Karl Allmenröder

Karl Allmenröder

Lieutenant Karl Allmenröder (May 3, 1896 – June 27, 1917),Pour le Merite, Knights Cross ofRoyal House Order of Hohenzollern, Iron Cross First and Second Class was a German World War I flying ace.

Allmenroeder was born in Wald, the son of a Lutheran minister. He was interested in the practice of medicine and was a medical student in Marburg. His reputation became one of a quiet, good natured, dutiful young man.

Allmenröeder was only 18 when the war began. He became an artilleryman, joining Field Regiment 62 for training, and being transferred to Field Regiment 20 for duty. While serving in Poland fighting against the Russian Imperial Army, he was awarded the Iron Cross Second Class in March, 1915. He also was promoted to Oberleutnant on March 30, 1915. He transferred to the air service on March 16, 1916, at the same time as his brother. He trained at Halberstadt. He flew two-seaters as an artillery spotter in Jasta FA 227 before joining Jagdstaffel 11 in November 1916. After Manfred von Richthofen assumed command in January, 1917, Jasta 11 became one of the premier squadrons of the German Flying Service. Allmenröder rose in the pantheon of Jasta 11 stars. His career as a fighter ace was spectacular but short. He achieved his victories flying a scarlet Albatros D.III with a white band ringing its fuselage.

"Karlchen" scored his first win on February 16, 1917. Four others followed in March, and he became an ace on the 30th. March also marked his award of the Iron Cross First Class.

He had achieved nine victories by the end of April 1917, then made his mark with 13 in May. His next to last triumph for the month, on the 28th, was another ace, New Zealander Alan Scott. Allmenroeder was slightly wounded on the 25th. Another important May event was Allmenroeder's acting as squadron leader, beginning on the 13th. It was a serious honor for a young man just turned 21.

Allmenroeder was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Hohenzollern Order in early June. He received the Pour le Mérite shortly thereafter, on 14 June 1917. The following day, the man who had appointed him acting commanding officer, Manfred von Richthofen] returned from leave and reassumed command for the next nine days. Richthofen not only entrusted Allmenroeder with command, he would even fly wingman in patrols led by Karl.

Allmennroeder was also busy scoring eight more victories during June. His 29th, and penultimate victory, was scored on the 25th against Canadian ace Gerald Nash. He had succeeded to permanent command of Jasta 11 on that day, when von Richthofen had been promoted to command of the world's first fighter wing, Jagdgeschwader 1, commonly called "The Flying Circus".

Allmenroeder reached 30 victories before being shot down on June 27. The cause of Allmenroeder's death is debatable. It has been said that Allmenröder was shot down by Canadian ace Raymond Collishaw but the Canadian's victory list skips the 27th. Collishaw had fired a long range burst at an Albatros on the 27th, but staked no claim. The time of day of Collishaw's sortie also doesn't match.

Allmenroeder has also been reported to have been shot down by Allied aircraft, with no further details. Another report insists anti-aircraft fire hit him. In any event, he died from wounds after crash landing near Zillebeke. German infantry soldiers went into no man's land and retrieved his body the night he was killed.

He was popular with his squadron mates and was widely mourned. He was just 21 years old at his death.

He was interred in the Evangelical Cemetery in Wald. His brother Willi married Karl's fiancee, Helene Kortenbach, after Karl's death.

External links/References

* [http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/germany/allmenroder.html Karl Allmenröder's page on theaerodrome.com] Accessed August 31, 2008.
* [http://www.pourlemerite.org/wwi/air/allmenroder.html Bio and Photographs at pourlemerite.org] Accessed August 31, 2008.
* http://www.firstworldwar.com/bio/allmenroder.htm Accessed August 31, 2008.
* "Albatros Aces of World War 1". Norman Franks. Osprey Publishing, 2000.
* "Sopwith Triplane Aces of World War 1". Norman Franks, Osprey Publishing, 2004.
* "'Richthofen's Circus': Jagdgeschwader Nr 1. Greg Vanwyngarden, Harry Dempsey. Osprey Publishing, 2004.
* http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Almenr%C3%B6der Accessed 1 October 2008. Translated via babelfish.

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