Air Aces of World War One

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Oberleutnant Ernst Udet – German Ace 1896 / 1941 Pt. 2

However he learnt that if he were a trained pilot, he would be immediately accepted in to the army aviation service. With the help of a family friend, Gustav Otto, whose aircraft factory he had hung around in his youth, Udet received private pilot’s training. This cost him 2,000 Marks and new bathroom fittings from his Father’s company. Udet received his civilian pilot’s licence at the end of April 1915 and was immediately accepted for service by the Imperial German Air Service.

Udet at first flew in Feld Flieger – Abtielung 206 ( F.F.A.206 ) an observation unit as an Unterofficier ( non – commissioned pilot with observer Leutnant Justinius. He and his observer won the Iron Cross ( 2nd class for Udet and Ist class for his Officer ) for nursing their damaged Aviatik B.1 two-seater back to the German lines after a shackle on a wing-cable snapped. Justinius had climbed out to hold the wing and balance it rather than landing behind enemy lines and being captured. After the structural failure of the Aviatik that caused Udet and Justinius to go down, and a similar incident resulting in loss of life, the Aviatik B was retired from service.

Later Udet was court – martialled for losing an aircraft, in an incident that the Flying Corps considered a case of bad judgment. Overloaded with fuel and bombs, the aircraft stalled after a sharp bank and plunged in to the ground. Miraculously neither Udet or Justinius were seriously hurt, both escaping with minor injuries. Udet was placed under arrest in the Guardhouse for seven days. on his release from the guardhouse he was asked to fly Leutnant Hartmann to observe a bombing raid on Belfort. A bomb thrown by hand by the Leutnant became stuck in the aircrafts landing gear, but Udet performed aerobatics and managed to shake it loose. As soon as the air Staff Officer heard about Udet’s performance during the incident, he ordered Udet transferred to the Fighter command.

To Be Continued……………………..

(C) Damian Grange 2019

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 159 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 159 )

  ‘He says he’s not to be disturbed, but you go straight on in, I know he’ll  be pleased to see you.’ Said Sergeant Shine. I walked through to the Inspector’s Office, rapped on the door and entered. Fred Abberline looked up, He looked as if he was going to give one of his subordinates a tongue lashing, then saw it was me.

‘Jack, by all that’s wonderful, this is an unexpected surprise,’ he got up from his desk shook hands with me then hugged me, ‘So, the Boer’s didn’t manage to finish you off then?’ He said grinning.

‘Far from it, it was almost over when I arrived out there, I was stationed at Concentration Camp No.1 at a place called Bloemfontein, it made Whitechapel seem like paradise,’ I stated and meant every word.

‘Grab yourself a chair, sit down and tell me about your exploits on the Dark Continent.’ I did as instructed, and said, ‘Where would you like me to start?’ ‘Just tell me anything that you think will be of interest to someone who has not been out there.’

‘Well, to start with I travelled out there on a converted cruise liner, my travelling companions were the Imperial Yeomanry, as fine a bunch of men as you could find anywhere, they made me most welcome on what was essentially their transport.’

‘What did you do, to pass the time from here to the Cape?’ Fred asked. ‘I gave the Yeomanry classes in basic first aid, they were very receptive when they realised it could save their own or a comrades life.’

(C) Damian Grange 2019

The Castle Karlstadt – Excerpt 22

The Castle Karlstadt – Excerpt 22

  ‘I’m not particularly knowledgeable with regard to these creatures, but should we not impale him, or is he totally dead?’ I enquired, I didn’t care to leave the job half done. ‘It might be a good idea too,’ replied the Doctor, ‘Play it safe!’

Father Michael took charge, he impaled Bruno with one of his own stakes, then administered a blessing, then we threw the cadaver in to the fire until nothing was left of Bruno’s existence, other than his ashes.

Once we had all gotten over the trauma of Bruno’s cremation, I asked the Doctor if he would walk with me for a while. I needed advice and he might be the only one who could give it, whether I trusted him or not.

I asked him outright, ‘Did he think it possible that one of our party was a Vampire, or was the creature still wandering the Castle unhindered ?’

He hesitated before answering, in his position I would have too, ‘In my own limited knowledge of the creatures, I would doubt that any of our party is of their accursed breed, for several reasons, you for instance have only recently heard of their existence so are most unlikely to be tainted by them’ he stated, ‘Father Michael is of the cloth, so again, most unlikely for a multitude of reasons.’

‘Which still leaves us with three others, including yourself, any ideas?’ I was determined to solve this riddle, once and for all.’

