Air Aces of World War One

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Leutnant Josef Carl Peter Jacobs – German Ace 1894 /1978 Pt.2

  Jacobs obtained his second victory, this time over a Caudron R.IV in January 1917. he achieved three confirmed and eight unconfirmed victories whilst at Jasta 22, where he remained until the 2nd of August 1917. He then transferred to Jasta 7 as Staffelfuhrer, on the 1Oth of September 1917 Jacobs shot down French Ace Jean Matton.

From early 1918 onwards, Jacobs began flying the Fokker DRI Triplane with Jasta7 and had his aircraft finished in a distinctive black scheme, with a stylised East Wind insignia on both sides of the fuselage. The Fokker DRI was his favoured aircraft until October 1918 and he used its manoeuvrability to his advantage, becoming the Triplane’s highest scoring ace with over 30 confirmed victories.

Jacobs victory tally slowly rose, until at 24 victories ( achieved on July 19th 1918 ) he was awarded the coveted Pour le Merite ( The Blue Max ) Jacobs remained with Jasta 7 until the armistice, his final victory tally was 48 aircraft and balloons. He tied with Werner Voss for fourth place amongst the highest scoring German Aces. Jacobs was the last remaining holder of the Blue Max when he died in 1978 aged 84.

(C) Damian Grange 2019

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 177 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 177 )

  Another week has passed, and I am beginning to feel dismayed that I may have to employ a Junior, who is at best a second choice. a choice forced on me by circumstances rather than by knowledge and ability. I can afford to wait a little longer, but the pressures of running a busy surgery are starting to tell on me.

Then on morning, out of the blue, another application, and just maybe my salvation. It was from a young man, James Cameron by name, who had just completed Medical School and by his own admission, although not at the top of his class he had not disgraced himself.

He further stated that he had strong religious convictions and felt an obligation, now that he was a trained physician, to render aid to those souls less fortunate than himself.

I rather liked his forthright manner, he came across as being totally honest, even at the cost to himself. He was honest about his accomplishments and also his weaknesses and did not appear to be trying to be something he was not, and he never once mentioned money. All of my other applicants had placed that first.

I replied to his application, stating that I would be pleased to interview him at his earliest convenience, and that he had aroused my interest. I just prayed that I would like the man as much as I liked his application.

  (C) Damian Grange 2019

Karlstadt – The Return Excerpt 4

Karlstadt – The Return  Excerpt 4

  According to Legend, the Vampire seeks out young virgin females, but I tend too think this is pure superstition. I think a blood starved creature would take sustenance whenever and wherever it were available and in what form.

The Vampire can be of either gender, which was the reason that my Father was so protective of my Mother, and even now after all this time, still has niggling doubts. Another thing that I was unaware of was that the Vampire could actually turn a victim in to one of its own kind. I found this information a little disconcerting.

This was disturbing information, I had been under the mistaken impression that we were seeking a lone Vampire. This may have changed to a Vampire with any number of acolytes. Although I wasn’t visualising an army of them, the thought of having to possibly dispose of several of them gave cause for concern.

I think the most important thing in this mission is to place our trust in each other and be very wary of strangers. However sincere and well-meaning they appear to be. We will be in a foreign country whose ways are very different to our own. They I believe are quite a superstitious people and may not totally understand our ways.

Whilst we are in the Twentieth Century, their roots are still firmly embedded in the past. A past of folk lore and superstition where strangers are still treated with suspicion, especially if they are foreign.

(C) Damian Grange 2019

The Diamond King – Excerpt 12

The Diamond King – Excerpt 12

  I was shocked, but I didn’t let my emotions betray me, ‘ I suppose I should offer my congratulations to you both,’ ‘Better still’ he said, ‘Come home with me, I am sure she will be glad to see that you survived.’ ‘ I would like to see her, if you are sure that its alright.’ ‘Well!’ slurred Maartens, ‘I’m a little the worse for drink, I could do with a hand.’

