Tuesday, November 30, 2010
A mechanical engineer with an interest in aircraft design, Kissenberth joined the German Air Force in 1914. Toward the end of the year, he completed his training as a reconnaissance pilot and was posted to FA 8b. On 21 March 1915, he was wounded in action over the Vosges Mountains. When he recovered, he joined FA 9b on 8 July 1915, serving in Italy and on the Vosges front. In 1916, as a fighting pilot with KEK Einsisheim, Kissenberth was credited with his first three victories on 12 October. Not until the summer of the following year would he score again. This time, as a member of Jasta 16, he downed two SPADs and flamed a balloon. On 4 August 1917, Kissenberth assumed command of Jasta 23. One of only three German aces to wear glasses during the war, he most often flew an Albatros D.V with yellow and white Edelweiss painted on its fuselage. After scoring more than a dozen victories with this aircraft, he scored his final victory flying a captured Sopwith Camel. Less than two weeks later, on the evening of 29 May 1918, he was seriously injured when he crashed the British fighter. Returning to duty later that year, he served as commanding officer of the Schliessheim flying school until the end of the war. In 1919, Kissenberth was killed in a climbing accident while mountaineering in the Bavarian Alps.