Leutnant (Reserve), 12th Field Aviation Unit
He was awarded the Pour le Merite in recognition of his 8th aerial victory along with military service, and leadership. A personal telegram from Emperor Wilhelm II was received by Walter Höhndorf congratulating him on the award of the Pour le Merite.
Born 10 November 1892 in Prutzke, Bayern
Jasta 1, Jasta 4, Jasta 14
Awards: !st and 2nd Class Iron Cross, Knight's Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order, and the Pour le Mérite.
PLM: 20 July 1916
Walter Höhndorf was the son of a school teacher. He spent his early school days in Brandenburg and Schöneberg and upon graduation, he devoted his time to study mechanics. The subjects he favored were automobile and aviation engineering. He wet to Paris to continue his studies and learned how to fly while there. He received his pilot's certificate upon his return in October 1913. He showed excellent skill in maneuvering the plane, and on the 1 January 1914, he went to work for an aircraft builder in Teltow. He was the first German to perform complicated aerobatic maneuvers in a German aircraft.
When hostilities broke out, he immediately applied for admission to the Air Service. Strangely enough, the German government viewed Walter Höhndorf with a critical eye due to his his time spent in Paris. For a while he was viewed as a possible spy for the Allied forces. After finally being convinced of his loyalty was he admitted where he first served in Fliegerabtielung No. 67. He flew test planes for a while and then fighter planes and upon obtaining his 8th aerial victory, he was awarded the Pour le Mérite.
He was part of an elite group known as the Kampfeinsitzer Vaux. They all flew Eindeckers and were located near Castle Vaux. The members of this group of flyers were Wintgens, Höhndorf, Berthold, Buddecke and von Althaus. On 25 September he witnessed the death of his friend Kurt Wintgens. Later Walter served as a flight instructor at Valenciennes and was very popular with his students. Later he returned to combat and was crashed in an experimental plane on September 5, 1917 near Marville, at Ire-le-Sec.