4. Staffel II. Gruppe Jagdgeschwader 53 'Pik As' - 4./JG53

Aircrew Hubert Kroeck from 4./JG53 congratulates Douglas Pitcairn from 1./JG51 on his first victory 25th Sep 1939 01

Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-1 4./JG53 (White 1+-) Staffelkapitan Hubert Kroeck with White 12+- background Mannheim Germany Nov 1939 01
Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-1 4./JG53 (White 1+-) Hubert Kroeck Mannheim Germany Nov 1939

Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3 4./JG53 (White 1+-) Hubert Kroeck France 1940

Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3 4./JG53 (White 5+-) flown by Stefan Litjens WNr 1244 Köln Germany 1939

Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3 4./JG53 (White 8+-) Köln Germany 1939

5. Staffel II. Gruppe Jagdgeschwader 53 'Pik As' - 5./JG53

Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-1 5./JG53 (Red 14+-) early camouflage

Messerschmitt Bf 109E 5./JG53 (Gr1+-) Guernsey Nov 1940 01

Photo 01: This aircraft of 5./JG53 on the Channel Front in November 1940 is believed to have been 'Green 1'. Green is known to have been used by this unit as a Staffel colour in the late Autumn of 1940.

Messerschmitt Bf 109E 5./JG53 Green 5 or Yellow 5 France Nov 1940 01

Photo 01: This aircraft of 5./JG53 on the Channel Front in November 1940 is believed to have been 'Green 5'. Green is known to have been used by this unit as a Staffel colour in the late Autumn of 1940.

Messerschmitt Bf 109E 5./JG53 (Gray 10+-) Uffz. Hans Wemhofer ? taking off Guernsey August 1940 01-02

Photo's 01-02: A mass take-off by the 5.Staffel of JG53, almost certainly from Guernsey. The leading aircraft with the red ring is 'Grey 10', and may very well be that of Uffz. Hans Wemhofer who was shot down during a bomber escort mission on 18 August. After the bombers had completed their mission, Wemhor's 'Grey 10' was attacked at 18,000 feet and the pilot baled out, wounded. On the same mission, another Bf 109 coded 'Grey 9' and flown by Fw. Heinz Pfannschmidt was shot down by a Spitfire in similar circumstances. The 5. Staffel is reported to have used grey numbers instead of the more usual black throughout the Summer of 1940. Note that not all of the aircraft carry the red ring around their cowlings and two are fitted with rear-view mirrors.

Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-1 5./JG53 (Gray 12+-) Lt. Otto Zauner W.Nr 4010 crash-landed Kent POW 01

Photo 01: On 23 November, 5./JG53 took off on a mid-afternoon Jabo escort mission to London. A large number of Bf 109s took part and, although this aircraft, Lt. Otto Zauner's 'Grey 12', was fitted with an ETC, it was not carrying a bomb. The mixed fortnation was flying towards London at 19,000 ft when it was attacked from behind by fighters. Lt. Zauner banked to the right to avoid one attacker but another fighter latched onto his tail and damaged his RJT set and radiator. Zauner lost height and although he made a good forced landing at Smeeth in Kent, the aircraft hit some trees and was damaged. The machine, a Bf 109E-1 WNr. 4010, carried a Gruppe bar aft of the fuselage Balkenkreuz. This aircraft was the first to be examined by the RAF since JG53 reinstated its ace of spades badge, the familiar 'PikAs' being carried on the nose. Zauner claimed ten victories during the French campaign and had been awarded the EK 1. In this photograph, the aircraft recovery team employ local horse power to remove Zauner's aircraft from its crash site.

6. Staffel II. Gruppe Jagdgeschwader 53 'Pik As' - 6./JG53

Messerschmitt Bf 109E3 6./JG53 (Yellow 1+-) Gunther Furher von Maltzahn 1939

Photo comments: The photo shows the squadron commanders aircraft. Note the swastika on the old position and the small beam cross on the fuselage. The date of the photo is unfortunately not known however it has been established that in autumn 1939 till 31/08/1939 would of been used by Capt. von Maltzahn after, the war began, his position was filled by Oblt Bretnütz.

Messerschmitt Bf 109E4 6./JG53 (Yellow 2+-) unknown pilot 1940

Photo's 01: Me 109 E " Yellow 2" belonging to 6./JG 53 seen during the summer of 1940. Unfortunately the name of the pilot is unknown. He is wearing an inflatable life jacket.

Photo's source: http://falkeeins.blogspot.com/

Messerschmitt Bf 109E 6./JG53 (Y10+-) Bretnutz France 1940 00

Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3 6./JG53 (Yellow 10+-) Heinz Bretnutz Mannheim-Sandhofen Aug 10 1939

Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3 6./JG53 (Yellow 10+-) Heinz Bretnutz Dinan Brittany July 1940

Photo's 01: Above, nice view of one of the more 'famous' Staffelkapitäne of 6./JG 53. Hptm. Horst Bretnütz. Bretnütz was awarded the RK on 22 October 1940 and had achieved some 37 Luftsiege (victories) at the time of his death on the opening day of Barbarossa (22.6.1941) over Jubarkas/Litauen. According to the caption the snapshot above was taken in Dinan, Brittany during July 1940. Note the pilot's wife's pet-name under the cockpit "Peter", and, assisting the pilot, his first mechanic Eugen Schultheis.

