Sunday, June 12, 2011

German Ace Bruno Lorzer

Pilot Profile and his Aircraft

Today I am trying something different. As my profile archive grows I find myself drawing a series of aircraft flown by a particular pilot. I thought it would be interesting to trace a pilot's career through the planes he flew.

Today I will write about Bruno Loerzer (22 January 1891 - 23 August 1960) he was an officer in the German Luftstreitkräfte during World War I and Luftwaffe during World War II.

Born in Berlin, Loerzer was a prewar army officer who learned to fly in 1914. Hermann Göring flew as Loerzer's observer until mid-1915. Transferring to fighters, Loerzer flew with two Jagdstaffeln in 1916 before joining "Jasta" 26 in January 1917. By then he had scored two victories over French aircraft. His tally reached 20 at the end of October and he received the Pour le Mérite in February 1918.

The same month, he took command of the newly formed Jagdgeschwader III, the third of Germany's famed "flying circuses." His aces included his brother Fritz, who claimed 11 kills. Leading Jasta 26 and three other squadrons, Loerzer proved a successful wing commander.

Equipped with the new BMW-engined Fokker D.VII, JG III cut a wide swath through Allied formations in the summer of 1918, and his own score mounted steadily. He achieved his last ten victories in September when he reached his final score of 44. Shortly before the armistice, he was promoted to Hauptmann (captain).


kingsleypark said...

Very interesting Will. Good to read about somebody else different from the usual Richthofen and Albert Ball bios.

W. I. Boucher said...

Glad you liked it. I got fixated on Loerzer this weekend. Hunting down the progression of planes and drawing them so I could follow his career during WWI.

When not drawing I spend a lot of time looking over finished profiles and playing with the order I view them. Different arrangements make me examine how things developed. They tell different stories to me.

I think that is why I like blogging about it. I can pull different bits of the puzzle together and see how they are linked.



Ubique said...

Very interesting post. Was it usual for German pilots to maintain the same 'heraldry' through their flying career?


W. I. Boucher said...

@ Matt, It is not an easy question. In some cases yes, in other cases no. Some pilots used variation on unit markings, and some never used personal heraldry at all.

When tracing their history it takes research to see if they did in fact fly that particular aircraft.

Manfred von Richthofen had many planes with very different paint schemes.

Verner Voss flew many aircraft which were painted very differently. Some brightly colored, some still in the factory finish.

The challenge is what makes it exciting.

Ubique said...

Thanks Will, very interesting.