World War I Ace: Brumowski was the Austro-Hungarian Empire's highest scoring ace, with an amazing 44 aerial victories. When war was declared, he was serving as an officer in an artillery regiment. After distinguishing himself in combat on the Russian front, he transferred to the air service in July 1915. Posted to Flik 1, he frequently flew missions as Otto Jindra's observer before becoming a pilot on July 3, 1916. In November 1916, Brumowski joined Flik 12 on the Italian front. Scoring five victories in less than two months, he was one of the few Austro-Hungarian pilots to receive the Gold Bravery Medal. In March 1917, after studying German fighter tactics with Jasta 24 on the Western Front, he assumed command of Flik 41J, the first true Austro-Hungarian fighter squadron. Though he continued to favor the Hansa-Bradenburg, Brumowski began flying the Albatros D VIII in the summer of 1917, scoring his first victory with this aircraft on August 17. By October 1917, his Albatros had been painted red, and when airborne, his squadron was easily identified by the macabre insignia Brumowski designed: a white skull on a black background. Having been recognized as an extraordinary leader, he was given command of all Austro-Hungarian fighter squadrons of the Isonzo on October 11, 1918. After the war, Brumowski tried his hand at farming on his mother-in-law's estate in Transylvania. When that venture failed, he moved to Vienna where he operated a flying school until he was fatally injured in a plane crash in 1936 at the Schiphol airport near Amsterdam.∼An Austro/Hungarian air ace in WWI. He was his country's top air ace in WWI, credited with 35 victories. Initially when war broke out he joined the artillery, but he transferred to the air force in 1915. He first made his name while flying two-seaters which were not suited to combat flying. When the first dedicated fighter squadron was established by Austria/Hungary in 1917 he was appointed to lead it and his victories continued to mount. However, as the war drew to a conclusion in 1918 his luck seemed to be running out as he had two occasions where he landed his plane while it was on fire or severely disabled. Nevertheless he survived.
After the war he drifted from one job or interest to another then set up his own flying school. Ultimately this was to bring about his death, when the plane he was instructing a student in crashed at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam.
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