Photo's source: http://falkeeins.blogspot.com/

Pilots JG53.2 Heinz Bretnutz 01

Photo's 01: Hptm. Heinz Bretnutz, Kommandeur of II./JG53, scored his 27th victory on 1 December and his aircraft is seen here with an interesting rudder marking. Twenty of the victory bars have been enclosed in a black border, perhaps to indicate that it was these which earlier earned him the Ritterkreuz, awarded on 20 October 1940.

Pilots JG53.2 Heinz Bretnutz France 01

Photo 01: Major Gunther von Maltzahn with several of his pilots. From the left, Major von Maltzahn; Hptm. Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke, Kommandeur of III./JG53; Oblt. Kurt Brundle, Staffelkapitan of 5./JG53; Hptm Heinz Bretnutz, Kommandeur of II./JG53; Ofw. Stefan Utjens of 4./JG53 and Oblt. Franz Gatz, Staffelkapitan of 9./JG53.All these pilots would eventually be awarded the Ritterkreuz and some the higher grades, e.g. von Maltzahn and Brundle received the Oak Leaves and Wilcke the Swords.

Pilots JG27 Heinz Pietzsch Bretnutz 01

Pilots JG27 Heinz Pietzsch Bretnutz 02

Photo's 01-02: Just as JG27 lost a great ace on the first day of 'Barbarossa' when Major Wolfgang Schellmann was shot down, JG53 also lost Hptm. Heinz 'Pietzsch' Bretnutz, the Kommandeur of II./JG53. On the eve of Barbarossa, Bretnutz pictured here in the Spring of 1941 - had 32 victories not including those achieved in Spain. On 22 June, however, just after he shot down his 33rd victory, an SB, his aircraft was hit. His comrades saw him crash-land behind enemy lines but no more was heard of him until the 26th. Meanwhile, his pilots tried to devise a plan to rescue their extremely popular commanding officer but it was soon realized that this was unrealistic. In fact, he had already been found by a farmer, who hid him until German troops reached the area, but Bretnutz had been badly wounded in the legs and because of the delay in transferring him to hospital, his wounds had become gangrenous. An attempt to save his life by amputating his left leg failed and Bretnutz died on 27 June. He was buried in Insterburg on 1 July and was temporarily succeeded as Kommandeur by Hptm. Spies.

Pilots JG53.2 Heinz Bretnutz 1940 01

Photo 01: Hptm. Heinz Bretnutz, Kommandeur of II./JG53, was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 22 October after 20 air victories. In this photograph, one of a series taken by a PK photographer, Bretnutz wears an inflatable yellow life jacket and yellow cap over his flying helmet. This latter item was fashioned from a triangular piece of yellow cloth especially provided for that purpose and was intended to make pilots more conspicuous to rescuers should they land in the Channel. Other aids included packets of a bright green-yellow dye which stained a large area of water' around a ditched pilot, and a one-man inflatable dinghy which was worn on the pilot's back over the life jacket.

Pilots JG53 Heinz Bretnutz France Nov 1940 01

Photo 01: Some of JG53's most successful pilots. From left to right, Lt. Ernst Krager, Oblt. Kurt Brandle, Hptm. Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke, Major Gunther van Maltzahn, Hptm. Heinz Bretnutz, Ofw. Stefan Litjens, Hptm. Hans-Heinrich Brustellin, Lt. Erich Schmidt and Oblt. Franz Gotz.

Pilots JG53 Heinz Bretnutz France Nov 1940 02

Photo 02: Another PK photograph showing some of JG53's pilots. From left to right, Major Gunther van Maltzahn, Hptm. Heinz Bretnutz, Lt. Erich Schmidt and Oblt. Franz Gotz.

Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3 6./JG53 (Y11+-) Gefr. Karl Schulz France August 1940 01

Photo 01: Gefr. Karl Schulz of 6./JG53 climbs out of his Bf 109E 'Yellow 11'. On 16 August 1940, Schulz was wounded and shot down during combat over the Channel but was rescued by the Seenotdienst.

