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The most successful Luftwaffe fighter-wing of World War II, with a claim total of more than 10,000 victories over enemy aircraft. It was home to the top three scoring Experten of the Luftwaffe, Erich Hartmann, Gerhard Barkhorn and Günther Rall. The unit flew the various marks of the Messerschmitt Bf 109 exclusively through the war.
Erich Hartmann - The Ace of Aces by Ivan Berryman.
Hunters at Dawn by Robert Taylor.
JG52 by Robert Taylor. (GS)
Knight of the Reich by Robert Taylor.
JG52 Artwork Collection
Bf109Es of JG52 by Ivan Berryman.
JG52 - Summer 1940 by Ivan Berryman.
Gunther Rall by Ivan Berryman.
Gunther Rall - Black 13 by Ivan Berryman.
Gunther Rall - on the Tail of a Yak by Ivan Berryman.
Snow Warriors by Ivan Berryman.
Gunther Rall - Me109 Ace by Ivan Berryman.
Black 13 - Gunther Rall by Ivan Berryman.
Caucasus Dawn by Graeme Lothian.
The Right of the Line by Graeme Lothian.
Tribute to Hermann Graf by Graeme Lothian.
Dawn Eagles Rising by Robert Taylor.
Into the Fray by Richard Taylor.
Evening Reflection by Richard Taylor.
Steinhoff Tribute by Robert Taylor.
Horrido! by Robert Taylor.
JG-52 by Robert Taylor.
Knight of the Reich by Robert Taylor.
Hunters at Dawn by Robert Taylor.
Erich Hartmann - The Ace of Aces by Ivan Berryman.
Target ahead, Kursk, Central Russia, July 1943 by David Pentland.
Taran over the Kuban by David Pentland.
Early Risers by David Pentland.
Victory Flypast by David Pentland. (P)
The Count by David Pentland. (P)
Birth of a Legend by Robert Taylor.
JG52 by Robert Taylor.
|Aces for : JG52|
|A list of all Aces from our database who are known to have flown with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking the pilots name.|
|Erich Hartmann||352.00||The signature of Erich Hartmann features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Gerhard Barkhorn||301.00||The signature of Gerhard Barkhorn features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Gunther Rall||275.00||The signature of Gunther Rall features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Hermann Graf||212.00||The signature of Hermann Graf features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Walter Krupinski||197.00||The signature of Walter Krupinski features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Johannes Macky Steinhoff||176.00||The signature of Johannes Macky Steinhoff features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Hans-Joachim Marseille||158.00||The signature of Hans-Joachim Marseille features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Peter Duttmann||152.00||The signature of Peter Duttmann features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Rudolf Trenkel||138.00||The signature of Rudolf Trenkel features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Herbert Ihlefeld||137.00||The signature of Herbert Ihlefeld features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Walter Wolfrum||137.00||The signature of Walter Wolfrum features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Adolf Dickfeld||136.00||The signature of Adolf Dickfeld features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Alfred Grislawski||133.00||The signature of Alfred Grislawski features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Adolf Borchers||132.00||The signature of Adolf Borchers features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Friedrich Obleser||127.00||The signature of Friedrich Obleser features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Dieter Hrabak||125.00||The signature of Dieter Hrabak features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Franz Woidich||110.00||The signature of Franz Woidich features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Leopold Steinbatz||99.00||The signature of Leopold Steinbatz features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Edmund Paul Rossmann||93.00||The signature of Edmund Paul Rossmann features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Helmut Bennemann||92.00||The signature of Helmut Bennemann features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Heinz Esau Ewald||85.00||The signature of Heinz Esau Ewald features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Hubertus von Bonin||81.00|
|Adolf Glunz||72.00||The signature of Adolf Glunz features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Viktor Petermann||64.00||The signature of Viktor Petermann features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Werner Hohenberg||33.00||The signature of Werner Hohenberg features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Kurt Schade||27.00||The signature of Kurt Schade features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Friedrich Schelker||22.00||The signature of Friedrich Schelker features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Helmut Thomas||7.00||The signature of Helmut Thomas features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Johannes Bachmann||5.00||The signature of Johannes Bachmann features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Manfred Leisebein||5.00||The signature of Manfred Leisebein features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Aircraft for : JG52|
|A list of all aircraft known to have been flown by JG52. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.|
Manufacturer : Fieseler
Full profile not yet available.
