Gustav Sprick

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Gustav Sprick
Nickname(s) “Micky”
Born 29 November 1917
Biemsen, Germany
Died 28 June 1941
Holque, France
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Balkenkreuz.svg Luftwaffe
Years of service 1935–1941
Rank Oberleutnant
Unit JG 26
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Gustav "Micky" Sprick (29 November 1917 – 28 June 1941) was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. Sprick was credited with 31 victories in 192 missions. All his victories were recorded over the Western front.

Military career[edit]

Sprick joined the Luftwaffe in 1937. After completing his pilot-training Fähnrich Sprick was posted to JG 26 on 23 September 1939,[1] and assigned to 8./JG 26 (8th squadron of the 26th Fighter Wing). On 10 May 1940, the opening day of Fall Gelb (the invasion of the West), the now Leutnant Sprick shot down his first enemy aircraft: a Dutch Fokker T-5 twin-engined bomber, over Breda in the Netherlands. He was very successful during the French campaign, having scored nine victories by the fall of France, and been promoted to Oberleutnant. He was shot down however, on 14 June near Évreux, by RAF (Royal Air Force) Hurricane fighters after claiming one of their number. But he managed to crash-land uninjured and was rescued by German troops.

On 8 August 1940 he was promoted to Staffelkapitän (Squadron leader) of 8./JG 26.[2] His Gruppe, III/JG 26 had a formidable team of leaders during the Battle of Britain, with the experienced Kommandeur Adolf Galland and Gerhard Schöpfel (9. Staffel), with the ‘young lions’ Sprick (8. Staffel) and Joachim Müncheberg (7. Staffel). These four pilots all had 10 or more victories and over the next 2 months shot down over 50 aircraft between them.

Sprick himself scored 11 victories in the battle, including a pair of Hurricanes of 85 Sqn on 31 August (his 14th & 15th victories). He was awarded the Ehrenpokal (Goblet of Honour) on 8 September,[3] and then the coveted Ritterkreuz (Knight’s Cross) on 1 October after gaining his 20th victory on 28 September.[4] By the end of 1940, with the battle falling back into a relatively quiet period, his score had increased to 23. (Müncheberg had 23, Schöpfel had 22 and Galland with 58!)

June 1941 marked the invasion of the Soviet Union in the east. With the majority of the Luftwaffe involved in Operation Barbarossa, it left just JG 26, JG 2 and JG 1 defending the west. Coinciding with this, the British started their own air offensive, taking the fight to the Germans over France. Now, however, the roles were reversed, and it was the RAF fighters that found themselves vulnerable, operating at the limit of their range. Sprick quickly racked up 8 victories in the last fortnight of June.

On 28 June, III/JG 26 was ordered to intercept the RAF Circus No. 26, en route to attack the Comines power station. 8./JG 26 was jumped from above by Spitfires and in the ensuing melee, while performing a split-S manoeuvre, the wing of Sprick’s new Bf 109 F2 (Werk Nr 5743) sheared off. He crashed to his death near Holque, inland from Calais.

Oberleutnant Gustav Sprick was credited with 31 victories in 192 missions, all over the Western Front.

Victories[edit]

