Jagdgeschwader 54

Aircraft markings and emblem structure JG54 Grunherz 0A

Aircrew Luftwaffe ace 9/.JG54 Hans Ekkehard Bob inventor of the gebobt method 1940 01-03

Aircrew Luftwaffe ace pilot 7/.JG54 Max Hellmuth Ostermann 01

Aircrew Luftwaffe ace pilot 8/.JG54 Anwarter Leykauf France 1940 01

Aircrew Luftwaffe ace pilot 8/.JG54 Max Hellmuth Ostermann 1942 01-03

Messerschmitt Bf 109E JG54 loading a 250kg bomb France Sep 1940 01

Photo 01: Mechanics loading a bomb on a Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 of JG54, early September 1940

Messerschmitt Bf 109E JG54 (Yellow 11+) 01

Messerschmitt Bf 109E 1./JG54 taking off from Campagne, France 1940 01

Photo 01: Two aircraft of I./JG54 immediately before taking off from Campagne in the Autumn of 1940.

Messerschmitt Bf 109E 1./JG54 at Langeroog-Jever 1941 01

Photo 01: I./JG54 was based at Langeroog/Jever in May 1941. Still retaining a few Bf 109Es, the Gruppe began to re-equip with the Bf 109F in May 1941.

Messerschmitt Bf 109E 2./JG54 1939 01

Photo 01: The original print of the photograph above, and other views of this Bf 109E-3 of II./JG54 (I./JG76) have been subjected to careful examination but no evidence of a second upper camouflage color has been identified with certainty.

Messerschmitt Bf 109E 2./JG54 ( +) France August 1940 01

Photo 01: Civilian technicians pose for a photograph with a Bf 109E-1 of 2./JG54 as a backdrop probably in France in early August 1940. Note a part of the Staffel emblem is just visible below the cockpit.

Messerschmitt Bf 109E 2./JG54 ( +) newly painted Campagne, France Oct 1940 01

Photo's 01-02: This Bf 109E-1 shows the crosshatch scheme used by some units towards the end of 1940. This evidently newly-delivered aircraft belonged to JG54 at Campagne and although still lacking a II. Gruppe horizontal bar aft of the fuselage Balkenkreuz, the black rectangle ahead of the windscreen marks the beginning of the II. Gruppe 'Lion of Aspern' emblem.

Messerschmitt Bf 109E 2./JG54 ( +) undergoing maintenance 1940 01

Photo 01: Bf 109 of 2./JG54, parked outside a maintenance hangar. The aircraft carries the Staffel's emblem below the cockpit - a devil on a pitchfork - and has an interesting mottled scheme on the fuselage which appears slightly denser on the nose. The 'Benzinwasch' sign visible behind the spinner refers to a workshop degreasing facility.

Messerschmitt Bf 109E 2./JG54 loading a 250kg bomb France Oct 1940 01

Photo's 01-02: Ground personnel loading a Jabo from 2./JG52 with a 250kg bomb, October 1940.While many of the Bf 109 fighter units were based on field aerodromes, the heavy loads carried by the Jabo Staffeln required a smooth surface. The 2./JG52 was therefore based at St. Ingelvert, one of the few airfields in the area with a surface suitable for Jabo operations.

Pilots 2./JG54 at readiness Sep. 1940 01

Photo 01: A pilot of 2./JG54 at readiness, this photograph clearly showing the position of the Staffel emblem. The object in the pilot's left hand is his Model LKp N 101 lightweight flying helmet. Except for leather earpieces and leather reinforcing strip across the forehead, this helmet was largely of net construction for comfort in hot weather. The electrical lead visible in the photograph was attached to the back of the helmet.

Messerschmitt Bf 109E Stab III.JG54 ( + Albrecht Dress shot down England Aug 12 1940 01

Photo 01: This photo shows Bf 109E Stab III./JG54 white Winkel Strich (-+ flown by Albrecht Dress who after combat had to belly land his aircraft in Southern England Aug 12 1940

Messerschmitt Bf 109E 5.JG54 Campagne France August 1940

Messerschmitt Bf 109E 7./JG 54 France 1940 01

Photo 01: This Bf 109E belonged to 7./JG54 and displays the Staffel's winged clog emblem on the cowling. The camouflage and markings are unusual in that the aircraft has vertical stripes sprayed on the rear fuselage and the underwing Balkenkreuz is in an early style. Being so much larger than usual, it is distorted by the underwing cannon fairing, yet the fuselage cross is considerably undersize and has narrow proportions.

Messerschmitt Bf 109E 7./JG 54 France Sep. 1940 01

Photo 01: A bomb-laden Bf 109E from 7./JG54 prepares to take off. Once the bomb had been released, the peRGormance of the Jabo Bf 109E was very much like the normal fighter version.

Messerschmitt Bf 109E 8./JG54 Guines, France Oct 1940 01

Photo 01-02: Two pilots of 8,/JG54 at Guines, shortly before the Staffel moved to Holland on 21 October 1940. Note the 'Piepmatz' Staffel emblem.

Messerschmitt Bf 109E 9./JG54 Devil's Head belly landed early 1940

Photo 01: This belly landed aircraft shows the Teufelskopf 'Devil's Head' emblem. Prior to May 7th 1940 this emblem was used by 3./JG 21 and was later adopted by 9./JG 54 when the units merged to form the new 9./JG 54.

