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Saxon Pour le Mérite Leutnant Franz Büchner (1898-1920)

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Hi everybody,

Here is a very nice card photo of Leutnant Franz Büchner showing his new Pour le Mérite, his ribbon bar, the iron cross 1st class and the pilot badge.

Franz Büchner was born in 1898, he was enlisted in the IR 106 as a volounteer in september 1914. Wounded in 1916 he joined the air service after recovery. He then became a pilot in March 1917. With a lot of victories, he was put at the head of the Jasta 13. His first victory was on August 17, 1917, but the confirmation of the victory came two months after, so the second plane he shot down was confirmed first (October15, 1917). For that he received one month later the Ehrenbecher for the first victory.

If someone wants to know more about this officer, Neal O’Connor has written small story in the third volume of the Aviation awards of the Imperial Germany pp. 145-147.

Büchner received the following awards and badge.

Knight cross of St Henry : 07.10.1918

Knight cross 2nd class with X of Merit order of Saxe : date unknown

Knight cross 2nd class with X of Albert order of Saxe : 26.04.1916

Iron cross 2nd class : date unknown

Knight cross with X of House Order of Hohenzollern : 20.08.1918

Pour le Mérite : 25.10.1918

Iron cross 1st class : date unknown

Pilot badge : September 1916

Ehrenbecher : November 1917

If someone has got more info about him, thanks for sharing them with us.


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"He would have most likely played a huge role in the formation of the Luftwaffe."

Paul, the potential for a post-war contribution to the formation and operation of the Luftwaffe was there, although someone who was awarded a PlM during WWI did not always get preferential treatment during the Third Reich era. Politics (in all uses of the word along with all that it implies) and the old-boy system could help or hinder a PlM-traeger.

Josef Jacobs for instance who was a PlM-flieger during WWI, did not support or approve of the Nazi's and the path taken by many of his fellow PlM fliers who at one time were close friends. As a result, he found life in Germany not to his liking. He moved to the Netherlands and started an aircraft business. When the Germans invaded and occupied the country, he was expected to play nice and work for the Nazis, and decided to close down his business instead of working with them. That didn't endear him to the German leadership, and he was watched by the Gestapo for the duration of the war.

Goering's Luftwaffe leadership used those who were willing to take their lead from him, but not as potential competitors to his power and position. Most, but not all of the surviving WWI PlM recipients who were in their 20-30's during WWI saw service in WWII, but not all of them held important positions. Several were not general officers, and held relatively low level positions on staff or training jobs, etc. During WWI they might have been incredibly brave, however, there was also the question whether they had (1) political connections and close personal ties to Goering, etc, and (2) had actual command level abilities, etc.

Edited by Les
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Thanks for your comments, for the moment I have found only 11 officers who received exactly the same combo, without any others medals. If not I have found two more but they received after the war the Hindenburg cross and the Wh DA.


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I only know that Büchner was the scourge of the American SPAD in September, 1918

You can find some info in this book: "Jagdgeschwader Nr II "Berthold" (Osprey)


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  • 8 years later...

Hi all

An old topic.

Recently new informations about Franz Büchner appears on Propellerblatt review.

Now we have all data about the awards

Knight cross of St Henry : 07.10.1918

Knight cross 2nd class with X of Merit order of Saxe : 1.05.1918

Knight cross 2nd class with X of Albert order of Saxe : 26.04.1916

Iron cross 2nd class : 31.05.1915

Knight cross with X of House Order of Hohenzollern : 9.08.1918

Pour le Mérite : 25.10.1918

Iron cross 1st class : 23.07.1917

Pilot badge : 25.03.1917

Ehrenbecher : 27.10.1917

No an award but the diploma :

Allerhöchste Annerkenung duch den König von Sachsen : 9.07.1918



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