AIRMEN DROP FLOWERS DURING FUNERAL
LIEUTENANT WINTGENS, GERMAN AVIATOR, KILLED IN AIR, BURIED WITH HONORS
ST. QUENTIN, France, Nov.—While fellow airmen wheeled their machines overhead and dropped wreaths of flowers upon his coffin, Lieut. Wintgens
, next to Capt. Boelcke
, the most successful German aviator flying in the west and chief competitor of the ill-fated First Lieut. Immelmann
, was borne to his last resting place. He had been killed in an air battle late in September.
Lieut. Wintgens' burial was one of the most dramatic episodes in the history of the little French city, which has had its fill of the kind of drama that the war brings. It was attended by almost every military person quartered in St. Quentin, and by a large number of civilians as well. The interment was in the local cemetery by special wish of the dead flier, who had asked that in case he fell he should be buried as near as possible to the scene of his death.
After a heart-rending service in the little evangelical church here, Wintgens' body, in a black and white coffin smothered in floral offerings, was placed on a gun carriage and carried to the cemetery. Behind the coffin walked three fellow aviators, who with Wintgens have won the coveted order Pour le Merite—Baron Althaus
, First Lieut. Buddecke
, who has been flying for the Turkish army, and Lieut. Frankl
At the head of the funeral procession marched an honor company. Near the coffin was Wintgens' closest friend, the flier Lieut. Hoehndorf
, who was the only witness to Wintgens' death, and who carried the many orders that had been conferred on the famous aviator since the beginning of the war.
In the procession behind the gun carriage were representatives of the commanding general, and hundreds of representatives of the various flying corps of the many German armies, all of whom had known and appreciated Wintgens and his exceptional ability as an aviator.
At the cemetery, while a comrade of the dead lieutenant spoke a few final words, two aviator friends of the deceased who had followed the funeral procession in their aeroplanes, let their machines volplane to within a short distance of the ground and let fall floral wreaths, and then opened up with their machine guns the crushing military salute of three volleys for the dead.
The Lowell Sun (Lowell, Massachusetts) - Friday, November 17, 1916