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The Father of Air Combat

            Oswald Boelcke was born on May 19,1981 in Giebichstein, Germany. At school he was a good swimmer, a voracious reader and a scholar in math and physics. .
             From his early days he showed interest in wanting to be a soldier, and would go down in history to be known as the father of Air Combat. He was to be known as a great teacher, tactician and teacher.
             Boelcke at 23 began his military service under Lieutenant General Von Schwartzkoppen at Koblenez in Germany. He was part of the 3rd telegraphers battalion and worked very hard to get into military aviation. His scientific background and enthusiasm gave him the opportunity to train as an aerial observer; he was to soon receive his Pilots certificate here. Shortly after this he was sent to Feldfliegerabteilung 13.In Mons, France in 1914. Here he flew with his brother on reconnaissance missions as an observer on unarmed Aviatick's completing 42 operational flights by the end of 1914. His efforts and dedication gained him the Iron Cross 2nd class in October.
             In the spring of 1915 he applied for a transfer to Feldfliegerabteilung 62 in Duai, France. He was accepted. This squadron was operating LVG C.I's. A single engine two- seater aircraft, which was one of the first to be fitted with a machine gun. It had a 150 Horse Power (Hp) engine, Boelcke was not impressed by it but the German observers now stood a chance of defending themselves against the increasingly aggressive allied tactics.
             Boelcke has scored his first combat victory on july 4th 1914. Boelcke spotted the enemy first, a Morane-Saulnier L Parasol. Boelcke recalled, " the enemy was high" and he carefully positioned himself to its blind spot. Then drew alongside it and let his observer open fire. The enemy pilot was startled as his machine took hits and spirally dived toward the Earth only to crash in a paddock. Boelcke was awarded the Iron Cross 1st class for this engagement, and Germany recorded their first aerial victory in February 1915.

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