Topic: Tk - Bks - Air Force
The Ottoman Air Force in the Sinai and Palestine
Gustav Adolf Dittmar
Gustav Dittmar, born 24 November 1890.
Pre Great War Service
7 October 1908 - 1. /Esk. Kür. Rgt. 4
23 December 1909 - Gefreiter
7 June 1911 - Unteroffizier
5 August 1913 2./Flg. Batl.4
7 April 1914 - Sergeant
Great War Service
2 August 1914 - 17 June 1915 - FFA 2
15 August 1914 - Vizefeldwebel
1 January 1915 - Offiziers-Stellverteter
18 June 1915 - 12 September 1915 - Fea 9
13 September 1915 - 30 September 1915 - Insp. der Fliegertruppen
1 October 1915 - 31 March 1916 - Osmanische Fliegertruppe
1 April 1916 - 7 October 1917 - FA 300 Pascha
18 October 1916 - Leutnant
3 January 1917 - Kaiserl. Osman. Oberleutnant
8 October 1917 - 18 December 1919 - In a British POW Camp
World War 2 Service
15 December 1941 - 19 May 1944 - Junkers Factory Magdeburg as Military and Political Representative
1945 - Possibly kidnapped by the Russians
The Capture - 8 October 1917
Monday, 8 October 1917 started well for the British and allied forces in Palestine. Not so for the Turkish forces and their allies. At 7.30am Oberleutnant Gustav Adolf Dittmar of Fliegerabteilung 300 stepped into his Albatros with serial number 636/17 along with a comrade piloting another aircraft. Dittmar had moved to Turkey in 1912 and on outbreak of the war had joined the German forces assisting Turkey.
This morning as he flew into the air, he did not know of an event that was to change the nature of the air war in Palestine - the introduction of the Bristol to the air strip at Deir el Belah. That morning Second Lieutenant RC Steele [a Canadian] and Lieutenant JJ Lloyd-Williams from 111 Squadron took off from Deir el Belah with two other aircraft for their morning patrol.
At 8am the three British aircraft came into contact with the two Taubes. Much to the shock of Dittmar, he was outgunned and outmanoeuvred by this new aircraft. A bullet through his petrol tank and another through the radiator ended his flight. The aeroplane glided to a smooth landing between Goz el Basal and Karm.
Some men of the 9th Light Horsemen who were on outpost work on the west side of Goz el Basal immediately mounted and galloped out to where the aeroplane had landed. They arrived at the same time as Dittmar was attempting to set light to the aircraft.
A couple yelled instructions and a few rifles waving wildly convinced Dittmar that his downed aircraft was not worth dying for so he awaited capture. It didn't take long for dozens of men to arrive and marvel at the captive aeroplane.
A gun limber was brought up and the aeroplane attached like a jinker on the limber and was carted off to British lines. Later on the aeroplane was dismantled and sent to London for examination.
As for Dittmar, he spent his first night of captivity as guest to the British at Deir el Belah and then onto a POW camp in Egypt where he spent the rest of his war.
Air War on the Palestine Front, December 1915 to January 1917
Turkish Units - The Ottoman Air Force
Lieutenant Colonel Hüseyin Hüsnü Emir, Yildirim
Citation: The Ottoman Air Force in the Sinai and Palestine, German Personnel, Gustav Adolf Dittmar