Messerschmitt Bf 109E4 9.JG54 Teufelskopf Devils Head early 1940

Photo 01: Another photograph of a Bf 109E-4 showing the Teufelskopf 'Devil's Head' emblem. Prior to May 7th 1940 this emblem was used by 3./JG 21 and was later adopted by 9./JG 54 when the units merged to form the new 9./JG 54.

Photo 01: Prior to May 7th 1940 the Teufelskopf 'Devil's Head' emblem was used by 3./JG 21 and was later adopted by 9./JG 54 when the units merged to form the new 9./JG 54.

 
 IL-2 Sturmovik 'Cliff's of Dover' - COD game skins
No game skins for this unit as yet!

 

JG 54 Pilots story during the 'Battle of Briatin' by Hans Schmoller-Haldy

'I closed to within 20-30 meters and fired with both machine guns and both cannon. The upper gunner really had some nerves...'

At the time of the armistice, we were, near Paris. That evening I was awoken by the officer-of-the-day and was told that the following morning we would be flying to Eindhoven in the Netherlands. The Staffel took off at 09.00 hours and we landed at Eindhoven at 11.00 hours. We made an intermediate landing to, refuel. The Battle of Britain was about to begin.

On 26 June 1940, I was wounded in the leg. I had taken off from Eindhoven and was flying in formation toward Germany. A British Blenheim was reported, to be flying over Holland. I was 500 meters above him near Amsterdam. I reported the British aircraft to the others in the Schwarm. I banked and dived and came in immediately behind him just like I had practiced during training. The gunner started firing at me. I rapidly closed to within 20-30, meters and fired at fin, with both machine guns and both cannon’s. The upper gunner really had some nerves and continued firing at me. As long as I was directly behind him, he could not fire through his fin and could only fire at my wings. I was closing too rapidly and I would have rammed him, so I had to turn away. I could see his tracers and the gunner had a good target when I showed him my underside. My engine was shot up and, I felt a sharp pain in my leg. Fortunately, the aircraft did not burn. I pulled out at low level. I reduced the throttle. I was losing Blood and I reported on the radio that I was wounded. I landed at Eindhoven and was immediately taken to the hospital there. It is amazing, that the Blenheim was able to continue to flying for another 200-300 kilometres.

I lay in hospita1 near Eindhoven for two weeks. I returned to flying in August. I had to fly the first missions over England with my leg wrapped in bandages. During a six-week period, all of the pilots in the Staffel except my deputy and I were lost. The last sorties were flown by, only two or three pilots. The British were now so strong that they could meet us half way across the Channel. We had started the French campaign with 12 pilots but now I had only Lt. Kitzinger and Fw. Knipscher. On the last mission, Knipscher was shot down. Kitzinger and I transferred to Jever. The base commander, an Oberstleutnant, greeted me and told me to bring in my Staffel! Lt. Kitzinger was standing in the door way, and I pointed to him and said: 'This is my Staffel!'

Knights Cross

Luftwaffe pilot Hubertus von Bonin

Units: Legion Condor, JG-133 (Instr), JG-26, Kdr I/JG-54 (8/40 Guines), Kdr III/JG-52, Kdr/JG-54 (6/43)

Awards: RK(12/21/42), Spanish Cross, DK-G(11/16/42), EK 1 & 2, Fighter Operational Clasp

Known Aircraft: Bf 109E-3(9/40), Bf 109G-2 '((+' in III/JG-52, Fw 190A-4 & Fw 190A-5 WNr (15)2600 'Black (('(lost 12/43) in JG-54

Remarks: Four victories in Spain. Channel pilot. KIA 15 December, 1943 in Werk# 2600 near Gorodok (near Witebsk S.U.). He was buried at Orsha. His 1st & 2nd victories were Bloch 151's at Pontoise, 8 June, 1940. Downed 3 Blenheim's on 27 June, 1940 while in I/JG-54, no location. His 6th a Spitfire on 25 August, 1940, no location. Nos.7 & 8, two Spitfires E of Southend on 5 September, 1940. 9 victories in the Battle of Britain. All other victories on the Eastern Front. His first known Soviet victory, an I-16 Rata and a Boston on 23 August, 1942. Two LaGG-3's and a Boston on 30 August, 1942. An I-153 on 7 September, 1942. A Yak-1 on 11 October, 1942. An La-5 on 25 October, 1942. Two LaGG-3's on 30 October, 1942. An R-5, A MiG-1, a Pe-2 and an Il-2 on 31 October, 1942. An La-2, two LaGG-3's, an Il-2 and a MiG-3 on 1 November, 1942. Three Boston III's and an Il-2 on 28 November, 1942. Two LaGG-3's on 29 April, 1943. Two LaGG's on 26 May, 1943. Two Il-2's on 27 May, 1943. An La-5 on 12 October, 1943. Two Il-2's NE of Gorodok on 15 December, 1943, the same date he was KIA. Brother of Eckhart.

Hubertus von Bonin (born 3 August 1911, Potsdam – killed in action 15 December 1943) was a German World War II fighter ace who served in the Luftwaffe until his death on 15 December 1943. A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat.[1] He is credited with shooting down 77 enemy aircraft. The majority of his victories were claimed over the Eastern front. He also claimed 4 victories in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. His commands included Geschwaderkommodore of Jagdgeschwader 54 (JG 54—54th Fighter Wing).

