Jacobs Bio

Thomas Eisenhour (t_eisen@ix.netcom.com)
Mon, 4 Dec 1995 16:16:09 -0800

>From _The Pour le Merite and Germany's First Aces_ by Lt. Col. John R. Angolia
and Clint R. Hackney, Jr. (Published 1984 by Hackney Publishing Co., Friendswood,
Texas, USA. ISBN 0-9613392-0-9):

Carl Jacobs
PLM: 18 July 1918
Highest Service Rank: Oberleutnant der Reserve

"Carl Jacobs was born on 5 May 1894 in Kreuzkapelle in the Seigkreis on the
Rhein. As an engineer, he studied machine construction. Even before his entry
into active military service, he became associated with flying, attending the
flying school conducted by Bruno Werntgen, at that time the youngest of the
German pilots. His training was interrupted when Werntgen was killed in an air
crash during a test flight.

"Because of his early training, when he volunteered for active military service,
he was quickly placed in assignment with the Flying Reserve Unit in Darmstadt. It
was there he earned his pilot's certificate, and was transferred to the Army
Flying Park 1 at Tergnier. He was then assigned to Field Flying Unit 11 under the
command of Hauptmann Wilberg, who was to later distinguish himself as a General
der Flieger during the Spanish Civil War. Carl Jacobs proved to be a very
valuable asset as an artillery observer and at long-range reconnaissance. In
August 1915 he was assigned to Fighter Squadron 22. He came under report when he
was found flying a Fokker without proper certification.

"Early in 1916 Jacobs had several encounters with the famous French fighter
pilot, Nungesser, whose aircraft was decorated with the death's head design. The
two were so evenly matched that neither came out the victor.

"Jacobs found himself under heavy ground artillery fire on 26 March 1917. He dove
his aircraft from 200 meters, and silenced the four protecting machineguns with
fir from his own guns. He was wounded on several occasions, but luck always
seemed to fly with him. He suffered two mid-air collisions - one at low altitude
with a fellow German pilot, and a second at 4,500 meters with an Englishman. Both
times he survived the encounters.

"In June 1917, Leutnant Jacobs assumed command of Fighter Squadron 7. After he
had recorded, he was awarded the Pour le Merite, which was presented on 18 July
1918. On 3 October he scored his 36th and 37th victories. He was able to force a
large bomber to surrender without having to shoot it down. When the war ended, he
had a total of 38 confirmed victories, which ranked him 14th among his fellow

"After separation from the service, Jacobs resumed his military exploits by
joining the 'Freikorps' unit of [General?] Maercker in central Germany. He also
saw action in the east and during the capture of Riga. On one reconnaissance
mission in the east he was shot down, but again was unhurt. When the ventures to
regain lost territory ended, he directed his attention to race-car driving.
Jacobs was the winner of the first Avus Race, and was successful in other driving

In the introduction, Hackney cites the 1935 German work _Die Geschichte der
Ritter des Ordens Pour le Merite in Weltkrieg_ as a "definitive" work on the
subject so it's probable that the stilted style of the bio is a result of it
being a direct translation from the German.

So much for the official Nazi history of Jacobs. Anything in "Over the Front"
about him?

- Tom