RG and Carole Hoover-Head hosted a Book Launch party for for his latest work, OSWALD BOELCKE: Germany’s First Fighter Ace and Father of Air Combat, for close friends at their home in Coronado on 6 September.
Champagne and dinner were served with wild salmon, caviar, shrimp, fruit, and chocolate-dipped strawberries.
Guests were greeted with a poster of the Hells Angels movie, starring Jean Harlow. Other posters included The Boelcke book cover, one of the Coronado Cays Yacht Club “Red Baron Ball” in 2914, one showing the Albatros D. II aircraft and the current Eurofighter Typhoon, a large artwork of the Typhoon with Boelcke overlooking from the clouds, a photograph of the author on the F-4 Phantom II taken when he was 26 and one showing his Prussian Lifesaving Medal and one of Boelcke’s medal bars. Other posters used during the presentation included photographs of the Memorial Service at Cambrai, the Funeral at Dessau, The RFC wreath and letter, the wreath scarf from the English pilots at Osnabruck POW camp, the Jasta 2 scarf and a reproduction of the Eddie Rickenbacker/Clayton Knight documentary cartoon, “Hall of Fame of the Air: Oswald Boelcke,” reproduced from the Charleston (WV) Gazette, September 1, 1935.
DVDs of Howard Hughes’ Hells Angels (1930) and Howard Hawks’ Dawn Patrol (1930) were available for visitors.
Displaying a authentic Iron Cross, Second Class, and replicas of the Pour le Mérite (the “Blue Max”), Royal House of Hohenzollern Order, Knight’s Cross w/ Swords, Iron Cross, First Class, Duchy of Anhault: House Order of Albert the Bear Knights Cross, 1st and 2d Class, Prussian Pilots’ Wings, Kingdom of Bavaria: Military Merit Order 4th Class with Swords, Kingdom of Bulgaria Order of Bravery 3d Class, Wurttemberg Knight of the Military Merit Order, and the Ottoman Empire 1915 War Decoration Gallipoli Star.
Items laid out on a table in the middle of the seated guests included model aircraft of thes Fokker Dr. I Triplane, the Eurofighter “Typhoon,” and Luftwaffe sleeve stripes of the “Boelcke” and “Richthofen” Geschwaders (wings).
RG presented a verbal description of the background of the building a model of von Richthofen Dr. I, the Yacht Club Commodore’s Ball, building Oswald Boelcke’s Albatos D. II, Oswald Boelcke’s character, humanitarian events with Robert Wilson, Geoffrey Formilli, and others, the Memorial Ceremony in Cambrai Cathedral, the reaction of the Bishop, his Funeral in Dessau, the RFC wreath and letter, the wreath scarf from the English pilots at Osnabruck POW camp, the Jasta 2 scarf, his childhood, gymnasium, Military Academy experience, wireless battalion, pilot training, flying with his brother, Iron Cross awards and their US equivalents, Fokker monoplane adventures, the awards of the Hohenzollern and Pour le Mérite medals, the Ace Race, Immelmann’s death, his exile/inspection tour of the East, the founding of Jasta 2, recruiting and training including von Richthofen, his 27th and von Richthofen’s first victory, Boelcke’s accidental death and legacy. The presentation was followed by a question and answer session in which several animated queries were directed at the author.
Medals on Oswald Boelcke’s Ordenskissen
Prussian / Imperial German
(December 10, 1914)
|Pour le Mérite
The “Blue Max”
(12 January 1916
after his eighth victory)
|Iron Cross, First Class (January 27, 1915)|
|Duchy of Anhalt: House Order of Albert the Bear Knight’s Cross,
1st and 2nd class
|Prussian Pilot’s Wings
(Wreath with Taube Aeroplane)
Unique to World War I
|Kingdom of Bavaria:
4th class with Swords
(13 November 1915)
|Kingdom of Bulgaria
(9 August 1916)
Knight of the
Military Merit Order
|Ottoman Empire 1915 War Decoration Gallipoli Star (Awarded July 1916)||Royal House of Hohenzollern Order, Knight’s Cross with Swords
(1 November 1915, After his 6th Victory)
OSWALD BOELCKE: Germany’s First Fighter Ace and Father of Air Combat is available at http://www.casematepublishers.com and everywhere fine books are sold