Biplane fighter pilots


Sergeant Kristian Fredrik Schye

Schye in civilian clothing in front of his vandalised Gladiator 427 at Toppåsbråten, near Kolsås on 14 April 1940.

At dawn on 9 April 1940, the Norwegian Jagevingen at Fornebu, Oslo, had seven of the ten available Gladiators serviceable, while the unit had ten officers and sergeants available to fly them, three of them under training. The serviceable Gladiators were 413, 419, 423, 425, 427, 429 and 433.

In the morning of 9 April 1940 Sergeant Kristian Fredrik Schye (Gladiator 427) attacked what he took to be a bomber, but was unable to continue due to ice forming on the windscreen of his Gladiator. He then saw what he identified as a Dornier Do 17 – almost certain Unteroffizier Helmut Mütschele’s (with gunner Gefreiter Karl Lorey) Bf 110 – 1000 feet below him over Kolsås, and gave chase. The aircraft crash-landed at Vøyen with both engines dead after he had attacked. The German aviators became POW’s. He was then attacked by three aircraft which he identified as He 111s, but which were undoubtedly Bf 110s; he avoided two but the third got onto his tail and he was hit in the left upper arm by two shells. Unable to move the throttle he tried to crash-land his damaged fighter on Lake Dælivannet, east of Kolsås, but could not get his flaps down and overshot, hitting a high-voltage cable; this broke, but he crashed at Braatenjordet near Valler station. Schye got out of his aircraft and was taken to Bærum hospital. It is likely that he fell victim to Leutnant Helmut Lent of 1./ZG 76, who was certainly credited with this victory as his fifth of the war. Schye later reported:

“It was starting to get more and more of German aircraft. There were plenty of targets, but at the same time I was forced to manoeuvre to not get an enemy behind me. During the dogfight I came closer and closer to Fornebu…
Suddenly I saw a German on contra-course 4-500 meters below me. I cut back the throttle, made a half-roll and dived straight down on him. I opened fire at a good shooting distance and kept him in my aim until only 50 meters separated us. Then he rolled over and disappeared downwards in a spin – later it was showed that he made a force-landing at Wöyenfjordene at Kolsås with both engines out of order.
When I took up my machine from the dive, three German aircraft attacked me. I managed to shake off two of them, but the third closed in very close from behind. My left lower wing was hit, the wing was perforated and the fabric on the left side of the cockpit was shot trough by splinters. One of these hit me in my left upper arm and paralysed it. This meant that I couldn’t operate the throttle.
Because of the damage, both on me and my aircraft, I didn’t see any other way out than to trying to make an emergency landing after a couple of minutes. I was continuously attacked by German aircraft and in an attempt to get away from them, I span down and made a forced landing in a clearing with small woods, after tearing down a high-voltage cable.”
Schye was taken to the Bærum hospital were he stayed for a couple of days before being released.

He was never captured by the Germans and continued with his medical studies but was later forced to escape abroad.

Schye ended the war with one biplane victory, this one being claimed while flying Gloster Gladiator.

After the war he finished his medical studies and worked as head physician at Drammen hospital. He was still alive in the beginning of the 1980’s.

Schye's Gladiator after the combat on 9 April.
Left image kindly via Steve Mazzarelli.

Kill no. Date Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 09/04/40 1 Do 17 (a) Destroyed Gladiator 427 Kolsås-Vøyen Jagevingen

Biplane victories: 1 destroyed.
TOTAL: 1 destroyed.
(a) Almost certainly Unteroffizier Helmut Mütschele’s (with air gunner Gefreiter Karl Lorey) Bf 110C 'White F' 'M8+FH' of 1./ZG76 which crash-landed at Vøyen. The German aviators became POW’s. Totally Norwegian units claimed 19 aircraft during the day of which fighters (the rest was claimed by ground gunners) claimed six. Luftwaffe lost two Bf 110s and a Ju 52/3m in combat, six Ju 52/3ms, one Bf 110 and one He 111 being brought down by ground fire.

Fledgling Eagles - Christopher Shores with John Foreman, Christian-Jaques Ehrengardt, Heinrich Weiss and Bjørn Olsen, 1991 Grub Street, London, ISBN 0-948817-42-9
Gloster Gladiator - Alex Crawford, 2002 Mushroom Model Publications, Redbourn, ISBN 83-916327-0-9
Gloster Gladiator Home Page - Alexander Crawford.

Last modified 11 June 2002