Franz Schieß

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Franz Schieß
Franz Schiess.jpg
Franz Schieß
Nickname(s) "Nawratil"
Born (1921-02-21)21 February 1921
St. Pölten, Austria
Died 2 September 1943(1943-09-02) (aged 22)[1]
Gulf of Naples, near Cancello, Italy
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service Heer (1938–1940)
Luftwaffe (1940–1943)
Rank Hauptmann
Unit JG 53
Commands held 8./JG 53
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Franz Schieß (21 February 1921 – 2 September 1943) was a German fighter ace. He claimed 67 victories in 657 missions, (14 on the Eastern Front, and 53 against the Western Allies) whilst flying the Messerschmitt Bf 109.

War time service[edit]

During the Polish campaign, he saw service in the Army before transferring to the Luftwaffe and undergoing fighter pilot training in 1940. Schieß was posted to the Geschwaderstab (Headquarters) of Jagdgeschwader 53,[2] based on the Channel front in March 1941, then served, from December 1941, as Geschwader Adjutant.[3] Staying there for nearly two years, he established a close friendship with the Geschwaderkommodore (wing commander) Günther Freiherr von Maltzahn.[4]

On 22 June 1941, the opening day of Operation Barbarossa, Schieß scored his first victories destroying an I-153 biplane fighter and an Ilyushin DB-3 bomber. The members of his Staffel called him "Nawratil", after his radio call sign name.

After achieving 14 kills on the Eastern front he was withdrawn in August, along with the rest of JG 53 and, following rest and refitting in Germany, then deployed in December to the Mediterranean.[5] Operating from Sicily, Schieß flew sorties over Malta scoring 11 victories. Throughout 1942, and re-equipped with the new Bf 109G-2, he outscored his Geschwaderkommodore.[6] In November, the Stab flight itself transferred to Tunisia, where Schieß continued his success, gaining a further 13 victories, including a B-17 four-engined bomber on 29 January 1943 (36th v.)

Leutnant Schieß was awarded the German Cross in Gold on 23 January 1943 as a member of Stab/JG 53.[7] On 16 February 1943, the now Oberleutnant Schieß was appointed Staffelkapitän (squadron leader) of 8./JG 53. He was regarded as one of the most enthusiastic and aggressive pilots in the Mediterranean theatre, and often flew the escort missions for the Ju 52 transports as they tried to evacuate personnel out of Africa. On 18 April he scored one such victory (a Spitfire, as his 43rd) but it counted for nought as 24 heavy-laden transports were shot down, and a further 35 damaged, in what became known as the "Palm Sunday Massacre".[8]

Even when his unit was evacuated back to Sicily after the fall of Tunis in April 1943, he still flew over to Tunisia each day doing combat missions before returning to Sicily each night, writing home of "wonderful aerial combats".[9] He went on to score 29 victories as leader of 8./JG 53[10] and reached 50 kills shooting down a P-38 over the sea south of Sicily on 21 May. Schieß was awarded the Knight's Cross on 21 June for 55 victories and then was sent on leave for 2 months, thereby missing the air battles over the invasion of Sicily. Returning to 8./JG 53 in mid-August, his unit was now flying out of southern Italy against the Allies, who were mounting a concerted campaign to destroy the transport net prior to an invasion of the Italian mainland. Schieß shot down 12 enemy aircraft in 11 days, of which seven were P-38 twin-engine fighters. Together with Jürgen Harder of III./JG 53, Schieß was promoted to the rank of Hauptmann on September 1, 1943.[11]

Death[edit]

The next day, on 2 September 1943, Schieß led a scramble against a USAAF B-25 bomber formation attacking rail marshalling yards at Cancello, Naples. His unit engaged the fighter escort of P-38 Lightnings. Unable to break through the fighter screen to attack the bombers, he followed the force back over the Gulf of Salerno.[12] His final battle took place over the island of Ischia; at around 1:45PM, the pilots heard Franz Schieß radio: "At them again, everyone get ready!" At the time, the formation was 30 to 40 km southwest of Ischia when Hauptmann Schieß's wingman was forced away by two Lightnings and lost sight of his Staffelkapitän.[9][11] Ten of the P-38s were shot down, but Schieß's Bf 109 G-6 (Werknummer 160 022—factory number) "Black 1 + I", crashed into the Mediterranean 30–50 km SSW of Ischia in the Gulf of Salerno.[13] Though not witnessed, he was probably shot down by a P-38.[14]

On September 27 Günther von Maltzahn wrote to Schieß's parents expressing the close friendship they shared:[15]

"I ask that you and your husband accept my and my Geschwader's most sincere and heartfelt sympathy on the unspeakably hard stroke of fate which befell your son Franz.

