ten claims within one week in September 1918 : David Putnam on 12 (13 confirmed kills, top-scoring American ace at that time), Maurice Boyau on 16 (35 kills, 4th highest-scoring balloon-buster with 21 - but as debatable as for the Red Baron: may have been killed by an AAMG rather), and Joseph Wehner on 18 (6 kills, Frank Luke's trustful wingman, put Luke into a fateful rage). Both last ones while protecting balloons. What a rampage!

 

 

For me, it takes a considerable amount of restraint to leave a fight where I see aces. Something pulls me toward them and draws me to want to prove my mettle in a one-on-one fight. It goes back to my days playing sports where I always wanted to defend the other teams best player. I figured if I could beat the best one-on-one then perhaps I could be considered among the best. My struggle now is I've matured as a pilot and also want to try and survive the last 4-5 months of the war.

 

I'm reading a book on Frank Luke right now and he was a sight to behold over a two week period in the summer of 1918. I'm fascinated by what motivates these pilots to want to take the huge risks in general disregard for their own safety.

Edited by Shiloh

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True, the last weeks of the War were very intense, a real fall of stars, and I found, especially among the ten top-scoring balloon-busters, who also took great risks to boost their scores in combustible flying sausages during these last weeks:

 

 - September 16: Maurice Boyau (F, number 4, with 21 balloons out of 35 kills) is killed either by Georg von Hantelmann or by an AAMG while passing under the falling last balloon he had just put aflame.

 - September 18: Jacques Ehrlich (F, #6, 18 out of 19) is shot down and captured, also after his last kill.

 - September 29: Frank Luke (US, #9, 14 out of 18) is forced to the ground by AA defense after scoring his last 3 balloons, and killed while resisting his capture.

 - October 14: Willy Coppens (B, #1, 35 out of 37) is wounded by an AAMG (or balloon MG?) while flaming his last balloon, and loses a leg.

                       The same day, Friedrich von Röth (D, #5, 20 out of 28) is wounded (he scored his last kill on a DH.9 that day).

 - October 27: Karl Schlegel (D, #10, 14 out of 22) is killed by French cover while attacking balloons, possibly by Pierre Marinovitch.

 - October 29: Michel Coiffard (F, #3, 24 out of 34) is mortally wounded by German cover during an ill-coordinated balloon attack, and dies after landing back.

 

Seven out of ten! (and actually, Heinrich Gontermann, #7, was dead already). It can explain why Fonck, always seeking for low-risk kills, attacked very few balloons...

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Shiloh what book are you reading on Frank Luke.  A good one is "The Stand"  The Last Flight of Frank Luke"  I do not know if it is in your libarary I brought it about 3 years ago.  It was a rather expensive book at $75.00, But I enjoyed it and thought it was well reserarched and written.  The auther spent several years going back and forth to France to find where Luke was shot down.  I admired Frank Luke and he could have been an exceptional pilot except he could be rather hot headed.  I think the killing of his buddy Joseph Wehner drove him to wrecklessness.  His commander at the time was going to transfer him to Eddie Rickenbachers flight.  Luke respected Eddie so maybe he would have lived longer if that would of happened sooner.  I believe the book your are reading now is something September I can see the cover but not remenber the title.  I have also read that one.  Enjoy the books those and OFF are our links to some pretty incredable people.

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The book is 'Terror of the Autumn Skies: The True Story of Frank Luke'. I'm just getting to the part where he starts going after the sausages with reckless abandon. Great book so far.

 

I had no idea how dangerous it really was until reading this book. It's rather easy in OFF and that's been my only real frame of reference.

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Yes I have that book also, it is a good book.  I found it facunating that the US had one of their SPADS rigged for ballon busting.  It used a regular machine gun and one that was used for exploding ammunition.  It was a dangerous job but the US was pushing these guys to pop those ballons.


Shiloh I often wondered about your forum name I jusat noticed the links at the bottom of your post.  The American Civil War is the only thing I read more on than WWI aviation.  I was planning to be43 at Gettysburg for the 150th anniversary, but something messed up my vacation.  I am now tringf for the final battles around Petersburg and the 150th anniversary at Appomattox Court Hose.  It would have been great to made it to Gettysburg.  I have visited Shiloh Battlefield.

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My name is indeed from the Battle of Shiloh. I am also a Civil War reenactor with the 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and we will be at 150th Gettysburg for the BGA event June 27-30. Were you planning on that one or the other event during the first weekend in July? Too bad you can't make it but there will still be some great events over the next few years.

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How many reenactors would take part on each side aproximately, Shiloh?

Seems like a big event?

I wonder how a blue reenactor feels when he's aiming and "firing" at a grey one;

and how do the "Rebels" feel about it?

Edited by Olham
  • Like 1

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I don't think that some ruddy potbellied Rebel re-enactors at Petersburg 2015 will look as skinny, ill and underfed as the average Rebel private looked in the last weeks of the War ! :grin:

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Not knowing too much about the American Civil War, I went through some video sequences

at YouTube. Found some reenactment scenes, and then this bit with Robert Duvall as Lee.

