…The piece – overall – is a fantastic collection of images presenting seaplanes, airplanes, ships and marine port of Zeebrugge during World War I….


Kochanemu Alfonsowi Sobiszowi ofiaruje na pamiatke zawsze szczery Wuja Tobolski.
Wrzesnia,d. 1 Kwietnia 1931r

“For my dear Alfons Sobisz – a gift to remember, yours sincerely, Uncle Tobolski.”
Wrzesnia day 1 April 1931

These words begin a story of one Polish seaplane pilot in Prussian army shown on several pages of this photo album from the period of his service as a member of Marinekorps Flandern in Hydro-Airplane Station located in Zeebrugge.
Along numerous pictures of the events at the Station, the book also includes private photos of the owner and his family from the time before the War.
The piece – overall – is a fantastic collection of images presenting seaplanes, airplanes, ships and marine port of Zeebrugge during World War I.



The most interesting to me are seven handwritten pages, describing some of the photos in the album. Unfortunately some pictures seem to be also missing from it -They might have been a part of another piece like this.



All these notes were written on the YMCA American Expeditionary Force sheets.
I think the album owner at the end of the war was halted by U.S. army and so he included stories and descriptions in the album to be able to keep it as a diary – a souvenir from the war – his private photo book.

Some notes in the album mention the great flying aces like Friedrich Christiansen, Bernhard von Tschirschky und Boegendorff, Admiral Tirpitz, Admiral Schröder, Marshall Paul von Hindenburg and kaiser Wilhelm II.

Photo album from airplane station at Zeebrugge
Photo album from airplane station at Zeebrugge
 


Officer Cadet – pilot Erich Kästner
Officer Cadet – pilot Erich Kästner
 


Officer Cadet – pilot Erich Kästner


Karl Meyer and Erich Kästner  attacking British airship C 17 on 21.04.1917
Karl Meyer and Erich Kästner attacking British airship C 17 on 21.04.1917
 


Erich Kästner and Karl Meyer. These two German pilots shot down British airship C 17 on 21.04.1917. Postcard on the left illustrates the attack of their seaplanes on C 17.


Officer Cadet – pilot Karl Meyer
Officer Cadet – pilot Karl Meyer
 


Officer Cadet – pilot Karl Meyer


German torpedoboat which brought captured French Hydro-Airplane FBA
German torpedoboat which brought captured French Hydro-Airplane FBA
 

Niemiecki Torpedowiec który przywiózl zdobyty Francuski Hydro-Aeroplan “Courtigsa”
(orginal text: page 6 point 8)

German torpedoboat which brought captured French Hydro-Airplane “Curtiss”
(This French flying boat is FBA type H )


French flying boat FBA brought to Zeebrugge station
French flying boat FBA brought to Zeebrugge station
 


French flying boat FBA brought to Zeebrugge station


French fying boat FBA type H
French fying boat FBA type H
 


Zdobyta Francuska Lódz – “Courtigsa” D.10. na wodzie
(orginal text: page 6 point 7)

Captured French boat “Curtiss” D.10. on the water
(This flying boat is a French FBA type H and not the Curtiss boat)



German torpedo bomber seaplane Gotha WD.11
German torpedo bomber seaplane Gotha WD.11
 


Torpedo bomber seaplane Gotha WD.11 on the sea just before pulling out on land.


Gunshot from 28 cm gun of Tirpitz battery
Gunshot from 28 cm gun of Tirpitz battery
 


Wystrzal 38cm dziala Baterji Tirpiza z Wendüne
(orginal text: page 4 point 17)

Gunshot from 38cm gun of Tirpitz Battery in Wenduine
(The 28cm Tirpitz Battery was located at Oostende)


German submarine
German submarine
 


Niemiecka Lódz podwodna
(orginal text: page 4 point 18)

German U-boat (type UC II)


British heavy bomber Handley Page 0/400 shot down by Germans
British heavy bomber Handley Page 0/400 shot down by Germans
 


British heavy bomber plane Handley Page 0/400 (nr. C3487 from Raf Sqn 214)
shot down on 18 May 1918 at Zeebruge


German heavy bomber Friedrichshafen G.III
German heavy bomber Friedrichshafen G.III
 


German heavy bomber Friedrichshafen G.III


Gotha WD.11
Gotha WD.11
 


German torpedo bomber seaplane Gotha WD.11 towed to the station.


