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German "Ace" Is Shot Down
German "Ace" Is Shot Down
By Henry G. Wales
Published by Scott
20 October 2007
German "Ace" Is Shot Down


By Henry G. Wales.

WITH THE AMERICAN ARMY AT THE MARNE, July 26.—(Night).—Captain [ Karl Menckhoff ], leading "ace" of the German aviation service, was brought down and made a prisoner by aviator Walter Avery of Columbus an American airman, during sky fighting north of Chateau Thierry today.
[Menckhoff] is the first German "ace" shot down by an American.
The German wore the ribbon of the Pour le Merite and is said to have shot down sixteen allied airplanes.
Officers of the French air corps believe that [Menckhoff's] score is even higher than sixteen victories.
[Menckhoff] is a well built blonde, 29 years of age, and wears a close cropped moustache. His French is perfect and he can speak excellent English also, but he refused to use that language to Avery, because a few French officers were present who could not understand it.
Avery had just joined captain David Peterson's squadron, on Wednesday and was making his first trip over the fighting lines when he scored his big victory.
"I thought the boche was pretty good when I first met him." said Avery after the fight. "I was beneath his tail and he did a dead leaf fall by shutting off his motor and letting the plane settle earthward.
"I did the same thing. Otherwise I would have gone ahead of him, allowing him to dive on the tail of my machine.
"Then I turned to the right and got some German machine gun bullets, but I was firing myself, too. About the fifth shot I saw a burst of flame and [Menckhoff's] engine stopped dead—for he had started it by this time. He spiralled down into a wood east of Chateau Thierry and I followed.
"[Menckhoff's] Fokker was smashed to bits by the trees, but the airman was unhurt except for some scratches upon his face. He asked me my name and we exchanged cards. Then the French came up and took him off to their camp as a prisoner."
[Menckhoff] is one of six German airmen who have received the Pour le Merite. The others were Immelmann, Boelke, von Richthofen, Weiss and Meuller. He wore the iron cross in addition to the higher decoration.
The fight took place near Ville Neuve sur Fere, nine miles northeast of Chateau Thierry and two miles from Fere en Tardennois.

The Pharos-Reporter (Logansport, Indiana) - Saturday, July 27, 1918

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karl menckhoff, walter avery

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