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Hello all,

I saw this on ebay a little while ago, and since then have been trying to find out more about the date and place that the picture was taken, as well as the names of the officers in the photo (please ignore the date on the image - I have a feeling that the real date is somewhere around 1915-1916).

I posted this picture on another forum, and a keen-eyed member stated that the guy leaning over at the back of the group appears to wearing the Lippe-Detmold War Cross for Heroic Deeds (I think that this is abbreviated to LKEK ?).

If this is the case, does anyone know whether a roll exists that gives the names of individuals that were awarded this rare decoration? Perhaps an expert on here can find his name from the medal he is wearing?

Thanks & best regards,


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There were 741 awards of the LKEK, of which at least ten were observers. One was a Seefliegerbeobachter and one was in a Saxon squadron, so they can probably be ruled out. That still leaves eight, as well as any others who might have gotten the LKEK before joining the Fliegertruppe. I'm not sure what else there is in the photo to narrow it down further.

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Hi Dave,

Thanks for your reply. Does your source give the dates of the award? If you could provide me with the names of the recipients and their units (if provided) that would be great.

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Hi Alex,

If you could furnish me with the names of the eight observers that Dave mentioned I might be able to disqualify some of them.

As Dave stated, it wouldn't exclude the people that may have joined the Fliegertruppe AFTER winning the medal, but it's a step in the right direction...



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10.10.1915 Rttm Iwan von Stietencron (B) HG Mackensen, FA 22
23.05.1916 Olt Rolland Müller (B) FFA 27
13.02.1917 Lt Karl Piderit (B) FEA 6, FA 302
26.04.1917 Lt Hermann Büscher (B) +25.01.1918 FA A 258
04.12.1917 Lt Ernst Hilker (B) +14.01.1918 FA A 256
18.04.1918 Lt Wilhelm Schröder (B) FA A 213

20.11.1917 Lt Karl Fricke FEA 1O
04.12.1917 Olt Leopold Kuhlmann FA A 256
07.01.1918 Lt Hans Lindemann FA A 217
18.04.1918 Lt Theo Prüssner Bogohl 7
20.08.1918 Lt Frizt Fromme FA A 265
18.10.1918 Lt Hans Rohdewald FA A 232
01.11.1918 Lt Walter Wiegrebe FA A 224

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You can add to your list Lt. Franz v. Kerssenbrock from Jasta 39. LKEK am 10.1.1917, gef. im Luftkampf 3.12.1917.
Your list has both fliers and observers. The first group of names are all observers. Is the second group of names supposed to be pilots or both? Kuhlmann, Lindemann and Wiegrebe were Beobachter, and Prüssner, Fromme and Rohdewald were Flugzeugführer. Fricke didn't indicate which he was.
Also, Büscher, Hilker, Schröder, Fricke, Prüssner and Fromme were Lts.d.R.. Kuhlmann was an OLt.a.D.
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Hi Alex and Dave,

Thanks for your replies - it gives me something to work with.

It looks like the guy in the front row, second from the right (arms crossed and looking away from the camera) is not a Prussian as the lower button on his feldmutze is not white and black....

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  • 6 years later...
On 08/06/2014 at 19:17, Mattyboy said:

(...) I might be able to disqualify some of them.

If only he wore his medal bar or ribbons... this is the Wiegrebe group, that I sold close to two years ago. It came directly from his son's collection, and was auctioned at Künker's. Unattributed, however.


R02451 - 04192 b2.jpeg

R02451 - 04192 c2.jpeg

R02451 - 04192 d2.jpeg

Edited by saschaw
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  • 2 weeks later...

I don´t want to dissappoint you...but for me it doesn´t look like a LKEK, as the cross, we are looking for has a similar or smaller size like the IC 1st class next to it.
The LKEK is bigger than a standard IC 1st class (see the attached picture auf my Fritz Kleinegees group from bataillon "Rohr").

For me the cross much more looks like a Wilhelm Ernst Kriegskreuz (war merit cross) or something similar.
The were quite a few pilots who got this cross.



Edited by Solomon
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Many thanks Saschaw for your post. 

Hi Solomon, it doesn't look much like the Wilhelm-Ernst cross. But it might be the Mecklenburg-Strelitz kreuz für auszeichnung im kriege (1st class)? 


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there appears to be a state equivalent ribbon under the ek2 ribbon.  the cross in  question appears to be dark in finish and looks like it has a crown on the upper arm. below that there seems to be a defect on picture--could be glare from a flash on paint or enamel-- since there appears to be a wreath between the arms of the cross, it could even be an oldenburg fa1

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