Manufacturer : Messerschmitt
Production Began : 1937
Retired : 1945
Number Built : 33984
Willy Messerschmitt designed the BF109 during the early 1930s. The Bf109 was one of the first all metal monocoque construction fighters with a closed canopy and retractable undercarriage. The engine of the Me109 was a V12 aero engine which was liquid-cooled. The Bf109 first saw operational service during the Spanish Civil War and flew to the end of World War II, during which time it was the backbone of the Luftwaffe fighter squadrons. During the Battle of Britian the Bf109 was used in the role of an escort fighter, a role for which it was not designed for, and it was also used as a fighter bomber. During the last days of May 1940 Robert Stanford-Tuck, the RAF ace, got the chance to fly an Me109 which they had rebuilt after it had crash landed. Stanford-Tuck found out that the Me109 was a wonderful little plane, it was slightly faster than the Spitfire, but lacked the Spitfire manoeuvrability. By testing the Me109, Tuck could put himself inside the Me109 when fighting them, knowing its weak and strong points. With the introduction of the improved Bf109F in the spring of 1941, the type again proved to be an effective fighter during the invasion of Yugoslavia and during the Battle of Crete and the invasion of Russia and it was used during the Siege of the Mediteranean island of Malta. The Bf109 was the main fighter for the Luftwaffe until 1942 when the Fw190 entered service and shared this position, and was partially replaced in Western Europe, but the Me109 continued to serve on the Eastern Front and during the defence of the Reich against the allied bombers. It was also used to good effect in the Mediterranean and North Africa in support of The Africa Korps. The Me109 was also supplied to several German allies, including Finland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovakia. The Bf109 scored more kills than any other fighter of any country during the war and was built in greater numbers with a total of over 31,000 aircraft being built. The Bf109 was flown by the three top German aces of the war war. Erich Hartmann with 352 victories, Gerhard Barkhorn with 301 victories and Gunther Rall with 275 kills. Bf109 pilots were credited with the destruction of 100 or more enemy aircraft. Thirteen Luftwaffe Aces scored more than 200 kills. Altogether this group of pilots were credited with a total of nearly 15,000 kills, of which the Messerschmitt Bf109 was credited with over 10,000 of these victories. The Bf109 was the most produced warplane during World War II, with 30,573 examples built during the war, and the most produced fighter aircraft in history, with a total of 33,984 units produced up to April 1945. Bf109s remained in foreign service for many years after World War II. The Swiss used their Bf109Gs well into the 1950s. The Finnish Air Force did not retire their Bf109Gs until March 1954. Romania used its Bf109s until 1955. The Spanish Hispanos flew even longer. Some were still in service in the late 1960s.
|Signatures for : JG52|
|A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking their name.|
Feldwebel Johannes Bachmann
Click the name above to see prints signed by Feldwebel Johannes Bachmann
| Feldwebel Johannes Bachmann |
Born in Aue near Dresden in 1921, Johannes Bachmann joined the Luftwaffe in the spring of 1943. After training as a pilot, he was posted to join 9./JG52 in Russia where in over 40 combat missions on Me109s, he scored 5 confirmed air victories before the war ended.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Gerhard Barkhorn
| Gerhard Barkhorn |
Gerhard Barkhorn joined II/JG52 in August 1940. In June 1943 he was promoted Kommandeur II/JG52, and in November that year he became only the fifth fighter pilot to reach 200 victories. He achieved his 300th victory on 5th January 1945. Promoted Komodore of JG6 near the end of the war, he was then summoned by Galland to join JV44. Barkhorn flew 1104 missions, and with 301 victories was the second highest scoring Ace in history. He was awarded the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. Born 20th May 1919, died alongside his wife 8th January 1983 in a car accident.
Oberstleutnant Helmut Bennemann
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| Oberstleutnant Helmut Bennemann |
Helmut Bennemann was born 16th March 1915. During the Battle of Britain Helmut Bennemann was Gruppenadjutant with I./JG52 on the Channel Front. In April 1942 he was Staffelkapitan of 3./JG52 in the east and was appointed Kommandeur of I./JG52 from June 1942 until October 1943. Posted to Italy in November 1943, he was promoted to Kommodore of JG53 (Ace of Spades) in this theatre and in the defence of Germany. He commanded JG53 on Operation Bodenplatte. Helmut Bennemann flew over 400 missions, scoring 92 victories and was awarded the Knight's Cross. He died 17th November 2007.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Adolf Borchers
| Adolf Borchers |
Adolf Borchers was born on 10th February 1913 in Wendhausen near Lunesburg. In the autumn of 1938 he was in the Legion Condor. He was transferred to JG51 where he flew in the Polish and Western campaign and in the Battle of Britain, during which he scored five victories. By the end of 1941 his score stood at 23. In October 1942 he was promoted to Officer and named squadron leader of 11./JG51. By the end of 1942 his score stood at 38. On 7th May 1943 he scored his 44th to 49th victories. A short time later he was awarded the Knights Cross for 78 victories. He was then neamd Commander of 1./JG52 on 11th June 1944 and on 24th July that year he scored his 110th victory. His 118th victory came on 2nd September, the same time the 10,000th victory of JG52 was recorded. Erci hHartmann took over 1./JG52 on 1st February 1945 and Borchers was appointed Commander of iii./JG52. He was bitterly disappointed at being replaced by this youngster and carried that resentment to the grave. Borchers flew approximately 800 missions and had 132 victories, including 5 in the west. He was the 53rd ranking ace in Germany. Adolf Borchers died 9th February 1996.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Adolf Dickfeld
| Adolf Dickfeld |
A highly successful Ace, Adolf Dickfeld was posted to Russia with III/JG52 in 1941. He was one of the first pilots to score 100 victories. Later with JG2 in North Africa, and JG11 in Defence of the Reich, bringing his total to 136 victories. He was awarded the Knights Cross. Sadly, Adolf Dickfeld died 17th May 2009.