I can sympathize with how hard it must be to come to terms with thoughts that you will never see your son Franz again in this life. One could not have wished for a better officer. Not only did there exist a comradeship and a mutual trust between Kommodore and adjutant that was tested in far more than 100 air battles, but in him I lost my best friend, on whom I could depend no matter what the situation."

He is credited with 67 aerial victories in 657 missions. Among those were 17 P-38 Lightnings, making him the highest scoring "Lightning-Killer" of the war.

Victories[edit]

No Date Time Unit & Airfield Gruppe Kommandeur[5] Location / Planquad Claimed Aircraft Source / Comments[3]
1 22 Jun 1941 7:25 Stab/JG 53 - Krzewicza, SE Poland Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn NW of Kobryn I-153 Prien/Bock
2 22 Jun'41 16:35 Stab/JG 53 - Krzewicza Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn Biala Podlaska DB-3 Prien/Bock
3 24 Jun'41 10:00 Stab/JG 53 - Krzewicza Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn NW of Kobryn SB-2 Prien/Bock
4 24 Jun'41 10:10 Stab/JG 53 - Krzewicza Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn nr Kobryn SB-2 Prien/Bock
5 29 Jun'41 19:55 Stab/JG 53 - Baranovichi Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn Bobruisk SB-3 Prien/Bock
6 6 Jul'41 14:05 Stab/JG 53 - Dubno, Ukraine Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn E of Polonnoye DB-3 Prien/Bock
7 7 Jul'41 6:15 Stab/JG 53 - Dubno, Ukraine Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn E of Polonnoye SB-3 Prien/Bock
8 14 Jul'41 11:00 Stab/JG 53 - Tyranowka Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn - SB-3 Prien/Bock
9 20 Jul'41 17:52 Stab/JG 53 - Zhitomir, Ukraine Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn Uman area I-15 Prien/Bock
10 23 Jul'41 6:33 Stab/JG 53 - Belaya-Zerkow Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn Uman area I-16 Prien/Bock
11 24 Jul'41 11:45 Stab/JG 53 - Belaya-Zerkow Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn Uman area I-16 Prien/Bock
12 25 Jul'41 18:14 Stab/JG 53 - Belaya-Zerkow Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn NE of Belaya-Zerkow I-15 Prien/Bock
13 26 Jul'41 11:00 Stab/JG 53 - Belaya-Zerkow Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn - Il-2 Prien/Bock
14 29 Jul'41 17:02 Stab/JG 53 - Belaya-Zerkow Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn - SB-3 Prien/Bock
- 25 Jan 1942 10:49 Stab/JG 53 - Comiso, Sicily Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn S of La Valletta, Malta: 600m Hurricane C.2035/II Anerk ASM, unconfirmed ?
15 24 Feb'42 16:00 Stab/JG 53 - Comiso Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn Malta Hurricane C.2036/II #100522/4, of P/O D.Tedford of 126 Sqn
16 15 Jun'42 15:15 Stab/JG 53 - Comiso Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn 500m W of Linosa Is: low-level Beaufighter C.2033/I AnerkNr 10, of Sgt F.W. Baun of 69 Sqn
17 7 Jul'42 10:47 Stab/JG 53 - Comiso Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn Malta Spitfire C.2036/II #104203/4
18 9 Jul'42 12:20 Stab/JG 53 - Comiso Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn Malta Spitfire C.2036/II #104203/4
