Hauptmann Hans-Joachim Buddecke – German/ Turkish Ace 1890 / 1918 Pt.2
Buddecke scored his and the new units first victory on the 19th of September 1915; a B.E.2c of No.8 Squadron R.F.C., crewed by pilot Lieutenant W.H.Nixon and observer Captain J.N.S. Stott. Opening fire from 200 Metres he disabled the observer’s machine gun, although Captain Stott then returned fire with a pocket pistol. It was shot out of his hands at a range of ten metres and Nixon was hit. Buddecke’s gun then jammed when its cartridge belt tore in the slipstream. As Buddecke struggled with the jammed gun, stot clambered atop the shoulders of his dying pilot, set his heels on the pilots knees to control the rudder and bent forward to grab the controls. Buddecke cleared his gun and now aimed at the British observer’s Yellow leather coat. The B.E.2c crash landed near Saint Quentin. Buddecke drove to the wreck after landing, where the uninjured captive Stott showed him the bullet holes in his coat. Buddecke followed this up on with a confirmed claim on the 23rd of October, a B.E.2 of No.13 Squadron R.F.C. with, Captain C.H.Marks and Lieutenant W.G.Lawrence, the brother of Lawrence of Arabia. and 11th November, and an unconfirmed victory on the 6th of December 1915.
Buddecke was then sent to Gallipoli to fly the Halberstadt DII and Fokker EIII with the Ottoman F.A.6 against the Royal Naval Air Service. The Turkish Campaign was a success with four confirmed and seven unconfirmed victories, and Buddecke was personally awarded the Gold Liakat Medal by Enver Pasha. He was recalled to the western front in late August 1916 as leader of the newly formed Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 4. After three kills during September, he was recalled to Turkey to fly with Ottoman FA5.
By early 1918, he was back in France with Royal Prussian Jasta 30, before switching to Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 18. Within a few days Buddecke was killed during an aerial combat above Lens, France on the 10th of March 1918, a victim to the Sopwith Camels of No.3 Naval Squadron R.N.A.S. Buddecke was the third German Flyer after Boelcke and Immelmann to be awarded the Order le pour de Merite, the highly coveted Blue Max.
(C) Damian Grange 2018