ACE-43 Albatros D.III (OAW), Jasta 2 Boelke, June 1917, Ltn. Werner Voss
Werner Voss, during his period with Jasta Boelcke, flew this highly decorated Albatros DIII. Whilst the cowling remained grey, the nose on Voss’s plane was painted red, which was common for almost all the planes in Jasta 2. The plywood fuselage had a red heart , edged white, similar to a Valentine’s Day chocolate box on each side, and later a third heart was painted on the top of the fuselage. Also on each side of the plane , a white swastika surrounded by an olive wreath was painted. This was considered a sign of good luck or fortune, and was a common symbol which could be found on many planes from almost every nation during WW1.
The Albatros D.III was a biplane fighter aircraft used by the Imperial German Army Air Service (Luftstreitkräfte) during World War I. The D.III was flown by many top German aces, including Wilhelm Frankl, Erich Löwenhardt, Manfred von Richthofen, Karl Emil Schäfer, Ernst Udet, and Kurt Wolff, and Austro-Hungarian ones, like Godwin von Brumowski.
It was the preeminent fighter during the period of German aerial dominance known as “Bloody April” 1917.
Following the successful Albatros D.I and D.II series, the D.III utilized the same semi-monocoque, plywood-skinned fuselage. However, at the request of the Idflieg (Inspectorate of Flying Troops), the D.III adopted a sesquiplane wing arrangement broadly similar to the French Nieuport 11. The upper wingspan was extended, while the lower wing was redesigned with reduced chord and a single main spar. “V” shaped interplane struts replaced the previous parallel struts. For this reason, British aircrews commonly referred to the D.III as the “V-strutter.”