19 14 Jul'42 10:32 Stab/JG 53 - Comiso Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn 5 km ENE of Zonqor Point, Malta Spitfire C.2031/II AnerkNr 10
20 18 Jul'42 14:33 Stab/JG 53 - Comiso Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn 5 km N of La Valetta, Malta: 4000m Spitfire C.2031/II AnerkNr 10
21 26 Aug'42 13:17 Stab/JG 53 - Comiso Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn 12 km N of La Valetta, Malta: 8000m Spitfire V of 229 Sqn
22 11 Oct'42 11:24 Stab/JG 53 - Comiso Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn - Spitfire  ?
23 11 Oct'42 14:35 Stab/JG 53 - Comiso Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn Malta Spitfire C.2036/II #105038/4
24 17 Oct'42 13:40 Stab/JG 53 - Comiso Maj Günther, Fr. von Maltzahn 5 km N of La Valetta: 500m Spitfire C.2035/II AnerkNr 10
- 17 Nov'42 13:37 Stab/JG 53 - El Aouina, Tunis Maj Helmut Bennemann Bone, Tunisia: 300m Spitfire C.2035/II Anerk ASM, unconfirmed
25 25 Nov'42 12:00 Stab/JG 53 - El Aouina Maj Helmut Bennemann 5–10 km NNW of Medjez el Bab: 1500m Spitfire C.2027/I AnerkNr 10
26 3 Dec'42 11:41 Stab/JG 53 - El Aouina Maj Helmut Bennemann S of Garaet Achkil: 6000m P-38 C.2027/I AnerkNr 10
27 4 Dec'42 16:04 Stab/JG 53 - El Aouina Maj Helmut Bennemann 6 km S of Jeffna: 10m Bisley C.2027/I AnerkNr 10, of 18 or 614 Sqn, RAF
28 5 Dec'42 15:40 Stab/JG 53 - El Aouina Maj Helmut Bennemann 5 km NW of Djebel Obeid P-38 C.2027/I AnerkNr 11
29 5 Dec'42 15:42 Stab/JG 53 - El Aouina Maj Helmut Bennemann - P-38 Prien/Bock, unconfirmed?
30 6 Dec'42 15:58 Stab/JG 53 - El Aouina Maj Helmut Bennemann 18 km S of Djebel Obeid Dragonfly C.2027/I AnerkNr 11
31 18 Dec'42 11:08 Stab/JG 53 - El Aouina Maj Helmut Bennemann 20 km W of Jaffna Spitfire C.2027/I AnerkNr 11
32 2 Jan 1943 9:07 Stab/JG 53 - El Aouina Maj Helmut Bennemann 20 km E of Bone: 2000m Spitfire C.2031/II AnerkNr 89
33 4 Jan'43 12:23 Stab/JG 53 - El Aouina Maj Helmut Bennemann 2 km NW of Protville: 1000m P-40 C.2031/II AnerkNr 91
34 16 Jan'43 13:48 Stab/JG 53 - El Aouina Maj Helmut Bennemann 35 km SW of Mateu: 500mr Hurricane C.2031/II AnerkNr 93
35 17 Jan'43 14:00 Stab/JG 53 - El Aouina Maj Helmut Bennemann 28 km NE of Beja: 7000m P-38 C.2031/II AnerkNr 94
36 29 Jan'43 11:10 Stab/JG 53 - El Aouina Maj Helmut Bennemann 15 km NE of Beja: 6000m B-17 C.2031/II AnerkNr 95
37 29 Jan'43 11:30 Stab/JG 53 - El Aouina Maj Helmut Bennemann 12 km SW of Mateur: 300m P-38 C.2031/II AnerkNr 96
38 26 Feb'43 17:02 8/JG 53 - San Pietro, Sicily Hptm Franz Götz 40 km N of La Valetta: 7000m Spitfire C.2027/I AnerkNr 204
39 25 Mar'43 9:44 8/JG 53 - San Pietro Hptm Franz Götz NE of La Jabatte: 4000m Spitfire C.2031/II AnerkNr 206
- 28 Mar'43 - 8/JG 53 - San Pietro Hptm Franz Götz - P-38 Prien JG53 List #1678, unconfirmed
40 5 Apr'43 19:00 8/JG 53 - San Pietro Hptm Franz Götz SW of Beja: 100m Spitfire C.2027/I AnerkNr 206, 800th victory for III/53
41 11 Apr'43 9:59 8/JG 53 - San Pietro Hptm Franz Götz 3 km N of Mateur: 100m Spitfire C.2027/I AnerkNr 267
42 17 Apr'43 19:14 8/JG 53 - San Pietro Hptm Franz Götz 18 km N of Medjez el Bab: 2000m Spitfire C.2027/I AnerkNr 210
43 18 Apr'43 18:07 8/JG 53 - San Pietro Hptm Franz Götz 24 km SW of Mateur: low-level Spitfire C.2027/I AnerkNr 212
