I just put together this album for my World War One collection. One of the epic dogfights of WWI occurred when German ace Ernst Udet encountered the French ace Georges Guynemer. Udet was a member of Jasta 15 at the time flying an Albatros DIII and Guynemer was a member of the Storks” flying a S.PA.D. VII christened “Vieux Charles”. The result of this inconclusive contest is something special among combat aviators and has, in a way, become symbolic of WWI aerial combat.
Originally shared by Pete Panozzo
Epic dogfight – French ace Georges Guynemer versus German ace Ernst Udet
From Wikipedia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Udet
“During his service with Jasta 15, Udet later wrote he had encountered Georges Guynemer, a notable French ace, in single combat at 5,000 m (16,000 ft). Guynemer, who preferred to hunt enemy planes alone, by this time was the leading French ace with more than 30 victories. Udet saw Guynemer and they circled each other, looking for an opening and testing each other’s turning abilities. They were close enough for Udet to read the “Vieux” of “Vieux Charles” written on Guynemer’s Spad S.VII. The opponents tried every aerobatic trick they knew and Guynemer fired a burst through Udet’s upper wing, however maneuvered for advantage. Once Udet had Guynemer in his sights, his machine guns jammed and while pretending to dogfight he pounded on them with his fists, desperate to unjam them. Guynemer realized his predicament and instead of taking advantage of it, simply waved a farewell and flew away. Udet wrote of the fight, “For seconds, I forgot that the man across from me was Guynemer, my enemy. It seems as though I were sparring with an older comrade over our own airfield.” Udet felt that Guynemer had spared him because he wanted a fair fight, while others have suggested that the French ace was impressed with Udet’s skills and hoped they might meet again on equal terms.”