Oberleutenant Peter Düttmann
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| Oberleutenant Peter Düttmann |
Peter Düttman joined 5/JG-52 in the spring of 1943 and served with that unit until the end of the war when he was a Staffelkapitan. During those two years on the Russian Front Peter flew 395 missions, had 152 victories, including nine in one day, was shot down or crash landed 17 times but was never wounded. His decorations include the Knights Cross and towards the end of the war was recommended for Oak Leaves. Sadly, Peter Duttmann passed away on 9th January 2001. As far as we are aware Peter Duttmann did not sign many art prints, making his signature very rare and highly collectable, escpecially with his high number of victories, making him the 34th highest scoring German Ace of the war.
Leutnant Heinz Ewald
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| Leutnant Heinz Ewald |
Heinz 'Esau' Ewald joined 5./JG52 in Russia as a young Unteroffizier in the late summer of 1943 and flew with them for the entire duration of the war. Always regarded as one of the finest of the young pilotsof JG52, he flew as wingman to Major Gerhard Barkhorn, Kommandeur of II./JG52 and second highest scoring Ace in history. Heinz Ewald scored his 50th victory on December 29th 1944 when at Veszprem in Hungary. He flew a total of 396 missions and scored 84 victories. He was awarded the Knight's Cross in April 1945.
Oberleutnant Adolf Glunz
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| Oberleutnant Adolf Glunz |
Adolf Glunz served with 4/JG-52 on both the Channel Coast and then in Russia. Returning to the English Channel with II./JG-25 he became one of the most successful fighter pilots on the Western Front. Adolf Glunz saw combat continuously right up to the war end and, remarkably, was never shot down or wounded in over 574 missions, many whilst flying the Fw190. Awarded the Knight's Cross in 1943, he acheived a personal score of 71 victories. He died 1st August 2002.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Hermann Graf
| Hermann Graf |
Hermann Graf, born in October 1912, trained to be a pilot from 1936, and in the summer of 1939 joined 2./JG51. With 9./JG52, Graf was transferred around several European stations, including Greece and Romania, eventually transferring to the Ukraine in August 1941. Claiming his first victory in August 1941, by early 1942 he had scored 45 victories, earning him the Knights Cross on 24th January 1942. Rapidly adding to his victories on the eastern front, Hermann Graf became the first pilot to score over 200 victories, earning the Oak Leaves, Sword and Diamonds to his Knights Cross on 17th May, 19th May and 16th September 1942 respectively. Due to the potential morale loss should such a high scoring Ace be shot down, he was subsequently moved to command a pilot training unit. He was injured after a collision with an American fighter in March 1944, recovering to take command of JG52 once again. finally surrendering his unit in May 1945. His total was 212 victories. Hermann Graf died 11th April 1988.
Hauptmann Alfred Grislawski
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Hauptmann Alfred Grislawski
| Hauptmann Alfred Grislawski |
Alfred Grislawski joined 9./JG52 in 1940, quickly becoming an Ace. An outstanding fighter pilot, his air victories were 133 in over 800 combat missions until he was severely wounded. he was awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves. Died 19th September 2003.
