Hans Berr

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Hans Berr
Hans Berr in 1916
Born 20 May 1890
Braunschweig, Duchy of Brunswick
Died 6 April 1917
Vicinity of Noyelles
Allegiance German Empire
Service/branch Infantry; aviation
Years of service 1908 - 1917
Rank Oberleutnant
Unit 4th Magdeburg Reserve Regiment Light Infantry, KEK Avillers
Commands held Jasta 5
Awards Pour le Merite, Royal House Order of Hohenzollern, Iron Cross First Class, Military Merit Order, Reuss War Merit Cross, Brunswick War Merit Cross, Hanseatic Cross

Oberleutnant Hans Berr was a professional soldier turned World War I flying ace credited with ten aerial victories.[1][2] He was one of the German aces who pioneered the first "flying gun", the Fokker Eindekker.[3]

The gravestone stands in Potsdam (Germany).

Early life and service[edit]

Berr was an infantry lieutenant as early as 1908. When the war broke out, he was serving with Magdeburgisches Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 4. A month into his war, on 26 September 1914, Berr was seriously wounded.[3] On 27 January 1915, he was promoted to Oberleutnant.[1]

Flying service[edit]

In March, he began aerial service as an observer/gunner, though he subsequently took pilot training. While assigned to an ad hoc unit of Fokker Eindekker fighters at Avillers, he shot down a Nieuport and a Caudron during March 1916. Berr was then given command of newly founded Jasta 5. Because of Berr's teaching of tactics, the new squadron began a run of victories that would result in its being dubbed the KanonestaffelIn ("squadron of aces"). In the four weeks from 7 October to 3 November 1916, Berr shot down seven enemy airplanes and an observation balloon. On 10 November, he received the Knights Cross and Swords of the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern. The Pour le Merite followed, on 4 December 1916, Berr being the last German flier to receive it for eight victories.[1][2]

On Good Friday, 6 April 1917, Berr and his wingmate Paul Hoppe collided and were killed while engaged in combat[3] with No. 57 Squadron RFC.[1]

Sources of information[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Above the Lines: The Aces and Fighter Units of the German Air Service, Naval Air Service and Flanders Marine Corps 1914 - 1918. p. 71. 
  2. ^ a b http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/germany/berr.php Retrieved on 21 April 2010.
  3. ^ a b c Early German Aces of World War I. p. 35.