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Old 28 November 2008, 04:48 AM   #1
Sreiko
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German pilot ID

Hi all,

could any of you help with identification of this pilot?

German WW1 pilot ID

Cheers
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Old 28 November 2008, 09:50 AM   #2
Immo_Frese
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Sreiko,

I'm not sure, but perhaps this is Leutnant Hans Kirschstein?

Immo
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Old 28 November 2008, 10:13 AM   #3
Sreiko
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Maybe you are right, they look to be the same person.
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Old 28 November 2008, 10:22 AM   #4
Gregvan
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Yes, it's Kirschstein

Hi Sreiko,

Immo is absolutely right. I believe this is a "still" from some of the motion picture footage shot by Anthony Fokker, right? It shows Kirschstein among the gathering of famous pilots during the Adlershof fighter trials in the summer of 1918. Elsewhere in the same footage, Lothar von Richthofen, Goering, Loerzer, Schubert, Mallinckrodt and others show up. Interestingly, some of the footage seems to show Kirschstein before his Pour le Merite was received, and some (as in your picture) show him wearing his new Blue Max (he was awarded his P le M on 24 June 1918, with his total at 27 victories, according to Neal O'Connor - however, he appears to have actually received the order some time during the Fighter Trials ??).


How did you obtain a still from the movie footage? This footage is very important, for there are relatively few still photos showing Kirschstein - and even fewer showing him with his Blue Max. He was killed in the crash of a Hannover CL two-seater on July 11 (he was a passenger in the plane, which was flown by Johannes Markgraf).
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Old 28 November 2008, 12:14 PM   #5
Sreiko
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Thank you for info Greg Van

How did I get this photo... would you thrsut me if I tell you that it was dumped in trash? Founded in Netherland just few days ago and I receive it today.

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Old 28 November 2008, 03:03 PM   #6
Lance B
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Terrific find, Sreiko! It is quite rare indeed. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Regards,

Lance B
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Old 28 November 2008, 03:28 PM   #7
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I could not imagine that this image is so interesting.

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Old 28 November 2008, 07:32 PM   #8
Willi Von Klugerman
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Flaming R.E.8's!!!This is a very,very important find!You were lucky to obtain this,if not,it would have been in a landfill by now!The only photo of Hans that I ever saw was the blury image of him and his famous DVII.
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Old 28 November 2008, 10:55 PM   #9
Sreiko
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So what to do now if this image is so important? Place hi resolution file for public download?

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Old 29 November 2008, 09:16 AM   #10
Lance B
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I think that is up to you...but I know several of us would be thrilled if you did that. Personally, I believe in sharing such photos, and that is why I have published so many in my Sanke card books. I don't see the point in hoarding them selfishly (so tell us how you really feel, Lance!)...but again, that is a personal viewpoint that many others don't share.

In case you didn't know, this photo is extremely rare because of the following: Kirschstein was officially awarded the PLM on 24 June 1918, but JG 1's war diary notes that the medal itself did not arrive until 28 June, whereupon it was immediately forwarded to Kirschstein in Berlin where he was attending the fighter trials at Adlershof. This accounts for why some of Fokker's film shows Kirschstein without, then with, the decoration. Kirschstein was back at the Front by mid-July and flew his Fokker D.VII to Fismes for overhaul work on 16 July. A rookie pilot, Lt. Johannes Markgraf (he'd only arrived from Jastaschule 2 on 11 July) came to pick Kirschstein up at Magneaux airfield in a Hannover CL.II. The plane stalled right after takeoff and crashed, killing Markgraf instantly and fatally injuring Kirschstein, who died the next day. Therefore, Kirschstein only had the PLM for a little over 2 weeks, so photos of him wearing it are quite rare as a result. The only other ones I'm aware of are his Sanke card (No.623), the Fokker film footage Greg mentioned, and a newspaper photo of Kirschstein in the company of several other pilots attending the Adlershof fighter trials. So great save there, Sreiko!

Regards,

Lance
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