German Hydo-airplane station at Zeebrugge
German Hydo-airplane station at Zeebrugge
 


De Havilland D.H.9
De Havilland D.H.9
 


British De Havilland D.H.9 captured and examined by Germans.


German reconnaissance airplane AGO C.I
German reconnaissance airplane AGO C.I
 


German reconnaissance airplane AGO C.I nr. S158 for the II Marine Landfleiger Abteilung at Moorsele


Rumpler C.V No.788
Rumpler C.V No.788
 

Podchorazny – pilot K.Meier przy swem ulubionem bojow. hydroplanie (Rumpler C.V No.788)
(orginal text: page 6 point 11)

Officer Cadet – pilot K.Meier in front of his favorite fighting seaplane (Rumpler C.V No.788) (Probably Karl Meyer)


British seaplane Short Type 184
British seaplane Short Type 184
 


Captured British seaplane Short Type 184


Destroyed house at Lissewege
Destroyed house at Lissewege
 


Zburzony dom w Lissewegge an 31.III.1915
(orginal text: page 3 point 23)

Destroyed house at Lissewege on 31.III.1915


Seeflugstation Flandern I
Seeflugstation Flandern I
 


General view of the Zeebrugge “Seeflugstation Flandern I”



Damaged Friedrichshafen FF.33
Damaged Friedrichshafen FF.33
 


Damaged Friedrichshafen FF.33 in hydro-seaplane station



Unidentified flying boat during pulling from the water


Zdobyte Fracnuskie Lódzie Hydro Aeroplanowe Courtig’sa D.3, 84 przez Porucznika Christjanzen an 4.3.1917
(orginal text: page 7 point 6)

Captured French Hydro-Airplane boats Curtiss D.3, 84 by Lt.z.S Christiansen on 4.3.1917


Torpedo bomber seaplane Gotha WD.11 in the Hydro-Airplane Station in Zeebrugge
Torpedo bomber seaplane Gotha WD.11 in the Hydro-Airplane Station in Zeebrugge
 


Gotha WD.11 prepared to start in the harbour mole at Zeebrugge.


Damaged Hansa-Brandenburg KDW in Zeebrugge Seaplane-Station
Damaged Hansa-Brandenburg KDW in Zeebrugge Seaplane-Station
 


Damaged Hansa-Brandenburg KDW




Bombed coast around Zeebrugge


Templar tower at Nieuport
Templar tower at Nieuport
 


Templar tower at Nieuport


Captain Pike’s plane De Havilland D.H.2 nr. 4732
Captain Pike’s plane De Havilland D.H.2 nr. 4732
 


De Havilland D.H.2 nr. 4732 prototype airplane of captain Robert Maxwell Pike inspected by Germans (Probably Admiral Tirpitz). This prototype airplane was shot down near Zonnebeke on 9.8.1915


Destroyed water tower in the Zeebrugge
Destroyed water tower in the Zeebrugge
 


Zburzona wierza wodociagowa we wsi Zeebrügge
(orginal text: page 5 point 19)

Destroyed water tower in the village Zeebrugge



The citizens of Zeebrugge during evacuation after one of the shelling



British seaplane Short Type 184 captured by Germans
British seaplane Short Type 184 captured by Germans
 


British seaplane Short Type 184 in harbour at Zeebrugge


English mine on the sea coast
English mine on the sea coast
 


Wyrzucona Mina Angielska na brzegu Morskim
(orginal text: page 6 point 10)

English mine ashored on the sea coast


German heavy bomber Gotha.IV
German heavy bomber Gotha.IV
 


German heavy bomber Gotha.IV


German Torpedoboats at Zeebrugge
German Torpedoboats at Zeebrugge
 


German Torpedoboats at Zeebrugge harbor


Transporting corpses of 40 German Seamens sunk by English Topedoboats
Transporting corpses of 40 German Seamens sunk by English Topedoboats
 


Przewiezienie zwlok 40 Marynarzy niemieckich zatopionych przez Angielskie Torpedowce
(orginal text: page 4 point 15)

Transporting corpses of 40 German seamen sunk by English torpedoboats


Ceremonial funeral German Seamens at Zeebrugge
Ceremonial funeral German Seamens at Zeebrugge
 


Uroczysty pogrzeb tychze Marynarzy w Zeebrügge
(orginal text: page 4 point 15)

Ceremonial funeral those seamen at Zeebrugge
(Admiral Schröder is involved In the funeral ceremony)