‘I think we can discount the girl, I’m surprised that the creature chose Bruno, not her, from what I have learned of their kind, she would seem likelier prey.’ ‘Are you saying that it could not possibly be the girl? I asked just wanting to clarify my own thoughts on the subject.

(C) Damian Grange 2019

The Diamond King – Excerpt 3

The Diamond King – Excerpt 3

  I staggered on for another couple of miles, but then I had to rest, I couldn’t walk another step, I found a place in the shade placed my rifle and pack beside me and immediately dropped off to sleep. I must have slept for several hours, which was hardly surprising considering the condition I was in. I felt much better, but needed water desperately. I was starting to dehydrate.

I looked around me and took stock of my surroundings. I knew this place. I had been here before. If my memory served me well, roughly a mile to my right, which wasn’t so far from where I was heading. There was a dry river bed, where with a little effort on my part, I might get water.

It was a gamble, and I had nothing to lose, my life was already in jeopardy. Better to take a chance and die trying than do nothing and die anyway. Where there is life, there is hope.

I stood up and started to trudge in the general direction of the river bed. In my present condition it might take me a little time to reach it, but if only a few mouthfuls of water were there it would be well worth the effort. Although my stomach was rumbling, food could wait, it was water I needed the most.

I staggered on, stumbled and tripped over a root. But I picked myself up and forced myself on. I knew I had been here before, call it memory, hunter’s instinct or what you will. I knew I had been here before. I knew this place.

(C) Damian Grange 2019

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 157 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 157 )

  ‘So you are also philanthropic with your time and knowledge?’ she asked. ‘Of course, why develop skills if you are not prepared to use them for the betterment of the common man or woman. I plan to run free clinics for the poor, subsidised to a certain amount by my more affluent patients.’ I stated quite candidly.

‘ I am really looking forward to starting work with you, your ideas of caring are very similar to my own. It shouldn’t be only the rich and privileged who receive treatment,’ she stated passionately, I knew I had made the right choice. ‘I feel certain that we will make a good team.’ I stated.

‘I am going to pay a visit to Division11 at Whitechapel, the Inspector there is a very close friend of mine. I have worked for the Police before, mainly on the Ripper murders, but we have a repartee, I may get a little work from them. Their own surgeons are often overworked and sometimes inadequate.’ I explained.

‘So, basically, we are open for whatever business comes our way?’ She queried. ‘Yes, I suppose that sums it up, I will turn no one away who requires my services!’

Later that afternoon, as I had said I would, I made a visit to Division 11. My old friend Sergeant Shine was manning the front desk. ‘Its a pleasure to see you Doctor, I hope that life has been kind to you’ was his friendly greeting. ‘Everything is fine, thank you for asking, is Inspector Abberline available?’

(C) Damian Grange 2019

Air Aces of World War One

ernst udet

Oberleutnant Ernst Udet – German Ace 1896 / 1941

  Ernst Udet was born on the 26th of April 1896 in Frankfurt un Main in Germany. Udet grew up in Munich, where he was known from early childhood for his sunny temperament and his 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 which he often visited.

Shortly after the beginning of World War One, Udet attempted to enlist in the Imperial German Army, but was rejected being only 5.3ins tall. Later that month when the Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil – Club appealed for volunteers with motorcycles. Udet applied and was accepted. Udet’s Father had given him a motorcycle when he had passed his first year examination, and along with four friends, Udet  was posted to the 26th Wurttembirgishen Reserve Division as a messenger rider. After injuring his shoulder when his motorcycle hit a bomb crater from an artillery shell explosion. He was sent to a Military Hospital and his motorcycle was sent for repair. After being discharged from the Hospital, Udet failed to locate the 26th Division, so he opted to serve at the vehicle depot in Namur.

During this period, he met Officers from the Chauny flying sector, who advised him to transfer as an aerial observer. However, before he received his orders, the army dispensed with volunteer motorcyclists, and Udet was sent back to the recruiting officials. Udet tried to return to the fighting, but he was unable to get accepted for either the pilot or the air mechanic training that the army offered.

To Be Continued…………………….

(C) Damian Grange 2019

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 156 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 156 )

  ‘Would it be presuming too much if I called you by your Christian name, if we are to be colleagues it would be nice to be a little more informal’ I said. ‘ I have no objections to that at all, you may call me Jenny,’ she replied.

‘Then Jenny it is, unless in front of patients, in which case it is Miss Johnson. You may call me Jack, Doctor or Doctor Jack, depending on the circumstances.’ ‘I’ve no problem with that at all, I realise we must exercise decorum in front of the patients.’