Military career

Bonin transferred to the Legion Condor in the fall of 1938 where he replaced Werner Mölders as Staffelkapitän (Squadron Leader) of the 3./Jagdgruppe 88 on 5 December 1938. During the course of the Spanish Civil War he claimed 4 republican fighter aircraft shot down, for which he was awarded the Spanish Cross in Gold with Swords. After his return from Spain, he took command of the 5./Jagdgeschwader 26 (JG 26) and was made Gruppenkommandeur (Group Commander) of the I./Jagdgeschwader 54 (JG 54). He claimed his first aerial victory of World War II on 11 May 1940. By mid September 1940 he had claimed 8 British fighter aircraft and bombers. For three months starting on 1 July 1941 he served with Jagdfliegerschule 4 (fighter pilot training school Nr. 4). He then took command of the III./Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52) on the Eastern front. He claimed his 30th aerial victory on 17 November 1942 and was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) after 51 aerial victories. He was appointed Geschwaderkommodore (Wing Commander) of JG 54 on 6 July 1943.[2]

Bonin was killed in action on 15 December 1943 near Vitebsk, in a fight with Soviet P-39 Airacobras.[3] His father, Luftwaffe Oberst Bogislaw von Bonin, was taken prisoner of war in March 1945 and has been declared missing since. Von Bonin's brother, Jürgen-Oskar von Bonin, was killed in action as an observer in a transport Geschwader. Another brother, Major Eckart-Wilhelm von Bonin (Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipient) was a 37 kill night fighter ace who survived the war.

Awards

Spanish Cross in Gold with Swords German Cross in Gold on 27 October 1942 as Major in the III./JG 52[4] Iron Cross (1939) 2nd and 1st class Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 21 December 1942 as Major and Gruppenkommandeur of the III./JG 52[5]

Luftwaffe pilot Asisbiz database list of 50 aerial victories for Hubertus von Bonin

Date Pilot Name Unit Enemy A/C Type Height Time Location
Saturday, June 08, 1940 Hubertus von Bonin Stab I./JG54 Bloch 151 4500m 20:50 Pontoise
Saturday, June 08, 1940 Hubertus von Bonin Stab I./JG54 Bloch 151 4500m 20:50 Pontoise
Thursday, June 27, 1940 Hubertus von Bonin Stab I./JG54   15:15  
Thursday, June 27, 1940 Hubertus von Bonin Stab I./JG54   15:20  
Thursday, June 27, 1940 Hubertus von Bonin Stab I./JG54   15:30  
Sunday, August 25, 1940 Hubertus von Bonin Stab I./JG54   20:10  
Thursday, September 05, 1940 Hubertus von Bonin Stab I./JG54   16:25  
Thursday, September 05, 1940 Hubertus von Bonin Stab I./JG54 800-1000m 16:30 East of Southend
Wednesday, September 11, 1940 Hubertus von Bonin Stab I./JG54 3000m 17:35 20km N Dungeness
Sunday, August 23, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 I-16 Rata 2000m 11:35 44 283
Sunday, August 23, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 A-20 Boston 1500m 11:40 54 314
Sunday, August 30, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 LaGG-3 1500m 10:12 54 314
Sunday, August 30, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 A-20 Boston 2000m 10:30 54 323
Sunday, August 30, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 LaGG-3 1600m 17:04 54 342
Monday, August 31, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 LaGG-3 1500m 16:56 54 313
Tuesday, September 01, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 LaGG-3 5000m 15:30 54 343
Wednesday, September 02, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 I-153 10m 12:00 44 410
Wednesday, September 02, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 A-20 Boston 1800m 15:03 44 431
Wednesday, September 02, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 A-20 Boston 300m 15:03 44 421
Friday, September 04, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 DB-7 2000m 15:25 44 372
Monday, September 07, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 I-153 800m 17:05 44 351
Thursday, September 10, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 LaGG-3 2500m 16:36 44 464
Sunday, September 13, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 I-16 Rata 1800m 16:56 44 394
Monday, September 28, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 A-20 Boston 2000m 15:25 44 524
Sunday, October 11, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 Yak-1 1500m 11:32 44 614
Tuesday, October 13, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 Yak-1 1500m 11:36 44 621
Sunday, October 25, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 La-5 1500m 12:27 44 721
Friday, October 30, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 LaGG-3 2000m 13:33 44 714
Friday, October 30, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 LaGG-3 2000m 13:34 44 714
Saturday, October 31, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 Pe-2 7000m 14:05 34 762
Saturday, October 31, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 R-5 Low Level 10:34 54 572
Saturday, October 31, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 MiG-1 1800m 10:35 44 662
Saturday, October 31, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 Il-2 Sturmovik 300m 13:50 44 724
Sunday, November 01, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 La-5 2200m 13:08 44 853
Sunday, November 01, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 LaGG-3 1000m 13:30 44 851
Sunday, November 01, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 Il-2 Sturmovik 1000m 15:22 44 724
Sunday, November 01, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 LaGG-3 1000m 15:23 44 763
Sunday, November 01, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 MiG-3 1000m 15:25 44 853
Monday, November 02, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 LaGG-3 600m 12:52 44 872
Monday, November 02, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 LaGG-3 600m 14:55 44 872
Tuesday, November 17, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 Il-2 Sturmovik 200m 14:09 44 752
Tuesday, November 17, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 MiG-3 Low Level 13:56 44 844
Saturday, November 28, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 A-20 Boston III 2000m 13:54 44 724
Saturday, November 28, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 A-20 Boston III 2000m 13:54 44 722
Saturday, November 28, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 A-20 Boston III 2000m 13:55 44 593
Saturday, November 28, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 Il-2 Sturmovik 600m 14:03 44 764
Sunday, December 13, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 Yak-1 1200m 13:26 44 261
Sunday, December 13, 1942 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 Yak-1 1000m 13:27 44 252
Thursday, April 29, 1943 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 LaGG-3 4000m 12:53 85 144
Thursday, April 29, 1943 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 LaGG-3 4000m 12:58 85 144
Monday, May 03, 1943 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 4000m 16:58 85 144
Wednesday, May 26, 1943 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 LaGG 2000m 17:43 85 142
Wednesday, May 26, 1943 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 LaGG 1400m 17:45 75 264
Thursday, May 27, 1943 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 Il-2 Sturmovik m.H. 400m 18:12 75 232
Thursday, May 27, 1943 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 Il-2 Sturmovik m.H. 1000m 18:05 85 263
Friday, May 28, 1943 Hubertus von Bonin Stab III./JG52 LaGG 2500m 18:00 75 232
Wednesday, July 14, 1943 Hubertus von Bonin Stab /JG54 LaGG-3 1800m 14:08 54 474
Tuesday, September 14, 1943 Hubertus von Bonin Stab /JG54 Yak-9 1200m 12:11 25 661
Saturday, October 09, 1943 Hubertus von Bonin Stab /JG54 P-39 Aircobra 4000m 16:10 06 191
Tuesday, October 12, 1943 Hubertus von Bonin Stab /JG54 La-5 4000m 13:35 15 541
Wednesday, December 15, 1943 Hubertus von Bonin Stab /JG54 Il-2 Sturmovik 800m 11:19 NE Gorodok
Wednesday, December 15, 1943 Hubertus von Bonin Stab /JG54 Il-2 Sturmovik 600m 11:20 NE Gorodok
Wednesday, December 15, 1943 Hubertus von Bonin Stab /JG54 Dogfight (Il-2 Sturmovik's)     KIA Dogfight Il-2s near Gorodok PlQu 0635