No Date Time Unit & Airfield Gruppe Kommandeur[5] Location / Planquad Claimed Aircraft Source / Comments[6]
1 10 May 1940  ? 8./JG 26 – Essen Maj Ernst, Fr. v.Berg Breda Fokker T.5 Prien & Bock; of Dutch BomVA
2 11 May'40 19:30 8./JG 26 – Essen Maj Ernst, Fr. v.Berg NW of Antwerp Curtiss Prien & Bock; of French GC I/4
3 17 May'40 18:30 8./JG 26 – Mönchen-Gladbach Maj Ernst, Fr. v.Berg Namur Morane 406 Prien & Bock
4 ? 31 May'40 15:40 8./JG 26 - Chievres Maj Ernst, Fr. v.Berg Furnes: 3000m Hurricane Prien & Bock
5 2 Jun'40 9:25 8./JG 26 - Chievres Maj Ernst, Fr. v.Berg Dunkirk Spitfire Prien & Bock; of RAF 66, 266 or 611 Sqn
- 6 Jun'40 - 8./JG 26 – La Capelle Maj Ernst, Fr. v.Berg airfield strafe Bloch 151 Prien & Bock
- 6 Jun'40 - 8./JG 26 – La Capelle Maj Ernst, Fr. v.Berg airfield strafe Bloch 151 Prien & Bock
- 6 Jun'40 - 8./JG 26 – La Capelle Maj Ernst, Fr. v.Berg airfield strafe Bloch 151 Prien & Bock
6 13 Jun'40 12:39 8./JG 26 – Les Thilliers Hptm Adolf Galland near Paris Defiant C.2036/II Nr 50935/40; of RAF 142 Sqn
7 14 Jun'40 17:50 8./JG 26 – Les Thilliers Hptm Adolf Galland Abbeville Hurricane C.2036/II Nr 50935/40
8 12 Aug'40 12:20 8./JG 26 – Caffiers Maj Adolf Galland NW of Margate Hurricane Prien & Bock; of 151 or 501 Sqn
9 15 Aug'40 12:58 8./JG 26 – Caffiers Maj Adolf Galland Channel, S of Dover Spitfire Prien & Bock; of 54 Sqn
10 18 Aug'40 13:50 8./JG 26 – Caffiers Maj Adolf Galland Canterbury Hurricane Prien & Bock; of 17 Sqn
11 24 Aug'40 12:20 8./JG 26 – Caffiers Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel Ashford Hurricane Prien & Bock; of 151 Sqn
12 31 Aug'40 19:05 8./JG 26 – Caffiers Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel Folkestone Hurricane Prien & Bock; of 85 Sqn
13 31 Aug'40 19:15 8./JG 26 – Caffiers Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel Folkestone Hurricane Prien & Bock; of 85 Sqn
14 1 Sep'40 15:05 8./JG 26 – Caffiers Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel London Hurricane Prien & Bock; of 79 or 85 Sqn
15 3 Sep'40 11:10 8./JG 26 – Caffiers Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel Thames Estuary, Rochester Spitfire Prien & Bock
16 ? 6 Sep'40 10:10 8./JG 26 – Caffiers Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel Channel, SW of Dungeness: 3500m Spitfire Prien & Bock
17 ? 11 Sep'40 19:30 8./JG 26 – Caffiers Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel Canterbury: 5000m Hurricane Prien & Bock
18 17 Sep'40 16:36 8./JG 26 – Caffiers Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel Gravesend Spitfire Prien & Bock
19 23 Sep'40 10:35 8./JG 26 – Caffiers Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel Thames Estuary Spitfire Prien & Bock; of 92 Sqn
20 28 Sep'40 11:30 8./JG 26 – Caffiers Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel Canterbury: 7000m Spitfire Prien & Bock; of 501 Sqn
21 15 Oct'40 13:45 8./JG 26 – Caffiers Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel  ? Spitfire Prien & Bock
22 ? 25 Oct'40 14:30 8./JG 26 – Caffiers Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel Maidstone: 7000m Spitfire Prien & Bock
23 17 Nov'40 10:22 8./JG 26 – Abbeville Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel E of Harwich Spitfire Prien & Bock
 ? 27 Nov'40 9:25 8./JG 26 – Abbeville Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel Deal Spitfire Prien & Bock; of RAF 421 Flt
24 16 Jun 1941 16:35 8./JG 26 – Liegescourt Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel Channel, S of Dungeness Spitfire C.2033/I
25 17 Jun'41 19:42 8./JG 26 – Liegescourt Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel N of Etaples Hurricane C.2036/II: Nr 64913/41; of 56 or 242 Sqn
26 17 Jun'41 19:58 8./JG 26 – Liegescourt Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel  ? Hurricane C.2036/II: Nr 64913/41; of 56 or 242 Sqn
27 18 Jun'41 18:20 8./JG 26 – Liegescourt Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel  ? Spitfire C.2036/II: Nr 64913/41; of 145 Sqn
28 21 Jun'41 16:42 8./JG 26 – Liegescourt Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel W of Boulogne Hurricane C.2036/II: Nr 65565/41; of 1 Sqn
29 21 Jun'41 16:55 8./JG 26 – Liegescourt Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel 20 km WNW of Boulogne Spitfire C.2036/II: Nr 65565/41
30 22 Jun'41 16:20 8./JG 26 – Liegescourt Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel near Gravelines Spitfire C.2036/II: Nr 65565/41; of 611 Sqn
31 24 Jun'41 20:58 8./JG 26 – Liegescourt Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel near Gravelines Spitfire C.2036/II: Nr 65565/41
28 Jun 1941 - 8./JG 26 – Liegescourt Hptm Gerhard Schöpfel near Holque -

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ Luftwaffe 39-45 Historia website.
  2. ^ Luftwaffe Officer Career Summaries website.
  3. ^ Luftwaffe Officer Career Summaries website.
  4. ^ Aces of the Luftwaffe website.
  5. ^ Luftwaffe Air Units: Single–Engined Fighters website.
  6. ^ Aces of the Luftwaffe website.
  7. ^ Fellgiebel 2001, p. 406.
Bibliography
  • Caldwell, Donald L (1993). JG26 – Top Guns of the Luftwaffe Ballantine ISBN 0-87938-845-5
  • 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. 
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 – 1945 [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Luftwaffe Fighter Force 1941 – 1945] (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 978-3-87341-065-7. 
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Weal, John (1996). Bf109D/E Aces 1939-41. Oxford: Osprey Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-85532-487-3.
  • Weal, John (1999). Bf109F/G/K Aces of the Western Front. Oxford: Osprey Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-85532-905-0 includes picture of his aircraft (#26)

External links[edit]

Military Offices held[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Oblt Kuno Wendt
Squadron Leader of 8./JG 26
8 August 1940 – 28 June 1941
Succeeded by
Hptm Johann Schmid