KITS 02/2023

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


INFO Eduard

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.

February 2023