Citations

  1. Spick 1996, pp. 3–4.
  2. Obermaier 1989, p. 91.
  3. Weal 2001, p. 107.
  4. Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 51.
  5. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 139.

Bibliography

  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 - 1945 (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 3-87341-065-6.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D. and Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 - 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II. Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 3-931533-45-X.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
  • Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. New York: Ivy Books. ISBN 0-8041-1696-2.
  • Weal, John (1998). Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Aces of the Russian Front. London, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-85532-518-7.
  • Weal, John (2001). Jagdgeschwader 54 'Grünherz'. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-286-5.

Luftwaffe Badge

Luftwaffe pilot Albrecht Drefl

Units: Stab III./JG-54 Technical Offz.

Awards: EK 2, Wound Badge, Fighter Operational Clasp

Known Aircraft: Bf 109E-4

Remarks: One known victory, a Spitfire on near Margate. He too, was shot down with wounds and taken prisoner after belly landing in a Hengrove field.

Luftwaffe pilot Albrecht Drewes

Units: TO III./JG-54 (Channel)

Awards: Fighter Operational Clasp

Known Aircraft: Bf 109E-4 'White < - +' (lost 8/12/40)

Remarks: POW after being shot down at Hengrove, near Margate. Alternate spelling: Dresz.

Luftwaffe pilot Albrecht Drehs

Luftwaffe pilot Asisbiz database list of 1 aerial victories for Albrecht Drehs

Date Pilot Name Unit Enemy A/C Type Height Time Location
Albrecht Drehs Stab III./JG54   18.36  

Luftwaffe Badge

Luftwaffe pilot Bernhard Malischewski

Units: I./JG-76 (1/40), II./JG-54

Awards: EK 1 & 2, Fighter Operational Clasp

Known Aircraft: Bf 109C & D in JG-76, Bf 109E-4 WNr 869 '<I+' (lost 10/12/40) in II/JG-54

Remarks: POW after being shot down over Tenterden-Kent, a victim of the legendary RAF Ace, Flt Lt Bob Stanford Tuck. This E-4 then 'toured' England. One known victory, his 1st, a Blenheim of RAF No. 114 Sq. on 12 January, 1940, south of Saarbrücken. His 2nd, a Blenheim at Sedan, 14 May, 1940. His 3rd, called #4 by OKL, a Spitfire inear London on 27 September, 1940.

Luftwaffe pilot Aisbiz database of 3 aerial victories for Bernhard Malischewski

Date Pilot Name Unit Enemy A/C Type Height Time Location
Bernhard Malischewski Stab I./JG76     S Saarbrucken
Bernhard Malischewski Stab I./JG76   13.40 Sedan
Bernhard Malischewski Stab II./JG54   13.10  

Luftwaffe Badge

Luftwaffe pilot Peter-Paul Steindl

Units: 5./JG-54 (5/41), Stab./JG-26 (12/41), 9./JG-26 (4/43), 11./JG-26 (10/43), Stfkpt 9./JG-26, Stab./JG-26

Awards: EP, EK 1 & 2, Fighter Operational Clasp

Known Aircraft: Bf 109E, Fw 190A-1 in Stab/JG-26, Bf 109G, Fw 190D-9 WNr 210983 'Blue 10' (lost)

Remarks: KIFA when his D-9 crashed during a test flight SE of Fürstenau airfield. Buried Fürstenau, Block A/4/80 Rosseels). One known victory, his 1st, a Spitfire 5 km east of Dunkirk on 11 October, 1942. Two Soviet Il-2's on 30 December, 1942. A Soviet LaGG-5 on 23 January, 1943. A LaGG-3 on 27 January, 1943. An Il-2 on 15 February, 1943. Another western, a Mosquito northwest of Ghent on 11 April, 1943. His 10th a B-17 near Douai/Valenciennes on 20 October, 1943, either 41-24629 or 'Charlie Horse, of the 303BG, 358BS. Both AC crashed at Cambrai. Steindl was very popular among the young pilots.