And so it was agreed, I helped half carry Maartens home from the pub, to where he lived with my betrothed, in her Fathers house. While I had been away fighting he had been busy ingratiating himself, or so it appeared to me.

I banged loudly on the door, it opened immediately, and there stood Hetty, she looked tired and careworn, but she had made her choice I felt no pity for her. Maartens looked up at her, gave a stupid grin and said, ‘Look who I found in the pub, an old friend of yours, he’s come to say hello.’

Hetty, for the first time paid attention to me, she was it appeared used to a variety of her husbands cronies carrying him home from the pub. On recognition she said,’Hans is it really you, we were told you were dead, killed in an ambush.’

‘I was wounded, but it was only a flesh wound, nothing of any concern you gave up on me far too easily, I’m back now, but not to stay, there is nothing here for me now.’

(C) Damian Grange 2019

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 176 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 176 )

  The following week , I received seven applications, things appeared to be looking up. But on closer examination, I was once again disappointed.

The majority of them were my own age or older, I wanted a younger man. on perusing their applications and reading between the lines, none of them appeared to have been particularly successful in their chosen career.

I dislike being disrespectful to other members of the profession, but none of them came close to the sort of Junior that I had envisaged, to put it bluntly, these men were all failures. I knew because I was once one of their number.

If things do not improve, I may have to select on of them, but the thought has little appeal to me. I just hope and pray that before long the right man answers my advertisement.

Maybe I have too high an expectation, but I know there are men out there, who like myself, do care about the poor and needy, and seek to improve their lot.

(C) Damian Grange 2019

Air Aces of World War One

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Leutnant Josef Carl Peter Jacobs – German Ace 1894 / 1978

Josef Jacobs was born in Kreuzkapelle, in the Rhineland. His family was of Jewish origin. He learned to fly in 1912, aged 18. As a schoolboy in Bonn, he had been fascinated by the activities that he witnessed at the nearby flying school in Hangelar. There he learned to fly, under the tutelage of Bruno Wertgen. When war broke out, he joined The German Imperial Air Service to train as a pilot with Fliegerersatz – Abteilung 9 ( Reserve Detachment 9 )

  On the 3rd of July 1915, Jacobs was posted to FA11 ( a reconnaissance squadron ) for a year, flying long range sorties over allied lines, his first flight occurring on the evening that he arrived there. His first victory, over a French Caudron was occurred in February 1916, however it was unconfirmed, due to lack of independent witnesses. After a period of leave, in April 1916, Jacobs was to posted to Fokkerstaffel – West to fly a Fokker E.III Eindekker and he finally achieved his first official victory, over an enemy aircraft when on the 12th of May, he shot down a 2 seater Caudron, crewed only by its pilot. At the end of July, Jacobs and his unit were pulled back for what became a month’s aerial bodyguard duty, protecting General Headquarters at Charleville. On the 1st of September, Jacobs left this duty that had so disgusted him, and returned to a front line assignment flying a Fokker E.III. On the 19th he upgraded to a Fokker D.II. His old comrade in arms Max Ritter von Mulzer, died in a crash a week later. Jacobs fell ill with dysentery, and was out of action for several weeks. Fokkerstaffel – West became Jasta 12 on the 6th of October 1916, and Jacobs remained with it, although a month later he transferred to Jasta 22, then under the command of Oberleutnant Erich Honemanns, who was a personal friend.

To Be Continued……………………

(C) Damian Grange 2019

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 175 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 175 )

  As I suppose I had expected, the days flew by, If anything instead of slowing down we appeared to be getting even busier. My two members of staff, Jenny and Emily coped admirably, always calm and unflappable, no matter what situations came their way.

And praise must also be lavished on my old stalwart, Mrs McGinty, who throughout all the hustle and bustle kept us well supplied with tea and biscuits and other tasty morsels, bless her heart.

Thus far, I have not received a single reply to my adverts for a Junior Partner. But it has only been a week, I must learn a little patience, it will happen in its own good time.

