Paul Strähle

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Paul Strähle
Born 20 May 1893
Schorndorf, Kingdom of Württemberg
Died 1985
Allegiance Germany
Service/branch Infantry; aviation
Rank Leutnant
Unit FA(A) 213. Jasta 18
Commands held Jasta 57
Awards Royal House Order of Hohenzollern, Iron Cross
Other work Served as Major in the Reserves during World War II

Leutnant Paul Strähle was a World War I flying ace credited with 15 aerial victories.[1]

Early military service[edit]

Paul Strähle originally served in the infantry after joining the German army on 1 October 1913. He transferred to aviation in 1915. He first flew in an artillery cooperation unit, being posted to FA(A) 213 on 15 July 1916. In the autumn, he trained on fighters.

Service as a fighter pilot[edit]

He was then assigned to Jasta 18 on 27 October 1916. He scored his first aerial victory on 14 February 1917, shooting down a Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2b; his victim is believed to have been Harold Hartney.[2] He continued his victory streak,[3] flying an Albatros D.V in the squadron colors of blue and scarlet with his personal album of a white battle axe painted on its side.[4]He would fly with Jasta 18 until 26 May 1917, when he won his seventh victory.[5] The Royal House Order of Hohenzollern was awarded to him on 9 August 1917.[6]

In command[edit]

Strähle was then appointed to command a new squadron just forming; Jasta 57 was founded at Koenisberg on 6 January 1918, and moved to the Sixth Army front on the 24th. He took his Albatros fighter with him from Jasta 18, along with two experienced pilots to lead his crew of greenhorns.[7] After a lapse of almost a year, he won again on 17 April 1918. This streak of eight more triumphs ended with a double victory on 29 August 1918. He was wounded in action on 27 September 1918, and did not score after that.[8]

After the war[edit]

Strähle stayed in aviation after the war. He acquired at least one Halberstadt CL.IV rigged for aerial photography and ran an aerial photography business venture from 1919.[9] By 14 July 1921, he was reported to be running a pioneering air mail service between Stuttgart and Constance, using three of the Halberstadts, one of which could also carry passengers,[10] under the name Luftverkehr Strähle.[11]

Legacy[edit]

His archive of 40,000 aerial photos still exists today.[12] One of his Halberstadts is restored and on display in the U.S. Air Force Museum. It is a rarity, being a combat veteran, and one of the few built by L.F.G Roland.[13]

References[edit]

Citations

Bibliography

  • Evans, Hilary; Evans, Mary (1992). Picture Researcher's Handbook: An International Guide to Picture Sources and How to Use Them (5th ed.). Routledge. ISBN 978-0-948905-75-9. 
  • Guttman, Jon; Dempsey, Harry (2009). Pusher Aces of World War 1. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84603-417-6. 
  • VanWyngarden, Greg (2007). Albatros Aces of World War 1: Part 2 of Albatros aces of World War I. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84603-179-3.