Jump to content

Can anyone solve this mystery?


Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I've stumbled across your forum and wondered if anyone could lend their expertise. I found the attached photo in my grandmother's house. It depicts my great-grandfather, who I understand lived in what we now call Romania (though I think the borders shifted radically during his lifetime). When he died, around 1941-2, he was a pilot, we think. But we can't make out the country of origin of his uniform - and to make matters more confusing, the writing on the back of the photo seems to be German.

Any ideas what country, let along regiment or role, his insignia represents? I'd be grateful for any guidance at all.

With thanks,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems to me he was an Austrian 1st Lieutentant in the air service. I've found a nice English-language site created by fellow GMIC member moderator Glenn J. with additional photos and information, but I am, for some reason, unable to paste any information into this response


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's the link to Glenn's site for aviation troops:http://www.austro-hungarian-army.co.uk/lft.htm

He could have been Romanian serving in the Austrian Army. It looks Austro-Hungarian to me with the uniform. The rank in the photo looks like Oberstleutnant...but it's difficult to tell gold officer stars from enlisted silver stars in black/white photos.

The "balloon" badge definitely indicates KuK Luftfahrtruppen or aviation troops. Here's a photo from Glenn's site with an aviation officer...note the balloon insignia:


The writing on the back is German: "With friendly memories of your... (I can't make out this word)" I can't read the name that is signed. The bottom: "Field Post Office 510, 10 August 1918" Maybe with the bump, our German reading experts will chime in...

There are also quite a few KuK experts ... hopefully they can jump in too. Maybe someone knows what unit goes with Feldpostamt 510

Edited by IrishGunner
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The ribbon has me confused. There are no Austro-Hungarian ribbons with even stripes with that color combination (looks like white/red/white). The closest is the Leopold Order, but the outside white stripes are narrower than the center red stripe.

Again, hopefully the Austrian experts will chime in soon...

Link to comment
Share on other sites


The photo shows your great grandfather as a Korporal serving in an aviation unit (high probability he was not a pilot). The ribbon is fror the Karltruppenkreuz (Carl Troop Cross).

If you have his full name, birth date and place of birth you may well be able to find information on him from the Kriegsarchiv in Vienna.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's really helpful Ian, thank you. I will search for him on the Kriegsarchiv. My next 'mission' is to figure out where he ended up fighting (and dying) in WW2 - we know it wasn't on the German side (he was Jewish), but his other living relatives are too old to remember much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Blog Comments

    • As a theology student my professor, a much published former Naval chaplain, set us an essay, saying that if we could answer that successfully we would be guaranteed  a good degree "Which of the gospel writers was the biggest liar, discuss."   I got a good mark, but  don't want to be burned for heresy.   P
    • As my father used to say: "Tain't so much Pappy's a liar - he just remembers big."  
    • Brian: First, let me say that I always enjoy reading your blog and your "spot on" comments.  Another fine topic with such a broad expansion into so many different facets.  I had watched this a week or two ago and when reading your blog, it reminded me of this great quote.   There is a great video on the origins of "Who was Murphy in Murphy's Law"   Anyway, about mid way through this video, there is this great quote and I think it sums it up quite well to your statem
    • I've received word from the Curator that she has permission to re-open this summer.   We're already making plans for a November event at the Museum.   Michael
    • I recall I did the same on hot days at Old Fort York back in 1973-74 - wool uniforms, and at 90F they would let you take your backpack off.   Michael
  • Create New...