Messerschmitt Bf 109E4 6./JG53 (Yellow 14+-) swastikas censored France late 1940

 
 IL-2 Sturmovik 'Cliff's of Dover' - COD game skins
COD game skin by ES Bf 109E3 6/.JG53 (Y1+-) Gunther Furher von Maltzahn 1939
COD game skin by ES Bf 109E3 6/.JG53 (Y1+-) Gunther Furher von Maltzahn 1939 NM
COD game skin by ES Bf 109E3 6/.JG53 (Y1+-) Gunther Furher von Maltzahn 1939 SNM
COD game skin by ES Bf 109E4 6/.JG53 (Y14+-) France 1940
COD game skin by ES Bf 109E4 6/.JG53 (Y14+-) France 1940 NM
COD game skin by ES Bf 109E4 6/.JG53 (Y14+-) France 1940 SNM
ES Erik Schramm http://www.adlerhorst-hangar.com/

 

Luftwaffe Badge

Luftwaffe pilot Hubert Kroeck

Units: 2/J 88 in Spain, Stfkpt 6/JG-134(3/37), Stfkpt 4/JG-53(10/39), Kdr Erg/JG-53(9/40), JGr-200 (9/44)

Awards: Spanish Cross, EK 2(4/1/40), Fighter Operational Clasp

Known Aircraft: Bf 109E-3 'White 1' (10/39) & F in JG-53, Bf 109G in JGr-200

Remarks: JG-26 per Butler Pilot List when it was known as JG-134 in '37. One victory in Spain.

Luftwaffe Badge

Luftwaffe pilot Stefan 'Steff' Litjens

Units: 4./JG-53 (10/39 Mannheim-Sandhofen), III./JG-53 (Operation Barbarossa), 4./JG-53 (9/41)

Awards: RK(6/21/43), DK-G(4/24/42), EP(7/21/41), EK 1 & 2, Wound Badge, Glider Badge, Fighter Oper.Clasp

Known Aircraft: Bf 109E-3 WNr 1244 'White 5+-' (10/39), Bf 109F-2 WNr 6673 'White 5+-', Bf 109F-4 WNr 7173 'Wh 5+-' (9/41), Bf 109F-4 WNr 8408 ' (lost 9/11/41), Bf 109G-2/Trop 'White 5+-' (3/43), Bf 109G-6 WNr 440215 'Wh 5'(lost 3/44)

Remarks: A fighter pilot since 1937. His 1st victory, a Morane W of Saarbrücken on 7 April, 1940. A 2nd, a Curtiss Hawk-75A over Metz, 10 May, 1940. A 3rd, a Potez 63 on 8 June, 1940, no location. A 4th a Spitfire N of Portland on 13 August, 1940. A 5th a Spitfire at Tonbridge on 26 October, 1940. A 6th & 7th two Spitfires on 11 November, 1940, no location. On 11 September, 1941 he lost his right eye after being shot down at Romanowa by an I-16 of the 191 IAP. Despite the handicap, he flew again in November 1942 at Malta, Tunisia, and home defense scoring another 14 victories. He scored a triple victory on 22 February, 1944, his 33rd, 34th & 35th; three B-17's while based at Vienna-Seyring. On 23 March, 1944, after downing two B-17's in 'White 5' near Braunschweig, he crashed injuring his left eye, ending his combat duties. 'White 5' seemed to be his favorite number as his E-3 in 1939 was also a 'White 5', Werk # 1244. 400 missions. 5 four engine bombers. 16 victories in the East. Deceased 25 February, 2002.

Luftwaffe pilot List of 21 aerial victories for Stefan Litjens

Date Pilot Name Unit Enemy A/C Type Height Time Location
07-Apr-40 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53 Morane   12.30 West of Saarbrucken
10-May-40 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53 Hawk-75A   15.25 Metz
07-Apr-40 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53 Morane   12.30 West of Saarbrucken
10-May-40 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53 P-40 Warhawk   15.25 Metz
08-Jun-40 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53 Potez-63   11.00  
13-Aug-40 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53 4000m 17.38-42 N Portland
26-Oct-40 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53   11.30 Tonbridge
11-Nov-40 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53      
11-Nov-40 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53      
04-Jun-41 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53      
22-Feb-44 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53 B-17 Fortress     Based Wien/Seyring
22-Feb-44 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53 B-17 Fortress     Based Wien/Seyring
22-Feb-44 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53 B-17 Fortress     Based Wien/Seyring
24-Feb-44 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53 B-17 Fortress 7000m 13.07 DJ-7 (Kremsmunster)
23-Mar-44 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53 B-17 Fortress 7000m 10.38 HA-3 SW Braunschweig
23-Mar-44 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53 B-17 Fortress Hss      
26-Nov-42 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53 2000m 16.46 10km SE Mateur
28-Nov-42 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53 P-38 Lightning 20-30m 15.39 3-4km E Ferryville
04-Dec-42 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53 A-20 Boston 40m 15.55 18km W Mateur
06-Dec-42 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53 40m 10.18 25km S Tebourba
01-Jan-43 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53 400m 11.12 5km E Bone
05-Apr-43 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53 P-38 Lightning 50m 09.45 5km N Ras-Zebrt
12-Apr-43 Stefan Litjens 4./JG53 P-38F Lightning Low Level 09.05 10km W Zembra

Stefan 'Steff' Litjens

Oberfeldwebel Stefan 'Steff' Litjens was born on 13 October 1913 at Hasselt in Niederrhein. Following a pre-war fighter pilot's training, he was posted to JG53 in August 1937. At the outbreak of World War 2, Unteroffizier Litjens was serving with 4./JG53. On 16 October, Litjens was sent to Wiesbaden as a flight instructor to assist with the formation of II./JG53. He remained at Wiesbaden until 4 November. Litjens recorded two victories during the French campaign. During the Battle of Britain, Litjens recorded four victories. Over the Eastern front, Litjens was to be particularly successful. He shot down five Russian fighters on 25 August 1941. On 11 September, Litjens shot down two Russian SB-2 twinengined bombers to record his 22nd and 23rd victories. Later that day, he engaged in aerial combat with Russian I-16 and I-18 fighters while escorting Ju 87 dive bombers in the Romanova area. During the dogfight, his Bf 109 F-4 (W.Nr. 8408) was hit by return fire. He baled out of his stricken aircraft badly wounded landing in friendly territory. He was hospitalised at Riga but lost the sight from his right eye.

