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Name: Joseph "Seppl" Veltjens
Orden Pour le Mérite (Blue Max)
Knight's Cross with Swords of the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern
Iron Cross 1st and 2nd class
Joseph Veltjens [Thanks to Carsten Kopke at Arrowsoft Verlag]
Country: Germany
Rank: Leutnant
Units: FA 23
Jasta 14, 15, 18
Victories: 35
Born: 02 June 1894
Place of Birth: Geldern
Died: 06 October 1943 Killed In Flying Accident
Place of Death: Near Piacenza, Italy
 
 
   In August 1914, Veltjens joined the army and rapidly rose to the rank of Vizefeldwebel. Toward the end of 1915, he transferred to the German Air Force and was assigned to Flieger Abteilung 23 in May 1916. His skills as a reconnaisance pilot were quickly recognized and by March 1917, he was flying single-seat fighters with Jasta 14. By the time he was reassigned to Jasta 18 in August, he'd already shot down five enemy aircraft. Veltjens assumed command of Jasta 15 for the first time on 18 May 1918. Two days later, he received the Knight's Cross with Swords of the Order of the House of Hohenzollern followed by the coveted Orden Pour le Mérite in August. On 22 August 1918, he assumed command of Jasta 15 for the second time, serving as its commanding officer until the end of the war. Veltjens' aircraft were often easily identified by a barbed arrow painted on the fuselage.
   During World War II, Colonel Veltjens was Hermann Göring's personal emissary to Finland in 1940. In 1943, he was killed on a flight to Rome in an aircraft provided by Feldmarschall Kesselring. On Göring's behalf, he was to negotiate with Benito Mussolini for the removal of Italy's gold reserves to avoid capture by the approaching Allied forces.When the plane landed in Milano, the pilot was informed that British fighter aircraft where out to intercept his flight. As the pilot attempted to cross the Appenine mountains, he flew as low as possible to evade the British but the aircraft crashed into the side of a mountain near Piacenza. With the exception of one crew member, everyone aboard was killed.
 
Victories
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 14 Apr 1917 1130 Jasta 14   SPAD Craonne
2 04 May 1917 Jasta 14   Farman N of Bailly
3 05 May 1917 1050 Jasta 14   SPAD Bailly
4 31 May 1917 Jasta 14   SPAD Oulches Wood
5 01 Jun 1917 Jasta 14   SPAD Moulins
6 16 Sep 1917 1830 Jasta 18   R.E.8 NW of Boisinghe
u/c 20 Sep 1917 Jasta 18   Two-seater W of Hooge
7 28 Sep 1917 1230 Jasta 18   Bristol F.2b E of Hollebeke
8 30 Sep 1917 1155 Jasta 18   Sopwith Pup Ploegsteert Wood
9 15 Nov 1917 0950 Jasta 18   S.E.5a Langemarck
10 18 Feb 1918 1230 Jasta 18   Sopwith Camel Voilaines
11 10 Apr 1918 0930 Jasta 15   A.W.F.K.8 Rouvrel
12 10 May 1918 1545 Jasta 15   SPAD Braches
13 18 May 1918 1255 Jasta 15   Bréguet 14 Cauny
14 29 May 1918 1830 Jasta 15   SPAD S of Soissons
15 02 Jun 1918 1330 Jasta 15   Bréguet 14 SW of Soissons
16 06 Jun 1918 1950 Jasta 15   S.E.5a SW of Montdidier
17 07 Jun 1918 1150 Jasta 15   D.H.9 S of Noyon
18 09 Jun 1918 1215 Jasta 15   AR2 S of Méry
19 11 Jun 1918 1525 Jasta 15   D.H.9 W of Courcelles
20 11 Jun 1918 1550 Jasta 15   D.H.9 W of Tricot
21 12 Jun 1918 1315 Jasta 15   Sopwith Camel NE of Rémy
22 16 Jun 1918 1200 Jasta 15   D.H.4 Erches
23 25 Jun 1918 1850 Jasta 15   Bréguet 14 Roye
24 10 Aug 1918 1245 Jasta 15   S.E.5a Arvillers
25 10 Aug 1918 1830 Jasta 15   SPAD 2 Beauvraignes
26 11 Aug 1918 1220 Jasta 15   Caudron R9 Roye
27 11 Aug 1918 1225 Jasta 15   Caudron R9 Roye
28 11 Aug 1918 1240 Jasta 15   S.E.5a Nesle
29 16 Aug 1918 1220 Jasta 15   SPAD 2 S of Noyon
30 16 Aug 1918 1930 Jasta 15   SPAD W of Lassigny
31 17 Aug 1918 1720 Jasta 15   SPAD Roye
32 01 Oct 1918 1640 Jasta 15   SPAD SE of Buzancy
33 03 Oct 1918 1745 Jasta 15   Bréguet 14 Brieulles
34 04 Oct 1918 0955 Jasta 15   SPAD Brieulles
35 18 Oct 1918 1630 Jasta 15   D.H.4 S of Grand Pre
 
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