Jagdstaffel 18

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Jasta 18
Active 1916–1918
Country German Empire
Branch Luftstreitkräfte
Type Fighter squadron
Engagements World War I

Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 18 was a "hunting squadron" (fighter squadron) of the Luftstreitkräfte, the air arm of the Imperial German Army during World War I.[1]

History

The Jasta was formed on 30 October 1916, at Halluin under 4th Armee auspices; Oberleutnant Karl von Grieffenhagen transferred in from Jasta 1 to take command.[2] It deactivated at war's end, having existed some 25 months.

Personnel

Jasta 18's Staffelfuhrer (Commanding officers) were:[2][3]

  1. Oberleutnant Karl von Grieffenhagen: 30 October 1916 – 12 August 1917
  2. Oberleutnant Rudolf Berthold: 12 August 1917 – 10 October 1917
  3. Oberleutnant Ernst Turck: 10 October 1917 – April 1918
  4. Leutnant August Raben: April 1918 – November 1918

A dozen flying aces served within its ranks, including Berthold, Hans Müller, Walter von Bülow-Bothkamp, Kurt Adolf Monnington, Wilhelm Kühne, Paul Strähle, Harald Auffarth, Joseph Veltjens, and Johannes Klein. During the course of the war, the Jasta suffered eight killed in action, eleven wounded, and one taken prisoner.[3]

Aircraft and operations

Its operational aircraft were the Albatros D.III fighter and the Fokker Dr.I triplane. Its theater of operations was the Western Front.[3]

The new unit mobilized on 8 January 1917. Fifteen days later, it was credited with the first of its 112 confirmed victories during the war.[3] It moved to Marckebeke and Harlebeke airfields. On 23 November 1917, it moved to Avelin to work for the 6th Army.[2]

In the spring of 1918, Berthold was promoted to command the Jagdgeschwader II wing. He wanted to take his old unit with him and make it part of the wing, but this was disallowed. On 19 March 1918, he engineered a wholesale swap of pilots between Jasta 18 and Jasta 15 as a means of taking the pilots he knew with him. The exchange took place at Guise, in the 18th Armee area of operations.[4] About this time, Leutnant August Raben transferred in from Jasta 15 to take command. On 8 April 1918, he led the reconstituted squadron back to Avelines Airfield; they would henceforth refer to themselves as the "Staffel Raben", and changed to a new color scheme from the change in command, abandoning the red/blue fuselages of the formerly Berthold-led unit. The new color scheme, adopted as the squadron rapidly began to place examples of the Fokker D.VII in its service, consisted of a white rear fuselage and all-white tail surfaces, with vermilion red forward of the cockpit and on the wings' upper surfaces, and bare lozenge camouflage on the wing panels' undersides, would feature an insignia of a black raven on just about all of the squadron's aircraft fuselage sides on the white rear area, with varying personal insignia added in black, usually along with the raven. The unit would move on to assignments at Faches-Thumesnil and Lome in the 6th Army zone of operations. On 14 June, it moved to support of 19th Armee, it moved to Montingen, near Metz for the remainder of the war.[2]

References

  1. "Jagdstaffeln (Jastas)". The Aerodrome. 2015. Retrieved 17 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Franks, Bailey & Guest (1993), p. 37.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Jasta 18". The Aerodrome. 2015. Retrieved 17 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Franks, Bailey & Guest (1993), pp. 35–37.
Bibliography
  • Franks, Norman; Bailey, Frank W. & Guest, Russell F. (1993). Above The Lines: The Aces and Fighter Units of the German Air Service, Naval Air Service, and Flanders Marine Corps, 1914–1918. London, UK: Grub Street. ISBN 978-0-948817-73-1.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>