Oberfeldwebel Litjens returned to 4./JG53, now based in Sicily, in October 1942, despite his vision impairment. He flew missions over Malta before the unit was transferred to Tunisia. Here he claimed eight Allied aircraft shot down and flew many ground attack missions. Litjens was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 21 June 1943 for 32 victories. Following a lengthy period of leave, Litjens returned to 4./JG53 on 17 November 1943. The unit was now operating on Reichsverteidigung duties. On 22 February 1944, he shot down three USAAF B-17 four-engined bombers. He downed a further two B-17 bombers on 23 March. However, he was again shot down by return fire making an emergency landing in Bf 109 G-6 (W.Nr. 440 215) 'White 5+' near Gifhorn. He suffered an injury to his left eye which precluded any further combat duty. He remained with the unit until the end of the war and never stopped trying to have the decision to refrain him from combat overturned. Stefan Litjens died on 25 February 2002 aged 88. 'Steff' Litjens was credited with 38 victories in 444 missions. He recorded 17 victories over the Eastern front. Of his 21 Western front victories, five were four-engined bombers.

No Date Time A/c Type Unit Location / Comments
- 7.4.1940 12:30 Morane 4./JG53 W Saarbrücken / not confirmed
1 10.5.1940 15:25 Curtiss 4./JG53 Metz
2 8.6.1940 11:00 Potez 63 4./JG53 -
3 13.8.1940 17:40 4./JG53 N Dorchester
4 26.10.1940 11:30 4./JG53 near Tonbridge
5 11.11.1940 13:25 4./JG53 -
6 11.11.1940 13:28 4./JG53 -
- 4.6.1941 18:00~ 4./JG53 10km S Dungeness / not confirmed
7 22.6.1941 5:56 SB-2 4./JG53 -
8 22.6.1941 5:58 SB-2 4./JG53 -
9 1.7.1941 19:35 SB-3 4./JG53 -
10 1.7.1941 20:12 SB-3 4./JG53 -
11 7.7.1941 10:44 SB-3 4./JG53 -
12 7.7.1941 10:46 SB-3 4./JG53 -
13 10.7.1941 9:03 SB-3 4./JG53 -
14 10.7.1941 9:05 SB-3 4./JG53 -
15 25.8.1941 10:16 I-16 4./JG53 near Chudovo
16 25.8.1941 14:31 I-18 4./JG53 near Chudovo / Probably MiG-3
17 25.8.1941 16:36 I-18 4./JG53 near Chudovo / Probably MiG-3
18 25.8.1941 16:36 I-18 4./JG53 near Chudovo / Probably MiG-3
19 25.8.1941 16:39 I-18 4./JG53 near Chudovo / Probably MiG-3
20 26.8.1941 5:30 I-18 4./JG53 near Spaskaya-Polist
21 27.8.1941 16:00 I-153 4./JG53 -
22 11.9.1941 10:10 SB-2 4./JG53 SE Kolpino
23 11.9.1941 14:19 I-18 4./JG53 Romanowa
24 26.11.1942 16:46 4./JG53 10km SE Mateur
25 28.11.1942 15:39 P-38 4./JG53 3-4km E Ferryville
26 4.12.1942 15:51 Boston 4./JG53 18km W Mateur
27 4.12.1942 15:55 4./JG53 18km SW Mateur / Boston?
28 6.12.1942 10:18 4./JG53 25km S Tebourba
30 1.1.1943 11:12 4./JG53 5km E Bône
31 5.4.1943 9:45 P-38 4./JG53 5km N Ras-Zebrt: 50m
32 12.4.1943 9:05 P-38 4./JG53 10km W Zembra
33 22.2.1944 - B-17 4./JG53 -
34 22.2.1944 - B-17 4./JG53 -
35 22.2.1944 - B-17 4./JG53 -
36 24.2.1944 13:07 B-17 4./JG53 DJ-7: 7000m [Kremsmünster]
37 23.3.1944 10:38 B-17 4./JG53 near Gifhorn
38 23.3.1944 10:44~ B-17 HSS 4./JG53 near Gifhorn

Victories : 38
Awards : Ehrenpokal (21 July 1941)
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (24 April 1942)
Ritterkreuz (21 July 1943)
Units : JG53
http://www.luftwaffe.cz/litjens.html

Luftwaffe Badge

Luftwaffe pilot Hans Wemhöner

Units: 5./JG-26

Awards: EK 1 & 2, Fighter Operational Clasp

Known Aircraft: Bf 109E-1 (lost)

Remarks: POW 13 August, 1940 after being shot down by a Hurricane of RAF No. 56 Sq. over Maidstone. This one victory, a 'shared' victory, a Fokker XXI over Amsterdam, 10 May, 1940. (Shared with: Hubertus v. Holtey, Walter Schneider & Walter Meyer). His first complete victory, a Spitfire I over Dordrecht, 13 May, 1940. His 2nd, a Hawk-75A at Roubaix, 19 May, 1940. His 3rd & 4th both Hurricanes north of Dunkirk, 1 June, 1940.

