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Name: Gottfried Freiherr von Banfield
Order of the Iron Crown
Medal for Bravery
Military Order of Maria Theresa
Order of Léopold
Gottfried von Banfield [Thanks to Flying Machines Press]
Country: Austro-Hungarian Empire
Rank: Linienschiffsleutnant
Units: Pola Naval Air Station
Trieste Naval Air Station
Victories: 9
Born: 06 February 1890
Place of Birth: Pola
Died: 23 September 1986
Place of Death: Trieste, Italy
 
 
Banfield was the Empire's highest scoring naval ace and the only Austro-Hungarian airman to receive the Empire's highest honor: the Knight's Cross of the Order of Maria Theresa. An excellent marksman, he scored all nine victories from flying boats. Participating in more than 400 sorties against the enemy, he was the first Austro-Hungarian airman to score a victory at night. Flying a Lohner two-seater on 27 June 1915, he scored his first victory, downing an Italian balloon near the mouth of the Isonzo River. In February 1916, he assumed command of the naval air station at Trieste for the duration of the war. Following his marriage to Countess Maria Tripcovich of Trieste in 1920, Banfield became head of his father-in-law's shipping company.
 
Victories
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 27 Jun 1915 Trieste NAS Lohner T (L-47) 1 Balloon Villa Vicentina
u/c 01 Sep 1915 Trieste NAS Lohner T (L-47) 1 Curtiss FB E of Grado
u/c 01 Sep 1915 Trieste NAS Lohner T (L-47) 1 Italian FB Grado Harbour
u/c 17 Apr 1916 1615 Trieste NAS Lohner M (L-16) Seaplane Golametto
u/c 17 Apr 1916 1715 Trieste NAS Lohner M (L-16) Seaplane Golametto
2 23 Jun 1916 1900 Trieste NAS Lohner M (L-16) FBA FB Trieste
3 24 Jun 1916 a.m. Trieste NAS Lohner M (L-16) Macchi L.I Gulf of Trieste
4 01 Aug 1916 0730 Trieste NAS Lohner M (L-16) Caproni Ca.I Volosca
5 06 Aug 1916 0800 Trieste NAS Lohner M (L-16) Caproni Ca.I SE of Sistiana
6 15 Aug 1916 Trieste NAS Lohner M (L-16) FBA FB Golametto
7 15 Aug 1916 Trieste NAS Lohner M (L-16) FBA FB Near Miramare
u/c 13 Sep 1916 Trieste NAS Albatros FB (K-150) Nieuport Scout Miramare
u/c 13 Oct 1916 Trieste NAS Hansa-Brandenburg FB (A-12) Farman Sdobba Estuary
u/c 31 Oct 1916 1450 Trieste NAS Albatros Scout (A-3) Caproni Sdobba Estuary
8 03 Dec 1916 Trieste NAS Hansa-Brandenburg FB (A-12) 2 Caproni Ca.I E of Mavhinje
9 31 May 1917 2230 Trieste NAS Oeffag H FB (A-11) Seaplane Italy Primero Estuary
u/c 04 Aug 1917 0115 Trieste NAS Oeffag H FB (A-11) Caproni Salvore
u/c 02 Sep 1917 Trieste NAS Oeffag H FB (A-11) 3 Seaplane Gulf of Trieste
u/c 21 Sep 1917 Trieste NAS Oeffag H FB (A-11) 3 Seaplane Golametto
u/c 23 Sep 1917 Trieste NAS Oeffag H FB (A-11) 4 Seaplane SE of Golametto

1 Observer Seekdt H Strobl
2 Shared with Godwin Brumowski
3 Shared with Seekdt Franz Pichl & Ferrucio Maria Vio (A-46)
4 Shared with Franz Puchl (A-24)
 
Books
Above the War Fronts
by Norman L. R. Franks, Russell Guest, Gregory Alegi / Hardcover / Grub Street (September 1997)
Air Aces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire 1914-1918
by Dr. Martin O'Connor / Hardcover / Flying Machines Press (January 1986)
Austro-Hungarian Aces of World War 1
by Chris Chant, Mark Rolfe (Illustrator) / Paperback / Osprey Publishing (February 25, 2002)
 
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