Lt. d. R. Kurt Monnington, Jasta 18, Montoy-Flanville, France, August 1918
Kurt Monnington is well known pilot today thanks to his personal
symbol, the detailed skull, he had painted on his aircraft. He kept it
also after receiving the D.VII, complementing the Jasta 18 symbol, the
black raven with it. Monnington had served with FA 62 before he was
posted to Jasta 15 in 1917. The famous Berthold´s swap of personnel
between Jastas 15 and 18 meant that Monnington became member of
the new Jasta 18 in March 1918 as well as all his other comrades from
former Jasta 15. He scored his first victory on May 11, 1918, downing
the S.E.5a, which stayed as his only victory over enemy fighter. All the
other victims were to be double seaters. The most interesting of his
score of nine kills is the double-victory on August 13, 1918. Monnington declared pair of D.H.9s as his 5th and 6th victories, but in fact
they were victims of flak fire and consequent crash. Monnington´s
D.VII (OAW) was painted in the famous scheme of “new” Jasta 18 with
red nose and white fuselage. Rims of the rudder and elevator had
a black outline, also on the edges of the fuselage were neat black
stripes painted. Both wings were red, at least from the upper side. It is
not certain, whether the red color was applied to the bottom as well,
so it is up to modeler to decide, whether to paint them, or leave them
in the Flugzeugstoff (Lozenge) fabric.
Uffz. Alfred Bäder, Jasta 65, Tichémont, France, November 1918
Alfred Bäder was born on September 20, 1893, in Tübingen, Wurtemburg. After an injury sustained in summer 1916 with Infanterie
Regiment Nr. 180, he went through pilot training and subsequent
fighter pilot training at Jastaschule II, being finally assigned to
Jasta 65 on August 31, 1918. Less than a week later he was shot
down by a Salmson 2A2 of 91st Aero Squadron flown by 1Lt Victor H. Strahm and Capt. James E. Wallis near Rembercourt. He
eventually shot down two USAAC Salmsons in a kind of revenge.
The first one belonged to 99th Aero Squadron and was shot down
on October 2. The second one was from 91st Aero Squadron and
Bäder sent it down on November 8, 1918. His wartime Fokker D.VII
from early OAW production sported a very colorful and complex
illustration of Seven Schwabians, the group of villagers from
a medieval fairy tale collected by the Grimm brothers. The story makes fun of the people from the then Duchy of Swabia, the
villagers portrayed in the tale are foolish and so they all die finally. The illustration was painted on both sides of the fuselage
and differed from each other. Bäder sent a photograph of this
aircraft as a postcard to his injured colleague Wilhelm Scheutzel,
to whom this aircraft was wrongly attributed for many years.
Lt. d. R. Hans Besser, Jasta 12, Chéry-les-Pouilly, France, August 1918
Hans Besser was a member of Jasta 12 by the first half of July 1918,
and he stayed with them till the end of the war. It is not known when
exactly he joined the unit, nor details about his previous service.
Besser was credited with two victories over American DH.4s, which
he achieved on September 18 and 26, 1918. During the second encounter, Besser hit the bombs of his opponent with his first burst,
causing the massive explosion of the aircraft of No. 20 Aero Squadron at an altitude of 15,000 ft (4,500 m). The blast killed 2/Lt. D. B.
Harris and 2/Lt. E. Forbes, while Besser barely avoided it. No details
about his post-war life are available. Besser flew at least three
Fokkers D.VII with his personal broom marking. “Besen ist Besser”
(meaning “broom is better”) was the saying used for his planes by
his comrades in Jasta 12. The fuselage was painted in blue with
white nose. The wings were left in the Flugzeugstoff (Lozenge) printed fabric of four-color pattern on both upper and bottom sides.
Although the early batch of the OAW production, the aircraft was
already fitted with later version of the exhaust manifold, called the
“saxophone” because of its shape.