Oberst Erich Hartmann
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Oberst Erich Hartmann
| Oberst Erich Hartmann |
Erich Hartmann started his career as Paule Rossmans wingman, and it was obvious that here was a very special pilot. Promoted Staffelkapitan of 7/JG52 in July 1943, he was shot down and taken prisoner for four hours before escaping. In September he took over 9/JG52. In March 1944 he reached the 200 victory mark. He later le 4/JG52, then briefly I/JG52, and lastly Gruppenkommandeur of I/JG52. Hartmann scored a total of 352 victories, more than any other pilot in history, and was awarded the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. Erich Hartmann is the top-scoring fighter pilot in history. During WWII he shot down the equivalent of almost 15 Allied squadrons in aerial combat. In some 850 aerial combats he shot down 352 Allied planes and was shot down himself 16 times. He was never wounded. Hartmanns mother taught him to fly at age 14 and in 1942 at age 20 he was flying Me109s on the Eastern front. His first combat mission was disastrous. He spoiled his leaders attack by going for the kill himself, then mistook his leaders Me109 for a Russian fighter and fled in panic. Were it not for super ace Walter Krupinski believing in Hartmanns abilities he might well have had his flying career ended. Krupinskis tutoring coupled with the fact that Hartmann was a crack shot, turned him around. He scored his first victory on November 5th 1942 and by September 1943 he had completed 300 missions with 95 victories to his credit. In August 1944 Hartmann was awarded the Diamonds to his Knights Cross - Germanys highest decoration and one that was awarded to only 27 German militar ypersonnel. Hitler made the award personally. Before the award ceremony he was demanded to hand over his sidearm before meeting with Hitler. Hartmann told the generals that if Hitler could not trust his front line officers, he could stuff his Diamonds. After a brief confusion he was allowed to carry his pistol. Hartmanns success resulted from the lessons he learned from Krupinski - do not fire until your enemys plane fills your windscreen. That resulted in a sure kill with a minimum amount of ammunition expended. Almost every kill Hartmann made was a near collision. After the war Hartmann surrendered to the Americans, who turned him over to the Russians. He was singled out for especially brutal treatment and was illegally held by the Russians until 1955 when Chansellor Adenaur personally visited Moscow and arranged for his release. The Russians had used every persuasive device known to convert Hartmann to Communism and get him to join the DDR airforce. Upon his return to Germany, his friend and fellow ace, Walter Krupinski, urged him to join the new German Air Force with other old friends such as Barkhorn and Hrabak. Since he felt he was too old to begin a new career, he did. He was given refresher training in the United States and was selected to command the Richthofen Wing in the new German Air Force, the first fighter wing to be rebuilt since the war. He filled that and other jobs in the new Luftwaffe with great distinction until his retirement. He died 20th September 1993.
Unteroffizier Helmut Heckes
Click the name above to see prints signed by Unteroffizier Helmut Heckes
| Unteroffizier Helmut Heckes |
Helmut Heckes joined the Luftwaffe in August 1941, and in October 1943 was posted to I./JG52 based at Novo-Saporozhe in the southern Russian sector. He flew combat in most variants of the Me109. He joined 12./JG11 in 1944. Shortly afterwards, following 72 successful combat missions, he was shot down by a Lagg 5 on June 26th 1944. Spending six months in hospital his wounds were so severe that he was unable to fly again for the rest of the war. He was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class.
Oberfeldwebel Werner Hohenberg
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Oberfeldwebel Werner Hohenberg
| Oberfeldwebel Werner Hohenberg |
Werner Hohenberg joined JG52 in July 1942, flying with 8th Staffel. On July 9th 1942 he was badly wounded when his aircraft was hit by Russian flak, causing him to be in hospital until November 1st, 1944. He was then posted to JG2 'Richtofen' on the Western Front. On January 1st, 1945 he took part in Operation Bodenplatte, and was again shot down, this time by US flak. Landing behind British lines he was taken POW. Werner Hohenberg flew over 200 combat missions, scoring 33 air victories. He was awarded the Iron Cross. He died in October 2001.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Dieter Hrabak
| Dieter Hrabak |
Dieter Hrabak was shot down in his first aerial combat during the Polish Campaign. He survived to become one of the Luftwaffes most respected and popular leaders. He scored his first victory in the Battle of France, and got 15 more during the Battle of Britain. By Eagle Day he was in command of II./JG 54, which he led until taking command of JG 52 in 1942. He was the first JG 54 Ace to be awarded the Knights Cross. He ended the war back in command of JG 54, and was credited with 125 victories.
