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Old 3 June 2004, 06:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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In 1931 Ernst Udet and Eddie Rickenbacker met at the Cleveland Air Races and Udet also met up with his 39th victim at the same venue, Walter B. Wanamaker.

In Jeffers' Ace of Aces bio about Rick, he briefly recounts a meeting in 1922 when Rick was on his honeymoon in Europe. It was in Berlin that he first met Udet. Udet invited him to dinner and one of the other guests was Herman Goering.

Jeffers points out that Rick thought Goering's remarks about the role of the aeroplane in the next conflict gave him the creeps, as it were.

The point is, and my question is, were there any other documented meetings between notable personages after the Great War?

Not so much between countrymen versus between former combatants?

IIRC, there was another such instance where a German Ace shot down an American and the two became fast friends. The son of the German Ace became employed by the American much later on and became quite successful. I read that in Kilduff's Red Baron Combat Wing.

Any others?
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Old 3 June 2004, 08:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Schleich and Unger
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Old 3 June 2004, 09:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sopwith & Fokker, during an Americas Cup yacht race.
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Old 3 June 2004, 11:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hello.

Walter Wanamaker and Ernst Udet who fought a duel in the sky on July 2, 1918 met again in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sept. 6, 1931.
Wanamaker, a judge in Akron, Ohio, came to Cleveland to see Udet perform as the leading stunt flyer of the world at the Air races. The two men had become friends through correspondence after the war, and Udet had supplied the evidence that Wanamaker needed to establish his claim to war disability under the officer's retirement act. (Can anybody tell me what this retirement act means???)

The picture shows Udet, right, presenting to Wanamaker the tail surface of his plane which Udet took as a trophy in 1918.

Greetings,

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Old 3 June 2004, 12:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hello,

On 8 August 1918 Udet downed Roscoe Turner, who was dropping leaflets near Foucauourt. In the dogfight Udet touched with his landinggear the upperwing of Turner's Camel. Turner went down; he was wounded, but survived. Three days later Udet visited him in the hospital of Foucauourt. He gave him a box with (beech leaves) cigars.
Fifteen years later he met Turner again in Los Angeles. Turner presented Udet one of the leaflets of that day in 1918.
See picture below.



Greetings,

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Old 3 June 2004, 01:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi everyone,

Excellent topic Alan. I enjoy reading about how old enemies become friends. Thank you Jos for the stories on Wanamaker and Turner, along with the fine pictures. This is the first time I heard of the 'meeting' between Udet and Turner during WWI.

Stephen, I also know little of the meeting between von Schleich and Unger (Kennneth of 210 Sq., I presume?). Being that I have a passing interest in von Schleich , I hope that you can elaborate on their meeting; both during the war and after. I am waiting with bated breath....

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Old 3 June 2004, 02:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hello,


I found a picture of Udet and Fonck. The picture was taken in October 1928 in Berlin.


Greetings,


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Old 3 June 2004, 02:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi All,

First of all, I think my friend Stephen is a bit confused about von Schleich and Unger. Both Kenneth Unger (an American from NJ) of No. 210 Squadron and Ira "Taffy" Jones of 74 Squadron (SE5a's) encountered Josef Jacobs of Jasta 7 in his black triplane, on very different dates and occasions. However, (as far as I know) it was only Jones (not Unger) who met Eduard von Schleich, the "Black Knight", in England during the latter's visit in the 1930's, and Jones believed-mistakenly-that von Schleich had been the pilot of the black triplane. Winged Warrior, no doubt you are well aware of von Schleich's visit to England - I don't have the date in front of me right now, but there was even movie film shot of him during this visit. Taffy had a nice meeting with Schleich (who was quite happy to agree with the mistaken attribution, apparently, even though he never flew a Fokker Dr.I - to my knowledge) and thought he was a very fine chap.