Date Pilot Name Unit Enemy A/C Type Height Time Location
Monday, May 13, 1940 Hans Wemhoner 5./JG26 Spitfire I   06:46 Dordrecht
Sunday, May 19, 1940 Hans Wemhoner 5./JG26 Hawk-75A   17:40 Roubaix
Saturday, June 01, 1940 Hans Wemhoner 5./JG26 Hurricane 1500m 12:48 NW Dunkirk
Saturday, June 01, 1940 Hans Wemhoner 5./JG26 Hurricane   12:40 North of Dunkirk

Luftwaffe Badge

Luftwaffe pilot Otto Zauner

Units: 5./JG-53

Awards: EK 2, Fighter Operational Clasp

Known Aircraft: Bf 109E-1 WNr 4010 'Black 12+-' (lost 11/23/40)

Remarks: POW after being shot down by a Hurricane near Smeeth. He made a force landing and was uninjured (Prien). His first victory, a Hurricane SW of Tonbridge on 8 November, 1940.

Luftwaffe pilot List of 1 aerial victories for Otto Zauner

Date Pilot Name Unit Enemy A/C Type Height Time Location
08-Nov-40 Otto Zauner 5./JG53 7400m 11.07 SW Tonbridge

Knights Cross

Luftwaffe pilot Heinz 'Pietzsch' Bretnütz

Units: 2J/88 in Spain, Stfkpt 6./JG-53 (9/39), Stfkpt 6./JG-53 (6/40), Kdr II./JG-53 (Channel)

Awards: RK(10/22/40), Spanish Cross-G(6/6/39), EK 1 & 2, Wound Badge, Fighter Operational Clasp

Known Aircraft: Bf 109D('39), Bf 109E-1 WNr 4112'Blk <<'(5% dam 10/20/40), Bf 109E-1 'Yel 10', Bf 109F-2 WNr 6674 'Black <<+-' (lost 6/22/41)

Remarks: Plus 2 victories in Spain. 12 balloons. His first victory, a Fesselballon, 20 September, 1939. His 2nd, a Curtis Hawk S of Bienwald on 25 September, 1939. Nos 3 & 4, both Morane 406's SW of Saargemünd on 31 October, 1939 in Bf 109D 'Yellow 10'. His 5th a Wellingtom in the Saargemund area, 31 March, 1940. His 9th a Bloch 151 E of Compiegne on 7 June, 1940. His 10th a Spitfire S of Swanage on 8 August, 1940. His 15th a Spitfire at Hawkinge on 5 September, 1940. On 20 October, 1940, he was required to force land his Wk# 4112 after downing his 20th an RAF Hurricane, but the Hurricane cause his damage in the engagement. He crashed at St Inglevert, France. His 25th & 26th both Hurricanes at Ashford on 30 November, 1940. His 30th a Lysander N of Deal on 4 May, 1941. On 22 June, 1941, after shooting down a Russian SB-2 bomber in his Wk# 6674, he had to force land as a result of return fire striking his engine, and was seriously wounded. After being hidden by friendly locals, he was hospitalized too late, and he died 27 June 1941, from complications after losing a leg on the Eastern Front. 244 missions.

Heinz 'Pietzsch' Bretnütz was born on 24 January 1914 at Mannheim. From autumn 1938 until March 1939, Leutnant Bretnütz served with 2.J88 in Spain. He gained two victories in the Spanish Civil War to record J88's 266th and 278th victories. On 6 June 1939, Bretnütz was awarded the Spanienkreuz in Gold mit Schwertern. On his return to Germany, Bretnütz was posted to 6./JG53. He claimed his first victory of World War 2 on 25 September 1939, when he shot down a French Curtiss Hawk fighter near Bienwald. On 31 March 1940, he shot down two French Morane fighters near Saargemünd to record his fourth and fifth victories.

Bretnütz was appointed Staffelkapitän of 6./JG53 on 24 June 1940. During the Battle of Britain, he was to become one of the most successful German fighter pilots. On 20 October, he shot down a RAF Hurricane fighter to record his 20th victory in World War 2 but received damage to his Bf 109E-1 (W.Nr.4112) Black << necessitating an emergency landing at St Inglevert in France. Hauptmann Bretnütz was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 22 October for 20 aerial victories and 12 balloons shot down. On 10 October 1940, Bretnütz was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG53. He recorded his 30th victory of World War 2 on 3 May 1941. Bretnütz led II./JG53 during the invasion of Russia. He had 34 victories to his credit at this time.

