Tuesday 30 January 2024

Ofw. Heinz Humburg JG 26/ JG 7

Several images from an expired ebay auction from the estate of ex-III./JG 26 pilot Ofw. Heinz Humburg. Note the Spanish Cross with swords on his tunic, lower left. Humburg did not fly as a pilot in  Spain contrary to what is implied elsewhere. This biography attempts to correct further inaccurate accounts online.

Humburg was born in October 1915 and trained as a sheet metal worker after leaving school. He joined the Luftwaffe in 1936 but was not accepted for pilot training. He went to Spain and flew his first combat sorties during 1937 as a Bordmechaniker. On his return from Spain he was accepted for pilot training which he concluded at Jagdschule Werneuchen following the outbreak of  WW II. He arrived at JG 26 on 18 May 1940 from Erg.Jgr.Merseburg according to the JG 26 pilot listing (RL 10 /265). He was posted to 9. Staffel of JG 26 Schlageter and according to the 'Kracker archive' he downed a Spitfire, east of Dover on 15 August, 1940.  This is probably not correct  - he was awarded an EK II during September 1940 and then according to the same source (RL 10/265)  was sent back to flight school for further training and did not rejoin the Geschwader until 1 September 1943. This followed a spell with Luftdienstkdo. 2 / III. at Venlo, an airfield which was undergoing major expansion during late 1940-early 1941 as home to the premier Nachtjagd Gruppe I./NJG 1. According to his obituary in Jägerblatt issue 3/90 he was "..subsequently shot down three times and on three occasions was forced to bail out of his 'Gustav'.."

Again, according to Kracker, Humburg was WIA on 16 December, 1943 when he ran out of fuel and crashed in "White 1" at Hoya Weser, injuring himself. According to the JG 26 pilot listing in RL 10/265, he was hospitalised in early January 1944 following illness. Assigned to the Frontfliegersammelgruppe Quedlinburg -  which is where all pilots suitable for front-line service (often after hospital stays) were 'collected' (but not necessarily in the 'physical' sense') and then re-assigned to the respective front-line units - he was sent back to III./JG 26 in mid-February 1944. He made some 77 Feindflüge (combat sorties), earning the Frontflugspange in Silber (awarded 28 September 1944) and returned four 'confirmed' victories in JG 26; two P-47s, a P-51 (27 September at Arnhem) and a B-17 between August and September, 1944. Additional claims according to Perry include a P-47 at Yerville on 7 June, 1944 and a P-47 at Rugles on 17 July, 1944 (Perry Claims). His 7th, an "e/a" in February, 1945, no date given.

In November 1944 he was trained on the Me 262 at Lechfeld and was posted to III./EJG 2 and then JG 7 in March 1945. He died on 5 May 1990.

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