44 29 Apr'43 16:02 8/JG 53 - San Pietro Hptm Franz Götz 3 km N of Cap Farina: low-level P-38 C.2027/I AnerkNr 214
45 8 May'43 18:45 8/JG 53 - Ariana Hptm Franz Götz 5 km E of Cap Bon: 4000m P-40 C.2031/II AnerkNr ?
46 8 May'43 19:00 8/JG 53 - Ariana Hptm Franz Götz 18 km E of Kalebia: 8000m P-40 C.2031/II AnerkNr ?
47 11 May'43 12:25 8/JG 53 - Sciacca, Sicily Hptm Franz Götz 10 km SW of Marsala: 3000m B-25 C.2031/II AnerkNr ?
- 12 May'43 - 8/JG 53 - Sciacca Hptm Franz Götz - B-17 Prien JG53 List #1679, unconfirmed
- 13 May'43 - 8/JG 53 - Sciacca Hptm Franz Götz - Spitfire Prien JG53 List #1679, unconfirmed
48 18 May'43 13:15 8/JG 53 - Sciacca Hptm Franz Götz NW of Trapani: 5000m P-38 C.2031/II AnerkNr ?
49 19 May'43 13:47 8/JG 53 - Sciacca Hptm Franz Götz 36 km SW of Maréttimo: 4000m P-38 C.2031/II AnerkNr ?
50 21 May'43 11:24 8/JG 53 - Sciacca Hptm Franz Götz 40 km N of Pantelleria: 1500m P-38 C.2031/II AnerkNr ?
51 25 May'43 11:05 8/JG 53 - Sciacca Hptm Franz Götz 30 km NW of Trapani: 100m P-38 C.2031/II AnerkNr ?
52 6 Jun'43 6:42 8/JG 53 - Sciacca Hptm Franz Götz 20 km NW of Pantelleria: 500m Boston C.2027/I AnerkNr ?
53 10 Jun'43 15:50 8/JG 53 - Sciacca Hptm Franz Götz 1 km W of Pantelleria: 3000m P-40 C.2027/I AnerkNr ?
54 11 Jun'43 15:37 8/JG 53 - Sciacca Hptm Franz Götz 20 km NW of Pantelleria: 3000m Spitfire C.2027/I AnerkNr ?
55 25 Jun'43 12:13 8/JG 53 - Torazzo Hptm Franz Götz 30 km S of Stromboli B-17F C.2027/I AnerkNr ?
56 19 Aug'43 12:20 8/JG 53 - Grazzaniese, Naples Hptm Franz Götz 40 km SW of Benevento: 6500m B-17 C.2031/II AnerkNr ?
57 20 Aug'43 12:43 8/JG 53 - Grazzaniese Hptm Franz Götz 12 km S of Grazzanise: 3000m P-38 C.2031/II AnerkNr ?
58 21 Aug'43 13:04 8/JG 53 - Grazzaniese Hptm Franz Götz 12 km W of Capri: 4000m B-26 C.2031/II AnerkNr ?
59 22 Aug'43 12:17 8/JG 53 - Grazzaniese Hptm Franz Götz 50 km SW of Capri: 2000m B-26 C.2031/II AnerkNr ?
- 22 Aug'43 - 8/JG 53 - Grazzaniese Hptm Franz Götz - B-26 Prien JG53 List #1680, unconfirmed
60 23 Aug'43 11:30 8/JG 53 - Grazzaniese Hptm Franz Götz 40 km S of Capri: 100m Catalina C.2031/II AnerkNr ?
61 26 Aug'43 12:52 8/JG 53 - Grazzaniese Hptm Franz Götz 20 km NW of Palmi: 4000m B-26 C.2031/II AnerkNr ?
62 26 Aug'43 13:37 8/JG 53 - Grazzaniese Hptm Franz Götz 2 km W of Grazzanise: 4000m P-38 C.2031/II AnerkNr ?
- 27 Aug'43 12:57 8/JG 53 - Grazzaniese Hptm Franz Götz 10 km N of Benevento: 3000m B-25 C.2031/II Anerk ASM, unconfirmed
63 27 Aug'43 13:11 8/JG 53 - Grazzaniese Hptm Franz Götz 40 km S of Capua P-38 C.2031/II AnerkNr ?
- 28 Aug'43 15:43 8/JG 53 - Grazzaniese Hptm Franz Götz 2 km E of Cabrettara: 200m P-38F C.2031/II AnerkNr ?
64 28 Aug'43 15:43 8/JG 53 - Grazzaniese Hptm Franz Götz 2 km E of Albaccora: 300m P-38F C.2031/II AnerkNr ?
65 28 Aug'43 15:51 8/JG 53 - Grazzaniese Hptm Franz Götz E of Castel Ruggero: 1000m P-38F C.2031/II AnerkNr ?
- 29 Aug'43 - 8/JG 53 - Grazzaniese Hptm Franz Götz - P-38 Prien JG53 List #1680, unconfirmed
66 30 Aug'43 12:06 8/JG 53 - Grazzaniese Hptm Franz Götz SW of Castel Volturno: 3000m P-38 C.2031/II AnerkNr ?
67 30 Aug'43 12:15 8/JG 53 - Grazzaniese Hptm Franz Götz SW of Castel Volturno: 2000m P-38 C.2031/II AnerkNr ?
2 Sep 1943 ~13.45 8/JG 53 - Grazzaniese Hptm Franz Götz 70–90 km SW of Naples[2]

