Hans Schleef

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Hans Schleef
Born 19 July 1920
Groß Börnecke, Germany
Died 31 December 1944
Bad Durkheim, Germany
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Balkenkreuz.svg Luftwaffe
Years of service 1939–1944
Rank Oberleutnant
Unit JG 3, JG 5, JG 4
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Hans Schleef (19 July 1920 – 31 December 1944) was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. He is one of the two pilots that most probably shot down the famous Soviet female fighter pilot, Lydia Litvyak.

During the war[edit]

Schleef was born in Groß Börnecke, today part of Hecklingen, in the Province of Saxony, a province of the Free State of Prussia. In late 1940, Unteroffizier Schleef was posted to 7./JG 3 (7th staffel of Jagdgeschwader 3) then flying over the Channel front.[1] He claimed his first victory on 5 February 1941, when he shot down a Hurricane over St Omer.[2] His second claim was on 31 May, a Bristol Blenheim. Transferring with the unit to the Eastern Front, Schleef claimed 14 victories in July and on 4 August, he then claimed three Russian I-16 'Ratas' downed.

From November, over the winter, III./JG 3 was rotated from the front for recuperation, and including a short stint in Italy in January before returning to the Eastern Front in February. Quickly re-acclimatising to the Russian conditions, Hans scored 13 victories in March 1942 and two more unconfirmed.

On 7 April Schleef was shot down in combat and managed to bale out safely behind enemy lines. He evaded capture, and returned to his unit four days later. Feldwebel Schleef was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 9 May 1942 for 41 victories. He was then transferred to Ergänzungs-Jagdgruppe Ost as an instructor in May 1942.

Now commissioned, Leutnant Schleef returned to 7./JG 3 in January 1943, and in April recorded his 60th victory, his 70th following on 2 June. For Operation Zitadelle, the attack on the Kursk salient, III./JG 3 was stationed at Bessonovka supporting the southern flank. On 5 July, the opening day, he shot down a Lavochkin La-5 at 6:30am in the morning, but was forced to make a crash-landing in the German lines. However, he got back to his unit and later that same day he shot down another three enemy aircraft.[3] The next day, Schleef claimed his 80th and 81st victories. But within a week, his unit was transferred and fighting defensive battles in the Ukraine. He achieved his 90th on 30 July. Two days later, on August the 1st, he claimed his final victory on the Mius Front - a LaGG-3 that was, most probably, the Yak-1 flown by Soviet female ace, Lydia Litvyak. A few days after that, in early August 1943, 7./JG 3 was transferred to Germany to fly anti-bomber sorties in the Defense of the Reich. Hans Schleef arrived in Germany with 93 victories to his name.

He shot down his first B-17 bomber on 12 August, though he himself was shot down on 17 August (Bf 109G-6 "White 4" Werknummer 20444—factory number).[4] On 15 October 1943, Oberleutnant Schleef was appointed Staffelkapitän of 3./JG 3. On 23 March, Schleef inadvertently taxied his Bf 109G-5 "Yellow 4" (Werknummer 110215) into the slipstream of an Heinkel He 177 just as it was taking off, which flipped Schleef’s aircraft over; Schleef was rescued with only minor injuries.

On 21 July 1944 Schleef was transferred as Staffelkapitän of 8./JG 5 in August, which was redesignated as 16./JG 4 in October 1944. Schleef was killed in aerial combat with Royal Air Force Spitfires near Bad Durkheim in his Bf 109 G-10 "Blue 4" (Werknummer 490758) on 31 December 1944.[5]

Hans Schleef was credited with 99 victories (and at least 2 more unconfirmed) in over 500 missions. He recorded 91 victories over the Eastern Front, including 15 Il-2 Sturmoviks. Of his eight victories recorded over the Western Front, 2 were four-engine bombers.

Awards[edit]

Victories[edit]

