Thursday, 2 February 2023

Oblt. Bruno Kolthoff, Stab I./JG 77


Oblt. Bruno Kolthoff was a pilot in I./JG 77 born on Christmas day 1918 in the town of Weener. In 1939 he was serving in a Flak unit before joining the flying personnel. Trained at Brün (Brno) and Paris (Villacoublay?). His first victory was a Spitfire, claimed on 14 October 1942 flying from Comiso with 1./JG 77 over Malta according to a 'Herz As' claims list. Freytag and Brandt also claimed on that day. By the end of the month I./JG 77 had shifted to Tunisia and at some stage during November 1942 Kolthoff was posted to the Stab I./JG 77 before joining 3./JG 77. Prior to this he had been shot down on November 2, the first day of the British 'Supercharge' offensive (El Alamein) but was able to bail out. 

2 November 1942: Bf 109 G-2/Trop (W.Nr. 10 480) of 1./JG 77 due to enemy fire south of El Daba

In late 1943 he was sometime acting Staffelführer of 2./JG 77 and took over from Oblt Köhler at the end of the year. Now with the rank of Oblt. and serving in the Gruppenstab his next claim - a B-24 at 4,200 metres - was filed on 2 April 1944 over Italy during the interception of a 15th AF raid on Steyr (Austria). On 25 June 1944 he shot down a Spitfire into the sea off Rimini, claiming his second over Italy. After reorganization during early October 1944, he was named Adjutant of I./JG 77 having claimed a P-47 north of Liege on 11 September and a second P-47 on September 28 according to a 'Herz As' claims list. He was shot down just eight days later on October 6, 1944. Airborne in the early afternoon from Babenhausen for a fighter sweep over the Volkel area, Kolthoff was intercepted and shot down by Spitfires near Zand (close to Arnhem) at the controls of his Bf 109 G-14 ('black chevron'  WNr. 460429). The 25-year old did not survive and rests today at Ysselsteyn cemetery in Limburg; grave AD-5-125. He had been officially credited with four victories.

Below;  Oblt. Bruno Kolthoff, on a G-6 Trop possibly in Italy during 1944, possibly a 2. Staffel machine 'black 8'. Note the heavy overspray ahead of the aircraft Kennung where a previous emblem might have appeared....

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