On 22 June 1941, Bretnütz shot down a Russian SB-2 twin-engine bomber. His Bf 109F-2 (W.Nr. 6674) 'Chevron Triangle' was hit in the engagement however, necessitating an emergency landing in the area of the front lines between Erzvilkas and Nemaksciai. Badly wounded, he was rescued by farmers who hid him from retreating Russian troops. He was finally handed over to advancing German troops on 26 June. Hospitalised, he had his left leg amputated but died of complications from the operation on 27 June.

'Pietzsch' Bretnütz was credited with 35 victories in 244 missions. He recorded 2 victories during the Spanish Civil War and one over the Eastern front. Additionally, he claimed 12 balloons shot down.

Luftwaffe pilot List of aerial victories Heinz 'Pietzsch' Bretnütz

No Date Time A/c Type Unit Location / Comments
1 6.11.1938 - I-15 2. J/88 Spain / 266th victory J/88
2 28.12.1938 - SB-2 2. J/88 Spain / 278th victory J/88
- 20.9.1939 9:55 Baloon 6./JG53  
3 25.9.1939 12:20 Curtiss 6./JG53 S Bienwald
- 30.9.1939 - Battle 6./JG53 not confirmed
4 31.3.1940 15:55 Morane 6./JG53 SW Saargemünd / Morane 406 of GC III/7, Armée de l'Air
5 31.3.1940 15:57 Morane 6./JG53 SW Saargemünd / Morane 406 of GC III/7, Armée de l'Air
6 31.3.1940 20:00 Wellington 6./JG53 probably wrong identification
7 12.5.1940 12:00 Potez 63 6./JG53 Luxembourg / Po 63-11 (Nr 444) of GR I/22, Armée de l'Air, 3 POW
8 21.5.1940 11:14 Potez 63 6./JG53 E Montmédy / Po 63 (Nr 630) of GAO 518, Armée de l'Air, 1 killed
9 25.5.1940 20:02 Morane 6./JG53  
10 7.6.1940 7:05 Bloch 151 6./JG53 E Compiegne
11 8.8.1940 17:15 6./JG53 S Swanage / Spitfire of 152Sqn, RAF
12 13.8.1940 18:45 6./JG53  
13 16.8.1940 14:36 6./JG53  
14 16.8.1940 14:37 6./JG53  
15 5.9.1940 - E/a 6./JG53  
16 6.9.1940 10:16 6./JG53  
17 7.9.1940 - E/a 6./JG53  
18 15.9.1940 - 6./JG53  
19 5.10.1940 12:40 6./JG53  
20 11.10.1940 8:55 II./JG53  
21 12.10.1940 17:33 II./JG53  
22 20.10.1940 16:25 II./JG53 London
23 28.10.1940 - E/a II./JG53  
24 7.11.1940 - II./JG53  
25 8.11.1940 17:37 II./JG53  
26 11.11.1940 13:15 II./JG53  
27 15.11.1940 14:10 Lysander II./JG53 Lysander of 4Sqn, RAF flown by P/O Empson
28 30.11.1940 15:25 II./JG53  
29 1.12.1940 - II./JG53  
30 19.3.1941 17:25 II./JG53 Bexhill-Hailsham / Spitfire II of 610Sqn, RAF flown by Sgt Hale
31 10.4.1941 19:10 II./JG53 E Southend
32 3.5.1941 17:03 II./JG53 S Dungeness / Spitfire of 1 PRU, RAF flown by P/O Panton
33 4.5.1941 12:53 Lysander II./JG53 5km E Deal
34 17.5.1941 19:18 II./JG53 Hurricane of 71Sqn, RAF flown by P/O Kolendorski
35 22.6.1941 - SB-2 II./JG53  

Victories : 35
Awards : Ritterkreuz (22 October 1940)
Units : J/88, JG53
http://www.luftwaffe.cz/bretnutz.html

