This is a consignment item that consists of the items listed below.
1. A piece of plywood from the fuselage of a Siemens Schuckert D. III or D. IV. Both of these models were single-seater scouts intended for use by Germany’s Jastas. The D. III was a prototype, and about fifty were built. While they initially showed great promise, they suffered engine problems and were withdrawn from combat. They were quite popular among the Jastas that used them.
Modifications were made and the D. IV was introduced in March 1918. Out of the 280 that were originally ordered, 123 examples were actually built and reached the Jastas at the front. They were a hit with the pilots who flew them. They were found to be faster and more maneuverable at 4,000 meters than the vaunted Fokker D. VII (considered to be the best German fighter plane, and perhaps WW I’s best). [Perhaps if the Siemens Schuckert D. IV had reached the front in greater numbers, they might have proved it was indeed better than the Fokker D. VII].
The irregularly-shaped piece of plywood measures 5 1/2” x 5 1/2” at its widest point. One can see that fabric is attached to the plywood backing. Its obverse is green in color and displays multiple scratches. The reverse features the following inscription: “Piece of plywood covering a WW I German Siemens Schuckert Scout from the fuselage presented to Charles Donald.”
2. A letter of authenticity from the seller to our consignor. In the letter the seller mentions Charles Donald. I do not remember much about Mr. Donald, other than that he was the most noted aviation collector of the 1960’s and 1970’s. He had accumulated an amazing collection that was broken up following his death. The current owner of the plywood obtained it in 1970, and has had it in his possession since then.
3. A marvelous pamphlet about the Siemens Schuckert D. III and D. IV. It was out by Profile Publications, who produced a series of publications about the Great War’s German aircraft. The publication dates from 1966. It contains a wealth of information about the aircraft, with numerous photos of the planes. It includes a wonderful color panel of a D. IV flown by Ernst Udet when he commanded Jasta 4.
This is an interesting group. We seldom receive items of this nature.