Jos, I think you've read too much into Udet's book "Mein Fliegerleben". On 8 August 1918 Udet did indeed down a Sopwith Camel which had been dropping propaganda leaflets. Actually, Udet accidentally rammed the Camel's upper wing with his undercarriage, and the Canadian pilot, Lt. R.E. Taylor from Ontario, was forced down and taken prisoner. In his book, Udet writes, "Fifteen years later, at a flying meet in Los Angeles, I hear from him again. Roscoe Turner brings me a leaflet while on his non-stop cross-continent flight. It has a black-red-yellow border, having supposedly been sent by German deserters, addressed to the soldiers in the trenches. It is the last of his (i.e., Taylor's - GVW) supply, and he forgot to throw it at me in 1918 !"

It would seem that Turner was merely delivering the leaflet to Udet from Taylor, though it's easy to see why you thought that Turner had been shot down by Udet from the way the story is written. I don't know for sure what Roscoe Turner was doing on 8 August 1918, but he certainly wasn't shot down by Ernst Udet ! If he had been we would certainly have been hearing about it over and over again, as such an encounter between two such famous pilots would be noteworthy indeed.

More to come.

Greg VanWyngarden
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Old 3 June 2004, 02:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Greg,

You are right. After Í had read your post, I looked in Udet's book "Mein Fliegerleben" and read the passage again. I didn't read it good enough. Indeed it says that Udet just hears from him.

It's a pity; it seemed a nice story.


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Old 3 June 2004, 03:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi Again,

According to Arch Whitehouse . von Schleich's visit to England was made in 1932. While there he met Taffy Jones and probably several other RAF types. As you know, Wingedwarrior, there is a photo of von Schleich in "Ritter von Schleich" by Fried Lange which shows Schleich in 1918 with a captured British airman "Leutnant Reece", then another showing the two together again in 1932. Trouble is, I've been unable to find out exactly who Reece was and when he was taken prisoner. I'll keep digging.

Alan, the incident you refer to in your first post describes the encounter between Alfred Fleischer of Jasta 17 and Lt C A McElvain of the 27th Aero Squadron on 1 August 1918. Fleischer, in a D.VII, just managed to shoot down McElvain's Nieuport 28 and the American was taken prisoner - the two met and shook hands cordially. They stayed in touch off and on, and when Fleischer's family was struggling to survive in post WW2 Germany, McElvain arranged for them to immigrate to the USA. Fleischer's son was employed by McElvain's mortgage firm. In 1961 Fleischer returned to Germany, but he made at least one trip back to the Chicago area to visit his son, etc. The two (McElvain and Fleischer) spoke together at a Cross & Cockade Midwest meeting in Chicago in the early 60's, and I have talked with several members who remember that amazing meeting, and I have a photo of the two old pilots together. This tale was told in several old issues of C & C and also on an internet site on the 27th Aero, but I doubt that it appears in Kilduff's book on the Red Baron Combat Wing. I can tell you that the story is told again in the new book B) "Fokker D VII Aces of World War 1, Part 2", just out from Osprey.

There were many such encounters in the 1930's, but few of them were by chance. The famous Lt. Col. L.A. Strange, commander of the 80th Wing in 1918 (and author of the classic 'Recollections of an Airman') paid several visits to Germany as a sales representative of Spartan aeroplanes. He wrote that in October 1928 he met Karl Bolle in Berlin (who had been opposite 80th Wing in 1918) and they "made a night of it". In 1930 Strange again flew a Spartan in the Deutscher Rundflug, and went to the German Aero Club and other night spots, and met Goering, Bolle, Udet, Schleich, and many others, including Bolle's JG III commander, Bruno Loerzer (whom Strange mistakenly calls 'von Leutzer' in his book). I recommend this chapter in the book very highly - interesting stuff. He closes by writing of the German airmen, "But we cannot help liking them, especially when they say, 'If only we had been your allies. We always were in other wars. There must have been a great mistake somewhere this time.' There is no doubt that today a high degree of mutual admiration exists between the survivors of the two Air Forces that fought each other so fiercely."

Too bad this'mutual admiration' couldn't prevent a repeat of events in 1939.

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