The Pfalz D.III began front?line service in August, 1917. Though its construction techniques gave it a light air frame, the Pfalz was known for being both sturdy and a little slow on the controls. Poor in climbing, it was an excellent diving airplane and popular to use for balloon attacks. The D.IIIa version solved many of the problems, with guns repositioned to assist pilot in clearing weapons of jams, and made up the majority of the 1100 airplanes built by war?s end, with most of them flown by Bavarian Jastas.
Rudolf Berthold (44 victories) flew missions from the very beginning of the war until nearly the end, even after having suffered serious injuries in addition to having lost the use of his right arm.