Dieter Hrabak was born on 19th December 1914 in a small village near Leipzig. Upon graduation from high school, he hoped to become a commercial pilot, but in 1934 Hrabak joined the Reichsmarine. Within 6 months he transferred to the newly formed Luftwaffe for flight training. By April 1939, Hrabak was recognised as an experienced pilot and given command of a squadron in Vienna. On his very first combat mission in September 1939 over Poland, he was shot down - the first of 11 times. Hrabaks first aerial victory came during the Battle of France. Flying an Me109, he claimed five more victories before the armistice. In the summer of 1940, his squadron was incorporated into a newly formed fighting wing, JG54 Green Hearts. Hrabak commanded II./JG54, one of the wings three groups as the Luftwaffe began its assault on England. During the Batttle of Britain he brought his score to 16 Royal Air Force fighters and Field Marshal Goring personally decorated him with the Knights Cross. In the spring of 1941, II./JG54 flew in the short campaign against Yugoslavia. When Operation Barbarosa began in Russia, he flew on the northern sector of the front and fought over Leningrad. In November 1942, Hrabak took command of JG52 on the southern front and fought over Stalingrad. In August 1943, he got his 100th aerial victory and in November, Hitler awarded him Oak Leaves to the Knights Cross. In early 1944, JG52 achieved its 10,000th aerial victory - the most by any Luftwaffe wing. In October 1944, he returned to his old wing, the Green Hearts, as Commander. Flying the Focke Wulf Fw190, he fought until near the end of the war in Kurland. After the war, he worked in the auto and chemical industry. He was a key architect in rebuilding the modern German Air Force. In 1953, Chancellor Adenaur asked him to help form a new German Air Force. Hrabak personally interviewed most of the officers who would form the nucleus. In mid-1955, he came to the United States and trained on modern jets. In the summer of 1956, he returned home to command the Advanced Pilot Training Centre at Furstenfeldbruck AB. By 1960, he commanded all GAF flying training centres. Two years later, he took charge of the air defence sector covering northern Germany and the Netherlands. In 1964, he was named NATOs Chief of Air Defence, Central Europe, until he became special manager for the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter. Finally, as a major general, he commanded the GAFs tactical command, retiring on 1st October 1970. He died on 15th September 1995.
Colonel Herbert Ihlefeld
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| Colonel Herbert Ihlefeld |
Born 1st June 1914 in Pinnow Pommern and died 8th August 1995 in Wenningen lower Saxony. Joined the Luftwaffe in 1936 and scored nine victories during the Spanish Civil War. Flew 1000 combat missions and claimed 132 enemy aircraft with 56 on the Western Front including 26 spitfires and 67 on the Russian Front. Participated in the air war over Poland, France and the Battle of Britain. In 1941 Ihlefeld was transferred to the Balkans for the invasion of Yugoslavia. He was shot down by AA fire and captured by the Yugoslavian Army. 8 days lated he was rescued by the German troops. Ihlefeld participated in the assault on Crete, claiming his 36th kill, a Hurricane. He then commanded Jagdgeschwader 77 in time for Operation Barbarossa in June 1941. In April 1942 Ihlefeld became the 5th pilot to reach 100 victories and his unit 1/JG77 was credited with 323 enemy aircraft kills compared to the loss of only 17 Bf109s. Ihlefeld then took command of Jagdgeschwader 52 in June 1942 but he was involved in a landing accident and badly injured and was not ready to return to active service until July 1943. In May 1944 he commanded JG11 and then JG1 during the defence of the Reich. In 1945 he took command of Jagdgeschwader 1 equipped with the Heinkel 162.
General Walter Krupinski
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of General Walter Krupinski
| General Walter Krupinski |
Walter Krupinski first saw combat against the RAF on the Western Front. Transferring to the east, he became a Squadron Commander in the legendary JG52. In 1943 his victories reached 150 but, in March 1944 with 177 victories to his name, he was transferred to Germany to command JG11. Flying high altitude Me109s, he chalked up another 12 victories before being wounded. In September 1944 he was promoted Kommandeur of III./JG26 and led them on Operation Bodenplatte before joining Galland's famous JV44. He completed the war with 197 victories in over 1100 missions.
Walter Krupinski, known as Graf Punski or Count Punski in the Jagdwaffe, was a swashbuckling fly-boy with a phenomenal record of 197 aerial victories. Krupinski not only never lost a wingman, but also had the ability to help beginners develop to their full potential. He joined the Luftwaffe in 1939 as a student in the 11th Flying Training Regiment. He first served with the Jagderganzungsgruppe JG52, a combat replacement unit, flying the Me109, in October 1940. By the end of 191, he had earned the Iron Cross 1st class after his seventh victory and was awarded the German Cross in Gold and the Knights Cross one year later after scoring over 52 aerial victories. Krupinski taught the aerial art of closing with the enemy aircraft until it filled the windscreen before firing. It was during this time that the young Erich Hartmann was assigned as Krupinskis wingman. The young and overly enthusiastic Hartmann was seriously struggling in his first attempts at aerial combat, resulting in severe reprimands by the group commander. However, under Krupinskis expert tutelage, Hartmann mastered the art of aerial combat and went on to become the top scoring fighter ace in the world with 352 victories. While still a first lieutenant, Krupinski was selected as Dquadron Commander of 7.JG52 in the spring of 1943. On 5th of July of the same year, he scored victories 80 to 90 - 11 in one day! He later transferred to the Reich Defence in the west with 1./JG5 in the spring of 1944. His units mission was to help halt the Allied strategic bombardment campaign against Germany. Krupinski continued to rack up aerial victories and was awarded Oak Leaves to the Knights Cross after his 177th victory. He was promoted to Captain and became Group Commander of II./JG 11. Later, Krupinski became Group Commander of II./JG 26 Schlageter Group. In March 1945 he joined General Adolf Gallands famed Jagdverband 44 and flew Messerschmitt Me262 jet fighters until the end of the war. After logging a total of 1,100 combat missions, Krupinski was officialy credited with 197 aerial victories. Krupinski was also wounded seven times in aerial combat and received the Verwundetenabzeichen in Gold - the German equivalent of the American Purple Heart. A civilian after the war, Krupinski later joined the new Luftwaffe in 1952 and was promoted to major in 1955. He received jet fighting training from the Royal Air Force and became the first commander of the Jagdbomber Geschwader, Fighter-Bomber Wing - 33. Krupinski flew various jet fighters in the German Air Force, but held dear the last aircraft he flew until his retirement, his beloved F-104G Starfighter. General Krupinski retired as Commander of the German Air Force Tactical Air Command in 1976.
