Who's Who - Hans Berr

Hans Berr Hans Berr (1890-1917) scored ten victories as a German First World War air ace in 1916.

Born in Braunschweig in Bavaria and already an infantry lieutenant with the 7th Light Infantry (Reserve) Regiment when war broke out in August 1914, Berr saw early service on the Western Front, and consequently received an early wound, on 6 September.

Recovered from his injuries and with an award of the Iron Cross (2nd Class), Berr received a promotion to Oberleutnant in late January 1915.  He applied for and received a transfer to the German Army Air Service a little over a month later, spending much of 1915 as an air observer.

Determined to fly combat missions Berr was given single-seater pilot's training at Metz and subsequently assigned to Kek Avillers - later Jasta 5 - where he was given a Fokker Eindecker aircraft.

He opened his aerial 'kill' score on 8 March 1916, bringing down an Allied Nieuport aircraft as part of the Battle of Verdun.  A second victory followed - also in the skies above Verdun - the same month, and in August he was given command of Jasta 5, now serving during the Battle of the Somme.

Berr's tenth and final aerial victory was achieved on 3 November 1916, after which - on 4 December - he was awarded the prestigious Pour le Merite (also known as the Blue Max).

Continuing to fly combat missions Berr experienced no further success and on 6 April 1917 he crashed his aircraft into a fellow pilot's 'plane near Noyelles during an encounter with the British 57 Squadron, killing both pilots.  He was aged 26.

A 'Toasting Fork' was a bayonet, often used for the named purpose.

- Did you know?

Who's Who