Volunteering for service on 1 July 1915, Göttsch transferred to the German Air Force in 1916. After serving with FA 33 at Flanders, he was trained on single-seat fighters and posted to Jasta 8 on 10 September 1916. Scoring his fourth victory on the afternoon of 7 January 1917, Göttsch shot down an F.E.2d flown by Thomas Mottershead of 20 Squadron. Despite terrible burns that later proved fatal, Mottershead succeeded in landing his aircraft within his own lines and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. Göttsch was credited with two more F.E.2d's on 1 February 1917 but two days later he was shot down over Wervicq while attacking another F.E.2d. Recovering from his wounds, he returned to duty in April 1917, scoring six more victories before he was shot down for a second time by an F.E.2d on 29 June 1917. Göttsch's score continued to climb but on 25 September 1917 he was wounded and shot down for the third time by a Bristol Fighter. He was wounded in action on 30 November 1917 and upon returning to duty in January 1918, he assumed command of Jasta 19 on 14 February 1918. Flying a Fokker DR.I with a white swastika on its fuselage, he scored three more victories before he was killed in action. Downing an R.E.8 near Amiens, Göttsch was shot down by an accurate burst of fire from the British observer's Lewis gun.