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Jasta 5 History
Jagdstaffel 5 "Staffellied"
The music you hear in the bierstuebe is the Jasta 5 "Staffellied",
written by Ltn.Heinrich
Buessing (see link under picture to left). He served in Jasta 5 from August 1916 to August 1917
during which he is reported to have written the words for the "Staffellied" of Jasta 5.
The music and words to this song were generously provided to Jasta 5 by a great niece of Herr
Buessing, and are used with her permission.
to the Buessing family from all the pilots of Jasta 5 for their interest and
generosity in making this available to us.
Hunt squadron song!
Melodie: "wohlauf, die Luft geht frisch und rein"
Melody: "well, the air goes freshly and purely"
Wohlauf, Ihr Flieger frisch und kühn,
Now run, you pilots vigorous and brave
Eilt zu den Apparaten,
Hurry to the machines,
Um durch die Luft zur Front zu zieh'n
and rip through the air to the front
Als tapfre Luftsoldaten.
like brave soldiers in the sky.
Uns schreckt nicht Sturm und Wetter ab,
No storm or weather frightens us
In luft'ger Höh' zu streiten,
from fighting in the high skies,
Wir zwingen jeden Feind hinab.
we force each enemy down.
Ihm Not und Tod bereitend:
Bringing them danger and death:
Valerie, Valera! Ihm Not und Tod bereitend.
..., ... ! bringing them danger and death.
Geschwaderfliegen ist 'ne Lust,
Flying together in our unit is a joy
Den Gegner zu verjagen.
to chase away our opponent.
Da schwellt sich jedem hoch die Brust,
Every man's breast swells with pride
Beim Feind sich rumzuschlagen.
at keeping down the enemy.
Und kommt es zur Geschwaderschlacht:
And when it gets close to our own defeat:
Wir halten treu zusammen.
We stay loyally together.
Beschießen den Franzos mit Macht,
Firing at the Frenchman with power,
Bis dass er steht in Flammen,
until he is in flames,
Valerie, Valara! Bis dass er steht in Flammen.
..., ... ! Until he is in flames.
Mit B.A.K.s man uns befunkt.
Harassed with B.A.K.'s.
Auch mit M.G. befeuert.
Fired at with M.G.
Was kümmert uns der Sprengungspunkt!
What do we care about the breakingpoints!
Geschickt wird er umsteuert.
With skill we turn things around.
Und bringt man uns zu sehr
And when in too great danger
Und fällt uns in den Rücken
and when attacked in the back
So denkt man: 'Was heißt Heldentod!'
we say: "Who will die a hero?!
Wir wenden um und drücken.
and turn around and press on.
Valerie, Valera! Wir wenden um und drücken.
..., ... ! and turn around and press on.
Der Kurvenkampf den Meister zeigt.
The turn fight shows the master.
Wie er versteht zu lenken.
Whoever knows how to lead it,
Geschickt dem Gegner man entweicht,
and how to avoid his opponent skillfully,
Um hinter ihn zu schwenken.
turning onto his tail.
So drehen wir uns wie beim Tanz
just like we turn at a dance
Herum um ihn ganz munter.
we vigorously turn on him
Doch hängen wir ihm erst am Schwanz,
but when we're on his tail first
So muss besiegt er runter.
he will surely die!
Valerie, Valera! So muss besiegt er runter.
..., ... ! he will surely die!
Doch wendet sich dem Kampfes Glück,
But when luck turns against us
Mal auf des Gegners Seiten,
and chooses the enemy's side,
So fallen wir kämpfend Stück für Stück
we will fall one by one fighting
Im Sturze wir noch streiten.
even in our fall still fighting.
Doch auch der Tod macht uns nicht weich.
But not even death makes us weak.
Uns rächt der Freunde Runde.
Our friends will avenge us.
'Hurra! Für Kaiser und für's Reich!'
Hurray! for the Kaiser and for the Reich!
Entsteigt im Sturz dem Munde.
comes from our mouths while falling.
Valerie, Valera! Entsteigt im Sturz dem Munde.
..., ... ! comes from our mouths while falling.
Gedichtet von Heinrich Büssing (1893 - 1918)
im Dezember 1916
und als "Staffellied" enthoben
The return "Valerie, Valera" is a line from a traditional song called "Frankenlied" and as
far as we know it deals with the joy and the grief that the land of the
Franks (situate it before, during and after Roman history) brought. It
has been suggested that "Valerie, Valera" is just a rhyming
thing like "ladeeda" as is very common in folksongs, unless it's
reportedly given by Jasta V to Manfred vonRichthofen, in recognition of his 62nd
victory while flying joint operations with Jasta V in November 1917
The following information is derived heavily from Jagstaffel 5, Volume 2
by GK Merrill and von Richthofens' own writing...
