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Old 13 February 2005, 03:19 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Where did Schusta 11 operate between 14 November 1917 and February 1918?
Could FB have had already contacts with Görings Jasta 27 in this time?
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Old 13 February 2005, 06:15 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Schusta 11


I found following infos about Schusta 11 between november 1917 and march 1918:

airfield Eeghem
4. Armee
Führer Hptm. Heinecke

airfield Berty
2. Armee
Operation Michael (SSGr 2: Ss 10,11,28b,30b)

Grüße nach Sachsen
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Old 14 February 2005, 08:15 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your help in filling in some more parts of FB's history. It certainly helps solidify the Beckhardt/Goering link which is very helpful to me.

Unfortunately there still remains in my mind too wide a gap between the public version of Fritz Beckhardt's wartime achievements' and the account related to me by his daughter, for me to be able to agree with "Soderbaum" that, "his WW1 career"[now]"seems well known (except the 2 possible missing victories)". This is however something that I may return to later.

Moving on and approaching the same general territory of his wartime career from a different angle; I would love to know if anything is known about Fritz Beckhardt's Hohenzollern with swords. Specifically,

* Does anyone know if there is any independant reference to my grandfather's Hohenzollern, apart from it's mention in Felix Theilhaber's 1924, "Jewish Flyers in the World War"?

* Is it known when and for what reason it was awarded, (or alternatively where such information might be found)?

* Is it anywhere specified what category he was awarded ; ie Knight's Order or Member's Order?

* Finally to put his award in a wider context; I know there are 89 pilots whose "Ace" status has been recognised and who are listed as winners of the Hohenzollern on this website; but is it known roughly, how many other pilots, (or other members of the German Air Service), were also awarded this medal?

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Old 14 February 2005, 09:16 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I think the term "Hohenzollern mit Schwertern" used by Theilhaber is misleading.
A Vzfw. would not get a Knight´s order but rather a Member´s order but
O´Connor lists another award for FB:

The Princely Hohenzollern Silver Merit Medal with Swords. You can find the award mentioned on page 237 of Vol. 7 of "Aviation Awards of Imperial Germany in World War I and the Men Who Earned Them" and on page 461 (Appendix XXIV)
Sources for this appendix are "Hohenzollernsches Gedenkbuch, 1914-1918, Hechingen, 1927 and the Staatsarchiv Sigmaringen.

As well O´Connor reported the following awards for FB:
Warrior´s Honor Decoration in Iron (Hess.)
General Honor Decoration for Bravery (Hess.)

On a photograph you can also see his pilot´s badge.
His air victory resulted in the award of the Ehrenbecher für den Sieger im Luftkampfe.
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Old 14 February 2005, 10:34 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Hi mike

Do you knew if Fritz Beckhardts "Militärpass" is still in the possession of the family...?

If so, it would probably give the complete answer (also my service record for him is un-complete.. ) for some of our questions...
Usually this material(small booklet) contain all units he served within with arriving dates, his decorations with probably dates and his promotions with dates etc..

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Old 14 February 2005, 12:01 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Beckhardt's "hohenzollern" (?)

Rammjaegar: Thanks for your response about the Hohenzollern reference. Now I'm somewhat confused.
I don't have access to O'Connors "Aviation Awards......." but managed to look up a picture of the Princely Hohenzollern Silver Merit Medal With Swords on another website. The thing is I saw my grandfather's medals once when I was a child about 35 years ago and have a vague recollection of one medal with a black and white ribbon that stood out. It was the second or third one from the left and quite different in my memory to the medal I saw on the website. It was more substantial, striking and as I remember it basically cross shaped. Also the swords were on the sides and not on the top. [Because this could have been a false childhood memory from long ago, I phoned my brother and he also remembers seeing a cruciform medal with a black and white stiped ribbon]. So I'm fairly certain the medal the family has always called his Hohenzollern isn't the silver merit medal.

Unfortunately it's a bit difficult to gain access to his medals nowadays but nevertheless I hope to be able to get them looked at by a medal specialist in the next couple of weeks or so which should provide the answer. So I haven't given up all hope of it being a "real" Hohenzollern (yet!).

Gunnar: As regards his Militarpass, unfortunately I've never seen or heard of it still existing. But as he spent 5 years in various prisons and concentration camps in the1930s, [until the intervention of Goering when he was (I've been told), put on the last train in which jews were officially allowed to leave Germany], it's not surprising if certain important papers got lost or destroyed during that time. Certainly if it did still exist it would be very helpful.


By the way it isn't a WW1 aviation question but if anyone knows the precise date of that last train.......?
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Old 14 February 2005, 01:05 PM   #27 (permalink)
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That all is indeed very interesting, Mike!

O´Connor has also another photograph in this book on page 418 with the following subtitle:
"Above: A replication of the Grossordensschnalle of Vzfw. Fritz Beckhardt: The Iron Cross 2nd Class, the Hessian General Honor Decoration "for Bravery" and the Princely Hohenzollern Silver Merit Medal with Swords."

O´Connor was a serious researcher and would not write that based on assumptions or "a qualified guess" but errors are always possible.
As well FB could have owned the described Medal and also the "Hausorden von Hohenzollern".
Willi Geile produced a book with the title "Die Ritter des königlichen Hausordens von Hohenzollern mit Schwertern im Ersten Weltkrieg" (published by PHV Phaleristischer Verlag Michael Autengruber) - but sadly I am not owning this book.
Therefore I think it is the best if an expert for awards, medals etc. is dealing with the subject and tries to answer your questions.
We can only learn this way.
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Old 25 February 2005, 06:19 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Hopefully that image I mentioned should be ready in about 24 hours.
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Old 27 February 2005, 02:29 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Forumites the image I posted here has in my humble opinion been proven not to be the subject of this thread. Vzfw. (acting sergeant) Fritz Beckhardt. Mikec and Lorenz have provided us with a shot of him clearer than we have ever seen posted or published. One more piece of the puzzle has been fitted. Now we will try to discover the identity of the pilot of the photo that I originally posted in another thread. My image was removed here to avoid any future confusion for those who follow.

Last edited by StephenLawson; 11 March 2005 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 2 March 2005, 08:22 AM   #30 (permalink)
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"On the one hand ........ on the other hand......"

Firstly Stephen, thank you so much for posting the photo. It has triggered a lively family debate!! Let me elaborate.

The thing is that certain family members dispute that the photo is of Fritz! Certainly it looks quite different from most photos we have of him. However after close examination I believe it is him and that such dissimilarities as exist could reasonably be explained by the stress and fatigue of ongoing combat, which can substantially change someones appearance -particularly their expression and eyes.

To help us reach a consensus on the matter Stephen; are there any other contextual details that you can provide; such as where and when it was taken, or whatever it was that initially led you to believe that you had a picture of Fritz Beckhardt. Also you don't by any chance hava a picture of the plane since for personal reasons, in so far as he had a choice, he would always have chosen to fly with a swastika / hakenkreuz.
[Feel free to contact me by P/M should you feel more comfortable in that medium].

Thanks again to you all for your ongoing assistance.
Best wishes. Mike.

P.S. I should have definitive evidence regarding his medals within about a week.
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