Sunday, 19 July 2015

Vera von Bissing

Images of German aerobatic aviatrix Vera von Bissing, originally featured in Erika - Die frohe Zeitung für Front und Heimat [Erika - The Happy Newspaper For Front And Homeland], no. 43, volume 1, Berlin, October 1940 (see cover, top), published and printed by Deutscher Verlag, Berlin.

Erika was a generously illustrated German periodical with a rather modest page-count, published in the early 1940s. At first appearing weekly, it was later restricted to a monthly publication schedule, and then terminated. The topics covered include entertainment, reports, and propaganda.

After attaining her pilots license in 1930, Vera von Bissing (October 23, 1906 - June 15, 2002) was trained in aerobatics by Gerhard Fieseler and subsequently became a notable and successful aerobatic pilot.

The images reproduced here were originally part of a one-page, five-photo report, illustrating Vera von Bissing's activities in the service of the National Socialist Flyers Corps (NSFK). In actual fact, von Bissing's relationship with the NSFK appears to have been somewhat coerced and strained.

The centre photo depicts von Bissing and an unnamed mechanic working on the Siemens-Halske Sh 14 A engine of her personal BFW M 35 b sports aircraft D-EXIV. The photo below shows von Bissing flying D-EXIV, although the article presents this as von Bissing test flying a newly completed aircraft. Note that the front seat has been covered.

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