‘Will you be free to commence your duties on Monday morning at 9a.m.’ I enquired. ‘I have no problems with that, I look forwards too it.’ was her immediate reply. ‘I doubt that I will have any patients for you, but we can I am sure spend some time together sorting out a system of patients appointments and records that is agreeable to both of us.’

‘I have already placed an advert in the Medical Press, stating that I have just returned from the War in Africa and I am opening a new Medical Practice in Whitechapel. Prior to my Military service I was Resident Doctor at the Whitechapel Infirmary.’

‘By that, I take it that you are relatively well- known in the area, a reason that patients may come to you?’ queried Jenny. ‘Yes, I have a certain reputation as a healer in this area, particularly among the poor and needy.’ I replied.

(C) Damian Grange 2019


The Castle Karlstadt – Excerpt 21

The Castle Karlstadt – Excerpt 21

  My first thought was why was he visiting that part of the Castle, was he searching for something? or had he a liaison with someone and that was the agreed meeting place? I had no idea, all I knew was that the plot was thickening, amd I was no closer to a solution than on the previous day.

We moved down the stairs as quickly as we could, avoiding the more obvious obstacles and soon reached Bruno’s corpse. I turned him over so that I could see his features, he had several cuts and abrasion no doubt caused by the fall. But they were no concern of mine, but the wounds on his neck and the blood congealing there were, the only thought I had was Vampire!

I dispatched Franz, to fetch the remainder of our party. At this point I felt the need for the Doctor’s so-called expertise on these creatures. Were the human or inhuman? would a bullet stop them? or had we to find other means to combat them.

In all my years of soldiering, this was the first time I had come up against an adversary that I didn’t understand, why Bruno? surely the lovely Karina would have been more to the Vampire’s taste, or am I once again missing something?

The Doctor looked up after completing his examination of Bruno’s corpse, ‘It certainly looks like the work of a Vampire, In my Opinion,’ he stated confidently, ‘Bruno was definitely bitten by a Vampire.’

(C) Damian Grange 2019

The Diamond King – Excerpt 2

The Diamond King – Excerpt 2

  The younger man, Henrik de Klerk, had only been with the Commando a short time, but Hans had chosen to watch over him, until he was more capable of doing it himself. It was not hard to see that Henrik was totally exhausted. So Hans lifted him on to his own horse and  led him by the halter.

They went this way for several miles, but Hans found it both tiring and restricting. He stopped for a breather and tried to figure a way out of their predicament. He had decided on a solution. They would separate, he would give Henrik the horse and the water canteen and point him in the direction of the nearest settlement where he would find help and hope that the British were not waiting there.

At least this way, Henrik had a fair chance of survival, carry on as we are, and both our lives are in jeopardy, thought Hans. He had hunted and prospected this area for years and knew that there was water within a hard days march. He was willing to take that chance. And so the die was cast, Henrik went his way and  went mine. Maybe our paths would cross again, but only fate knew the answer to that question?

I adjusted my rifle and my pack, and set out to clear the bushveldt and reach the mountains. It was hard going trudging along in the hot sun. I had given all our water to Henrik, his need seemed greater than mine, but now I was beginning to have second thoughts.

Under normal circumstances, the distance that I had to cover would not have been a problem, but with exhaustion setting in and the heat of the sun overhead, my prospects of survival were not looking so good. I had to get a grip of myself and keep heading for the nearest water.

(C) Damian Grange 2019


Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 155 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 155 )

  Two more applicants later, and still no one that I could work with. I was beginning to think that maybe I should try another agency, as yet this one had failed to impress me. I had taken a short recess for a cup of tea and an opportunity to re-think my strategy. Was it my own inadequacy as a prospective employer that was at fault ? I really have no idea?

And so, enter, applicant No.6, a Miss Johnson, She was a little younger than I had expected, but she appeared to have the necessary experience. I took to her immediately, she was very open and obviously used to dealing with people.

She showed no hint of shyness, just professional competence, The Interview went well and I offered her the position, But asked her if there were any question’s she wanted to ask me.

‘I will admit that I was a little unsure whether to apply or not, After all the bad press that Whitechapel has received in recent years, Jack the Ripper etc’ she stated.

‘Jack retired years ago, to my knowledge, and you would have nothing to fear from him, his victims were of a much lower class. But if you want it, the position is yours? have you anything more of relevance to tell me’ I replied.

‘I am not sure if it is relevant but I have some nursing experience, I can do bandaging, slings, tourniquet’s I can also check temperatures and blood pressure’ she stated confidently.

This was so much than I had hoped for, A receptionist / secretary and stand by nurse if necessary. The waiting had definitely been worthwhile. She was exactly what I had envisaged.

(C) Damian Grange 2019