Luftwaffe pilot List of aerial victories Heinz 'Pietzsch' Bretnütz

Date Pilot Name Unit Enemy A/C Type Height Time Location
20-Sep-39 Heinz Bretnutz 6./JG53 Fesselballon   09.55  
25-Sep-39 Heinz Bretnutz 6./JG53 Curtiss P-36 250m 12.20 S. Bienwald
31-Oct-39 Heinz Bretnutz 6./JG53 Morane 406   15.55 SW of Saargemund
31-Oct-39 Heinz Bretnutz 6./JG53 Morane 406   15.57 SW of Saargemund
31-Mar-40 Heinz Bretnutz 6./JG53 Wellington   20.00  
12-May-40 Heinz Bretnutz 6./JG53 Potez 63 5500m 12.00 Luxenburg
21-May-40 Heinz Bretnutz 6./JG53 Potez 63   11.14 East of Montmedy
25-May-40 Heinz Bretnutz 6./JG53 Morane 406   20.02  
07-Jun-40 Heinz Bretnutz 6./JG53 Bloch 151 3000-3500m 07.05 E Compiegne
08-Aug-40 Heinz Bretnutz 6./JG53 4500m 17.15 S Swanage
15-Aug-40 Heinz Bretnutz 6./JG53 5000m 18.45 SW Portland
15-Aug-40 Heinz Bretnutz 6./JG53 5000m 19.02 15-20km SW Cherbourg
16-Aug-40 Heinz Bretnutz 6./JG53   14.36  
16-Aug-40 Heinz Bretnutz 6./JG53   14.37  
05-Sep-40 Heinz Bretnutz 6./JG53 7500-1000m 16.05 Hawkinge
06-Sep-40 Heinz Bretnutz 6./JG53   10.16  
05-Oct-40 Heinz Bretnutz 6./JG53   12.40 Maidstone
11-Oct-40 Heinz Bretnutz Stab II./JG53   08.55 -
12-Oct-40 Heinz Bretnutz Stab II./JG53 850m 17.33 -
20-Oct-40 Heinz Bretnutz Stab II./JG53 200m 16.25 -
08-Nov-40 Heinz Bretnutz Stab II./JG53   17.37  
08-Nov-40 Heinz Bretnutz Stab II./JG53 6500m 14.58 20km NE Brighton
11-Nov-40 Heinz Bretnutz Stab II./JG53   13.15  
15-Nov-40 Heinz Bretnutz Stab II./JG53 Lysander   14.10  
30-Nov-40 Heinz Bretnutz Stab II./JG53 6500-4500m 15.23 Ashford
30-Nov-40 Heinz Bretnutz Stab II./JG53   15.25 Ashford
19-Mar-41 Heinz Bretnutz Stab II./JG53   17.20 N. Dungeness
09-Apr-41 Heinz Bretnutz Stab II./JG53   19.10 E. Southend
10-Apr-41 Heinz Bretnutz Stab II./JG53   19.10  
03-May-41 Heinz Bretnutz Stab II./JG53 250m 17.03 Dungeness
04-May-41 Heinz Bretnutz Stab II./JG53 Lysander 20m 12.53 N. Deal
17-May-41 Heinz Bretnutz Stab II./JG53   19.18  

Knights Cross

Luftwaffe pilot Gunther Furher von Maltzahn - Baron Günther von 'Henri' Maltzahn

Units: Stab II./JG-53 ('39), Kdr II./JG-53 (8/40 Dinan-Guernsey), Kdr ./JG-53 (9/40 Cherbourg-Eaples), Jafü

Awards: RK(12/30/40)-EL(7/24/41), DK-G(12/23/42), EP(3/23/42), EK 1 & 2, Wnd Bdg, Ftr Oper.Clasp w/'400'

Known Aircraft: Bf 109E WNr 1347, Bf 109F-2's WNr 5484 & WNr 8311 (both 30% 6/41) and WNr's 6683 and 8326 (also 30% dam 7/15/41), both 'Black <<-+-', Bf 109F-4 WNr 7282 'Black <<-+-' (lost 5/11/42)

Remarks: His first victory, a Potez 63 near Saarbrücken, 30 September, 1939. A 2nd, a Morane 406 SW of Saargemünd on 31 October, 1939. A 3rd, a Morane SW of Saargemünd on 31 March, 1940. His 4th a Spitfire S of Swanage on 8 August, 1940. Became an 'Ace' on 16 August, 1940, downing a Spitfire, no location. Nos.9 & 10, both Spitfires in the London/Dungeness area on 27 September, 1940. His 15th a Spitfire between Dover & Calais on 19 April, 1941. Channel pilot. Barbarossa pilot, shot down by an I-15, and made a forced landing on 15 July, 1941, after his radiator was hit. His 50th victory, a Hurricane on 19 December, 1941, piloted by American F/O Pete Steele of RAF No.126 Sq., downed over Malta. Shot down in his F-4 on 11 May, 1942, probably by F/O Nash, and rescued by a Seenot aircraft. His 1st Soviet victory, a DB-3 NW of Brest-Litovsk on 22 June, 1941. His 68th a P-40 over Tunisia on 4 January, 1943. 2nd Luft Squadron to achieve 1000 aerial victories under his leadership. Promoted to Jafu OberItalien & Staff positions for the remainder of the war. Deceased 24 June, 1953 in Düsseldorf. 497 combat missions, 33 victories in Russia.

