A few weeks ago I realised that my friend and scientific colleague of some 30 years was Ernst Udet in previous life! It came to me in the early hours one morning as revelations often do.
(26 April 1896 – 17 November 1941) was a German pilot during World War I and a Luftwaffe Colonel-General (Generaloberst) during World War II.
Ernst Udet was born on 26 April 1896, in Frankfurt am Main, German Empire. Udet grew up in Munich, and was known from his early childhood for his sunny temperament and fascination with aviation. In his youth he hung out at a nearby airplane factory and an army airship detachment. In 1909, he helped found the Munich Aero-Club. After crashing a glider he and a friend constructed, he finally flew in 1913 with a test pilot in the nearby Otto Works owned by Gustav Otto, which he often visited.
Udet joined the Imperial German Air Service at age 19, eventually becoming a notable flying ace of World War I, scoring 62 confirmed victories by the end of his life. The highest scoring German fighter pilot to survive that war, and the second-highest scoring after Manfred von Richthofen, his commander in the Flying Circus, Udet rose to become a squadron commander under Richthofen, and later under Hermann Göring. Udet spent the 1920s and early 1930s as a stunt pilot, international barnstormer, light aircraft manufacturer, and playboy.
In 1933, Udet joined the Nazi Party and became involved in the early development of the Luftwaffe, where he was appointed director of research and development. Influential in the adoption of dive bombing techniques as well as the Stuka dive bomber, by 1939 Udet had risen to the post of Director-General of Equipment for the Luftwaffe. The stress of the position and his distaste for administrative duties led to Udet developing alcoholism.
The launch of Operation Barbarossa, combined with issues with the Luftwaffe's needs for equipment outstripping Germany's production capacity and increasingly poor relations with the Nazi Party, caused Udet to commit suicide on 17 November 1941 by shooting himself in the head. "Our defeat was caused by Udet," Hitler would claim. "That man concocted the most nonsensical state of affairs ever seen in the history of the Luftwaffe."
German Jak was born in Hamburg 1944, his father was killed in the Kriegsmarine U Boot Dienst (Navy Submarine Service). His mother remarried a British Army Officer and now lives on a disused British World War 2 “fighter” RAF airfield.
Wings of War
About 15 years ago I and my neighbour David Hawkins (who had a WW1 pilot’s memory) went to France so that I could purchase some old stock Wings of War models and boxed games at clearance prices.
Among the models were 6 X Albatros’ D. Va so I decided to give them a custom paint job. I chose Jasta 37!
Much as my fellow gamer has here below.
Albatros D.Va of Jasta 37. Add the official Udet mini and you can field the whole Jasta!https://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/showthread.php?16985-10-Custom-Painted-planes-of-Jasta-37