Paul von Hindenburg and Admiral Schröder visiting the the Seaplane station at Zeebrugge
Paul von Hindenburg and Admiral Schröder visiting the the Seaplane station at Zeebrugge
 

Marszalek Hindenburg w samochodzie
x – Hindenburg, xx – Admiral Schröder, xxx – Komedant Stacji Porucznik Trzcirski-Begendorf, xxxx – Ppor. Schuler (orginal text: page 7 point 5)

Marshal Hindenburg in the car
x – Hindenburg, xx – Admiral Schröder, xxx – Station Commender Lt.z.S Tschirschky und Boegendorff, xxxx – Sub-Lt. Schuler


Marshal Hindenburg visiting flying station at Zeebrugge
Marshal Hindenburg visiting flying station at Zeebrugge
 


Zwiedzanie przez Marszalka Hindenburga stacji Lotniczy
x – Hindenburg, xx – Admiral Schröder
(orginal text: page 7 point 4)

Marshall Hindenburg visiting the flying station


Ineffective 38cm shell from HMS Erebus
Ineffective 38cm shell from HMS Erebus
 

Bezskuteczny pocisk 38 cm z lufy Angielskiego Monitora który upadl przy ostrzeliwaniu Zeebrügge an 10.5.17
(orginal text: page 4 point 13)

Ineffective shell 38cm from the gun barell of English Monitor which fell at the shelling of Zeebrugge on 10.5.1917 (This was probably HMS Erebus shelling )


Explosion of the 38cm shell from HMS Erebus
Explosion of the 38cm shell from HMS Erebus
 


Wybuch pocisku 38cm na brzegu morskiem an 10.5.17
(orginal text: page 5 point 24)

Explosion of the 38cm shell on the seashore on 10.5.1917
(Probably HMS Erebus)


50 kilograms English bomb
50 kilograms English bomb
 


50 kilowa bomba Angielska rzucona na Stacje Lotnicza
(orginal text: page 4 point 14)

50 kg English bomb dropped on the flying station



Mole in Zeebrugge damaged by a British Submarine C3
Mole in Zeebrugge damaged by a British Submarine C3
 


Mole in Zeebrugge damaged by a British Submarine C3
(On 23 April 1918 British Royal Navy attacked the port in Zeebrugge. This action was remembered as Raid on Zeebrugge)


Kaiser Wilhelm II visiting the Zeebrugge mole
Kaiser Wilhelm II visiting the Zeebrugge mole
 


Zwiedzanie stacji hydro-aeroplanowej przez cesarza Wilhelma II
(orginal text: page 2 point 31)

Kaiser Wilhelm II visiting the hydro-airplane station ( After 23 April 1918 and the damaged the mole, kaiser Wilhelm II visited the Zeebrugge station)


Repair works of the Zeebrugge mole
Repair works of the Zeebrugge mole
 


Repair works of the Zeebrugge mole after the British raid on the 23 April 1918


HMS Iphigenia
HMS Iphigenia
 


HMS Iphigenia at Zeebrugge harbor after 23 April 1918


HMS Intreprid
HMS Intreprid
 


HMS Intreprid at Zeebrugge harbor after 23 April 1918


HMS Thetis
HMS Thetis
 


HMS Thetis at Zeebrugge harbor after 23 April 1918



German submarine returning from patrol



Transport of prisoners from a sunken English Topedoboats
Transport of prisoners from a sunken English Topedoboats
 


Przewozenie na lad jenców z zatopionego Angielskiego Torpedowca
(orginal text: page 3 point 24)

Transport of prisoners from a sunken English torpedoboat



Probably wrecks of British ships


HMS Vindictive
HMS Vindictive
 


British HMS Vindictive sunk at harbor


Damaged Church in Zeebrugge
Damaged Church in Zeebrugge
 


Damaged Church in Zeebrugge


Church at Zeebrugge
Church at Zeebrugge
 


Bombed church in Zeebrugge from the inside


Church in Zeebrugge
Church in Zeebrugge
 


Church in Zeebrugge after firing


German soldiers visiting bombed Zeebrugge
German soldiers visiting bombed Zeebrugge
 


German soldiers visiting bombed Zeebrugge



English airman killed under the debris of his plane
English airman killed under the debris of his plane
 


Zabity Lotnik Angielski pod szczatkami swego samolotu
(orginal text: page 5 point 21)

English airman killed under the debris of his plane


Burned French pilots
Burned French pilots
 


Spaleni Lotnicy Francuscy
(orginal text: page 5 point 20)

