Re: von Raben's Dr.1

Matt Bittner (
Thu, 15 Jun 1995 12:50:30 +0000

> On Thu, 15 Jun 1995, C.P. Hart wrote:
> > This is a point of controversy among people interested in WW I
> > aircraft markings. Most references for this particular aircraft indicate
> > that it was painted red and white. Heinz Nowarra, who provided most of the
> > photos for Squadron's "Fokker Dr-I in Action" , published a color profile
> > in that book showing Raben's triplane to be blue and white. This is the
> > only place I know of where a blue and white macine is illustrated. I have
> > seen a piece of fabric purported to have come from Raben's triplane. It is
> > pretty clear looking at the fabric that a coat of red paint was applied
> > over a coat of medium blue.
> Well, I'll have to go see if I can find the Squadron Signal book (do they
> do any other WWI titles -- I thought they only did WWII to moderns...).
> The one picture I have of Raben's (sorry about the typo before) is
> probably from the Nowarra collection (unfortunately, it is packed up on a
> moving van somewhere between Los Angeles and Pittsburgh :(
> I remember that the fuselage tone was very dark, so that would be consistent
> with red (although navy blue can be pretty dark too). The photo was
> after von Raben had been shot down, and I don't recall if you could see
> any of the undersurfaces.
> An aquaitence of mine (who works at Brookhurst Hobbies) told me that the
> color was blue, so he may have just peeked into the book cited above).
> Since von Raben was captured (I assume that he lived after the war), did
> he write a memior? Is there any literature in C&C or WWI Aero, etc... on
> the "color" controversy?

The best reference for Jasta Raben (in general) is a book by A.E.
Ferko. I believe it's _Fliegertruppe No.2_, although it could be
No.1. Highly recommended. My color information comes from two
references: Ray Rimmell (of Windsock), and Greg VanWyngarden.
Another good source for German color information is Dan San Abbott.

In the Fokker Dr.I Special put out by Windsock, Rimmel mentions the
underside _possibly_ being sky blue. However, he does state that the
color was red. Although I haven't read it in awhile, I also believe
that this is the same conclusion A.E. Ferko comes up with.

There were a few other "sources" that mentioned blue: Squadron put
out a book on general aicraft and their colors, and there was an "all
the worlds aircraft and their colors" put out by some publisher.
When it comes to WW1, I definitely take things that aren't put out by
well known authors with a grain of salt.

Squadron/Signal WW1 in action books: SE5a; Albatros fighters;
SPAD fighters; Fokker Dr.I; Bristol F.2b; Sopwith Fighters; and BE2.

If you're interested in getting the Fliegertruppe books, let me know
and I'll post the address tomorrow. I'm not sure if they're still in
print, but at least you can try. And the two books are HIGHLY
recommended, especially if you plan to do anything with Jasta Raben.

Matt Bittner
Omaha, Nebraska