Luftwaffe pilot List of 37 aerial victories for Gunther Furher von Maltzahn

Date Pilot Name Unit Enemy A/C Type Height Time Location
30-Sep-39 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab II./JG53 Potez 63   11.34 Saarbrucken
31-Oct-39 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab II./JG53 Morane 406   15.53 SW of Saargemund
08-Aug-40 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab II./JG53 8800m 17.05 15km S. Swanage
16-Aug-40 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab II./JG53 7500m 18.10 -
01-Sep-40 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab II./JG53 6500m 12.10 -
05-Sep-40 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab II./JG53 5200m 16.05 -
06-Sep-40 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab II./JG53 4000m 10.10 -
24-Sep-40 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab II./JG53 6000m 09.53 SE London
27-Sep-40 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab II./JG53   10.19  
27-Sep-40 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab II./JG53   16.25  
12-Oct-40 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53   17.40  
01-Dec-40 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53   15.15  
31-Mar-41 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53 Low Level 11.35 NW Calais
16-Apr-41 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53 1000m 18.40 Dungeness
19-Apr-41 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53 6500m 19.09 Calais/Dover
09-May-41 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53   - N. Calais
22-Jun-41 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53 DB-3 1200m 16.30 NW Brest-Litovsk
19-Dec-41 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53   16.55 Malta
21-Dec-41 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53   12.00 Malta
26-Dec-41 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53   11.12 -
26-Dec-41 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53 3500m 16.55 SE Insel Malta
25-Jan-42 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53 50m 10.40 -
25-Jan-42 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53 5000m 10.35 -
04-Feb-42 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53 2500m 15.53 E. Malta
11-Feb-42 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53 Beaufighter   15.45 -
15-Feb-42 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53 Beaufort   18.00 -
15-Feb-42 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53 Beaufort 5000m 16.08 -
01-Apr-42 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53 6500m 14.55 E. Insel Malta 1500-10m (E. Hal Far)
09-Apr-42 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53 7000m 17.28 Malta
14-Apr-42 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53 Tomahawk 4000m 10.40 -
25-Apr-42 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53 500m 15.28 Malta
25-May-42 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53   15.20  
14-Jun-42 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53 3000m 17.32 Pl.Qu. 8934/03 Ost (Raum Malta)
03-Dec-42 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53 P-38 Lightning 5800m 11.38 Bizerta
14-Dec-42 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53   12.18 Jefna sicht
18-Dec-42 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53 B-17 Fortress II 6500-0m 12.10 NW Medjez el Bab
04-Jan-43 Gunther Furher von Maltzahn Stab /JG53 P-40 Warhawk 3000m 12.21 5km S. Protville

Luftwaffe Badge

Luftwaffe pilot Karl Schulz

Units: 6./JG-53 (Channel)

Awards: EK 2, Fighter Operational Clasp

Known Aircraft: Bf 109E-3 'Yellow 11' (lost 8/16/40), Bf 109E-4 WNr 1080 'Yellow 2+-' (lost 10/25/40)

Remarks: MIA bailed over the Channel after combat with Spitfires of RAF No. 66 Sq., 10 km northeast of Hastings (Prien). Shot down in 'Yellow 11' over the sea (Channel?), south of the Isle of Wight, on 16 August, 1940. A Gefr at the time, he had the good fortune of being picked up by ASR, uninjured (Prien). His first victory, a Spitfire E of London on 27 September, 1940.

Luftwaffe pilot List of 2 aerial victories for Karl Schulz

Date Pilot Name Unit Enemy A/C Type Height Time Location
15-Aug-40 Karl Schulz 9./JG27   18.42 East of Swanage
27-Sep-40 Karl Schulz 6./JG53 5500m 13.20 East of London

 

 Some of the most widely used Book References:

  • Jagdwaffe: Battle of Britain: Phase One: July-August 1940 (Luftwaffe Colours: Volume Two, Section 1) Paperback Eric Mombeek (Author), David Wadman (Author), Eddie J Creek (Author)
  • Jagdwaffe: Battle of Britain: Phase Two: August-September 1940 (Luftwaffe Colours: Volume Two, Section 2) Paperback Eric Mombeek (Author), David Wadman (Author), Martin Pegg (Author)
  • Jagdwaffe: Battle of Britain: Phase Three: September-October 1940 (Luftwaffe Colours: Volume Two, Section 3) Paperback Eric Mombeek (Author), David Wadman (Author), Martin Pegg (Author)
  • Jagdwaffe: Battle of Britain: Phase Four: November 1940-June 1941 (Luftwaffe Colours: Volume Two, Section 4) Paperback Eric Mombeek (Author), David Wadman (Author), Martin Pegg (Author)

 Some of the most widely used Magazine References:

  • Airfix Magazines (English) - http://www.airfix.com/
  • Avions (French) - http://www.aerostories.org/~aerobiblio/rubrique10.html
  • FlyPast (English) - http://www.flypast.com/
  • Flugzeug Publikations GmbH (German) - http://vdmedien.com/flugzeug-publikations-gmbh-hersteller_verlag-vdm-heinz-nickel-33.html
  • Flugzeug Classic (German) - http://www.flugzeugclassic.de/
  • Klassiker (German) - http://shop.flugrevue.de/abo/klassiker-der-luftfahrt
  • Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) - http://boutique.editions-lariviere.fr/site/abonnement-le-fana-de-l-aviation-626-4-6.html
  • Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) - http://www.pdfmagazines.org/tags/Le+Fana+De+L+Aviation/
  • Osprey (English) - http://www.ospreypublishing.com/
  • Revi Magazines (Czech) - http://www.revi.cz/