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 Oswald Boelcke

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Oswald Boelcke

  • Birth 19 May 1891
  • Death 28 Oct 1916
  • Burial Dessau, Dessau-Roßlauer Landkreis, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
  • Memorial ID 8194

Boelcke was most likely the world's first flying ace and was the first fighter pilot to be awarded Germany's highest military honor, the Pour le Merite. Boelcke was the first to devise air combat tactics which in turn gave him the title of "Father of Air Fighting Tactics" which are still used today. One of the youngest ever appointed Hauptman (Captain), he was an exceptional leader and was given command of his own squadron in which he was also able to choose his own pilots. One new pilot he chose was the then unknown Manfred von Richthofen (aka the Red Baron) among other future aces. In a remarkably short time period, Boelcke raised his air combat score to a total of 40. He died in a flying accident when his plane collided with one of his best friends during the take-off on a sortie in October 1916. Although the war lasted two more years, only 11 other German pilots were able to meet or exceed Boelcke's score.


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 18 Jan 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8194
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Oswald Boelcke (19 May 1891–28 Oct 1916), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8194, citing Ehrenfriedhof, Dessau, Dessau-Roßlauer Landkreis, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany ; Maintained by Find A Grave .