Joachim von Bertrab
|Joachim von Bertrab|
18 February 1894|
Sankt Andreasberg, Duchy of Brunswick
|Died||18 July 1922
|Years of service||1914 - 1917|
|Awards||Iron Cross First Class|
Joachim Lambert Robert Herman von Bertrab was born in the village of Sankt Andreasberg/Clausthal-Zellerfeld in the Duchy of Brunswick, the German Empire. He began his military service in his duchy's No. 46 Field Artillery Regiment as a leutnant.
World War I service
After switching to aviation duty, Bertrab was initially assigned to FFA 71, then Fokkerstaffel Metz. After transfer, while serving with Jagdstaffel 30 under Hans Bethge, Bertrab claimed two Martinsyde G100 bombers from No. 27 Squadron RFC on 6 April 1917. A British formation of four targeted Ath, Belgium. Bertrab picked off one Martinsyde "Elephant" as they began their bomb run, and set afire a second one after bomb fall. Just over two hours later, at 1048 hours, Bertrab's attack on a formation of Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutters from No. 45 Squadron RFC caused two to collide in midair, with no survivors. A Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2d from No. 20 Squadron RFC was then claimed on 15 May 1917 over Lille.
While attempting to become a balloon buster by shooting down an observation balloon over Souchez, France, Bertrab was shot down by Lt. Mick Mannock of 40 Squadron on 12 August and taken prisoner. Mannock noted that it took him five minutes dogfighting to down Bertrab's new black Albatros D.V, and that he wounded the German ace in the left leg and both arms, breaking the right one.
Bertrab favored an Albatros D.III or Albatros D.V as his aircraft of choice. His personal mount was painted black or dark purple, with the Maltese Crosses edged in white and a comet painted on the side of the fuselage. Bertrab won both classes of the Iron Cross for his feats.
Joachim von Bertrab survived the war but died near Boitzenburg on 18 July 1922.
- Franks, Norman; Bailey, Frank W.; Guest, Russell. Above the Lines: The Aces and Fighter Units of the German Air Service, Naval Air Service and Flanders Marine Corps, 1914–1918. Grub Street, 1993. ISBN 0-948817-73-9, ISBN 978-0-948817-73-1.
- VanWyngarden, Greg. Albatros Aces of World War 1, Part 2. Osprey Publishing, 2007. ISBN 1846031796, 9781846031793.
- Franks et al 1993, p. 72.
- VanWyngarden, pp. 26-27.
- VanWyngarden 2007, pp. 26-28.
- VanWyngarden 2007, pp. 49, 89.
- The Aerodrome website http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/germany/bertrab.php Retrieved 17 December 2012.