By Greg VanWyngarden

Initially shaped to aid within the defence of the town of Metz opposed to French bombing raids, Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 17 could move directly to develop into some of the most distinguish German fighter devices of worldwide conflict 1. Its first victory used to be scored by way of the pilot whose tale is inextricably interwoven with that of his unit - the 'Blue Max' recipient Julius Buckler. He used to be principally answerable for inspiring the unit's specific Esprit de Corps, expressed in its well-known and particular 'battle-cry' of 'Malaula!' certainly, in its ultimate days the unit won the nickname Zirkus Buckler, or the 'Buckler Circus'. along with Buckler, Jasta 17 boasted such aces as Karl Strasser, Alfred Fleischer and Christian Donhauser. moreover, the roster integrated vibrant characters just like the profitable Jewish airman Jakob Wolff, who at over forty eight years of age used to be the oldest German fighter pilot of the battle. the tale of this illustrious unit is instructed with many first-hand bills by way of Buckler, Fleischer and others, in addition as...

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He transferred from the regiment to the air service on 15 July 1914. Once the war began, Göring displayed considerable ability in early fighting near the Vosges Mountains, but in late September he was sidelined by acute rheumatoid arthritis in his knees and wound up in the Freiburg hospital. Coincidentally, Bruno Loerzer was also in Freiburg at the Aviatik military flying school – he immediately visited his recuperating friend and suggested that Göring join him as his observer. After his recovery Göring did exactly that, securing a transfer for observer’s training to Flieger-Ersatz-Abteilung 3 (an aviation training and replacement unit) in Darmstadt through bluster and guile.

At 47 years of age, Wolff was the oldest fighter pilot in the German air service (N W O’Connor) For some time French aircraft of the 1st and 2nd Groupes de Bombardement had targeted the railway station and barracks at Metz by frequent bombing raids, and it was the primary duty of Kampstaffel Metz to try to obstruct such attacks. On 22 July, for instance, the Caudrons of Escadrille C66 had carried out three successive missions against the Metz-Sablon railway station. The contemporary French bombing historian René Martel wrote that ‘for those familiar with the anti-aircraft defences of Metz and the unforgiving viciousness of the squadrons from nearby Frescaty, the triple expedition of 22 July seemed like an extraordinary act of courage’.

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. He was informed that he was too old to handle a single-seater, and (falsely) informed that only officers could fly fighters. Summarily rejected, he was packed off to Armee-Flug-Park (AFP) 5 (an aviation supply depot). The circumstances are not fully known, but somehow Wolff managed to get himself posted to FFA 34 at Cunel as a Fokker pilot – he finally made his first flight as a frontline combatant on 31 January 1916.

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