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Today in History




Name: Rudolf Berthold
Orden Pour le Mérite (Blue Max)
Military Order of St. Henry
Iron Cross 1st and 2nd class
Rudolf Berthold
Country: Germany
Rank: Hauptmann Berthold's Insignia
Units: FFA 23
Jasta 4, 14, 18
JG II
KEK Vaux
Victories: 44
Born: 24 March 1891
Place of Birth: Near Bamberg
Died: 15 March 1920
Place of Death: Harburg
Cemetery: Invalidenfriedhof, Berlin
 
 
Berthold joined the infantry in 1910 and learned to fly by the end of 1913. When the war began, he transferred to the German Air Service as an observer. In 1916, he began flying single-seat fighters with KEK Vaux and was credited with five victories before crashing a Pfalz E.IV on 25 April 1916. Injured and wounded several times throughout the war, Berthold earned a reputation for returning to duty before he had fully recovered. In August, he formed Jasta 4 before turning command over to Hans Buddecke. Berthold then assumed command of Jasta 14 until badly injured in an accident on 23 May 1917. Recovering from a broken nose, fractured skull, thigh and pelvis, he returned to duty the following August and assumed command of Jasta 18. He was wounded again on 10 October 1917 when a bullet shattered his right arm. When he returned to duty, he assumed command of Jagdgeschwader 2, remaining in command until wounded on 10 August 1918. Credited with downing two D.H.4s that day, his career as a fighting pilot ended when his crippled red and blue Fokker D.VII crashed into a house after colliding with his second opponent. Murdered by rioters in 1920, some sources claim Berthold was strangled with the ribbon from his Blue Max.

"Honoured by his enemies, slain by his German brethren." Inscription on Rudolf Berthold's headstone
 
Opponents
#26 Alwyne LoydEngland
 
Victories
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 02 Feb 1916 KEK Vaux   Voisin Chaulnes
2 05 Feb 1916 KEK Vaux   B.E.2c Irles
3 13 Mar 1916 KEK Vaux   B.E.2c (4151) N of Cambrai
4 01 Apr 1916 KEK Vaux   Farman Lihons
5 16 Apr 1916 KEK Vaux   B.E.2c (2097) S of Maurepas
6 24 Aug 1916 KEK Vaux   Nieuport Péronne
7 17 Sep 1916 Jasta 4   Martinsyde G.100 (7286) Cambrai
u/c 22 Sep 1916 Jasta 4   B.E.12 Bertincourt
u/c 24 Sep 1916 Jasta 4   Nieuport Rancourt
8 26 Sep 1916 1315 Jasta 4   B.E.12 Bertincourt
9 24 Mar 1917 Jasta 14   Farman Aizy-Vailly
10 06 Apr 1917 1315 Jasta 14   Caudron (1559) Malvel
11 11 Apr 1917 1145 Jasta 14   SPAD Carbeney
12 14 Apr 1917 1200 Jasta 14   SPAD Bois de Beau Mavais
13 21 Aug 1917 0817 Jasta 18   Martinsyde G.100 Dixmude
14 04 Sep 1917 0825 Jasta 18   R.E.8 N of Ypres
15 04 Sep 1917 1700 Jasta 18   R.E.8 St. Jean
16 05 Sep 1917 1528 Jasta 18   D.H.4 (A7530) Thielt
17 15 Sep 1917 1410 Jasta 18   D.H.4 Zillebeke Lake
18 16 Sep 1917 1800 Jasta 18   R.E.8 W of Becelaere
19 16 Sep 1917 1825 Jasta 18   R.E.8 Zonnebeke
20 19 Sep 1917 1000 Jasta 18   R.E.8 Becelaere
21 20 Sep 1917 1130 Jasta 18   SPAD E of Zillebeke Lake
22 21 Sep 1917 0950 Jasta 18   SPAD W of Menin
23 22 Sep 1917 0900 Jasta 18   Bristol F.2b (A7205) Zillebeke Lake
24 25 Sep 1917 1630 Jasta 18   SPAD (B3520) Gheluvelt
25 26 Sep 1917 1200 Jasta 18   Sopwith Camel (B2358) Becelaere
26 28 Sep 1917 1230 Jasta 18   D.H.5 (A9211) Hollebeke
27 30 Sep 1917 1150 Jasta 18   Sopwith Pup Deulmont
28 02 Oct 1917 1330 Jasta 18   D.H.4 Roulers
29 28 May 1918 1130 JG II   Nieuport 27 Soissons
30 29 May 1918 1830 JG II   SPAD XIII  
31 29 May 1918 1840 JG II   Bréguet 14  
32 05 Jun 1918 JG II   D.H.9 N of St. Juste
33 11 Jun 1918 JG II   EA French  
34 12 Jun 1918 JG II   SPAD 2  
35 18 Jun 1918 1150 JG II   S.E.5a (C1123) Villers Bretonneux
36 18 Jun 1918 1155 JG II   S.E.5a (D259) Villers Bretonneux
37 27 Jun 1918 1906 JG II   Bristol F.2b Villers Bretonneux
38 19 Jul 1918 JG II   SPAD  
39 20 Jul 1918 1905 JG II   SPAD 2  
40 01 Aug 1918 0945 JG II   AR2 Fère-en-Tardenois
41 09 Aug 1918 1800 JG II   Sopwith Tricot
42 09 Aug 1918 1830 JG II   Sopwith 2 Beaucourt
43 10 Aug 1918 1220 JG II   D.H.4 Licourt
44 10 Aug 1918 1230 JG II   D.H.4 Ablaincourt
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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