I would much sooner wait, than take second best, as I reiterate, I know exactly what I require in a Junior and I am prepared to accept nothing less. But, in the meantime I am having to work long hours just to keep up with the amount of patients and their many and varied illnesses.

Even with Jenny and Emily carefully vetting them, I still have an inordinate number left to treat. I begin to wonder how long I can continue working under this amount of pressure.

Or is this just another test, another one of the trials that I must undergo to earn my redemption. Who knows? certainly not I.

(C) Damian Grange 2019

Karlstadt – The Return Excerpt 3

Karlstadt – The Return  Excerpt 3

  It seemed that an essential to my well-being was the wearing of a crucifix at all times, the creatures apparently found religious objects repellent. Holy water, if thrown in their direction would hold then at bay, but only for a short period of time. Also wreaths of garlic were supposed to repel them, or so we discovered when we reached Karlstadt.

They were hung over every door and window, presumably to prevent access to the creature. According to folk lore and legend the creature could change shape and appear as a bat or a wolf or even a younger version of itself. They were said to use a form of hypnosis to lure victims to them.

There appeared to be only two definite methods of ridding the world of them. The first was exposure to direct sunlight, this in effect turns the creature to ashes and returns it to hell where it belongs.

The second method, exposes the hunter to a certain amount of risk. The creature needs to be found in its lair, usually a dark damp cellar or a mausoleum where it rests during the day in its coffin. They can apparently sleep for years then suddenly awake with a thirst for blood, this is when they are at their most dangerous.

The hunter needs to catch the creature sleeping and hammer a wooden stake through its heart, the creature will return to dust. With this thought in mind, before we left England I made up two packs, both with a dozen fire hardened stakes and a hefty mallet. I had every intention of being prepared.

(C) Damian Grange 2019

The Diamond King – Excerpt 11

The Diamond King – Excerpt 11

  Goldstein was a big stocky man, who reputedly kept a sawn off shotgun behind the bar, I don’t know the truth of that but I knew he is handy with a knife. I would like to use mine on him and make him squeal like the treacherous pig that he is.

My friend, or should I say the man that I believed to be my friend, things can change rapidly when you are out of sight. Maartens was as I expected, at his usual table, probably gambling away my mine, if he had not already done so.

I tapped him on the shoulder and said, ‘Hello Maartens!’ he half-turned in his chair and when he realised it was me, he started to tremble, ‘Don’t you recognise an old friend, have I changed so much?’ I said.

‘It was such a shock seeing you, we had heard that you were dead, killed by the British.’ ‘I can’t say that they didn’t try, I had a couple of close calls but here I am, still alive and kicking, how is Hetty?’

At the mention of her name, he turned a shade paler and looked decidedly uncomfortable. ‘Have you had no news from here, all of the time that you have been away?’ He asked.

‘No! not a word, why what has happened have you gambled my gold away?’ ‘The mine has run dry, but it’s not that, Pastor de Vries is dead, and Hetty is my wife.’ He stated. The look on his face spoke volumes, he looked absolutely terrified, did he think I would kill him?

(C) Damian Grange 2019

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 174 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 174 )

  In reality, I suppose what I was really looking for was a younger version of myself. He must be totally committed to the care and well-being of his patients, particularly the poor and needy.

He must be skilled in all aspects of medicine, be prepared to experiment to find new cures for established ailments. He must be open to new ideas and methods. It must seem like I am seeking the impossible, but I feel sure that there is someone out there. Someone who will fit in perfectly, its all a matter of patience, I suppose?

I had placed adverts with the medical journals, there was nothing more I could physically do but wait patiently for potential junior partners to reply to my adverts.

In the meantime, I still had a busy surgery to run and staff to organise, although in all fairness to Jenny and Emily they took very little organising, they seemed to know my every wish five minutes before I did, so organised were they.

I should have understood that everything would not just fall into place at my bidding, I had been very lucky with the girls, but a Doctor was something altogether different. If I were to work with him, there were so many things that had to be just right.

(C) Damian Grange 2019