No Date Time Unit & Airfield Gruppe Kommandeur[8] Location / Planquad Claimed Aircraft Source / Comments[9]
1- 5 Feb 1941 13.40 7./JG 3 - Desvres Hptm Walter Oesau Hurricane C.2036/II, Nr.60067/41
2 31 May ‘41 17.43 7./JG 3 - Lillers Hptm Walter Oesau Blenheim
- 24 Jun ‘41  ? 7./JG 3 - Moderovka Hptm Walter Oesau  ?
- 27 Jun ‘41  ? 7./JG 3 - Hostynne Hptm Walter Oesau  ?
3 2 Jul ‘41 18.06 7./JG 3 - Hostynne Hptm Walter Oesau I-16 Prien/Bock
4 2 Jul ‘41 18.10 7./JG 3 - Hostynne Hptm Walter Oesau I-16
5 6 Jul ’41 17.25 7./JG 3 - Hostynne Hptm Walter Oesau SB-2 Prien/Bock
6 10 Jul ’41 18.38 7./JG 3 - Polonnoje Hptm Walter Oesau I-16 Prien/Bock
7 15 Jul ’41 15.51 7./JG 3 - Polonnoje Hptm Walter Oesau I-16 Prien/Bock
8 15 Jul ’41 16.02 7./JG 3 - Polonnoje Hptm Walter Oesau DB-3 Prien/Bock
9 16 Jul ’41 15.26 7./JG 3 - Polonnoje Hptm Walter Oesau SB-3 Prien/Bock
10 16 Jul ’41 15.26 7./JG 3 - Polonnoje Hptm Walter Oesau SB-2 Prien/Bock
11 23 Jul ’41 13.41 7./JG 3 – Bjelaja Cerkov Hptm Walter Oesau DB-3 Prien/Bock
12 24 Jul ’41 14.04 7./JG 3 - Bjelaja Cerkov Hptm Walter Oesau DB-3 Prien/Bock
13 25 Jul ’41 18.53 7./JG 3 - Bjelaja Cerkov Hptm Walter Oesau SB-3 Prien/Bock
14 26 Jul ’41 6.42 7./JG 3 - Bjelaja Cerkov Hptm Walter Oesau I-153 Prien/Bock
15 26 Jul ’41 10.02 7./JG 3 - Bjelaja Cerkov Hptm Walter Oesau 8 km SE of Taraschtscha SB-3 Prien/Bock
16 26 Jul ’41 10.04 7./JG 3 - Bjelaja Cerkov Hptm Walter Oesau 8 km SE of Taraschtscha SB-3 Prien/Bock
17 29 Jul ’41 7.36 7./JG 3 - Bjelaja Cerkov - R-5 Prien/Bock
18 29 Jul ’41 7.42 7./JG 3 - Bjelaja Cerkov - Pe-2 Prien/Bock
19 4 Aug ’41 6.08 7./JG 3 - Bjelaja Cerkov Hptm Werner Andres I-16 Prien/Bock
20 4 Aug ’41 6.12 7./JG 3 - Bjelaja Cerkov Hptm Werner Andres I-16 Prien/Bock
21 4 Aug ’41 7.52 7./JG 3 - Bjelaja Cerkov Hptm Werner Andres I-16 Prien/Bock
22 10 Aug ’41 10.40 7./JG 3 - Bjelaja Cerkov Hptm Werner Andres I-16 Prien/Bock
23 11 Aug ’41 5.24 7./JG 3 - Bjelaja Cerkov Hptm Werner Andres SB-2 Prien/Bock
24 20 Feb 1942 12.36 7./JG 3 - Szolzy Hptm Werner Andres I-61 (MiG-3) C.2036/II, Nr.100561/43
25 22 Feb ’42 13.18 7./JG 3 - Szolzy Hptm Werner Andres I-61 (MiG-3) C.2036/II, Nr.100561/43
26 27 Feb ’42 10.48 7./JG 3 - Szolzy Hptm Werner Andres I-61 (MiG-3) C.2036/II, Nr.100561/43
27 4 Mar ’42 9.06 7./JG 3 - Szolzy Hptm Werner Andres U-2 C.2036/II, Nr.100561/43
28 9 Mar ’42 9.00 7./JG 3 - Szolzy Hptm Werner Andres I-61 (MiG-3) C.2036/II, Nr.100561/43
29 17 Mar ’42 9.48 7./JG 3 - Szolzy Hptm Werner Andres I-61 (MiG-3) C.2036/II, Nr.100561/43
- 18 Mar ’42 17.38 7./JG 3 - Szolzy Hptm Werner Andres 10 km NW Mury: 2000m I-61 (MiG-3) C.2034 – not confirmed
- 18 Mar ’42 18.10 7./JG 3 - Szolzy Hptm Werner Andres N of Ramenschewo: low level U-2 C.2034 – not confirmed
30 19 Mar ’42 15.56 7./JG 3 - Szolzy Hptm Werner Andres I-61 (MiG-3) C.2036/II, Nr.100561/43
31 19 Mar ’42 16.03 7./JG 3 - Szolzy Hptm Werner Andres SB-3 C.2036/II, Nr.100561/43
32 20 Mar ’42 7.30 7./JG 3 - Szolzy Hptm Werner Andres I-61 (MiG-3) C.2036/II, Nr.100562/43