He received the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves. He died 7th October 2000.
Fahnrich Manfred Leisebein
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| Fahnrich Manfred Leisebein |
Joining the Luftwaffe in the summer of 1943, aged 18, Manfred Leisebein was posted, after completing his fighter pilots trianing, to 3./JG52 in Russia. Flying Me109s throughout his 37 combat flights, Manfred scored a total of 5 aerial victories with JG52, and was awarded the Iron Cross II
Leutnant Viktor Petermann
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Leutnant Viktor Petermann
| Leutnant Viktor Petermann |
Joining III./JG-52, Viktor Petermann flew in Russia as an Oberfeldwebel and became skilled in low-level attacks, sinking a gun boat and 50 troop ferries. On one of these missions, after being hit by ground fire, his left arm was amputated and he was hospitalized for a long period. After his recovery he was sent back into combat in 1945 with II./JG-52, with an artificial arm, and scored another 4 victories! He finished the war with JG-7, and a total of 64 victories. Viktor Petermann was awarded the Knights Cross. He died 19th May 2001.
General Gunther Rall
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of General Gunther Rall
| General Gunther Rall |
A young pilot with III/JG52 at the outbreak of war. He quickly demonstrated his natural ability and leadership qualities, scoring his first air victory early in the Battle of Britain, and by July 1940 was leading 8/JG52. After transfer to the Eastern Front his air victories mounted at an astonishing rate. A crash hospitalised him but within nine months he was back in the cockpit, and, when commanding III/JG52, gained the Wings 500th victory. Gunther fought throughout the war to become the 3rd highest Ace in history with 275 victories. He was awarded the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. Gunther Rall was born on March 10, 1918 in the small Bavarian town of Gaggenau, Baden. Immersing himself in Boy Scout activities during the difficult economic times in Germany following WW 1, Rall finished school in 1936 and joined the German Army. Influenced by a friend, who was a young officer in the Luftwaffe, Rall entered pilots school in 1938. His initial posting was with JG52. He attained his first aerial victory during the Battle of France in May of 1940. During the Battle of Britain JG52 absorbed many casualties, and Rall was promoted to Squadron Commander at the young age of 22. With his fair-hair and smooth complexion the young officer looked even younger than his years. But behind this pleasant exterior was a fierce competitor with the heart of a tiger. Later, Ralls squadron would support the attack on Crete, followed by deployment to the Southern Sector on the Eastern Front. Ralls victory totals began to mount. Following his 37 th victory, GiInther was himself shot down. He was lucky to survive the crash, but with a badly broken back he would spend most of the next year in various hospitals. In Vienna at the University Hospital he would meet his future wife, Hertha. Miraculously, Rall recovered and returned to the Luftwaffe in August of 1942. By November his score exceeded 100 and he was awarded the Oak Leaves to accompany the Knights Cross he was awarded only weeks earlier. As the War progressed against Russia, Rall began to encounter ever more experienced Soviet pilots flying better performing aircraft. Despite this fact, and being shot down several more times himself, Ralls victory tally kept rising. By March of 1944 the ace had attained 273 aerial victories. With the War now going badly for Germany, Rall was transferred to the Western Front. He was able to attain only two more victories against the swarms of Allied bombers and fighter escorts which now pounded Germany every day and night. In May of 1944 Rall was shot down by a P-47. Losing his thumb in the battle he remained out of combat until later in 1944. Ralls final assignments included flying 190Ds as Kornmodore of JG300, and flying the Me-262 jet. Ralls 275 aerial victories (attained on less than 700 combat sorties) make him the third highest scoring ace of all time. If not for the down time suffered as a result of his broken back, Rall might have actually equaled or exceeded Erich Hartmanns alltime record of 352 aerial victories. Rall was not much for socializing during the War. He was a fierce competitor with a businessmans attitude about flying. He was an excellent marksman, and possibly the best deflection shot expert of the War. He continued to fly with the Bundeslufwaffe following the War, serving as its Commander-In Chief in 1970-74. Sadly Gunther Rall died on 4th October 2009.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Paule Rossmann
| Paule Rossmann |
One of the most respected leaders in JG52, Paule flew in the Battle of Britain before transferring to Russia. Hartmann began as Rossmanns wingman. In July 1943 he landed behind enemy lines in an attempt to rescue a fellow pilot but was captured by the Russians. He had scored 93 victories, and been awarded the Knights Cross. Died 4th April 2004.
