KITS 04/2021

Lt. Eugen Siempelkamp, Jasta 29, Gondecourt, France, July 1918

Eugen Siempelkamp started his fighter pilot career on March 22nd, 1918, when he moved from the Jagdstaffelschule II to Jasta 4. There he

flew Fokker Dr.I. Just nine days later he scored his first victory, downing a Camel of No. 65 Sqn. It was his only victory with the unit, as he

was transferred to the Jasta 29 on April 10th. There he added two more victories in July, the first one flying this Pfalz D.IIIa, the other one

probably with the Fokker D.VII. He moved again shortly afterwards, as he had been appointed the Staffelführer of Jasta 64. He scored two

more victories there but was seriously wounded on September 14th. This prevented him to return to the action. His Pfalz D.IIIa had the usual

green and yellow colours of Jasta 29 with black stripes painted on bottom of the fuselage over the factory silver “Schutzfarbe”. The wings

were covered with five-colour “lozenge” Flugzeugstoff. Siempelkamp´s personal marking was the stylised paper dragon as Eugen got several

paper dragons from his father´s Chinese business partners as a gift when he was a child.

Hptm. Rudolf Berthold, CO of JG II, Guise, France, March 1918

Rudolf Berthold was one of the leading aces of the Lutstreitkräfte with 28 victories and leader of Jasta 18, when he was severely wounded

on October 10th, 1917. He nearly lost his right hand and spent more than six months on convalescence. Shortly after return he was appointed as the JG II leader. Berthold led the JG II only on ground, unable to fly due to his paralysed arm, but the personnel was keeping one Pfalz

D.IIIa for him, just in case the impulsive and extremely determined leader would decide to jump the cockpit and fly it to combat. It is possible

he gave it a try, conducting some training flights with it, but the heavy controls of Pfalz were unsuitable for one-handed pilot. Berthold

returned to aerial combat only after the D.VIIs with their light and precise controls arrived and scored 16 more victories. This Pfalz D.IIIa had

famous Berthold´s marking of the white „Sword of Vengeance“. The upper side of both wings was all blue.

INFO Eduard - April 2021