Saturday, December 17, 2016

On this date in 1916, Jasta Boelcke was named.

In honor of Oswald Boelcke, the German Emperor renames Jasta 2, Jasta “Boelcke,” the first such honor ever to be bestowed on a German Air Force unit.
Oswald Boelcke, together with Max Immelmann, inspired the reorganization of the German air force into the Luftstreitkräfte.

August 30th 1916 he was appointed to form and command Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 2, selecting his own pilots which included Manfred von Richthofen and Erwin Böhme.
Boelcke is considered one of the most influential patrol leaders and tacticians of the early years of air combat.

He was the first to formalize rules of air fighting, focusing especially on discipline and sticking together in attacks as well as practice. He shared his experience summarized in a set of rules now known to us as the 'Dicta Boelcke'.

Jagdstaffel 2 became the first squadron to establish local air superiority by intercepting a British bombing raid, from then on Boelcke's squadron rose to fame unknown before. In the first four months of its existence, September-December 1916, achieves a record of scoring 86 victories while losing only 10. Jasta Boelcke would end the war with 333 victories plus 3 balloons and a loss of 33 airmen.

Boelcke lost his life on 28th of October, 1916, in a mid-air collision while he and Erwin Böhme were attacking the same aeroplane.

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