Luftwaffe pilot Asisbiz Database of 8 aerial victories for Paul Steindl

Date Pilot Name Unit Enemy A/C Type Height Time Location
11-Oct-42 Paul Steindl Stab I./JG26 1500m 15.40 5km E Dunkirk
30-Dec-42 Paul Steindl 5./JG54 Il-2 Sturmovik 100m 08.24 28 333
30-Dec-42 Paul Steindl 5./JG54 Il-2 Sturmovik 4-500m 08.20 2834
23-Jan-43 Paul Steindl 5./JG54 LaGG-5 3000m 13.30 10 140
27-Jan-43 Paul Steindl 5./JG54 LaGG-3 1700m 14.15 10 151
15-Feb-43 Paul Steindl 5./JG54 Il-2 Sturmovik 300m 08.10 10 552
11-Apr-43 Paul Steindl 9./JG26 Mosquito Low Level 20.36 NW Ghent
20-Oct-43 Paul Steindl 11./JG26 B-17 Fortress 8000m 14.11 PG u PH (Douai-Valenciennes)

Knights-Cross

'We all feel that a powerful drama is unfolding.. . '

HANNES TRAUTLOFT, JG54

I arrive at the airfield at 02:30 while stars still shine in the dark skies. As a result of the cool night, dew covers the clover underfoot and my fur-lined flying boots are damp. The airfield is alive with activity.

In the parking. places, 45 engines are being warmed-up and create a monotonous roar as the chief mechanics rev them up. Bright, blue-yellow flames shoot from the exhaust stubs and the air is filled with a rare scent from the mixture of soil, flowers, grass, petrol and oi1.As the eastern skies are tinged with colour, there is the first chirping of birds and the shadows and darkness quickly disappear. Everyone on the airfield is aware that this is the dawn of a fateful day.

Shivering, we climb into our aircraft. The metal seat is cold and the harness is damp. The chief mechanic straps me in and wishes me luck as I close the canopy. The engine starts with a thunder. As always before a combat mission, my throat is dry and perhaps my heart is beating faster than normally. At 02.50 hrs we take off. The order is for all Geschwader of the I. Fliegerk01ps to cross the border at 03.00 and as we fly over it, the front comes alive.At 03.05, heavy artillery is brought into action and everywhere, all along the front, we see the muzzle flashes of the guns. It is a rousing scene, and at this moment the Eastern Front is born. From our vantage point we can see to the north across the Memel River, while to the south the Romintener Heath is visible. We all feel that a powerful drama is unfolding, that a door is being opened on a new phase of history, but one which will possibly be fateful for us all.

We fly in the direction of Kowno. The pilots fly nervously. I recognize this from the first operations of previous campaigns. It is due to anxiety, as so much is unknown: What will the Russians do? Will our surprise attack succeed? Will the Russian fighters engage in combat? Are their aircraft superior to ours? Before and below us on the dark ground is the city and airfield of Kowno, which can be identified only through its outline and contours.At this moment the sun rises above the eastern horizon, suddenly bringing glittering rays of light on our aircraft as we fly through the crystal-clear air of the dawn of a new day.

Our bombers attack the airfield at Kowno, the bombs landing in the middle of the parked aircraft. Suddenly, there are two fighters in front of us, but they disappear as quickly as they had appeared. There is no combat with them. We fly back. Numerous fires blaze along the entire front and thick black columns of smoke rise high in the sky.

The Russians wtre not prepared in any way for the first, surprise attack and most of their bases are attacked without any resistance. Soon, however, this situation changes and our bases at Gerlinden and Lindental report that they have spotted enemy bombers flying overhead. The alert squadrons take off to prevent the penetration of East Prussian airspace and, of the 26 SB 2 bombers which enter the area, 17 are shot down. Everywhere we see parachutes and burning, crashing aircraft. The other enemy aircraft flee in a wild panic but are followed all the way to Schaulen. We fly operations throughout the day, each pilot flying five to seven sorties. Our spines and backs ache. Escort for bombers, fighter sweeps, and low-level attacks are alternated. This afternoon we gained air superiority over our area. No Russian fighter dares to appear.

During a fighter sweep late that afternoon, we carry out a surprise attack on an enemy bomber formation which consists of 50-60 SB 2s. Unfortunately, because we are short of fuel we can only make two attacks. The first one is unsuccessful, but during the second, the right engine of the bomber in front of us is burning. The aircraft jettisons its bomb load but then explodes in the air. As we turn away, we encounter strong return fire from the tailgunners in the other bombers. The enemy formation flies south but our fuel shortage compels us to return to base. We radio for reinforcements which intercept this formation and shoot down another 11 aircraft. One of our Me 109s has been hit and is unable to lower its landing gear. The pilot makes a careful and successful crash-landing. One hour later we take off for our next mission. One pilot loses his bearings during air combat but reports from Litzmannstadt in the late afternoon.

