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Paul von Osterroht

German fighter pilot
The basics
Occupation Military personnel
Date of birth L√ľneburg
Date of death Apr 23, 1917
The details

Early life and service

Paul Henning Aldabert Theodor von Osterroht was born on 13 September 1887 in Luneberg, the German Empire. His father was a Captain in the Dragoons. The younger Osterroht also chose the profession of arms, and joined the German Army's Infantry Regiment No. 152 in May 1906. He was commissioned an officer on 18 August 1907. He switched to aviation duty, and was forwarded to Gotha on 13 April 1912 for pilot's training. He received license number 305 on 9 October 1912.

World War I

Osterroht was serving in FFA 18 when World War I began. He was one of the first German airmen to be awarded the Iron Cross First Class, received on 7 October 1914. After FFA 18, he served with Brieftauben-Abteilung Ostende in 1914 and 1915; one of his aerial observers was Manfred von Richthofen. Together they downed a French airplane so far behind French lines the victory could not be verified.

On 30 January 1915, Osterroht was promoted to Oberleutnant. In May 1916, he transferred to Kampfstaffel (Tactical Bomber Squadron) 1 of Kampfgeschwader (Tactical Bomber Wing) 1. He was soon given command of the squadron. His service with them ended when he was appointed to command one of Germany's original fighter squadrons, Jagdstaffel 12, as it was being founded. The unit was founded with over-age Fokker D.Is; however, by March 1917, they had been re-equipped with newer Albatros D.III fighters. Osterroht claimed serial number 1958/16 for his own, and had it marked with a four square checkerboard in black and white. On 24 March, the jasta received a telegram from their higher command congratulating the unit on its performance in downing 14 enemy aircraft.

Osterroht scored his first aerial victory on 19 March 1917; at noon of 23 April he scored his seventh. Later on the 23rd, he flew an evening patrol to Cambrai. There he engaged Sopwith Pups of 3 Naval Squadron, and fell to his death at about 1800 hours.

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