Burned French pilots


French airman killed under the debris of his plane
French airman killed under the debris of his plane
 


Zabity Lotnik Francuski pod szczatkami swego samolotu
(orginal text: page 5 point 22)

French airman killed under the debris of his plane


British F.E. 2 (Farman Experimental 2) from British 38 Sqn
British F.E. 2 (Farman Experimental 2) from British 38 Sqn
 


British F.E. 2 (Farman Experimental 2) captured after force-landing at the beach of Blankenberge on 24.6.1918


Cabin of the airplane F.E. 2
Cabin of the airplane F.E. 2
 


Cabin of the airplane F.E. 2


British F.E. 2 (Farman Experimental 2) captured at Blankenberge on 24.6.1918
British F.E. 2 (Farman Experimental 2) captured at Blankenberge on 24.6.1918
 


The F.E. 2 (Farman Experimental 2) from British 38 Sqn




“Hydro-Aeroplan 2 miejscowy nad oblokami”
(orginal text: page 5 point 23)

Two seat Hydro-Airplane above the clouds



Shelling of Zeebrugge



English wracks


View of Snaeskerke from 2000 meters
View of Snaeskerke from 2000 meters
 


View of Snaeskerke from 2000 meters


View of Gistel from 2000 meters
View of Gistel from 2000 meters
 


View of Gistel from 2000 meters



View of Leffinge from 2000 meters
View of Leffinge from 2000 meters
 


View of Leffinge from 2000 meters


View of Middelkerke from 2000 meters
View of Middelkerke from 2000 meters
 


View of Middelkerke from 2000 meters



Gmach Poczty w Zeebrügge
(orginal text: page 7 point 1)

Post Office at Zeebrugge


Schelters on the aviation station at Zeebrugge
Schelters on the aviation station at Zeebrugge
 


Schrony na Stacji Lotniczy
(orginal text: page 7 point 2)

Schelters on the aviation station



Muster of the Seaplane station crew in Zeebrugge
Muster of the Seaplane station crew in Zeebrugge
 


Zbiórka zalogi stacji
(orginal text: page 7 point 2)

Muster of the station crew


Pleasure of the sea shore “The crew of the Zeebrugge station bathes”
Pleasure of the sea shore “The crew of the Zeebrugge station bathes”
 


Przyjemnosci brzegu morskiego “Zaloga stacji kapie sie”
(orginal text: page 6 point 12)

Pleasure of the sea shore “The crew of the station bathes”


Entertainment on the air station at Zeebrugge


Max Köhler, sächsische Orig-Type Seeflugstation Flandern

12 Responses to “A man from Zeebrugge…”

  1. Colin A Owers says:

    P1. French flying boat is a FBA,

    Page 3. TOp photo is British De Havilland D.H.9.

    Meier’s aircraft is a Rumpler 6B not a C.V.

    Page 4. Another FBA This one from Dunkirk Station.

    Love Marine WWI aircraft. Thanks for sharing.

    COlin A Owers

  2. Jon Guttman says:

    This is fantastic stuff–and rather timely, since I am working at this very moment on a new book for Osprey about naval aces of World War I. this would include an entire chapter devoted to the floatplane aces at Zeebrugge, including Karl Meyer, whose Rumpler 6B1 Nr. 788 I planned to reproduce as a color profile. Might it be possible to obtain prints or reproducable e-copies of some of these photos to help illustrate the chapter?

    Sincerely,

    Jon Guttman

  3. Milosz says:

    Thank you for the clues with the unidentified photos.

    Regarding to the handwritten notes it seems that these two French FBA flying boats D3 and D84 – That were wrongly named “Courtig’sa” (Curtiss flying boats) – were captured by Friedrich Christiansen (Lt. zur See) on 4.3.1917.

  4. Lvg w.1 says:

    [...] Historical Aircraft, Handley-Page 0/400 Gotha themselves weren't behind the 8 ball either… A man from Zeebrugge… | Pommersches Pionier There are a huge number of floatplanes on this website. I only did a quick review but an LVG W.I [...]

  5. Kees Kort says:

    Thanks Milosz for giving a view on this valuable album, which has miraculously survived the ravages of the times. It seems to be in pristine conditon still.

