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Paul Bäumer
File:Bäumer.jpg
Nickname "Der Eiserne Adler" (The Iron Eagle)
Born (1896-05-11)May 11, 1896
Died 15 July 1927(1927-07-15) (aged 31)
Place of birth Duisburg Ruhrort
Place of death Near Copenhagen, Denmark
Allegiance German Empire
Service/branch Infantry, Luftstreitkräfte
Years of service 1914-1918
Rank Leutnant
Unit FA 7, Jastas 2 & 5
Awards Pour le Mérite, Military Merit Cross, Iron Cross 1st & 2nd Class, Silver Wound Badge
This article deals with Paul Bäumer the pilot. For the fictional Paul Bäumer, see All Quiet on the Western Front

Paul Wilhelm Bäumer (11 May 1896 – 15 July 1927) was a German fighter ace in World War I.

Background

Bäumer was born in Meiderich.

Involvement in World War 1

Bäumer learned to fly before the war but joined the infantry and was wounded in the leg in 1915. He transferred to the air service as a dental assistant before being accepted for military pilot training. In 1917, he gained experience on two-seaters with FA7 before acceptance as a noncommissioned fighter pilot.

Bäumer joined Jagdstaffel 5 in June 1917, scoring three victories in July before going to the elite Jasta Boelcke.

Albatros D.V of Paul Bäumer while with Jagdstaffel 5

Bäumer claimed heavily, reaching 18 victories by year end. He was commissioned in April 1918. On 29 May Bäumer was injured in a crash, breaking his jaw, and he returned to the Jasta in September. With the arrival of the Fokker D.VII he claimed even more success, including 16 in September. Nicknamed 'The Iron Eagle' and with a personal emblem of an Edelweiss on his aircraft. He was one of the few pilots in World War I whose lives were saved by parachute deployment, when he was shot down in flames in September. He received the Pour le Mérite shortly before the Armistice and was finally credited with 43 victories, ranking ninth among German aces.

Post-War Career

After the war, Bäumer worked briefly in the dockyards before he became a dentist, and reportedly one of his patients, Erich Maria Remarque, used Bäumer's name for the protagonist of his antiwar novel All Quiet on the Western Front.

Continuing his interest in flying, he founded his own aircraft company in Hamburg. Bäumer died in an air crash at Copenhagen on 15 July 1927, age 31, while test flying a Rohrbach Rofix fighter.

External links

References

  • Norman Franks et al. (1993). Above the Lines: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces of the German Air Service, Naval Air Service, and Flanders Marine Corps 1914-1918. Grub Street, London.
  • Franks, Norman (2004). Jasta Boelcke. London: Grub Street. ISBN 978-1-904010-76-0. 

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