Toward dusk we fly one last mission in the direction of Schaulen but there is no contact with the enemy. We fly low over our ground troops who are half way to Kowno and Schaulen. Dense clouds of dust reveal the direction of the advance of each column, just as in Poland. There are fires everywhere; entire villages are in flames. Tauroggen is burning and produces a large column of black smoke which can be seen from far away. After the final mission, the successes of the day are reported to the Fliegerkorps. The Geschwader destroyed 45 aircraft in the air and 35 on the ground.
The strain of the day's fighting is very noticeable. We are all dog-tired and need rest, but this is a bad time for fighter pilots to sleep and we are unable to relax until the middle of the night. After just two hours, however, we have to prepare for the next day's operations.

HANNES TRAUTLOFT, KOMMODORE OF JG54

Aircrew Luftwaffe pilot JG54 Hannes Trautloft '...there was no throttle!'

During the Balkans campaign, the 'Green Hearts' Geschwader, then stationed at Belgrade-Semlin, was withdrawn from combat operations. Before our aircraft were passed on to another unit, the ground personnel did their best to bring them up to first-class condition and parked them around the edge of the airfield. Until they took delivery of new aircraft, the 'Green Hearts' therefore led a peaceful existence and each person used his free time in his own way. For the pilots, this involved some high-performance Yugoslav gliders which they had found in a hangar and had made ready to f1y.Thus, every Friday, while the war raged elsewhere, such famous glider pilots as Wolfgang Spate, Franz Eckerle, and 'Hubs' Miltherich performed their masterly aerobatics displays over the Semlin air base.These so impressed me that I decided I wanted to take part so, one Friday, 'Hubs' Miltherich gave me the necessary instruction, a Go-145 tow-plane was coupled up to the glider, and off I went.

At first everything proceeded smoothly. Then, at a height of 1, 000 metres, as I banked the glider into a turn, I saw below me a Do-17 which had carried out an emergency landing in one of the tributaries of. the River Danube which ran close to the airfield. Fascinated, and purely out of habit, I rolled the glider upside down to take a better look at the crash-landed Dornier. This cost me a considerable loss in height, but 1 was so engrossed that it was only as I automatically reached for the throttle that I realised that I, the experienced fighter pilot, was not seated in my Bf 109 and that there was no throttle!

Struggling to return to the airfield in a shallow glide, I saw before me, as if forming a barrier, the proud lines of Bf109s which the ground personnel had so carefully serviced. The whole Geschwader was watching and a collision seemed inevitable, but I pushed the stick forward and hoped for the best. The nose dropped and the glider picked up a little speed, but I was still heading straight towards the parked Bf109s. I hauled back on the stick and the glider staggered to a height of three metres, rose over the parked aircraft - and stalled.

The glider fell like a stone. There was a loud crash as it broke apart, losing its canopy and wings. I sat in the wreckage surprised but uninjured until one of the workshop foremen arrived and, anxious to be helpful, set about freeing me from the smashed remains. However, he clearly had not recognised me as the Geschwader Kommodore, for as he pulled away the splintered wood and torn fabric, I heard him dryly remark, 'I should have known! Bloody Friday again!'

Hannes Trautloft was born on 3 March 1912 at Groß-Obringen near Weimar in Thüringen. On 1 April 1931 he joined the Deutsche Verkehrfliegerschule at Schleißheim and learned to fly. In 1932 he spent four months at the secret training base in Lipezk, Russia. He returned to Germany to serve in the army until 1934 when he was transferred to Jagdfliegerschule Schleißheim as a Leutnant.

Trautloft was one of six pilots that sailed aboard the Ursaramo arriving at Cadiz, Spain on 7 August 1936 to support Franco's Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War. Initially flying He 51 biplane fighters Trautloft and Kraft Eberhardt (seven victories, killed in action 13 November 1936) recorded the first German victories in Spain by each claiming a Breguet XIX shot down on 25 August 1936. On 30 August, Trautloft claimed a Potez 540 for his second victory but became the first German pilot shot down over Spain. He baled out and landed near Nationalist forces and returned unharmed. In December 1936, four prototype Bf 109s were delivered to counter the Russian SB twin-engine bombers and the I-15 and I-16 fighters supporting the Spanish Republican forces. Trautloft went on to record three more confirmed victories flying the Bf 109 for a total of five victories in Spain. Perhaps more importantly, Trautloft was responsible for developing tactics for the deployment of the Bf109 in service. He was awarded the Spanienkreuz in Gold mit Schwertern for his service in Spain. On his return to Germany, Trautloft served with different units, including winning the international roundthe-alps air race in Switzerland as part of the 'Dreier-Patrouille' flying Bf 109s, before being appointed Staffelkapitän of 12./JG132 on 1 July 1938. 12./JG132 was redesignated 2./JG331 on 1 November 1938. At the outbreak of World War 2, Trautloft was serving with 2./JG77.

He participated in the Polish campaign. He gained his first victory in the new conflict when he shot down a Polish PZL P.23 attack aircraft near Warta. Trautloft was promoted to the rank of Hauptmann and became Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG20 on 19 September 1939. He gained two victories with the unit during the French campaign. I./JG20 was to be redesignated III./JG51 on 4 July 1940. The Battle of Britain saw Trautloft record two further victories to raise his victory total to five in World War 2 and 10 overall. On 25 August 1940, Trautloft was appointed Kommodore of the newly formed JG54, a post he would hold until July 5, 1943. He led the Jagdgeschwader during the remainder of the Battle of Britain. Trautloft flew 120 missions over the Channel before JG54 was relocated to Germany for rest and refit. He recorded three further victories over England to raise his overall victory total to 13.

