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By Greg VanWyngarden

Initially shaped to help within the defence of town of Metz opposed to French bombing raids, Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 17 might cross directly to develop into the most distinguish German fighter devices of worldwide warfare 1. Its first victory used to be scored via the pilot whose tale is inextricably interwoven with that of his unit - the 'Blue Max' recipient Julius Buckler. He was once mostly liable for inspiring the unit's targeted Esprit de Corps, expressed in its recognized and particular 'battle-cry' of 'Malaula!' certainly, in its ultimate days the unit received the nickname Zirkus Buckler, or the 'Buckler Circus'. in addition to Buckler, Jasta 17 boasted such aces as Karl Strasser, Alfred Fleischer and Christian Donhauser. moreover, the roster incorporated vibrant characters just like the winning Jewish airman Jakob Wolff, who at over forty eight years of age was once the oldest German fighter pilot of the conflict. the tale of this illustrious unit is instructed with many first-hand money owed through Buckler, Fleischer and others, in addition as...

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Extra resources for Aces of Jagdstaffel 17

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No doubt his Jewish ancestry played a part as well, for there was considerable anti-Semitism in the German officer corps in 1914. Vzfw Wolff persisted, however, and finally a ‘kind though senile superior who had no concept of flying’ allowed him to stay on. He was accepted for training as a military airman and made 60 solo flights during his tenure at FEA 1. On 23 November 1915 Vzfw Wolff was assigned to Kampfeinsitzer-Abteilung 1 at Mannheim, where he was again met with incredulity and obstruction.

According to Walter Zuerl’s book Pour le Mérite Flieger, in 1909 the young Hessian got his first taste of aviation when he briefly met Anthony Fokker, who was working with Jacob Goedecker in building aircraft and attending an engineering school in Zahlbach. Buckler wrote that he occasionally helped Fokker by ‘washing out benzene cans’, and that he was taken on a very short test hop as a reward. On 15 October 1912 the 18-year-old joined the 8th Company of the Hessian Grand Ducal Division’s Infanterie-Leibregiment Grossherzogin (3.

Among those pilots who transferred directly from the Kampfstaffel to the new Jasta 17 were Vzfw Jakob Wolff, Ltn d R Wilhelm Gros, Offz Stv Neumann, Ltn d R Robert Lessing and Offz Stv Kern. Hptm Kurt Schmickaly had been logically scheduled to serve as the first commander of the new Jagdstaffel, but on 22 October he was severely wounded in the stomach during a combat over Malzeville, near Nancy. He died of his wounds the next day, just as Jasta 17 was born. The leadership of the new Staffel was therefore passed to nobleman Rittmeister Anton Heinz Freiherr von Brederlow, who transferred in from Kampfstaffel 21 of Kagohl 4 on 11 November 1916.

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