Who's Who - Ernst Leman

Ernst Leman Ernst Krislanovich Leman (1894-1917) achieved ace status with the Imperial Russian Air Service by scoring five successes between May and September 1917.

With Russia's entry into the war against Germany and Austria-Hungary in August 1914 Leman enlisted with the infantry in mid-November the same year.  As with many budding aviators in the other air services Leman requested a transfer from the infantry in 1916, completing his flight training at the end of June.

Promoted Ensign the following April Leman was thereafter attached to the 19th Corps Fighter Detachment.  In the space of just under five months he amassed a tally of five 'kills', with victories on 6 & 10 May, 27 June, 17 August and 26 September, in each case while flying a Nieuport aircraft.  Wounded while in the process of scoring his fifth victory (which brought him formal recognition as an ace) Leman was confined to hospital for almost two months, during which time he was married, to Lidiya Vilenskaya.

Leman, the recipient of the Order of Saint Anne (4th Class with Swords), returned to duty on 22 November 1917 but was nevertheless unable to perform fighter duties.  Ten days later he was dead from a gunshot wound to the head.  Although suicide was presumed it was also rumoured that he was the victim of Bolshevik revolutionaries.

Shrapnel comprised steel balls ejected from shells upon detonation.

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