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The Otto Eckstein Collection - Fw-189 Gunner - Deceased. Kursk, 17 Jul 1943

Article about: No, no death card per se, just the newspaper notices and picture of his grave (preceeding). You might note also that throughout the collection one can see half-hearted attempts to erase the

  1. #1
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    Default The Otto Eckstein Collection - Fw-189 Gunner - Deceased. Kursk, 17 Jul 1943

    Colleagues,

    Otto Eckstein, a gunner-radioman on an FW-189, was 21 years old when he was hit from below by a Russian bullet while flying a mission during the Battle of Kursk. The date was 14 Jul 1943. The aircraft commander immediately aborted the mission and returned to base at Orel. The wound was survivable, but an infection set in and the Doctor ordered an operation. Recognizing that he might not survive the operation, Otto wrote letters of gratitude to his parents and family. The operation took place of 17 Jul 1943, and Otto did not survive.

    It is obvious that Otto was well liked by his comrades and revered by his family. Letters of condolence were written by his aircraft commander and Doctor to his family. He was awarded the EK-2, followed by the EK-1 and wound badge in silver, in rapid succession. His family placed his awards, along with a picture, in a 12x15 inch frame, mounted on red velvet. They compiled a chronology of his life and placed it in an album, and lastly, they kept his Wehrpass and every letter that he wrote from the Ostfront.

    What follows is this collection, which I purchased in 2005 at a Militaria Show in San Diego, CA. I bought it because I collect USAAF, RAF and Luftwaffe, and because I own an FW-189 model from WWII. To find heretofore unpublished pictures of the FW-189 was to much to pass up.

    Lastly, I count my blessings that the Allies ultimately defeated the Axis powers, but I acknowledge that millions died on both sides, fighting for what they believed in.

    A retired USAF Colonel whose family escaped the Eastern Zone was good enough to verbally translate the above information. Those reading any of the documents are welcome to offer their own translation for all.

    I will post all of this information on this board over the next few nights. Since this is the Orders and Decorations board, such is what I will begin with. Please note that several of the awards are in unused condition, simply because Otto died before he could wear them. If anyone recognizes any of the signatures on the award documents, that would be interesting.

    P.S. I attempted to remove the awards to look at the makers marks, but this display is built to last. I would have had to destroy the display to see the marks, which I elected not to do.
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  3. #2

    Default Re: The Otto Eckstein Collection - Fw-189 Gunner - Deceased. Kursk, 17 Jul 1943

    This is a very nice set.

  4. #3

    Default Re: The Otto Eckstein Collection - Fw-189 Gunner - Deceased. Kursk, 17 Jul 1943

    cool story, and what an excellent display. It looks great, and in my opinion, it was a good idea to keep the display in one piece. You made a great buy, my friend!

    Regards,
    Finn

  5. #4
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    Default Re: The Otto Eckstein Collection - Fw-189 Gunner - Deceased. Kursk, 17 Jul 1943

    Thank you for your kind replies. Since the night is still young, what now follows is the 48 pages of information that make up the memorial album that his family put together. It begins with a statement regarding his death. That statement is then followed by Otto in family pictures, followed by stints in the HJ, RAD and finally Luftwaffe. The pictures toward the end are of the Orel airdrome, his FW-189, and of he and his crew mates. These are then followed by letters that are pasted into the album from his Doctor and aircraft commander. Finally, the last three pages contain Otto's letter of gratitude to his family, a poem called "Fur Uns" apparently written by a person in Otto's family, and finally, the last page is a hand done birth announcement (I think) and his baby picture. Again, I welcome translations, if you can read what is written.
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    Default Re: The Otto Eckstein Collection - Fw-189 Gunner - Deceased. Kursk, 17 Jul 1943

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  7. #6
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    Default Re: The Otto Eckstein Collection - Fw-189 Gunner - Deceased. Kursk, 17 Jul 1943

    And the remainder.

    In previewing the typed and written pages I realize they cannot be easily read. If something is of particular interest, so advise and I'll attempt to provide a better pic. I'm still learning this new camera.

    Tomorrow: Otto's Wehrpass and letters. Included is a detailed list of everything sent back to his parents by the German quartermaster. Interesting in and of itself.
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  8. #7
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    Default Re: The Otto Eckstein Collection - Fw-189 Gunner - Deceased. Kursk, 17 Jul 1943

    Wonderful group and piece of history
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  9. #8

    Default Re: The Otto Eckstein Collection - Fw-189 Gunner - Deceased. Kursk, 17 Jul 1943

    Luft this is a spectacular grouping, I'm so glad that it has been preserved and not parted out like so many other collections today. It would be nice to have the letters translated and then framed with the English translation next to them. Was there a death card with the group?

    Thanks,
    Jay

  10. #9

    Default Re: The Otto Eckstein Collection - Fw-189 Gunner - Deceased. Kursk, 17 Jul 1943

    I hope you never separate any of these items. There is a man's life story in this grouping. Beautiful collection.

  11. #10

    Default Re: The Otto Eckstein Collection - Fw-189 Gunner - Deceased. Kursk, 17 Jul 1943

    really a one of a kind, what a great collection you got there.very nice, thanks for showing it.

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