|Do you stil see me?
("Kennscht mi noch?") Leutnant Friedrich Kempf
By : Deborah Susan Jones : Editor
Some aeroplanes are famous and some are simply legendary through paradox, publicity, or appearance. Not especially fast, certainly very manoeuvrable and good at climbing, yet, unstable to the point where some pilots were scared to fly it, once painted red and in the hands of "The Red Baron" it was never going to be less than legendary, but there were many exotically painted Triplanes and this issue's subject is certainly an interesting one.
Manfred von Richthofen, Ernst Udet, Josef Carl Jacobs, Erich Loewenhandt, all were were Triplane flying Aces, and that included LT Paul Friedrich Kempf, who was a pilot of Jasta 2 (Boelke). He only achieved four victories but an entry on 'The Aeroplane' Forun suggests the following story, that "Kempf was a very talkative young man and when he meets an old comrade he hasn't seen for months he walks up to him, touches his shoulders and says "Hello, I'm Fritz Kempf, we know each other from..., kennscht mi noch?" (Do you still remember me?) He adds this question nearly everytime, a habit. His comrades made a joke of it even in a dogfight. So he decided to choose this sentence as his personal marking".
Be that as it may, on 3/20/1917 Kempf received the Iron Cross 1st Class and transfers to Jasta Boelcke and the recorded victories on these dates are: 4/30/17 a BE2d, 6/5/17 Sopwith Pup, 10/20/17 Sopwith Camel. He received another decoration, Bulgarian Military Merit Order w/ War Decoration. Then assigned on 10/20/17 to Jastaschule I at Valenciennes for duty at the flight school until 1/30/18. Kempf scored again on 5/8/18, another Sopwith Camel. His last victory. Then awarded another decoration, the Knight 2nd Class with Swords of the Zaehringen Lion, on 8/18/18 Kempf is detached from Jasta B and returns to Jastaschule I and finishes out the war there. His final award of the war comes two days before his return home, the Wound Badge in Black for his wounding four years earlier in the infantry
Though he was not a leading ace of course the paint scheme on his plane assures his machine is always seent scheme his pictures are widely seen and makes for a great painting.
Deborah Susan Jones : Editor