Udet served as a motorcycle messenger with the Württemberg Reserve Division in 1914. He learned to fly by taking private lessons and entered the German Air Force in September 1915. Flying a Fokker D.III, he scored his first victory on 18 March 1916 in a lone attack against 22 French aircraft. He scored five more victories with Jasta 15 and reportedly dueled with Georges Guynemer in June 1917. Udet would later write that during the dogfight, his guns jammed and the French ace broke off his attack when he saw Udet pounding on the breech of his machine gun. On 26 July 1917, he transferred to Jasta 37 where he scored fifteen victories. From there he transferred to Jasta 11 in March 1918 and Jasta 4 in May 1918. On 26 September 1918 he was wounded in the thigh. All of the aircraft he flew in combat were marked with "LO!" on the fuselage in honor of his fiancée, Eleonore Zink. Udet was the highest scoring German ace to survive World War I. Post war he traveled the world performing in airshows for the public. He joined the Luftwaffe in 1935 and as Quartermaster-General in World War II, foresaw his own doom and the defeat of the Luftwaffe and committed suicide in 1941. The Nazi authorities claimed he died in an accident while testing a new weapon.
Biography of Ernst Udet, detailing his experiences during WWII; Hans Herlin / Hardcover / London 1960
Udet worked as a stunt pilot in several early black and white films and starred in three Arnold Fanck movies:
The White Hell of Piz Palu ( Weiße Hölle vom Piz Palü), 1929
Storm over Mont Blanc ( Stürme über dem Mont Blanc), 1931
S.O.S Iceberg ( S.O.S. Eisberg), 1933
Miracle of Flight ( Wunder des Fliegens), 1935