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I posted the Loibl group earlier. Here?s another group with a Russian connection. This one is my favorite because it comes straight from the step-daughter, and is UNTOUCHED BY DEALERS? HANDS!!!

Otto ?Piple? Wieprich was born in 1896 and volunteered for the 27 Infantry Reg?t early in WW1. His step-daughter knows he got his nickname because of his small stature, but is not sure what ?Piple? means. Her best guess is that it is Schwabisch for a small doll!

In May 1917 he transferred to FA (A) 250 as a pilot, where he served with actor Peter Ustinov?s father Jona, and his Uncle Peter, who was later KIA and after whom the father would name his famous son.

On November 29 with his observer, Lt. Walter Reuschle, Gefreiter Wieprich shot down his first enemy, a DH5, near Dunkirk. Shortly after he was promoted to Vizefeldwebel.

I believe this is Otto on the right, with Lt. Reuschle. No other wartime photo of Otto exists.

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Here is his Ehrenbecher. I presume at this stage of the war he got it after his fourth and last victory. In February 1918 Wieprich transferred to Jasta 57 and scored three more victories:

April 17, 1918 SE5A north of hazebrouck

May 19, 1918 SE5A Moorslede

August 29, 1918 DH9 west of Epinoy

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His step-daughter remembers at home during the 1940s and `50s her mother used the Becher as a vase for dried flowers! At other times she remembers her mother hiding it away--from prying eyes or rambunctious children? She doesn?t remember her father ever talking about it, or the war. He was more proud of his presentation cigarette case which I will show later. She did find a note after his death which expressed his feelings about killing someone, which I will post at the end.

Edited by Luftmensch

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Here are his wartime decorations. I have stood next to several ?groups? at shows and seen dealers reach into an unrelated Riker and extract an EK here or a Turkish halfmoon there and--PRESTO!--add it to the group. It is nice to know no one has done that here. He had three pilot?s badges and, Stogie, NO crowns!!!

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I know, Rick, I know---extreme close-ups back and front....I wonder how many duplicate flying badges the average Frontflieger owned? And I wonder if this salty cliche was the one Otto dogfighted with?

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Next badge, a text book Junckers. After reading Cmdr. Bob's articles on what baseline badges ought to look like, this is one of the few un@#$%& with groups I could refer to, after which I began warming to his "no crown" hypothesis, primarily because this group is a time capsule--in the family until 2004.

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Third Badge is textbook Meybauer. War-time production. Key features being the pin, the bow/crown on the front and the 900 silver mark. War-time Meybauer were almost exclusively in fine silber..... the post 1918 stuff was not.

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Thanks! I was worried Wieprich had bought himself a fake in the late 40s! :cheeky: Bear with me Rick, there is a lot more to come.

Wieprich was shot down by Sopwith Camels on June 27, 1918 but landed unhurt. I have no further service details. A letter from the Bundesarchiv in Freiburg states that they have no service records for Wieprich. A letter from Dr. Dieter Groeschel says they were either destroyed during an air raid on Berlin, evacuated with other remnants to salt mines where the Soviets seized them, or burned on route to Bavaria. He recommended trying the State Archives in Halberstadt where the 27th Inf. was garrisoned, or the Saxon Archives in Dresden, as FA (A) 250 became a Saxon unit in November 1917. It appears from the file that the step-daughter wrote them without success. Wieprich?s postwar employer, Lufthansa, also lost records in the bombing of Berlin.

After the war things are a little better documented.

In 1921 he and his Jasta boss Paul Straehle flew the Luftpost route from Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt to Konstanz, and in 1922 formed the Luftverkehr Straehle, flying passengers from Stuttgart to Nuernberg, until bad economic times forced the airline to shut down in 1924.

Here are some press photos from Wieprich?s scrapbook reporting their adventures.

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A photo of Reichspraesident Ebert being helped off the wing by Wieprich, taken in 1923.

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Edited by Luftmensch

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In 1923 Wieprich left Straehle to join Junkers. He flew the Junkers F-13 (the first all-metal machine) for Junkers, opening routes through the USSR.

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Otto made ?Xs? to mark the spot where he appears in photos from a company book illustrating some of these exotic places in the East.

