Monday, December 19, 2016

Josef Carl Peter Jacobs

Related image
Members of Jasta 7 in front of that Staffel- Führer's Fokker Dr.I triplane. From left: Uffz Peisker, Fwbl Paul Hüttenrauch, Fwbl August Eigenbrodt, Fwbl Sicho, Ltn Willi Nebgen, Ltn Josef Jacobs (wearing his Pour le Mérite at the centre of his collar), Ltn Bannenberg, Uffz Jupp Böhne, Ltn Wirth, Ltn Rath and unidentified.

Josef Carl Peter Jacobs (15 May 1894 – 29 July 1978) was a German flying ace with 48 victories during the First World War. His total tied him with Werner Voss for fourth place among German aces.
Jacobs learned to fly before the war and when war broke out he joined the Imperial Air Service receiving his training at Darmstadt.
His first assignment on the front was flying observation planes but soon he received transfer to 
Fokker Staffel West and flying a Fokker E.III.
His first victory, although unconfirmed, came in February of 1916 when he downed a French Caudron, He achieved his first official victory on May 12th, when he shot down a two-seater Caudron crewed only by its pilot.

Fokker Staffel West was renamed Jasta 12 in October 1916. Shortly thereafter he requested a transfer to Jasta 22, which was at the time was under the command of his good friend, Oberleutnant Erich Hönemanns. 

At Jasta 22, due to his experence, he was primarily assigned an instructors role, although still flying combat. He remained at this assignment thru June of 1917 at which time he was given command of Jasta 7. (above picture, with Jacobs' black Fokker Dr.l)

Jacobs was awarded the prestigious "Pour le Merite" when he reached a score of 24 victories. At the close of the war he was the 2nd ranking surviving German ace (after Ernst Udet), an amazing accomplishment in itself as he had flown during the entire war without serious injury. His total tally for the war eventually reached 48 aircraft and balloons.

Jacobs' 30 victories in the Dr.l (Fokker triplane) exceeded all other German aces. Manfred von Richthofen's red Dr.l made the the plane famous and Werner Voss' heroic last battle added to it's mystique, but no other pilot matched Jacobs skill in handling the Fokker Dr.l triplane.

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