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Jagdflieger Friedrich Noltenius
|Born||(1894-01-08)8 January 1894|
|Died||12 March 1936(1936-03-12) (aged 42)|
|Years of service||1914 - 1918|
|Unit||FA(A) 234, Jasta 27, Jasta 6, Jasta 11|
|Awards||Royal House Order of Hohenzollern, Iron Cross|
Lieutenant Friedrich Theodor Noltenius (8 January 1894 – 12 March 1936) was a German flying ace in the First World War, with a total of 21 victories.
Friedrich Theodor Noltenius was born in Bremen on 8 January 1894, the son of a Professor of Medicine. The younger Noltenius graduated from high school in Bremen. The war interrupted him becoming a doctor. Noltenius enlisted in Field Artillery Regiment No. 13 at the outbreak of war, on 4 August 1914. He served on the Eastern Front until December 1915; during this time, he was in the assault on Warsaw and saw action in Serbia. He then saw action at Ypres and the Somme in France until November 1917, winning the Iron Cross 2nd class. He was commissioned in October 1916 and was wounded on 16 April 1917. In May he was awarded the Iron Cross 1st class.
In December, he commenced ground school in Altenburg; he then took flight school with FEA 10 at Böblingen in February 1918. In June 1918 he attended fighter school and then posted to the Royal Prussian Jasta 27 in Jagdgeschwader 3, commanded by Bruno Loerzer. Flying a Fokker D.VII with red and white bands painted around the fuselage and on the middle of the top wing, Noltenius soon became a 'star' of the Jasta. His first victory was over a Sopwith Dolphin, on 10 August. His second win, ten days later, initiated him into the ranks of balloon busters as he destroyed an observation balloon. By 2 September, he was an ace, scoring his fifth and sixth triumphs. He survived being blown out of the sky on 14 September, when he attacked a booby-trapped balloon full of high explosives that singed much of the fabric from his plane's wings, and being wounded on the next day. He was also shot down on the 22nd by George Vaughn, then flying with No. 84 Squadron RAF out of Bertangles. Nevertheless, by the end of September, Noltenius had successfully claimed victory over another four enemy airplanes and three more balloons, raising his score to a baker's dozen. Disputes over victories with his fellow pilots prompted his transfer to the Royal Prussian Jasta 6 on 27 September, the day after his thirteenth victory. He thus joined the elite Flying Circus, Royal Prussian Jagdgeschwader I. Noltenius scored twice with Jasta 6, once on a balloon on 6 October 1918, and once four days later on a Spad. The former victory made him one of the rare balloon aces. A clash with Ulrich Neckel, his commanding officer, led to another move, this time within the Circus, to the Royal Prussian Jasta 11. He scored thrice for his new squadron on 23 October. Three more singleton victories, on 28 October, 3 and 4 November, closed out his career as an ace. The armistice a week after his final victory, and the subsequent revolution, scotched his chances of being awarded Germany's highest decoration, the Pour le Mérite or Blue Max. Indeed, he was one of the last awardees of the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern.
After the war he fought against the communists before qualifying as a doctor. Living in South America from 1923–33, he returned to Germany, where on 12 March 1936 he crashed his Bucker Jungmann on take-off. He died of his injuries.
His war diary and military service record (Kriegsranglisten-Auszug) was published in the Cross and Cockade Journal, Volume 7, Number 4 (Winter 1966).
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