Hans-Karl Mayer

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Hans-Karl Mayer
Born 8 March 1911
Rouffach
Died 17 October 1940(1940-10-17) (aged 29)
over the English Channel
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer (1933–1935)
Luftwaffe (1935–1940)
Years of service 1933–1940
Rank Hauptmann
Unit Condor Legion
JG 53
Commands held I./JG 53
Battles/wars

Spanish Civil War
World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Hans-Karl Mayer (8 March 1911 – 17 October 1940) was a German Luftwaffe ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Career[edit]

Mayer was born 8 March 1911 at Rufach. He served with the Condor Legion in the Spanish Civil War with 1. Staffel, Jagdgruppe 88, claiming eight victories. On his return from Spain Oberleutnant Mayer was posted to 1. Staffel, Jagdgeschwader 53 (JG 53—53rd Fighter Wing), becoming Staffelkapitän (squadron leader) in October 1939. He claimed his first victory of World War II on 5 November 1939 downing a French Potez 63. Mayer claimed eight more victories during the Battle of France, including five aircraft shot down on 14 May 1940 alone. During the Battle of Britain he then shot down two Hurricanes over the Isle of Wight on 12 August 1940. On 25 August Mayer shot down a Hurricane for his 15th victory, that of F/L AWA Bayne (8 victories) of 17 Squadron, who baled out . The next day Mayer shot down two Spitfires. One of his victim was ace Sgt Cyril Babbage (7 victories) of No. 602 Squadron RAF, who baled out. Hauptmann Mayer was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 3 September.

Mayer was made Gruppenkommandeur I./JG 53 on 1 September 1940, and recorded his 30th victory on 15 September. On 17 October 1940 Mayer took off on a test flight and never returned, his body washing up on the English coast 10 days later. He was possibly a victim of RAF ace F/L D. McMullen of No. 222 Squadron RAF.[1]

During his career he was credited with 39 aerial victories, 8 in the Spanish Civil War and 31 in World War II.

Awards[edit]

References in the Wehrmachtbericht[edit]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Friday, 6 September 1940 Außer vier bereits genannten Offizieren haben in den Luftkämpfen der letzten Wochen drei weitere Jagdflieger 20 oder mehr Luftsiege errungen und zwar: Hauptmann Mayer, Hauptmann Oesau und Hauptmann Tietzen. An der Spitze der Sieger in Luftkämpfen steht Major Mölders mit 32 Abschüssen.[3] Besides those four officers already mentioned over the past weeks a further three fighter pilots achieved 20 or more aerial victories in aerial combat, these are: Hauptmann Mayer, Hauptmann Oesau and Hauptmann Tietzen. At the top of the victors stands Major Mölders with 32 aerial victories.

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ Ramsay; "After the Battle"
  2. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 250.
  3. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 1, p. 296.
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. 
  • 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. 
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. 
  • 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. 
  • Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. New York: Ivy Books. ISBN 978-0-8041-1696-1. 
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 1, 1. September 1939 bis 31. Dezember 1941 (in German). München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 3-423-05944-3.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Hauptmann Albert Blumensaat
Commander of I. Jagdgeschwader 53
1 September 1940 – 17 October 1940
Succeeded by
Hauptmann Hans-Heinrich Brustellin