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43rd Aero Squadron (AEF) Album

Fred Kaiser

This series of photos were obtained from James Kaiser, son of Fred Kaiser of Muncie, Indiana. It was originally believed that most of them were taken in France in 1917-18.  However, Mr. Kaiser recently spoke with his oldest brother about their father's album, and according to him..... 

"Dad spent the majority of his time in England, not France. The rest of the time, was aboard ship, trying to get to England. (He was) Torpedoed once before getting there. Per brother, he didn't like to talk about the war..."

Little is yet known about the history of these images. It is speculated that the photographer (it is not know if it was Mr. Kaiser) was part of group of mechanics (as was Mr. Kaiser) in the 43rd. Many of the images are of crashed aircraft, and most of them look to have been used for training. I am sure that  as historians from  groups such as "Over the Front" have an opportunity to look at these, more will be learned. 

Of special interest to the WW1 scale modeler are a number of pictures of a scale Sopwith Camel model. Little is know about this, but it appears to be fairly detailed, including working control surfaces, and possibly a working multi-cylinder engine! Speculation is that this may be a compressed air motor of some type. Some have thought that the model may have built by the mechanics/machinists in the squadron (Mr. Kaiser was a mechanic with the 43rd), or may have been something produced by the Sopwith Co. for field training. It's hard to say. The guys at Balsa USA have seen the images of the model, and they were amazed. They'd never heard or seen anything like it from that period.  The AMA has expressed interest in doing and interview with James Kaiser (who also lives in Muncie) for a future article. James Kaiser is a retired Colonel in the Indiana National Guard, his father passed away 1942. 

Also, take note of the photos of the captured and  Albatross,  Rumpler  (in British markings), and  Halberstadt .

The image file names are the order in which they were in the album.  Many pages were loose however, and are probably not in much of a sequential order. 

Hopefully, much more can be learned about these images in the near future.

Comments, thoughts and questions can be sent to Mike Bealmear. We hope to here from you "experts" out there!


43rd Aero Squadron Album


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