    I have a few more additional details to pictures presented in the album

    (1) As already mentioned by Mr. Owers, the floatplane on the alleged picture of Meyer is a Rumpler 6 B1 Marinenummer 788 [the second machine of the order for two machines with Marinenummer 787-788].
    It is remarkable that an exactly similar picture is presented in the excellent book of Eddy Lambrechts – Zij vielen uit de hemel, which shows another man before the same machine with the same dog (but then lying down). The man is identified by Mr. Lambrechts as Oberflugmeister Karl Meyer [p. 25].
    It seems the photographer had a busy time that day!

    (2) I studied a bit on the ‘Unidentified flying boat during pulling from the water’. Looking closely the wreck reveals a floatplane, which lost a float in the crash (at least that one is not salvaged or visible). The fuselage is largely hidden behind the float in this view. The wing is a large 3-bay piece and the front of the fuselage reveals the tractor propeller.
    Typical is the form of the elevator, which has the clearly gracious line of the Albatros firm.

    Given this information, where the form of the elevator weighs heavily, I would identify this machine as an Albatros W.1 military floatplane.

    All the best

    Kees Kort [aka Varese2002]

    Apeldoorn, Netherlands

  6. Lou Paris says:

    Hello there. Unless there were two Karl Meyer pilots during WWI, the man shown in your picture (standing on what seems to be a boat) is not Karl Meyer. He was my great uncle and this man looks very different. The Karl Meyer that I know flew with the Jasta 11 squadron – if this bit of information helps.

    Take care.

    Lou

  7. Milosz says:

    I’m really sure that the person from my album is Karl Meyer.
    There are two photos of him in my album, one he is standing on the boat and second one he posing in front of his seaplane. The second photo is described by the album owner as:
    Officer Cadet – pilot K. Meier (polish spelling) in the front of his favourite fight seaplane Rumpler C.V No.788. On both photos is the same person.

    Please also refer to that link:
    http://www.kaiserlichesmarinek...../MEYER.htm
    On that photo is also Karl Meyer.

    Regards,
    Milosz

  8. Aaron Weaver says:

    The album is fascinating. A few more answers for you relating to the aircraft identification:

    Page 4:

    “German reconnaissance airplane AGO C.I nr. S158 for the II Marine Landflieger Abteilung at Moorsele” (AW: The German Naval identification designations for landplanes were: LF (Landflugzeug = land aircraft) and S (Schulflugzeug = trainer/school aircraft) S158 was designated for training.

    Page 5:

    “Damaged Friedrichshafen FF.33 in hydro-seaplane station”
    (AW: This is an FF.33e which had the three-bay wings. Look at the nose just behind the propeller… you’ll see the triangular cooling cutouts which were an identifier on the FF.33e (three-bay unarmed radio-equipped for observation) and FF.33h (two-bay armed version)

    “Unidentified flying boat during pulling from the water”

    (AW: This is the same aircraft in the previous photo, but is actually taken before the other one. Note the cooling cutouts on the underside of the nose piece behind the propeller.)

    Thanks for creating this wonderful resource for us to enjoy!

    A. Weaver | Designer/Over The Front journal
    http://www.overthefront.com

  9. Aaron Weaver says:

    The FBA flying boats mentioned by Colin Owers are FBA Type H. The earlier Type C used a rotary engine. The H used an Hispano-Suiza V-8.

  10. Alex says:

    There were more than one Meyer at the german navy air service.
    The Meyer on this two pictures is Carl Meyer.
    There is a SANKE postcard of Carl Meyer for comparison.

    http://www.historischer-bilder.....p06-22.jpg

    The Meyer wich brought down the british airship C 17 was Ludwig Meyer wich died on 21.07.1917.

    Flg.Mstr. Ludwig Meyer
    SFS I/ Zeebrügge
    * 30.07.1893 Gelsenkirchen
    + 21.07.1917 Ostende

    The Rumpler 6B1 #788 was introduced on 18.11.1916.

    Kind regards

    Alex

  11. Nadzwyczaj korzystny wpis, zalecam ludziom

  12. paul vp says:

    Near te Zeebrugge-Mole, there was a farm, called on the englisch attackplans ‘Spermalie-farm” or “Sparmalie-farm” , near the railway-connection Uitkerke (Yutkerke, Yutkercke…)-Zeebrugge.

    (Today road is called Zeelaan, between the Mole and Bruges and the area is roadvehickle transportstation).

    Probably, also pommerische pioniers stayed in the (MG ?)-battery in the farm for supplling goods (munition,spare, air- and railwy vehickles…).

    Somebody knows ?

I would be happy to hear from you