StrafingThere is evidence to suggest that Voß strafed at least four of his victories, although in every case no one was injured during the strafing event.
Voß reportedly strafed victory numbers 19, 23, 24, and 33 on the ground. Numbers 23 and 24 went down on the British side of the lines and according to German claiming rules, if the plane was just forced down but could be repaired it was not considered a victory. Victories 19 and 33, however went down on the German side of the lines. Voß may have been confused and thought he was on the other side of the lines or may have been driven by anger because of the event involving von Richthofen being shot at. (Voß was one of the few German pilots who would willingly persue enemy aircraft over no man's land and enemy territory.)
Victory 19 crashed on the German side of the front. According to the observer, the pilot was shot with an explosive bullet. He would later die of this wound. The observer claimed that Voß strafed the plane after it had crashed landed. Both the observer and pilot were taken prisoner, with the pilot dying later that evening. Strangely enough, Voß had shot down his 18th victim just minutes before this victory and there was no report of him strafing that victory or the subsequent victory the very next morning. Voß' 23rd and 24th went down in British territory and were reportedly strafed.
Of the two victories only the 23rd had wounds/fatalities. The observer, Mackensie was shot dead and pilot Wynne was wounded in the dog fight that brought the aircraft down. Wynne reported that Voß then strafed the aircraft after it had wrecked but Wynne was clear of wreckage at the time. Immediatly after Voß attacked the down aircraft, it was hit by artillery.
On Voß' 24th Victory, he again strafed an aircraft after the crew had left the machine. Voß strafed the machine as the crew attempted to return to the aircraft to retrieve their precious recon photos. After Voß was driven off by artillery fire, the crew managed to retrieve their mission photos. Voß, himself had been an observation pilot and had to know that a dedicated crew would risk their life to save their mission photos. He may have also felt that it is one thing to shoot down an enemy plane but it is even more important that their reconaissance photos do not survive the attack.
Voß 33rd victory was over an FE2b, observer. Again both crew members had already been wounded and sustained no additional wounds because of the strafing. Almost immediately after he strafed the downed aircraft, a German ambulance arrived and took the downed airmen into captivity.
Another event that may have led Voß to strafing downed aircraft occurred while he was commander of Jasta 5. During this period, some authors have claimed Voß' own airfield was strafed by Canadian Billy Bishop. In Bishop's attack several aircraft of Jasta 5 were destroyed while on the ground or while attempting to take off. Such an act would surely lead to retribution from the Jasta Commander. This event occurred around the time of his 33 victory. However, there is no concrete evidence to suggest that the airfield that was strafed by Bishop was indeed Voß' aerodrome. In fact most historians believe Bishop attacked a different aerodrome.
It is also unclear what Voß's intentions were when he strafed the downed aircraft. His intentions may have been to insure the aircraft were truly destroyed while not actually attempting to kill the crew. In at least three of the cases, the crew was not in the aircraft when it was strafed.
Early on, Voß brought his prisoners cigars and even handed out autographed postcards to his victims but as the war progressed, like with most pilots the grueling reality of the bitter conflict changed their mind set about chivalry. After shooting down a BE2, British observation plane, Voß was quoted as saying "Poor Devils. I know how they felt. I have flown such a type --they must be destroyed because they spy out our secrets but I would prefer to shoot down fighters." But we also see from his comment to Von Richthofen, that he would not excuse a pilot who was still willing to fight back. We also know that he was an excellent marksman so it is hard to understand how he would miss a stationary and helpless aircraft.
Unfortunately we are only left with one side of the strafing story and that is the side that was strafed. We will never know the whole story.