Hauptmann Hans Zwierzina

Pictured above is the highly decorated commander of FliegerKompanie 3J Hauptmann Hans Zwierzina 1889-1918. The 28 year old Zwierzina was killed during a training flight on the 23rd of May 1918 above the airfield of Gardola near Trient on the Southwestern Front. Captain Zwierzina's parent unit was the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Infantry Regiment Nr.1.  Having already been awarded a Bronze "Signum Laudis" in peacetime for bravery during an accident at an ammunition depot, he went on to earn the Order of the Iron Crown 3rd Class with War Decoration and Swords, the Military Merit Cross with War Decoration and Swords and Three Military Merit Medals (Signum Laudis) in silver plus a further award of the Bronze Signum Laudis on the Ribbon of the Bravery Medal. The photograph above taken sometime after his November 1917 promotion to captain shows his impressive row of decorations including the German Iron Cross 2nd Class. Of note is the balloon badge of the flying branch and the shortened wartime strip of branch colour (Alizerin-red) on his collar. He was buried with full military honours on the 2nd June 1918.

Photograph Felix Game 2001

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