Hermann Juhnke

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Hermann Juhnke
Born (1893-04-07)April 7, 1893
Laurenburg, Germany
Died Unknown
Allegiance Germany
Service/branch Flying service
Rank Vizefeldwebel
Unit Flieger-Abteilung (Artillerie) (Flier Detachment Artillery) 238, "Kampfeinsitzerstaffel (Combat single-seater squadron) 5, Jagdstaffel 41, Jadgstaffel 52
Awards Military Merit Cross, Iron Cross

Vizefeldwebel Hermann Juhnke (April 7, 1893 - ?) was a World War I flying ace credited with five aerial victories.[1]


Hermann Juhnke was born in Laurenburg in the German Empire on 7 April 1893. He first served his mandatory military duty with Luftschiffer (Aeronautical) Battalion Nr. 1 before World War I began. In July 1915, he transferred to heavier-than-air aviation, entering training at Fliegerersatz-Abteilung (Replacement Detachment) 3 at Gotha, Germany. After training, he was posted to Flieger-Abteilung (Artillerie) (Flier Detachment Artillery) 238 in July 1916; they were an artillery cooperation unit. He did well enough with them to rate the Military Merit Cross, which would subsequently be awarded to him.[2]

He left FA(A) 238 for Jastaschule I (Fighter School 1) on 30 August 1917. After graduation, he was assigned to a fighter squadron, Jagdstaffel 41 late in 1917. He also flew with an ad hoc fighter unit, Kampfeinsitzerstaffel (Combat single-seater squadron) 5. However, Juhnke did not enjoy any success until he joined Jasta 52 on 4 March 1918. His first victory came on 2 May 1918, when he shot down a Sopwith Camel from 43 Squadron over Locon, France. Then, on two separate sorties on 5 June 1918, Juhnke shot down two British fighters, a Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5a and a Bristol F.2 Fighter. At 1405 hours on 27 June, he shot down an Airco DH.4 from 25 Squadron over Nieppe Forest.[2]

On 16 July 1918, he was belatedly awarded his empire's highest decoration for enlisted men, the Military Merit Cross. On 8 August 1918, he shot down another SE.5a for his fifth confirmed victory. He would claim another win in September, but it would go unconfirmed. Hermann Juhnke would survive World War I; besides becoming a flying ace and winning the Military Merit Cross, he had been awarded the Iron Cross First Cross.[2] The latter decoration could not have taken place without a prior of the Second Class Iron Cross. Juhnke had also been wounded four times, which should have qualified him for a Wound Badge.[3] Neither of the latter decorations are noted in records.[2]


  1. [1] Juhnke's page at The Aerodrome website
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Franks et al 1993, p. 139.
  3. [2] The Aerodrome website's medal page