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Name: Ernst Freiherr von Althaus
Orden Pour le Mérite (Blue Max)
Knight's Cross with Swords of the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern
Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class
Ernst von Althaus
Country: Germany
Rank: Oberleutnant der Reserve
Units: FA 23
Jasta 4, 10, 14
Kek Vaux
Victories: 9
Born: 19 March 1890
Place of Birth: Ketschendorf; near Coburg
Died: 29 November 1946
Place of Death:  
 
 
Ernst Althaus joined the 1st Royal Saxon Hussar Regiment as an Ensign at the age of 16 and was promoted to Leutnant in 1911. Awarded the Military Order of St. Henry and the Iron Cross, second class, on 27 January 1915, he transferred to the air service on 4 April 1915. Nicknamed Hussar Althaus, he completed his training and was promoted to Oberleutnant before joining FA 23 on 20 September 1915. Two months later he joined Kampf Kommandos Vaux and scored 5 victories before he was wounded in action in April 1916. When he recovered, he was awarded the Iron Cross, first class, the Knight's Cross with Swords of the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern, and in July 1916, the highly prized Orden Pour le Mérite. Wounded again on 4 March 1917, Althaus recovered and was posted to Jasta 14 shortly before Manfred von Richthofen selected him to command Jasta 10. With this unit he flew an Albatros D.V (1119/17) with his personal marking, the letters H and A (for Hussar Althaus), spelled out along the fuselage in morse code. He scored one more victory with this aircraft in July 1917 but the following month, due to failing eyesight, he was forced to relinquish command of Jasta 10 to Werner Voss. He then assumed command of Jastaschule 11 but his eyesight worsened and he returned to the army, commanding a company of infantry near Verdun. There he was captured by the Americans on 15 October 1918. Although completely blind by 1937, post-war, Althaus became a lawyer and was the Director of the County Court of Berlin during World War II. Before his death due to illness in 1946, he served as an interpreter for the Allies.
 
Victories
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 03 Dec 1915 Kek Vaux   B.E.2c (4092) W of Roye
2 02 Feb 1916 Kek Vaux   Voisin Biache
3 26 Feb 1916 Kek Vaux   B.E.2c W of Lahons
4 19 Mar 1916 Kek Vaux   Caudron G.IV St. Mihiel
5 30 Apr 1916 Kek Vaux   Farman Caillette Wood
6 03 May 1916 Kek Vaux   Two-seater French  
7 02 Jul 1916 Kek Vaux   Nieuport Scout Roye
8 22 Jul 1916 Kek Vaux   Farman  
9 24 Jul 1917 2035 Jasta 10 Albatros D.V (1119/17) Sopwith Camel (B3825) SE of Moorslede
Books
Franks, Norman, Frank Bailey and Russell Guest. Above the Lines: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces of the German Air Service, Naval Air Service and Flanders Marine Corps, 1914-1918. London: Grub Street, 1993

Treadwell, Terry C. and Alan C. Wood. German Knights of the Air 1914-1918: The Holders of the Orden Pour le Mérite. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1998
 
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