The son of a school teacher, Walter Höhndorf learned to fly in Paris, receiving pilot's certificate No. 582 on 3 November 1913. When war broke out he enlisted in the air service, becoming a Leutnant on 15 March 1915. After almost a year working with Siemens-Schuckert as a test pilot, he was sent to Jastaschule. He served with FA 12 and FA 67 and won the Iron Cross, second class. Posted to Kek Vaux in April 1916, by the end of July he had received the Iron Cross, first class, the Knight's Cross with Swords of the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern and the Blue Max. In August 1916 he was posted to Jasta 1 and later served with Jasta 4 before becoming an instructor and test pilot at Valenciennes. On 15 August 1917, Höhndorf assumed command of Jasta 14 but was killed less than three weeks later when the AEG D.I (4400/17) he was test flying crashed.