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Gürke's 2005 Boistrancourt Visit

One of our pilots returned to visit the airfield at Boistrancourt in 2005.  Here are a few of his pictures.  He makes reference to two volumes of work commercially available, on the history of Jagdstaffel 5.  Special thanks for sharing these with all of us.  It is hallowed ground in a sense when one views the black and white photos showing the hangars and planes lined up in a row and then when you consider the men that were there long ago....



"If you reference the aerial shot of Boistrancourt in the Jagdstaffel 5 Volume One, page 11, I am standing at the top-right corner of the chateau brick wall.  Photo was taken facing towards the sugar factory, towards where Hangar 1 used to be.  You can see that the buildings have changed over the decades, and that the smokestack is gone.  Notice the field’s slope!  In the photo it slopes down from right to left, and from the foreground to the background, then goes back “uphill” towards the factory.  Easy to see why Berr wanted those stands to help stop planes with no brakes from rolling into the hangars while taxiing.  The smaller fence that ran from the first stand, parallel to the brick wall, is no longer there, either.  Observation tower is gone as well.  Still, the area is well recognizable."

"Here are two more Boistrancourt photos (above and below).  One taken from near the same location as in the one I sent previously (top picture), only it looks towards where Hangar 5 used to be. 

The other shot (below) is across the field, where Hangar 5 used to be, looking back towards the chateau wall.  The “broken looking” trees at the left, inside the wall, mark the approx location of where the observation tower used to be.  Compare this angle to the July 1917 Albatros lineup photo in Jagdstaffel 5 , Volume One, page 35, picture 32.  That photo was taken atop a ladder (visible in the distance in front of Hangar 5, photo 29), while mine was taken while standing on the grass.  I’m a little further to the right as well.  I do have a shot taken from the exact spot (minus the elevation provided by the ladder) but that will be going into the book and I cannot distribute it yet.  In J5V1 photo 32, you can see the corner of the chateau wall just to the left of the observation tower, beyond the hedged fence (that is no longer there).  Trees visible to left are now gone today as well.  When I was there it was a plowed field, although there was a patch of corn still standing along the chateau’s rear wall.  Slope of the field is evident in both photos, although I have to admit that I never noticed that until I was there.  I did not see any cattle around, as in photo 31, but there was an area behind and to the left of where Hangar 1 used to be that stored loose hay."






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