Pilots pair of canvas & woollen fleece flying overboots : Leutnant Clausz, Jasta 29, German Air Service

Accession Number RELAWM00668
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Personal Equipment
Physical description Canvas; Woollen fleece; Leather; Ferrous metal
Maker Unknown
Place made Germany
Date made 1915
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

German Air Service (Luftstreitkrafte) pilot's pair of field grey canvas and woollen fleece, thigh length, flying overboots. The brown leather sole panel is stitched in a horizontal seam to the upper panel of each boot, and there is a seam over the top of the foot from one side to the other. A buckled adjustment tab spans a small vertical slit at the top of the back of each boot. The left boot is damaged in three places. A 60mm vertical slit, and a 25mm horizontal one just below it, have been cut right through both layers of the side of the boot near the top. The edges of both slits have frayed. There is a 20mm by 20mm square shaped hole in the canvas fabric near the toe. It has a 60mm wide band of staining along the top of the foot above it. On both sides of the opening at the top of each boot are tape loops to assist the wearer to pull them on. 'F'L.B.1.' / 1915' has been printed in black on the canvas at the top of the front of both boots. The maker's name is printed in black above the adjustment tapes on the side of both boots but it is unreadable.

History / Summary

These flying over-boots were worn by Leutnant Rudolf Clausz of Royal Prussian Jasta 29, who was the pilot of Albatros D5390/17 that was forced down in aerial combat with RE8 A3816 from 3 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps (AFC), near Armentieres on 17 December 1917. Lieutenant J L Sandy (pilot) and Sergeant H F Hughes (observer), who were the crew of the RE8 were both killed in the engagement. The Albatros landed in the Australian lines about a mile and a half north of Armentieres near Ploegsteert Wood. Leutnant Clausz had received a shrapnel wound in the thigh from anti-aircraft fire. He was taken prisoner by infantrymen of 21 Battalion AIF. Major Reed, of 21 Battalion, souvenired this pair of boots from the pilot when he was brought to his heaquarters, where his wound was bandaged. The aircraft had a small hole in its fuel tank and was later salvaged under heavy fire by Captain Ross and a party from 3 Squadron, AFC, who issued the major with a receipt for it. After the war the aircraft was sent to the Australian War Memorial as a war trophy and is in the collection at RELAWM04806.001.