On 23 November 1917 over the Bourlon Wood, Manfred vonRichthofen, the
Red Baron, is recorded as having shot down Lt. J.A. Boddy from the No.64
RFC (DH5 (A9299) between 1300 and 1400 hrs. The backdrop to the period
in question was the allied Cambrai offensive. According to GK Merrill,
beginning 20 November the RFC had began operations intended to disable
German airfields and air units in the area. 134 allied aircraft staged
against the 12 machines that Jasta 5 had. This was all that was
available to defend the entire sector with! The weather was reportedly
extremely bad but the enemy was making advances on the ground and making
flights into the area. Despite the protests of Oblt. Flashar, Jasta 5
was pressed into the air by High Command on 20 November to meet the
developing challenge. The weather worsened later in the day to less than
3 meters of visibility, forcing much of Jasta 5 to land their machines
anywhere they could rather than return to the field at Chateau
Boistrancourt. In several cases damaging their machines in the process
of rough landings with no visibility. This further weakened the strength
of German forces in the area further. 21 November the weather did not
improve much, but a few Jasta 5 pilots were able to continue strafing
operations against enemy troops. 22 November the weather improved enough
for both sides to send up planes; Jasta 5 engaging in 30 combats this
day alone, achieving four victories without loss. By the end of the day,
British tanks and troops were approximately 5 km away from Boistrancourt,
which would become a target the following day of allied artillery.
Before that happened however, during the evening of 22 November, Jasta 5
was reinforced when none other than the Rittmeister vonRichthofen
himself, and eight machines from Jasta 15 landed at Jasta 5's field at
Chateau Boistrancourt. The Rittmeister personally commanded the joint
operations that subsequently involved the two units the following day,
23 November. On this day, both units saw a great deal of action over
Bourlon Wood, with many victories logged for Jasta 5. In the book, "The
Red Baron", by Manfred vonRichthofen, edited by Stanley M. Ulanoff (c
1969), page 169, it lists victory 62 against a DH 5 on 23 Nov in Bourlon
Wood. The good fighting weather of 23 November ended and it was not
until a week later around 29 November that operations in the air were
resumed. Realizing the many friendships between various Jasta 5 pilots
and vonRichthoften that existed (it is well documented that von
Richthofen made several visits to Jasta 5 throughout the war), it would
seem not at all implausible to believe that Jasta 5 would not have given
a trophy to the Baron in commemoration of his 62nd aerial victory while
engaged in commanding joint operations with Jasta 5.
Jagdstaffel 5 - The "Green Tails"
Königliche Preußische Jagdstaffel
(Royal Prussian Hunt Squadron 5)
Formed: 21 January 1916
Mobilized: 10 August 1916
Markings: Red spinners with green tails
outlined in red along with various fuselage insignia.
Losses: 19 Killed in Action (KIA)
3 Killed in Flying Accident (KIFA)
1 Injured in Flying Accidents (IIFA)
8 Wounded in Action (WIA)
2 Prisoners of War (POW)
Besides having some of the most colorful and uniquely
marked aircraft of the German Air Service (GAS), Jasta 5 also had some of the most exceptional pilots
on its roster, including 14 aces.
Because Jasta 5 experienced the rise and fall of the Luftstreitkräfte,
it holds a special place in WWI military aviation history. Truly
an ace squadron or Kanönenstaffeln, Jasta 5 was the
birthplace of many well known pilots of the time and was only surpassed in
victory totals by Jastas Boelcke and Richthofen.
Two volumes of research dedicated to the history of Jasta 5 are
now available for sale. The pictures alone are a treasure.
Below is a list of all the personnel and equipment of Jasta 5, as laid down
in Feldflugeschef Order 929/16, date 31/8/16.
1 Lorry fitted with electric generator
1 water Lorry
1 mobile workshop
4 heavy Lorries
16 Drivers and Assistance Drivers
15 Soldiers for transport duties
2 motor cyclists
5 men for general duties
2 Telephone Operators
2 Leather workers
6 Motor Mechanics
28 Airframe Riggers
14 Engine Fitters
6 NCO's including:
1 Orderly Room Clerk
1 for Equipment Duties
1 for Fuel and Oil Duties
1 for Armament Duties
1 for General Duties
1 Medical NCO
1 Disciplinary Sergeant
1 Disciplinary Sergeant - Major
1 Master Technician
1 Adjutant - Executive Officer (XO)
1 Staffelführer (CO)
Of interest to many may be a website
showing locations and movements throughout the war of all Jagdstaffeln.
To view a summary of Jasta 5's online
history, visit Our Campaigns