Unteroffizier Otfried Sahl
Click the name above to see prints signed by Unteroffizier Otfried Sahl
| Unteroffizier Otfried Sahl |
Born in Eigenrode on 17th August 1925, Ottfried was called up for service in 1943, joining the Luftwaffe in July of that year. Trained as a fighter pilot he was posted to the Eastern Front to join 5./JG52, where he undertook 35 combat operations on Me109s before the end of the war.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Kurt Schade
| Kurt Schade |
One of the early JG52 Aces. Kurt Schade led 0/JG52 from November 1941 until 23 March 1942. A moment after his 27th victory - the fourth in a day, the engine of Kurts Me109 was completely destroyed by Russian gunfire, and burst into flames. Kurt was forced to bail out behind enemy lines. Captured by the Russians, he spent almost 8 years in Russian captivity. In September 1943 Erich Hartmann took over command of the 9th Staffel.
Unteroffizier Friedrich Schelker
Click the name above to see prints signed by Unteroffizier Friedrich Schelker
| Unteroffizier Friedrich Schelker |
Joining the Luftwaffe in the autumn of 1940, Friedrich Schelker was posted to I./JG52 at Dnepropetrowsk a year later, flying the Me109F. Later when serving with 7./JG51 in the southern sector of Mariupol he was shot down and badly wounded. After hospitalisation, in 1943 he was transferred to fly the Fischler Fil56 Storch. Friedrich served throughout the Eastern Front, in Russia, Rumania and Hungary. He scored 22 victories and was awarded the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Ulrich Steinhilper
| Ulrich Steinhilper |
Ulrich Steinhilper was born on the 14. September 1918 in Stuttgart. In 1936, he succesfully tested for Luftwaffe flight training. As a cadet, he mastered the Heinkel 72 Cadet and the Focke Wulf 44 Goldfinch, received his pilot's badge and then went to an operational unit. Steinhilper was assigned as adjutant to Condor Legion veteran Adolf Galland. at the beginning of 1939, Steinhilper volunteered to command the group's radio communications unit and worked hard to integrate this new technology into flying operations. His unit was redesignated I./JG 52 in April 1939 and in the summer moved operation to a airfield east of Bonn. During the invasion of Poland, the group defended the Ruhr industrial region. In September 1939, Steinhilper was assigned a Messerschmitt Bf109 numbered Yellow 16. and were involved in combat over France until May 1940. In early August 1940, I./JG52 returned to combat in the opening days of the Battle of Britain. Steinhilper destroyed his first three enemy fighters, Spitfires, during a ground attack on RAF Manston. On 19 September, and at the end of the month he got his 4th victory. By the end of October, he had logged over 150 sorties across the Channel and had become an ace.with his 5th victory. On the 27th October 1940, Steinhilper was shot down by the Spitfire of Sgt Bill Skinner of 74 squadron, He became a POW first in England and then in Canada. On the 23 November 1941 Oberleutnant Ulrich Steinhilper escaped from Bowmanvill Ontario and managed to make it to Niagara Falls within two days. Steinhilper unknowingly spent 30 minutes in the neutral United States clinging beneath a train car as it sat idle in a Buffalo, New York railyard. In less than three weeks, he escaped again and made it as far as Montreal, Quebec. Within four months Steinhilper would attempt a third escape. On February 18, 1942 Steinhilper and a friend, disguised as painters, used a ladder to escape over two barbed wire fences. The pair would make it as far as Watertown, New York before being arrested by police. Steinhilper was soon sent to Gravenhurst, Ontario where he attempted two further escapes. Steinhelper is known to be the greatest german escaper of the war. After the war Steinhilper worked for IBM and In 1972, IBM credited Steinhilper for the concept of word processing. Ulrich Steinhilper also has written three autobiographical books - Spitfire On My Tail, Ten Minutes To Buffalo, and Full Circle. In 1980 the remains of Steinhilpers ME109 was found in a marsh near Canturbury and is now preserved at the kent Battle of Britain Museum at Hawkinge. Sadly, we have learned that Ulrich Steinhilper passed away on 20th October 2009.
