Friday, 21 March 2014

Aces and pilots of JG 51 continued ... (Part 18)

Gruppenkommandeur Major Erich Leie describing his latest Abschuß to the Stab I./JG 51 sometime during 1943 in Russia. RK on 1 August 1941 and around 121 Luftsiege, before he was KIA as Kommodore JG 77 on 7 March 1945 after his chute failed to open fully after baling out at low altitude following a collision with a Yak 9..

Four successful pilots of I./JG 51, from left, Gruppenkommandeur I./JG 51 Hptm. Heinrich Krafft RK on 18 March 1942, total of 78 victories, KIA on 14 December 1942, Staffelkapitän of 12./JG 51 Oblt. Heinz Bär, RK on 2 July 1941, Lt. Erwin Fleig, Staffelkapitän 2./JG 51,  RK on 12 August 1941, total of 66 victories, taken captive on 29 May 1942 after baling out following combat with a Russian fighter (MiG 3), surviving the war and 1./JG 51 ace Ofw. Heinrich Höfemeier,  RK on 5 April 1942, total 96 Luftsiege, KIA on 7 August 1943 shot down by Soviet anti-aircraft in the vicinity of Karatschew..

2./JG 51 pilot Oblt. Edwin Thiel RK seated (left) in Russia during 1942/43. Total victories 76 Luftsiege and awarded the RK on 16 April 1943. Posted May 1944 to the Stabsstaffel JG 51, KIA on 14 July 1944 after taking a direct hit from Soviet fire while strafing Russian columns east of Wolkowysk and crashing in flames from an altitude of 200 metres. Standing, second from the right, Lt. Joachim Brendel, RK on 22 November 1943, followed by the Oakleaves on 14 January 1945, returning 189 Luftsiege. Ended the war as Gruppenkommandeur III./JG 51 Krieg. Note the 2. Staffel Bf 109 in the background and the emblem of I./ JG 51 on the side-car. Below; Brendel on the cowl of a Bf 109 ..

Below;  Galland visiting I./JG 51 during the winter of 1941/42. On the right is Gruppenkommandeur  Hptm. Wilhelm 'Willi' Hachfeld. 11 Luftsiege and a Jaboeinsätze specialist, awarded the RK on 29 October 1942 as Kommandeur of III./ZG 2. Killed on 2 December 1942 colliding on takeoff in Bizerta..

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More aces and pilots of JG 51 courtesy of Michael Meyer on this blog;