Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fokker D.VIIf, Gotthard Sachsenberg

Time for a quick one.

Nothing like a bit of color to brighten one′s day. Here is a new profile for the Fokker D.VII. I know I have posted the history of the aircraft so I will spare you the canned history. I will focus on the pilot instead.

Fokker D.VIIf, Gotthard Sachsenberg (MFGR1) Flanders

Fokker D.VII - Jasta 16b - 1918
Fokker D.VIIf, Leutnant zur See Gotthard Sachsenberg, Marine-Geschwader Flandern (MFGR1) Flanders, July, 1918.

On 1 February 1917, Sachsenberg succeeded Oberleutnant von Santen as commanding officer of Marine Field Jasta I. MFJ II was organized somewhat later, and the two were combined into a larger unit, Marine Jagdgruppe Flanders. Leutnant de See Sachsenberg was appointed its commanding officer. His friend and rival ace Theo Osterkamp became commander of MGJ II.

MFJ III was later raised and added to the larger unit. Still later, two more MFJs were raised and added to the parent unit, bringing its strength up to about 50 fighter planes, comparable to an army Jagdgeschwader. Stationed on North Sea coastal airfields, the MFJ units often fought against Royal Naval Air Service aircraft who were stationed in similar circumstances.

Sachsenberg opened his score as a fighter pilot, downing a Farman and a Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter on 1 May 1917. He scored again on the 12th, claiming a Sopwith Pup into the sea, and then notching a double victory on 7 June to make him an ace.

On 20 August, Sachsenberg was awarded the Knights Cross of the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern. By the end of 1917, his victory roll stood at eight.

He claimed his ninth victory on 17 March 1918, and continued to score steadily until 29 October 1918, when he downed his 31st confirmed. Midway through this run, Sachsenberg was awarded Prussia's and Germany′s highest decoration, the Pour le Mérite, on 5 August 1918.

The MJF switched from the Albatros to Fokker D.VIIs in June 1918. They were as colorfully and distinctively marked as Manfred von Richthofen′s Flying Circus, with the basic color scheme being yellow and black, as a yellow and black checkerboard had been Sachsenberg's personal motif, and it was spread to the entire unit, with minor variations marking the different pilots.
Post World War I.


Gotthard Sachsenberg From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Accessed 2 October 2008.

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