Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Fritz Galland, reluctant fighter pilot - eldest and least well-known of the four Galland brothers

Above; Fritz Galland, elder brother of Adolf Galland, seen strapping into the cockpit of his G-6 'white 1' as StaKa 2./NAG 11 in Italy during late 1943. See profile artwork of 'white 1' below, published in the long defunct 'Histoire de guerre' magazine (via J-L Roba).

Interview extract with Adolf Galland via Colin Heaton on history.net

Interestingly both interviewer and interviewee got that one wrong - all three of Galland's brothers were combat pilots! However they did at least both note that there were four Galland brothers including Adolf - most authors only seem to account for three ! Fritz Galland - the 'attorney' according to brother Adolf Galland - alongside AG (left) and in the cockpit of his "white 1" (top) was the eldest brother and had - like Wilhelm-  joined the flak arm. It was possibly as a result of his brothers' achievements in fighters that he had then 'chosen' or taken the opportunity very late on to train as a fighter pilot. Fritz Galland's first posting was to JG 3. During the summer of 1942 he flew Bf 109s with 7./JG 5. According to writer Brian Cull it was possibly Fritz Galland who was held responsible for the shooting down of a He 111 of 8./KG 26 near Petsamo, a loss that occurred on 8 September 1942. However sources are few and far between. Exactly what did happen to Fritz Galland? What we do know - from first person accounts - is that he must have been demoted from his rank of Hauptmann. He was subsequently posted to NAG 11 (2 Staffel) in Italy -where presumably he could do less damage- and arrived there as a lowly Feldwebel. He was appointed Staka 2./NAG 11 in October 1943. (note the error in the Stankey/De Zeng data base entry below)

Even here apparently he wasn't particularly highly rated as a pilot -at least one of his pilots says he always tried to avoid flying with him..(personal account via Jean-Louis Roba published in the now-defunct 'Histoire de Guerre' magazine)

Below; an entry from the superb Stankey/De Zeng Luftwaffe officers database resource which can be found here; I wonder if the single victory mentioned is in fact the 'victory' that cost him his fighter pilot career. Note that after the NAG he went to various training Geschwader.

GALLAND, Dr. Fritz. (DOB:21.05.10 in Recklingshausen). 26.05.42 Oblt., 2./JG 3. 13.06.42 Oblt., in 2./JG 3. 01.07.42 promo to Hptm.(d.R./Fl.). 10.08.42 in 7./JG 5. 10.43 appt Staka 2.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 14 (to 11.43)? c.15.11.43 appt Staka 1./NAGr. 11 (and 01.44). 07.44 Hptm., appt Staka 3./JG 104 (to 02.08.44). 03.08.44 trf to JGr. 10 and then appt Staka in JG 111. 23.09.44 Hptm., appt Staka 1./JG 104(to 28.04.45). Older brother of Adolf Galland. Credited with one victory.