Fritz Kosmahl

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Fritz Gustav August Kosmahl
Born 5 September 1892
Leipzig
Died 26 September 1917(1917-09-26) (aged 25)
Allegiance German Empire
Service/branch Aviation
Years of service 1914–1917
Rank Offizierstellvertreter
Unit FFA 22/261, Jasta 26
Awards House Order of Hohenzollern, Iron Cross First and Second Class, Saxe-Meiningen Honor Medal for Merit in War

Offizierstellvertreter Fritz Gustav August Kosmahl (1892–1917) was one of the first flying aces of Germany's Luftstreitkräfte during World War I. He was one of the few German two-seater aces of the war, being officially credited with nine aerial victories. He was also one of the first ten German aviators to earn the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern.[1]

Kosmahl started pilot's training very early in World War I, on 12 August 1914, at FEA 2. On 11 January 1915, he joined FFA 22 in France. During 1916, he scored three aerial victories while operating a two-seater reconnaissance plane; details of his first two wins is lost to history, but his third win came on 10 October 1916. As a result, on 9 January 1917, Kosmahl was awarded the Member's Cross with Swords of the House Order of Hohenzollern; he was one of the first ten German fliers to receive this prestigious award, second only to the famed Blue Max. He was also awarded the Saxe-Meiningen Medal for Merit in War while with FFA 22. He also won both classes of the Iron Cross.[2]

FFA 22 morphed into FFA 261 in December 1916. On 2 February 1917, Kosmahl shot down a Sopwith Pup piloted by acting Flight Lieutenant W.E.Traynor of 8 squadron RNAS over Hermies. On 11 March, he downed a Royal Aircraft Factory FE.2b south of Beugny and became an ace. He then departed for advanced training, to become a fighter pilot. In late July 1917, he was assigned to Jasta 26. On 17 August, he scored his first win as a fighter pilot, downing an RAF FE.2d at Zonnebeke. On 9 September, Kosmahl downed a Sopwith Camel fighter plane. On both 19 and 20 September, he shot down Sopwith Triplane fighters at Passchendaele.[2]

Two days later, on 22 September 1917, Fritz Kosmahl suffered a stomach wound in combat, but managed to return to base despite his injury. He lingered four days after landing, succumbing at 0230 hours on 26 September 1917.[2]

References[edit]

  • Above the Lines: The Aces and Fighter Units of the German Air Service, Naval Air Service and Flanders Marine Corps, 1914-1918. Norman L. R. Franks, Frank W. Bailey, Russell Guest. Grub Street, 1993. ISBN 0-948817-73-9, ISBN 978-0-948817-73-1.

External links[edit]

Endnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Above the Lines: The Aces and Fighter Units of the German Air Service, Naval Air Service and Flanders Marine Corps, 1914-1918. p. 149.  Note: In the German award system, winning the Iron Cross was usually a prelude to the Hohenzollern.
  2. ^ a b c Above the Lines: The Aces and Fighter Units of the German Air Service, Naval Air Service and Flanders Marine Corps, 1914-1918. p. 149.