Georg Kenzian

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George Kenzian (Georg Kenzian Edler von Kenzianshausen)
Born 1894
Linz, Austria
Died 1953
Vienna, Austria
Allegiance Austria
Service/branch Engineers; aviation
Rank Oberleutnant
Unit Engineer Battalion Nr. 2, Fliegerkompanie 24, Fliegerkompanie 55J, Red Air Corps
Commands held Fliegerkompanie 68J, Fliegerkompanie 42J
Awards Order of the Iron Crown, Gold Bravery Medal for Officers, Military Merit Cross, Silver Military Merit Medal, Iron Cross

Oberleutnant Georg Kenzian Edler von Kenzianshausen followed his father's profession of arms, and served the Austro-Hungarian Empire during World War I. He became a fighter ace, scoring eight aerial victories. After the dissolution of Austria-Hungary in the aftermath of World War I, he became a citizen of German Austria and defended his new nation against invasion.

Early life and service[edit]

Georg Kenzian Edler von Kenzianshausen was born in Linz, Austria in 1894. He was the son of an army officer, and had aspirations of following his father's profession. In 1913, Kenzian joined Engineer Battalion Nr. 2 of the Austro-Hungarian Army. By the time World War I began, he had been commissioned as an officer; he went into action against the Russians. He was wounded on 18 December 1914. After healing, he returned to the Engineers and was promoted to Oberleutnant in September 1915. Shortly after this, he volunteered for the Luftfahrtruppen.[1][2]

World War I aerial service[edit]

Beginning in February 1916, Kenzian trained as an aerial observer and in April was posted to Fliegerkompanie 24 at the Pergine Valsugana Airfield on the South Tyrol front. On 16 June 1916, Kenzian scored his first victory. After a second win, while manning the gun in the rear seat of József Kiss's Hansa-Brandenburg two-seater, Kenzian and his pilot were shot down and wounded on 27 July. It took Kenzian three months to recuperate; during this period, he was awarded the Order of the Iron Crown Third Class with War Decoration and Swords.[3][4]

In the midst of February 1917, Kenzian was assigned to the aviation school at Wiener-Neustadt in the dual capacities of student pilot and aerial observer instructor. By July, he was qualified as a pilot, having earned Austrian Pilot's Certificate number 721 on the 12th. In August, he was packed off to Fliegerkompanie 55J as its deputy commander under Josef von Maier. Kenzian would score seven more victories while with Flik 55J, and be awarded the Gold Bravery Medal for Officers and the Military Merit Cross, Third Class.[5] The squadron would serve so well at Haidenschaft and Pergine that it was dubbed the Kaiser Staffel (Emperor's Squadron).[6]

On 4 May 1918, Karl Patzelt's death in action left Fliegerkompanie 68J leaderless. Kenzian was granted command of the fighter squadron at Colle Umberto and led it into combat over the Battle of the Piave in June. He won the Silver Military Merit Medal with Swords. In October 1918, he was transferred to command of Fliegerkompanie 42J at Pinzano when its commander was KIA, and led it until war's end.[7][8]

Post World War I[edit]

As the war ended, Kenzian switched his fighting efforts to repelling Slovenians invading Carinthia in southern Austria; he served with the German-Austrian Republic aerial forces until the conflict ended in June 1919.[9] He found himself flying general service again, dropping leaflets, observing enemy movements, dropping bombs, and intercepting opposing aircraft. The Treaty of Saint Germain in September 1919 not only ended the conflict, but also the German-Austrian air arm.[10]

Kenzian died of a heart attack in Vienna in 1953.

List of aerial victories[edit]

Numbered victories are confirmed. Unconfirmed victories are noted by "u/c".

No. Date/time Aircraft Foe Result Location Notes
1 16 June 1916 Hansa-Brandenburg C.I serial number 61.18 Italian Farman two-seater reconnaissance craft Forced to land South of Asiago
2 20 June 1916 @ 1200 hours Hansa-Brandenburg C.I s/n 61.23 Farman Forced to land; crew WIA Monte Cimone
3 29 September 1917 Albatros D.III fighter Italian Nieuport fighter Forced to land South of Plava Victory shared with Eugen Bönsch and Alexander Tahy
4 18 November 1917 Albatros D.III fighter s/n 153.27 Nieuport fighter Set afire Arsiero-Villaverla Victory shared with Franz Lahner and two other pilots
5 27 November 1917 Albatros D.III fighter s/n/153.27 Italian S.A.M.L reconnaissance two-seater Set afire; pilot probably KIA South of Asiago Victory shared with József Kiss
6 7 December 1917 Albatros D.III fighter S.A.M.L two-seater Set afire; aircrew believed KIA South of Asiago Victory shared with two other pilots
7 12 January 1918 Albatros D.III fighter Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8 s/n A.4445 Forced to land; captured Casa Rigoni Victory shared with József Kiss and Alexander Kasza
8 26 January 1918 Albatros D.III fighter s/n 153.07 Sopwith fighter Forced to land Cia Pralunga
9 24 March 1918 Albatros D.III fighter Sopwith fighter Spiraled in to crash Val d'Assa [11][12][13]

I eduard.com/blog/history/viribus-unitis-oeffag-153/

See also[edit]

Aerial victory standards of World War I

References[edit]

  • Above the War Fronts: The British Two-seater Bomber Pilot and Observer Aces, the British Two-seater Fighter Observer Aces, and the Belgian, Italian, Austro-Hungarian and Russian Fighter Aces, 1914-1918: Volume 4 of Fighting Airmen of WWI Series: Volume 4 of Air Aces of WWI. Norman L. R. Franks, Russell Guest, Gregory Alegi. Grub Street, 1997 ISBN 1-898697-56-6, ISBN 978-1-898697-56-5.
  • Air Aces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire 1914 - 1918. Martin O'Connor. Flying Machines Press, 1994. ISBN 0-9637110-1-6, ISBN 978-0-9637110-1-4.

Endnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Franks et al, p. 187.
  2. ^ O'Connor, p. 101.
  3. ^ Franks et al, p. 187.
  4. ^ O'Connor, p. 101.
  5. ^ Franks et al, p. 187.
  6. ^ O'Connor, p. 101.
  7. ^ Franks et al, p. 187.
  8. ^ O'Connor, p. 101.
  9. ^ Franks et al, p. 187.
  10. ^ O'Connor, p. 102.
  11. ^ O'Connor, pp. 300, 102.
  12. ^ http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/austrhun/kenzian.php Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  13. ^ Franks, et al, p. 187.