Monday, March 27, 2017

Leutnant Walter Göttsch

was born in Altour, Germany on 10 June 1896. Volunteering for service on 1 July 1915, Göttsch transferred to the German Air Force in 1916. After serving with FA 33 at Flanders, he was trained on single-seat fighters. After training as a fighter pilot, Göttsch was assigned to Royal Prussian Jasta 8 on 10 September 1916.
Two months later he would record his first victory, a Belgian observation balloon.
In February of 1917 he was shot down and wounded in action for the first time. His recovery was rapid and by May of the same year he had doubled his victory total to twelve.

The following month was once again downed. Again his recovery proved quick and by mid September he had pushed his tally to 17 only to be wounded for the third time before the month was out.
Once again proving his resiliency, Göttsch returned to duty, only to be wounded for the fourth time on 25 November 1917.

Göttsch would not return to action until January 1918. On 14 February, he was given command of Royal Prussian Jasta 19. The new Commander would score only twice before his end, with back to back triumphs on 31 March and 1 April.

Göttsch was killed in action on April 10, 1918, over Gentelles, France, apparently by return fire from the observer of an RE-8 (his final victim). 
This final victory would have qualified him for the Pour le Mérite (Blue Max) had he survived.
Prior to his death Göttsch had received the Iron Cross, Second and First class and the Knight's Cross with Swords of the House Order of Hohenzollern.

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