Rudolf Matthaei

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Born (1895-11-10)November 10, 1895
Died April 17, 1918(1918-04-17) (aged 22)
Allegiance Germany
Service/branch Artillery; infantry; aviation
Rank Lieutenant
Unit Kasta 9, Jasta 21, Jasta 5
Commands held Jasta 5, Jasta 46
Awards Iron Cross First and Second Class

Leutnant Rudolf Matthaei (10 November 1895 – 17 April 1918) was a World War I flying ace credited with ten aerial victories.[1][2]

Early life

Rudolf Matthaei was born in Hildesheim on 10 November 1895.[1]

Military service

Matthaei joined Saxon Field Artillery Regiment No. 46 as an officer candidate on 13 February 1914. His first wartime service was in France. He was commissioned on 23 April 1915. He shipped out with his regiment to the Eastern Front. After a transfer to Infantry Regiment No. 79, Matthaei returned to France in September 1915. In early 1916, he began aviation training. He was assigned to Kasta 9 on 12 October 1916. He upgraded to fighter pilot at Valenciennes during the first two months of 1917. In late February, he was posted to Jagdstaffel 21.[1] On 24 March 1917, he shot down an observation balloon for his first victory. After an unconfirmed claim on 15 April, he shot down a second balloon on 30 April. By 22 November 1917, he had a string of nine victories credited to Jasta 21,[2] even though he had been posted to Jagdstaffel 5 in June and become its temporary commander in August. On 17 December, he was promoted to command of Jagdstaffel 46. On 21 February, he capped his career with his tenth win, when he shot down a Spad over Wavrin.

On 17 April, he spun in, crashed, and burned on his home airfield. He was pulled alive from the wreckage, but died later that night. He had been awarded both classes of the Iron Cross, as well as the Brunswick State War Service Cross.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Above the Lines: The Aces and Fighter Units of the German Air Service, Naval Air Service and Flanders Marine Corps 1914 - 1918. p. 163.
  2. ^ a b The Aerodrome website Retrieved on 20 April 2010.


  • Above the Lines: The Aces and Fighter Units of the German Air Service, Naval Air Service and Flanders Marine Corps 1914 - 1918 Norman L. R. Franks, et al. Grub Street, 1993. ISBN 0-948817-73-9, ISBN 978-0-948817-73-1.
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