Here he is in front of his F 13 in Turkestan

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In Tehran, standing next to the wing of the second plane, identified as a Russian built Junkers.

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DEFINITELY check out this fascinating link on F 13s to the Deutsches Museum. Apparently the one they have on display was found in a scrap heap in Kabul in the 1960s!!!

http://www.deutsches-museum.de/ausstell/meister/e_ju.htm

But back to 1923, here is Otto in Bushir, central Persia.

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And riding a donkey for a change of pace in Isfahan.

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Next year in Tiflis, the Company presented him with his most prized possession.

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Otto Wieprich had joined the 100,000 km Klub!

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You can see Hans Baur's name, the man who would become Hitler's personal pilot, at the top of the list in the 200,000 km column.

Edited by Luftmensch

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The step-daughter said he was "extremely proud of the case" because of the dedication below, but even more so because of engravings that were added later, which I will show in sequence.

For now, the engraving from Herr Junkers...

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Then the murky bit begins. If anyone knows any more about this period I would love to hear it. I guess Otto became something like a foreign contractor because in 1924 he and his Junkers airplane were requisitioned by the Red Army for combat operations in Uzbekistan, while still in the employ of Junkers, flying a German airplane with Soviet markings.

He also flew in support of the Soviets during uprisings along the Persian and Chinese borders. He was frequently shot at, and picked up a few souvenirs! His step-daughter says he got married to his first wife in Kiva, to a Russian doctor who had treated his wounds after one hot mission.

I do not the the significance of these. Can anybody help?

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What a fantastic and ORIGINAL group :beer: Absolutely astounding, how extensive this group is :cheers:

Rick, obviously he held also the 1936 Olympic Medal and the HHZ-Knights cross. What is on second place on the four-place ribbon bar?

The last badge(tie-clip?) is definately russian.

Just wonderful :beer:

Gerd

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This one

[attachmentid=20736]

is a "Dobrolet" badge, of which there were innumerable versions. If you post it in the Soviet Forum under the identification of its name, somebody familiar with 1920s pins should be able to help. I don't know if this was a specific plane named "Dobrolet" ("Good Flying") or a generic sort of support for Soviet civil aviation pin. But there seem to be many varieties, all with the same design. Measurements would help.

For the Arabic one, suggest you try in the Other Countries sub-Form with title like "1920s Arabic Aviation Pin" and seen if that brings out the folks who can READ that. It would appear to be a personalized dedication with a date (or some numbering) sort of in the lower middle.

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Fantastic, Rick, you anticipated my next post which mentions, "Dobroljot", and which I did not know was in any way connected.

You guys are the ribbon experts of the Universe--anything you can tell me about the bars would be appreciated. Would a Vizefeldwebel get a HHZ Knight's Cross? There is nothing in his scrap book about the Olympics. What did one have to do to qualify for this medal, just attend in some formal capacity, as for example with Lufthansa?

Rgds

John

Edited by Luftmensch

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I believe this is Otto on the right, with Lt. Reuschle. No other wartime photo of Otto exists.

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Did you mean stage right? I'm no expert, and I could be very wrong, but it looks to me that the man on the right is wearing officer's litzen on his collar and the fellow on the left has NCO lace around his collar, so if Otto is in this photo, I would think he'd be the fellow on the left.

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Actually that is a NAUGHTY ribbon bar. The second ribbon shouldn't be on there 1935+-- it is a 1920s veterans piece from the Prussian Kriegerbund, their "Kriegsehrenkreuz 1914-1918" an attractively enamelled dingus that looks like a Prussian Crown Order with swords, with the Hohenzollern eagle in the middle. It and all other such vanity pieces were banned after the Hindenburg Cross was created. Somethings been swapped out there.

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This one is a "Dobrolet" badge, of which there were innumerable versions.

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In Otto's papers I just found the above translated Soviet article. It mentions "Dobrolot." Apparently the story was picked up by the Junkers newsletter several months later and in turn picked up by the national press. Something about Wieprich fighting bandits in Kiva with rubber bands, but I'm still puzzling it out!

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But I won't make you wait. I could type it in a few minutes or translate it in a few weeks so here you are. (Sorry about the mangled umlauts.)