General Johannes Steinhoff
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of General Johannes Steinhoff
| General Johannes Steinhoff |
By early 1940 Macky Steinhoff was leading 4 / JG-52 during the Battle of Britain. He was then transferred to the eastern front where his success continued. In the final stages of the defence of the Reich he joined JV-44 flying the ME 262 in which he scored 6 victories before being seriously burned in a crash. He flew 939 missions scored 178 victories and was awarded the Knights Cross with Oak leaves and swords.
Hauptmann Rudolf Trenkel
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Hauptmann Rudolf Trenkel
| Hauptmann Rudolf Trenkel |
Rudolf Trenkel was born on 17 January 1918 at Neudorf in the Ballenstedt region of Sachsen. He joined the army in 1936 but transferred to the Luftwaffe in 1939. On 22 February 1942, Trenkel was posted to JG 77 based on the southern part of Eastern front. Unteroffizier Trenkel was assigned to III./JG 77. He flew with 7./JG 77 and on 26 March he claimed his first victory over I-153 biplane fighter. Trenkel was transferred to JG 52 based on the Eastern front on 1 May 1942. He was assigned to the Geschwaderstab. He claimed three victories serving with this unit. On 15 June 1942, Feldwebel Trenkel was transferred to 2./JG 52 based on the Eastern front. Trenkel recorded his 20th victory on 2 November. On 17 December, Trenkel shot down six enemy aircraft to record his 23rd through 28th victories. He recorded five victories on 16 April 1943 (46-50) and four victories on 2 June (73-76). Trenkel was transferred to Ergänzung-Jagdgruppe Ost in June 1943. Reputedly he claimed three victories with the unit. Oberfeldwebel Trenkel was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 19 August for 76 victories. In October 1943, Trenkel returned to front line duty with 2./JG 52. He claimed 18 victories during October. However, on 2 November, he was shot down in Bf 109 G-6 (W.Nr. 140 167) "Black 3" by a Russian Yak-9 fighter and badly wounded. Following his recovery from the wounds received in November 1943, Trenkel trained as an officer and transferred to Stab/JG 52 with the rank of Oberleutnant. On 14 July, Trenkel claimed his 100th victory. On 15 August 1944, Trenkel was appointed Staffelkapitän of 2./JG 52. In October, Trenkel claimed 12 victories in 10 days but was shot down five times. On 15 October, Trenkel shot down six enemy aircraft (122-127). He was shot down again on 15 March 1945 by flak. Trenkel baled out of his stricken Bf 109 G-14 (W.Nr. 465 260) "Black 12" wounded. Following the surrender, US troops handed over Trenkel to the Russians. However, after four weeks, he was repatriated due to the deterioration of the wounds received in his last combat. He died on 26 April 2001. Rudolf Trenkel was credited with 138 victories in over 500 missions. Of the 138 victories recorded over the Eastern front, at least 42 were Il-2 Sturmovik ground attack aircraft.
Fahnrich Klaus Vollgold
Click the name above to see prints signed by Fahnrich Klaus Vollgold
| Fahnrich Klaus Vollgold |
Born on 16th October 1925 in Zwickau, Klaus was called up to join the Luftwaffe in the summer of 1943, where he underwent training to qualify as a fighter pilot. Posted to join JG52 in the east flying Me109s, Klaus took part in 30 combat flights, and scored 3 confirmed victories before the war came to an end.
Oberleutnant Franz Woidich
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Oberleutnant Franz Woidich
| Oberleutnant Franz Woidich |
Franz Woidich was posted to North Africa to join II./JG27 in July 1941. In April 1942 he transferred to 3./JG52 in Russia. In August 1944 he was selected as one of a group of elite fighter pilots for training on the Me163 Komet, and joined Erganzunstaffel 400 at Gutenfeld, near Breslau. A month later he joined II./JG400 as Staffelkapitan. Franz Woidich served with JG400 until the end of the war. He was awarded the Knight's Cross in June 1944, flew over 1000 combat missions and achieved 110 victories.Franz Woidich passed away on 5th July 2004.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Walter Wolfrum
| Walter Wolfrum |
Walter Wolfrum first saw combat in the Crimea with 5/JG52. He was shot down three times, and wounded twice before scoring his first victory. With his score at 70 he was again wounded, but returned to take command of 1/JG52 in May 1944, taking part in the fiercely fought defence of the Ploesti oilfields. he was again wounded, but returned to command 1/JG52 until the end of the war. he had flown 423 missions, achieved 137 victories, and was awarded the Knights Cross. Sadly, Walter Wolfrum passed away on 26th August 2010.
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