Emil Thuy was born in Hagen, Germany, the son of a factory owner. He as interested in aircraft even as a child, building models and test flying a glider. After graduation from secondary school, he worked for a while in a colliery in Lebanon, Germany. He then enrolled in 1913 in the Faculty of Mining at the Technical University 0f Clausthal, he had an interest in Metalurgical Engineering. In August 1914 he volunteered to serve as a pioneer, which was the German equivalent of a Combat engineer. After only sex weeks of basic training he was rushed in to combat. In November 1914 he was so severely wounded he was so severely wounded as to be considered unfit for further Military service. Nevertheless, when he had recuperated sufficiently, He volunteered for the Imperial German Air Service. He underwent aviation training in Berlin. He then reported for duty with FFA 53, which was a reconnaissance unit that spotted and directed artillery fire from the air. He reported in on the 10th of July 1915 as a Vizefeldwebel ( non- commissioned pilot ) Despite flying a two – seater aircraft poorly suited for combat flying, Thuy scored his first aerial victory on 8th of September 1915.
On the 1st of November 1916, He entered fighter pilot training, graduating only 18 days later. He was then assigned to Jagdstaffel 21, at that time equipped with Albatros fighters. He was commissioned as Leutnant ( Lieutenant ) in the reserves on the 7th of March 1917 after three weeks training. On the 16th of April 1917, with Jasta 21 he scored his second victory, after which he increased his tally on a regular basis. By the time he left Jasta 21 on the 29th of September 1917, his total stood at 14, with the 14th being shot down on the 22nd of September. He then transferred to Jagdstaffel 28, which had lost two Commanders killed in action, in the previous month. On the 24th of October he scored his first victory with his new Squadron. He continued to accumulate wins on a steady basis, in ones and two’s.
He was injured in a crash on the 2nd of February 1918. On the 20th he was discharged from hospital and returned to duty. On the 30th of June 1918, he was awarded the Order pour le Merite ( The Blue Max ) At about this time he changed aircraft from the Pfalz D.III he had been flying to the Fokker D.VII. In July 1918, Jagdgruppe 7 was founded, incorporating his Jasta and three others. Thuy commanded both JG7 and Jasta 28 simultaneously. He ended his victory string on the 14th of October 1918 with a double victory. Thuy finished the war with a total of 35 victories and awards which included The Iron Cross, both First and Second Class, the Order Pour le Merite ( The Blue Max ) and The Knights Cross of the Military Merit Order of Wurttemburg and The Order of the House of Hohenzollern.
(C) Damian Grange 2021