Friday 3 April 2020

III./JG 51 Gefr. Gabriel Tautscher - Ebay photo find #328

III./JG 51 Gefr. Gabriel Tautscher, "hochgenommen" to mark his 50th. He was a recipient of the  DKiG for this achievement.

Rare image of one of only 24 Jagdflieger to achieve 50 victories and not to have been awarded the RK. By late 1943 award criteria was at least 75 victories and a number of aces had returned well over one hundred victories before being awarded the RK.
Tautscher returned his first victory on October 23, 1942 south-west of Subzow (captured October 11, 1941 and retaken by the Red Army during the first Rschew-Sytschowka-Operation on August 23, 1942). Tautscher was the highest scorer in 9.Staffel during the Kursk offensive. His best day was 12 July 1943  - he claimed three LaGG -3 and two MiG-1 fighters and added another two victories the following day. On July 17 he claimed four - three LaGG-3s and a single LaGG-5. He scored at regular intervals through August 1943 with his next handful of claims not being until December.
Tautscher of 9. Staffel was shot down by Soviet anti-aircraft fire - Flakvolltreffer -on January 12, 1944 north of Osaritschi. This was also the date of his final 'claim', an Il-2 - it was usual Jagdwaffe practise to assign a final claim to a fallen ace. Tautscher's final 'score' was 55 vics.
Photo published on p. 244 of " Das Jagdgeschwader 51 - JG Mölders" by Paul Stipdonk and Michael Meyer.