Trautloft and JG54 participated in the Balkans campaign and Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of Russia. Major Trautloft was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 27 July 1941 for achieving 20 victories and outstanding leadership. By the end of 1941 he had recorded 26 victories. He recorded 19 victories in 1942, including his 30th victory on 16 March, his 40th on 9 May and his 50th on 15 February 1943. On 6 July 1943, Trautloft was appointed Inspizient Ost with the General der Jagflieger's office. He was appointed Inspekteur der Tagjäger on 27 November. Trautloft's involvement in the so-called 'Mutiny of the Fighter Pilots' in 1945 led to his removal and subsequent posting to 4 Flieger-SchulDivision based at Strassburg. He ended the war with this unit based at Döberitz-Elsgrund. Post-war, Trautloft joined the Bundesluftwaffe on 1 October 1957 with the rank of Brigadegeneral. During the 1960's,Trautloft served as the Inspector General of the Bundesluftwaffe. He retired on 30 June 1970 with the rank of Generalleutnant. Trautloft was active in many veterans' organizations until his death on 11 January 1995 at Bad Wiessee near München.

Hannes Trautloft was credited with 58 victories in 560 missions. He recorded 45 victories over the Eastern front. Included in his total are five victories recorded during the Spanish Civil War.

List of 58 aerial victories for Hannes Trautloft

No Date Time A/c Type Unit Location / Comments
1 25.8.1936 - Breguet XIX J/88 Spain
2 30.8.1936 - Potez 54 J/88 Spain
3 1.9.1936 - Nieuport 52 V. J/88 Spain
4 30.9.1936 - Potez 54 V. J/88 Spain
5 8.12.1936 - I-16 V. J/88 Spain
6 5.9.1939 8:20 PZL P.23 2./JG77 Warta 15km NW Sieradz
7 29.5.1940 18:40 Stab I./JG20 SE Dünkirchen
8 31.5.1940 18:06 Stab I./JG20 N Dünkirchen
9 19.7.1940 13:42 Defiant Stab III./JG51 S Folkestone
10 8.8.1940 12:48 Stab III./JG51 Dungennes
11 25.8.1940 20:20 Stab/JG54 Ärmelkanal
12 7.9.1940 19:00 Stab/JG54 Maidstone
13 27.10.1940 15:05 Stab/JG54 Ashford
14 22.6.1941 16:48 DB-3 Stab/JG54 NW Mariampol
15 23.6.1941 10:15 SB-3 Stab/JG54 Kussen
16 24.6.1941 19:30 DB-3 Stab/JG54 N Tauroggen
17 25.6.1941 9:30 DB-3 Stab/JG54 S Schaulen
18 30.6.1941 15:10 DB-3 Stab/JG54 N Dünaburg
19 30.6.1941 15:50 DB-3 Stab/JG54 N Dünaburg
20 6.7.1941 19:10 SB-2 Stab/JG54 S Ostrow
21 13.7.1941 17:34 I-18 Stab/JG54 Soltzy
22 14.7.1941 18:12 I-18 Stab/JG54 SE Kingisepp
23 21.7.1941 21:00 SB-2 Stab/JG54 Waluj
24 24.7.1941 19:52 SB-3 Stab/JG54 E Porchow
- 24.7.1941 - SB-3 Stab/JG54 not confirmed
25 24.7.1941 20:00 SB-3 Stab/JG54 E Dno
- 17.9.1941 - I-18 Stab/JG54 not confirmed
26 4.10.1941 10:40 I-26 Stab/JG54 Leningrad / Ljuban
27 7.10.1941 15:10 I-16 Stab/JG54 Smolino
28 7.10.1941 15:15 I-18 Stab/JG54 Smolino
29 25.10.1941 9:38 Pe-2 Stab/JG54 Budogoschtsch
30 25.10.1941 14:26 SB-2 Stab/JG54 NE Oskuje
31 29.10.1941 11:07 I-26 Stab/JG54 Tichwin
- 8.11.1941 - I-26 Stab/JG54 not confirmed
32 6.3.1942 10:00 R-5 Stab/JG54 Tschudowo
33 9.3.1942 10:20 I-16 Stab/JG54 Ljuban
34 14.3.1942 9:14 I-26 Stab/JG54 Nowgorod
35 16.3.1942 14:58 I-26 Stab/JG54 Malaja Wischera
36 18.3.1942 10:42 I-18 Stab/JG54 Nowgorod
37 20.3.1942 16:10 I-18 Stab/JG54 Malaja Wischera
38 29.3.1942 15:38 I-18 Stab/JG54 Staraja Russa
39 1.4.1942 15:42 Il-2 Stab/JG54 Staraja Russa
40 1.4.1942 15:50 Il-2 Stab/JG54 Staraja Russa
41 4.4.1942 14:30 I-301 Stab/JG54 Metino
42 4.4.1942 14:33 I-301 Stab/JG54 E Tschudowo
43 5.4.1942 11:30 I-61 Stab/JG54 Fedosina
44 9.5.1942 15:50 Yak-1 Stab/JG54 Demyansk
45 9.5.1942 16:10 Pe-2 Stab/JG54 Demyansk
46 30.5.1942 9:24 MiG-3 Stab/JG54 -
47 5.8.1942 18:35 Pe-2 Stab/JG54 SE Shimsk
48 9.8.1942, 10:00 Pe-2 Stab/JG54 NE Reschew
49 22.8.1942 10:15 LaGG-3 Stab/JG54 N Uljanovo
50 28.8.1942 5:12 LaGG-3 Stab/JG54 N Rschev
51 17.1.1943 10:01 Il-2 Stab/JG54 N Mga: at 200m
52 14.2.1943 14:10 Il-2 Stab/JG54 10 523
53 14.2.1943 14:15 Il-2 Stab/JG54 10 562
54 14.2.1943 14:30 Il-2 m.H. Stab/JG54 10 524
55 15.2.1943 9:28 Mustang Stab/JG54 00 444
56 17.2.1943 15:02 Il-2 m.H. Stab/JG54 10 522
57 18.2.1943 9:50 Il-2 Stab/JG54 10 382
58 7.3.1943 14:10 Il-2 Stab/JG54 18 324

