The Hunting Falcon
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The Hunting Falcon
The Story of WW1 German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke
Dimensions:6.1" x 9.2"
Photos:8-page central mono plate section
Item No. 9781399085014
The Hunting Falcon was written by Hans-Joachim Buddecke, a top German First World War ace. Though his autobiography of his experiences as a combat pilot were published in the Spring of 1918, in the last year of the war, Buddecke did not see his book in print; he was shot down over the Western Front on 10 March 1918. His father was left to write the forward.Hans Buddecke’s journey to war started in America in 1913-1914, where he was working in Indianapolis at his uncle’s car factory. A new immigrant to the United States, he was very much part of the German community of Indianapolis. Ambitious, he learned to fly at Cicero Flying Field near Chicago. He then lined up Indianapolis investors to establish a new plane manufacturing company. The deal was sealed just as war broke out in Europe in 1914.Buddecke then traveled to New York and, disguised as a man from Alsace-Lorraine, traveled to Italy on a Greek ship to bypass the British blockade. He was one of the few Germans in America who found his way home. Being a pilot, he joined the German air force and flew with his good friend, future ace Rudolf Berthold. As one of the first Eindecker pilots, he began scoring kills. His second victim was Lawrence of Arabia’s younger brother.In time, Buddecke was posted to Turkey, where he became a top ace fighting in the skies over Gallipoli. His exploits in this theatre earned him the nickname ‘El-Schahin’, the ‘Hunting Falcon’. He was the third German pilot to be awarded the Pour le Merite, the Blue Max, Germany’s highest award. The two earlier recipients were the legendary ace Max Immelmann (the source of the medal’s nickname) and Oswald Boelcke, Germany’s great combat aviation leader and ace.Returning to the Western Front from Gallipoli, Hans Buddecke was recognized as one of the top pilots of his day. He was shot down and killed, by Sopwith Camels of 3 Squadron RNAS, on 10 March 1918. By this stage, he had been credited with thirteen ‘kills’.