Im Kampfe gegen di Banditen in Chiva wurden ein Junkers=Flugzeug der "Dobroljot" mit Flugzeugfuhrer Otto Wieprich eingesetzt. Aus der Schilderung, welche uns Wieprich sendet, geht mit aller Deutlichkeit die grosse Rolle des Flugzeuges im Dienste der Staatsmacht uber Weiten, fernen Gebieten hervor; wir bemerkten bereits anlaesslichdes Fluges des Chefs der Russichen Luftstreitkraefte nach Zentralasien im Juni 1923: "Der Staat schafft sich in seinen Flugzeugen eine Schnell bereite, bewegliche Polizeimacht, um seine autoritat in kuerzester Zeit uberall da zur Geltung zu bringen, wo Mangel an Verkehtswagen und Ungunst des Gelaendes andere Mittel versagen lassen"

Die dem Flugzeugfuhrer Wieprich zuteil gewordene Belohnung fur seine Tat geht aus folgendem Erlass des "Zentral=Komitees der H.S.S.R." hervor:

"Der Flugzeugfuhrer Wieprich hat gemaess des ihm erteilten Auftrages, das bevollmaechtigte Mitglied der R.W.S. der tuerkishen Front, Kutjakoff, im Junkers=Flugzeug von Tashkent nach der von einheimischen Rauberbanden umstellten Stadt Chiva zu bringen, den genannten Flug bei unmoeglichem Flugwetter unter Lebensgefahr ausgefuhrt. Im Sandgebiet von einem dichten Nebel ueberasscht musste Wipriech im Rayon, in dem, die Rauberbanden lagerten, landen und erfuellte nach einigen Stunden, nachdem sich der Nebel etwas zerstreut hatte, indem er noch die Besatzung das zweiten hierher geflogenen Apparates, der Bruch gemacht hatte, in sein Flugzeug aufnahm, seine Aufgabe heldenmuetig. Bei dem Flug durch das von dem Feinde besetzte Territorium wurde das Flugzeug angeschossen und erhielt einige Schussloecher. Von der Stadt Chiva aus hat Wieprich bei unmoeglichem Wetter und stroemendem Regen einen Wichtigen Flug durchgefuehrt. Wieprich hat als deutscher Staatsangehoeriger bei seiner Arbeit aufrichtig im Interesse Russlands gearbeitet und aktiv an der Befreiung der Dechane der Chorrepublik von der Gewalttaetigkeit der Basmatschen teilgenommen. Man hat beschlossen, Wieprich durch eine goldene Uhr mit der Aufschchrift ,,Dem tapferen Piloten" zu belohnen."

Edited by Luftmensch

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Did you mean stage right? I'm no expert, and I could be very wrong, but it looks to me that the man on the right is wearing officer's litzen on his collar and the fellow on the left has NCO lace around his collar, so if Otto is in this photo, I would think he'd be the fellow on the left.

Mike, there are no marks on the back of the photo, so I'm just trying to match faces from other photos! Could they have been drinking and swapped tunics? Could I need new glasses?

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When I first saw his ?Rotbannerorden, 1924? I didn?t think too much about it, in my ignorance. Then in Thies? Auktion 27 I saw one sell for a L O T of money! I wonder how many owners of this group down the road will keep this collection together? There appears to be a little bit nicked off the bottom of the lance on this example.

Are records still extant for this award? I?ll take Rick?s advice and post a few of these foreign baubles in other categories for clues?

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Edited by Luftmensch

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I?ll take Rick?s advice and post a few of these foreign baubles in other categories for clues?

From the prices that I've seen these early Republican Red Banners sell for, I think you could be safe in saying that this single badge may well be worth more than the entire rest of the group... COMBINED. :speechless1:

Dave

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http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?s=&showtopic=4...indpost&p=42583

H O L Y M O T H E R O F G O D !!!!!

:jumping::jumping::jumping::jumping::jumping::jumping::jumping::jumping:

There is a book listing these, which I don't have, but that will tell you by the serial number on what day he got that, and how many (many is a word I use only in the sense that none of us will ever see one again) there were in total.

I am thinking right now that a scan of all his awards-- ALL his awards-- together might very conceivably be THE most amazing "Soviet group" of this entire year, if not longer.

Wuuuuuuuuuu-ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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