Victories :58
Awards :Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (27 July 1942)
Ritterkreuz (27 July 1941)
Units :J/88, JG77, JG51, JG54
http://www.luftwaffe.cz/trautloft.html

Units: 2(J)/88 L.C.('36), IV./JG-132('39), Stfkpt 2./JG-77(9/39), Kdr III./JG-51(1/40), Kdr JG-54(6/41)

Awards: RK(7/27/41), Spanish Cross, DK-G(8/17/42), EK 1 & 2, Fighter Operational Clasp w/Pendant

Known Aircraft: Bf 109V-3 WNr 760 '6x-3' & Bf 109V-4 'Black 1' (Spain), Bf 109E-1 WNr 4072 'Red 1+o' (9/39), Bf 109E-4(3/40), Bf 109F-2 WNr 5761(lost), Bf 109G-1 '<<-+-', Fw 190A-4 WNr 145799 'White <<+--' (force land-tech defect 2/18/43)

Remarks: Flew the first Bf 109 combat sortie on 20 January, 1937. He was the first German pilot shot down over Spain, 30 August, 1936. Channel pilot. 560 combat missions. 5 victories in Spain in an E-1 'Red 1'. His first WWII victory, a Polish PZL-23 at Warta, 15 km NW of Sierda, on 5 September, 1939. His 2nd, a Spitfire SE of Dunkirk on 29 May, 1940. His 4th a Defiant S of Folkestone on 19 July, 1940. His 5th victory, becoming an Ace, a Spitfire at Dungeness on 8 August, 1940. 45 victories in Russia. His first known Soviet victory, two DB-3's on 30 June, 1941. An I-26 on 4 October, 1941. A Pe-2 NE of Reshev on 9 August, 1942, while Kdr of JG-54. An Il-2 N of Mga on 17 January, 1943. Three Il-2's on 14 February, 1943. One of the great educators of the Fighter Arm, his name will always be connected with the 'Grün Herz' (JG-54). His frankness and sense of responsibility became too annoying to the supreme Luftwaffe command. At wars end, he was Kdr. Flieger Schul 4. Prior to that, on General Galland's Staff as Fighter Inspector-Ost. Also flew a Bf 109G-2 as Kdr JG-54 Summer, 1942. Deceased 12 January, 1995.

Asisbiz Database of 58 aerial victories for Hannes Trautloft

Date Pilot Name Unit Enemy A/C Type Height Time Location
05-Sep-39 Hannes Trautloft Stab I./JG77 PZL P-23   08.20 Warta 15km NW Sieradz
29-May-40 Hannes Trautloft Stab I./JG20   18.40 SE Dunkirk
31-May-40 Hannes Trautloft Stab I./JG20   18.06 N Dunkirk
19-Jul-40 Hannes Trautloft Stab III./JG51 Defiant   13.42 South of Folkestone
08-Aug-40 Hannes Trautloft Stab III./JG51   12.48 Dungeness
25-Aug-40 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54   20.20 armelkanal
07-Sep-40 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54   19.00 Maidstone
27-Oct-40 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54   15.05 Ashford
30-Jun-41 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 DB-3   15.10  
30-Jun-41 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 DB-3   15.50  
06-Jul-41 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 SB-2   19.10  
13-Jul-41 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 I-18   17.34  
24-Jul-41 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 SB-3   19.52  
04-Oct-41 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 I-26   10.40  
07-Oct-41 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 I-18   15.15  
07-Oct-41 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 I-16 Rata   15.10  
25-Oct-41 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 Pe-2   09.38  
25-Oct-41 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 SB-2   14.26  
29-Oct-41 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 Il-2 Sturmovik   11.07  
09-May-42 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 Yak-1   15.50  
09-May-42 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 Pe-2   16.10  
05-Aug-42 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 Pe-2 6500m 18.35 SE Shimsk (Novgorod)
09-Aug-42 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 Pe-2 1000m 10.00 NO Reschew (Reshev)
22-Aug-42 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 LaGG-3   10.15 N Uljanovo
28-Aug-42 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 LaGG-3 800m 05.12 N Rschev
17-Jan-43 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 Il-2 Sturmovik 200m 10.01 North of Mga
14-Feb-43 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 Il-2 Sturmovik 300m 14.10 10 523
14-Feb-43 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 Il-2 Sturmovik 200m 14.15 10 562
14-Feb-43 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 Il-2 Sturmovik m.H. 300m 14.30 10 524
15-Feb-43 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 P-51 Mustang 1000m 09.28 00 444
17-Feb-43 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 Il-2 Sturmovik m.H. 400m 15.02 10 522
18-Feb-43 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 Il-2 Sturmovik 400m 09.50 10 382
07-Mar-43 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 Il-2 Sturmovik 200m 14.10 18 324
30-May-43 Hannes Trautloft Stab /JG54 MiG-3   09.24  

 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/