Johannes Janzen

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Johannes Janzen
Born 21 May 1886
Fronza (near Marienwerder), West Prussia
Died 1980s
Allegiance Germany
Service/branch Aviation
Years of service 1914-1918
Rank Leutnant
Unit FEA 3, Kasta 12, Jasta 23, Jasta 6
Commands held Jasta 4, Jasta 6
Awards Iron Cross

Lieutenant Johannes Janzen was a World War I flying ace credited with thirteen aerial victories.[1]

Early life and service

Johannes Max Janzen was born in Fronza, the Kingdom of Prussia, in the German Empire.[2] As World War began, on 3 August 1914, Janzen volunteered for duty in 1st Leib-Husaren-Regiment. He was promoted to Leutnant der Reserve on 24 February 1916. He transferred to aviation duty on 4 May 1916.[2] He trained with FEA 3 until 22 August, then forwarded to Kasta 12. He received his pilot's badge on 8 October, with the Second Class Iron Cross following the day after.[1] He was assigned to combat with Royal Bavarian Jagdstaffel 23 on 28 November 1916. He scored his first aerial victory with them on 25 February 1917. His First Class Iron Cross was awarded on 29 March.[2] On 16 October, he was transferred to Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 6. He scored three more victories between 30 November 1917 and 27 March 1918.[1]


On 28 March 1918, he was appointed to command of Royal Prussian Jagstaffel 4.[2] He helmed Jasta 4 without scoring any victories through 3 May 1918. On that day, he was transferred to command of Jasta 6, whose CO Wilhelm Reinhard, had moved up to the wing command of Jagdgeschwader I. The next day, Janzen became an ace by shooting down a Spad. On 9 May, he survived being downed by Captain Oliver Colin LeBoutillier; Janzen's plane's controls had been shot away, but he spun harmlessly to the ground.[1] Janzen went on to rack up eight more wins through 7 June 1918. Two days later, his plane's machine gun synchronization gear failed and Janzen shot off his own propeller while attacking a Spad.[2] He was captured, but escaped in December.[1]


Janzen served in Flieger Staffel 120 of the Reichswehr from January through May 1920. He is believed to have died during the 1980s.[1]

Sources of information

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Above the Lines: The Aces and Fighter Units of the German Air Service, Naval Air Service and Flanders Marine Corps 1914 - 1918. p. 137.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 [1] Janzen's page on The Aerodrome website.


  • 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.