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ Scutts 1994, p. 94.
  2. ^ a b Luftwaffe Officer Career Summaries website.
  3. ^ a b Aces of the Luftwaffe website.
  4. ^ Prien 1998, p. 678.
  5. ^ a b Luftwaffe Air Units: Single–Engined Fighters website.
  6. ^ Weal 2007, pg. 81-83.
  7. ^ a b Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 405
  8. ^ Weal 2007, pg. 91.
  9. ^ a b Sundin & Bergström 1997, p. 44
  10. ^ Scutts 1994, p. 94
  11. ^ a b Prien 1998, p. 677.
  12. ^ Weal 2003, pg. 99.
  13. ^ Prien 1998, p. 729.
  14. ^ Scutts 1994, p. 61.
  15. ^ Prien 1998, p. 678, 679
  16. ^ Patzwall and Scherzer 2008, p. 179.
  17. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 661.
Bibliography
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Prien, Jochen (1998), Jagdgeschwader 53 A History of the "Pik As" Geschwader May 1942–January 1944, Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military History, ISBN 0-7643-0292-2 
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001), Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II, Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall, ISBN 3-931533-45-X 
  • Patzwall, Klaus D. (2008). Der Ehrenpokal für besondere Leistung im Luftkrieg [The Honor Goblet for Outstanding Achievement in the Air War] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-08-3. 
  • Smith, J.Richard & Pegg, Martin (2003). Jagdwaffe Vol 3, Sec3: War over the Desert June 1940 – June 1942 Hersham, Surrey: Ian Allan Publishing ISBN 1-903223-22-9
  • Roba, Jean-Louis & Pegg, Martin (2003). Jagdwaffe Vol 4, Sec2: The Mediterranean 1942 – 1943 Hersham, Surrey: Ian Allan Publishing ISBN 1-903223-35-0 including colour profile of aircraft (p. 167)
  • Spick, Mike (2003). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. Greenhill Books. ISBN 1-85367-560-1
  • Scutts, Jerry (1994). Bf 109 Aces of North Africa and the Mediterranean. London, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85532-448-0. 
  • Sundin, Claes; Bergström, Christer (1997), Luftwaffe Fighter Aircraft in Profile, Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military History, ISBN 0-7643-0291-4  including colour profile of aircraft (#36)
  • Weal, John (2001). Bf109 Aces of the Russian Front. Oxford: Osprey Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-84176-084-6.
  • Weal, John (2007). Aviation Elite Units #25: Jagdgeschwader 53 Pik-As’. Oxford: Osprey Publishing Limited. ISBN 978-1-84603-204-2 including colour profile of aircraft (#24)

External links[edit]

Military Offices held[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Oberleutnant Karl Leonhard
Squadron Leader of 8./JG 53
15 February 1943 – 2 September 1943
Succeeded by
Hauptmann Karl Leonhard