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Other WWI Aviation Airfields, equipment, tactics, uniforms and all other WWI aviation topics

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Old 26 September 2008, 01:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
Rampante
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Wink Celebrations

Adolf Galland was usual to celebrate each victory drinking champagne in his aircraft. Did the same some pilots in the ww1? Someone know any strange ritual used by pilots in ww1 to celebrate their victories?

Sorry for my english.

Last edited by Rampante; 26 September 2008 at 02:07 PM.
 
Old 26 September 2008, 04:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hello Rampante,

Welcome to the Forum! I hope you will find us a very helpful group of enthusiasts.

The most famous "ritual" carried out by a WWI pilot to commemorate his victories was, of course, the ordering of small silver 'victory cups' by Manfred von Richthofen - one for each victory (through his 60th victory, when he abandoned this practice because silver was becoming too scarce). Each cup was inscribed with the number, date and type of victory. Many on this forum have considered this a macabre or gruesome act by MvR, but it was fairly typical within German military tradition. A few other German pilots did similar things.

On the Allied side, Raoul Lufbery of the Lafayette Escadrille "used to paint, smiling broadly, a tiny red bar on one of the struts of his plane to indicate a new victory" - according to his commander, Capt. Thenault. Canadian ace William "Billy" Barker similarly painted small white stripes on the interplane struts of his Sopwith Camel for each victory.

Also, in Lufbery's Lafayette Escadrille, N.124, there was a tradition that started with the unit's first victory by Kiffin Rockwell. Kiffin's brother Paul brought a bottle of 80-year-old Bourbon whiskey to the unit, and Kiffin drank the first 'shot' from the bottle. It was then proposed that each pilot would be entitled to one drink from what came to be known as the "Bottle of Death" for each victory.

Whenever Georges Guynemer returned to his airfield following a victory, he would buzz the field and open and close the throttle of his engine to produce a sound that resembled 'J'en ai en' or 'I got one of them' -according to historian Jon Guttman.

Kurt Wintgens did something similar when he would score a victory in his rotary-engined Fokker Eindecker."We always heard Wintgens signalling with his rotary engine - brr,brr,brr - the sign that another one was down," said Wintgens' close friend Hans-Joachim Buddecke

In addition, there were a number of examples - especially in the American Air Service - of pilots painting small victory markings on their airplanes in one fashion or another.

I hope that is of interest.

Greg
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Old 27 September 2008, 12:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you,a very detailed answer.
 
Old 28 September 2008, 10:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Dolfo Galland never mentioned a habit of swigging champagne after each abschusse. (That would be one hellacious amt of champers!) I've seen the photo of him standing beside the Mickey Maus 109, glass in hand, but believe it was for a significant round number. That's not to say he didn't celebrate in some manner, but in all the time I knew him it never came up.
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Old 28 September 2008, 11:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I rediscovered the article I read eight years ago : "The same Adolf Galland smoked cigars and carried with him bottles of champagne while in mission in Kent's skies". Perhaps I misunderstood these words.
 
Old 30 September 2008, 07:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Galland did install a cigar holder in his personal 109s, but if he carried champagne on combat missions it was a rare occurrence. Most likely it was a similar situation to the occasion he was shot up while delivering some crab to another airfield--got jumped over the Channel.
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