Re: Guynemer's fate

Erik Pilawskii (
Tue, 8 Aug 1995 21:00:46 -0700 (PDT)

Bill and Eli,

Thanks for the help!
> >
> >As I mentioned previously, French isn't one of my languages (These are
> >limited to English and Southern). However, pictures are universal. There is
Outstanding. I think I might take a stab at this later when I pull
out one of my S.XIIIs.
> S504 is either natural or that pale yellow often used on French
> a/c. My current bet is yellow but who *really* knows.

Agreed. I'd bet on yellow, as well. The yellow color, actually, as I
recall, was the result of a special dope used for protection from the sun.
> Finally - were did the information come from that Wisseman was
> flying a two seater when he alledgedly downed Guynemer? My
> info says that he was with Jasta 3 - did Jasta 3 even have any
> two-seaters? Clarification would be appreciated.
Of course. In "Flying Machines of the First Air War, 1914-18" McLeese
goes to some length (ok, great length) to discredit the Wisseman (which
he also claims is confused with a Weissmann-- also of Jasta 3???) claim.
I certainly would not ascribe any great objectivity to McLeese-- clearly,
Guynemer is a personal favorite, and I think the very idea of a pilot less
than Voss' standing dispatching the French idol is unthinkable to him.
On pp.98-99, McLeese states that "the Official German claim is rife with
error [sic]"; "the claim is given in the name of one Ob.Lt.'Wisseman' as
a pilot belonging to Air Squadron [Jasta??] 3. But, in this particular
formation there was an ace by the name of 'Weissmann' [I presume the same
chap who had the all-white Dr.I]."
Next page: "There was, in fact, a claim submitted on this day by a
'Wisseman', an Albatros two-seater pilot, but this cannot be held as the
appropriate claimant for Guynemer..." [why not?!?]. Further, in "Aces and
Planes of WWI" (Christy, Shamburger), the idea is repeated, though as
mere conjecture. In "Aces and Aircraft of WWI" (Christopher Campbell,
from "Jane's"), however, the account is given in full. Guynemer and Bozon-
Verduraz, flying SPAD XIIIs, bored-in on a lone two-seater [the Albatros?].
They exchanged fire, then Albatros D.Vs fell on them from above. Bozon
turned and escaped, Guynemer was never seen again. Mystery prevailed for a
'week', then a German report became known declaring the ace had been
found dead. Some time later, a German newspaper claimed Kurt Wissemann
(two n's), "a two-seater pilot", as Guynemer's victor. But, Wissemann was
killed, himself, two weeks later by Rene Fonck (revenge?). Intriguing....
Apparently, there never was an "official" German (or, at least from Idflieg)
claim. Also interesting.
Of course, *anything* could have happened, and I'm now curious to know
if this Wissemann (or Wisseman) was a Jasta 3 pilot, or not. Or was he
confused (which happens easily on a newspaper editor's desk) with Ob.Lt.
Wiessmann, who was more recognizable (as an ace)?
But if your name is McLeese then there appears to be one possibility
only-- and how dare you claim otherwise!
"Here's to your Enemies' enemies!..."
--Old Irish Toast