A tall man, Rudolf Szepessy-Sokoll Freiherr von Negyes et Reno joined the army in 1914 and distinguished himself in combat whilst serving with the Hussars Regiment No. 1. He volunteered for the air service in the summer of 1915, scoring his first victory as an observer with Flik 17. In what may have been the first strategic bombing mission in history, Szepessy-Sokoll was a member of a flight of ten Lohner and Lloyd two-seaters that attacked Milan, Italy on 14 February 1916. By early April 1917, Szepessy-Sokoll completed pilot training and was assigned to Flik 10 on the Russian front. He served with Flik 27 in August 1917 and with Flik 3 in September 1917, where he scored his first victory as a pilot, flying an Albatros D.III. Killed in action the day after he became an ace, Szepessy-Sokoll was shot down by Francesco Baracca. He was buried with full military honors in the cemetery near Ajello. He was posthumously awarded the Order of the Iron Crown, 3rd class.