Walter Höhndorf

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Walter Höhndorf
Walter Höhndorf in 1916
Born (1892-11-10)10 November 1892
Died 5 September 1917(1917-09-05) (aged 24)
Iré-le-Sec, near Marville
Allegiance German Empire
Service/branch Aviation
Rank Leutnant
Unit FA 12, FA 67, KEK Vaux, Jasta 1, Jasta 4, Jasta 14
Awards Pour le Merite, Royal House Order of Hohenzollern, Iron Cross First and Second Class

Leutnant Walter Höhndorf was a pioneer aviator, test pilot, airplane designer and constructor, and fighter ace during World War I. He was credited with twelve aerial victories.[1]

Early life[edit]

Walter Höhndorf was a schoolteacher's son[2] who was fascinated with engineering and motors. He learned to fly in Paris in 1913.[1] Upon his return, he qualified for pilot's certificate No. 582 on 3 November at Johannisthal Air Field.[3] He became famous as an early pioneer of aerobatics in his native Germany. He also helped design and produce airplanes at Teltow's Union Flugzeugwerke.[1][3]

World War I[edit]

Höhndorf volunteered for aviation upon the outbreak of war.[1] He was commissioned on 15 March 1915.[2] He served most of that year as a test pilot for Siemens-Schuckert. In late 1915, he was assigned to FA 12 to fly a single-seater; he shot down two Voisins a week apart, on 12 and 19 January 1916. After service with FA 67, he moved on to KEK Vaux in April 1916.[2] Between 10 April and 19 July, he shot down seven more French airplanes. He received the Pour le Merite on 20 July 1916.[4] He scored twice more in July, bringing his total to eleven. On 23 August, he was forwarded to Jasta 1. He scored his final victory with them, on 17 September 1916.[1]

After an assignment with Jasta 4, Höhndorf returned to test pilot duties, as well as instructing at Valenciennes. On 15 August 1917, he was selected to command Jasta 14. He died in a flying accident while testing one of his own designs, the AEG D.I.[1][2]

Sources of information[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Above the Lines: The Aces and Fighter Units of the German Air Service, Naval Air Service and Flanders Marine Corps 1914 - 1918. p. 131. 
  2. ^ a b c d Retrieved on 15 April 2010.
  3. ^ a b Early German Aces of World War I. p. 32. 
  4. ^ Retrieved on 15 April 2010.