I find he played it just grand. This short scene creates goose skin on me; it seems to tell

so much about a big tragedy yet to happen.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsW5GHRR02k

Edited by Olham

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Olham;

 

Regrding your ? to Shiloh on the number of re-enactors. Check out this official link: www.gettysburgreenactment.com/

 

It pretty much defines everything relative to the event.

 

I also spent many years as a Civil War buff and visited many of the battlefieds. Gettysburgh is impressive and you can't help feeling the aura of the place when you walk it. It's hallowed ground if you know what I mean.

 

Edited by rjw

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Gettysburgh is impressive and you can't help feeling the aura of the place when you walk it. It's hallowed ground if you know what I mean.

 

 

Yes, I guess I know what you mean, Robert. Places like that have their own energy; it can raise your neck hair.

I had such a moment, when I explored a German MG bunker in the Normandy.

Soldiers were literally standing in the shadows behind me.

OvS had a very similar experience right there! (I hope you will re-appear here some day, James!)

Edited by Olham

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Olham I have been to several Civil War battlefields and even to Gettysburg to me they are all special.  I stand there were so many men died fighting to tear apart a country.  I try to imagine the violence that took place and I marvel at the courage any service person has to face suddened death or terrible wounding for their country.  The men in the Civil War tended to all enlist from their county or home town.  They may have enlisted for country, but they fought for each other, and faced the dangers because they did not want the people back home to know they ever shirked from their duty.  I have always wanted to visit Europe to see and stand where the young men fought and died.  I am suire I would feel as if they were still there.  I feel that way at every battlefield I visit.  I can never repay the men and ladies who have servered my country, but I can respect and pray for them every day of my life.  You once translated my Great-Grandfather's Baptismal Records for me, that man fought in the Civil War after he moved from Germany in 1852.  He had been here for 10 years and made it his home.  I guess he felt he must defend it.  My state was very divide during the Civil War so I had ancestors on both sides.  I hope to someday visit Europe so I can see those places and pay my respects at the Cemetaries over there.  When people hear that I do not want to visit Paris they think I am crazy.  It is the battlefields I seek.  I to miss OVS what happened to James.

John

Edited by Mr_Dirt

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When people hear that I do not want to visit Paris they think I am crazy.  It is the battlefields I seek.

 

Well, you could and maybe should do both.

Paris is a special city with some great places to visit and enjoy.

I wonder if I will ever get to make my train/bicycle tour to visit some German and Entente

airfields in Belgium and France. But when I do, I'll make sure to also visit some villages

to find good restaurants and interesting places.

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There are two events this year. Ours is the first event and is put on by reenactors, for reenactors. It will be the more 'authentic' of the two events with the better site, and an emphasis on realism.

 

http://www.bluegraygettysburg.com/

 

Both events will have numbers close to 10,000 per event. Our event will have close to 9,000 combatants while the other 1,000 or so are civilian reenactors. There will be infantry, artillery and cavalry and we will reenact segments of the great battle. At the 135th Battle of Gettysburg there was just one event and numbers there topped 30,000+.

 

There is underlying stuff that may cause some animosity. Many reenactors have relatives that fought so emotions can run high. I've never been to an event this size but at smaller events I've found the Confederates to be very fine people. You can't help but get caught up in the feeling of it all though. I mostly feel like I want to do my best to honor these brave men by putting on a good, accurate impression.

 

Gettysburg is indeed hallowed ground. I know many people who have had 'experiences' there that they can't explain. There were after all 51,000 casualties in just three days of fighting.

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Shiloh I hope you have a great time at the reenactment, nothing is better than living history.  I will again visit Gettysburg someday, but just not when I would really like to.  When I visit these battlefields I wonder what drove our country to almost tear its self apart.  You talk of some reenactors emotions running high.  In Missouri and Kansas still use the border war to argue about sports.  I wonder if these people really understand why there was such hatred between our states.  I do not believe some of them even know why there there was a border war.  Pepole should know their history so we can learn from our mistakes.  There is so many interesting places to visit in this country it is hard to make them all.  Last summer I was at Gulf Shores I end up taking a small run to the fort that guarded Mobile Bay.  I could see where Farragut (sic) said damn the torpedoes full speed ahead.  It was great to stand there upon those walls and imagine what went on there years ago.  The mind can bring it all back to you that is a wonderful thing.

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So much history, so little time! What a great experience you had at Gulf Shores.

 

Thanks for the well-wishes. I'm pretty excited about the event and for 4 days I will immerse myself in this time period and try and cut myself from modern times as much as possible. No cell phones, no cameras and only period activities (between battles) to pass the time. The only thing I feel I won't enjoy is 90 degree heat in full wool uniforms with all the leather accoutrements. Heat-stroke is a real danger and it will be a real challenge just to live and fight in those elements.

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