33 22 Mar ’42 13.15 7./JG 3 - Szolzy Hptm Werner Andres Il-2 C.2036/II, Nr.100562/43
34 23 Mar ’42 10.33 7./JG 3 - Szolzy Hptm Werner Andres  ?
35 28 Mar ’42 13.52 7./JG 3 - Szolzy Hptm Werner Andres I-61 (MiG-3) C.2036/II, Nr.100562/43
36 28 Mar ’42 13.54 7./JG 3 - Szolzy Hptm Werner Andres I-301 (LaGG-3) C.2036/II, Nr.100562/43
37 29 Mar ’42 7.53 7./JG 3 - Szolzy Hptm Werner Andres U-2 C.2036/II, Nr.100562/43
38 30 Mar ’42 9.58 7./JG 3 - Szolzy Hptm Werner Andres I-61 (MiG-3) C.2036/II, Nr.100562/43
39 30 Mar ’42 15.22 7./JG 3 - Szolzy Hptm Werner Andres I-61 (MiG-3) C.2036/II, Nr.100562/43
40 6 Apr ’42 16.41 7./JG 3 - Szolzy Hptm Werner Andres Il-2 C.2036/II, Nr.100562/43
41 6 Apr ’42 16.43 7./JG 3 - Szolzy Hptm Werner Andres Il-2 C.2036/II, Nr.100562/43
42 22 May ’42 18.03 7./JG 3 - Tschugujev Maj Karl-Heinz Greisert Il-2 C.2036/II, Nr.100562/43
43 22 May ’42 18.05 7./JG 3 - Tschugujev Maj Karl-Heinz Greisert MiG-3 C.2036/II, Nr.100562/43
44 23 May ’42 6.30 7./JG 3 - Tschugujev Maj Karl-Heinz Greisert MiG-3 C.2036/II, Nr.100562/43
45 23 May ’42 12.32 7./JG 3 - Tschugujev Maj Karl-Heinz Greisert 3 km E of Weskloje: 500m Il-2 C.2034, A. Nr.177
46 27 May ’42 4.18 7./JG 3 - Tschugujev Maj Karl-Heinz Greisert MiG-3 C.2036/II, Nr.102276/43
47 30 Jun ‘42 7.42 7./JG 3 - Schtschigry Maj Karl-Heinz Greisert Il-2 C.2036/II, Nr.103289/43
48 27 Feb ‘43 14.30 7./JG 3 - Pavlograd Maj Wolfgang Ewald 9 km SE of Izyum: low level P-2 C.2035/I, A.Nr.209
49 27 Feb ‘43 14.40 7./JG 3 - Pavlograd Maj Wolfgang Ewald 1km W of Gregenskoye: 50m U-2 C.2035/I, A.Nr.210
50 27 Feb ‘43  ? 7./JG 3 - Pavlograd Maj Wolfgang Ewald  ?
51 2 Mar ‘43 14.30 7./JG 3 - Pavlograd Maj Wolfgang Ewald 1km S of Wolinskaya: 600m MiG-3 C.2032/II, A.Nr.211
52 12 Mar ‘43 8.08 7./JG 3 - Pavlograd Maj Wolfgang Ewald 1km S of Kupyansk: 100m MiG-3 C.2032/II, A.Nr.213
53 13 Mar ‘43 11.34 7./JG 3 - Pavlograd Maj Wolfgang Ewald S of Pchetanoye: 50m Il-2 C.2032/II, A.Nr.215
54 15 Mar ‘43 6.54 7./JG 3 - Pavlograd Maj Wolfgang Ewald 60 130: 800m Boston C.2032/II, A.Nr.216
55 18 Mar ‘43 9.45 7./JG 3 - Pavlograd Maj Wolfgang Ewald 7km N of Cherkoff: 300m LaGG-3 C.2032/II, A.Nr.222
56 22 Mar ‘43 12.32 7./JG 3 - Pavlograd Maj Wolfgang Ewald Rostov: 2000m LaGG-5 C.2032/II
57 31 Mar ‘43 10.00 7./JG 3 - Pavlograd Maj Wolfgang Ewald 10km S of Bataysk: 4800m MiG-3 C.2032/II, A.Nr.224
58 3 Apr ‘43 13.15 7./JG 3 - Pavlograd Maj Wolfgang Ewald 1km SW of Izyum: 2500m LaGG-3 C.2032/II, A.Nr.229
59 3 Apr ‘43 16.40 7./JG 3 - Pavlograd Maj Wolfgang Ewald 6km SW of Izyum: 50m Il-2 C.2032/II, A.Nr.230
60 4 Apr ‘43 9.56 7./JG 3 - Pavlograd Maj Wolfgang Ewald 1km S of Izyum: 100m Il-2 C.2032/II, A.Nr.232
61 7 May ‘43 4.13 7./JG 3 - Krasmatorskaya Maj Wolfgang Ewald NW of Slaviansk: 1500m Boston C.2032/II, A.Nr.237
62 7 May ’43 4.14 7./JG 3 - Krasmatorskaya Maj Wolfgang Ewald NW Slaviansk: 1500m Boston C.2032/II, A.Nr.238
63 22 May ‘43 12.13 7./JG 3 - Feldflugplatz "Uhu" Maj Wolfgang Ewald W of Olschawka: 900m La-5 C.2032/II, A.Nr.240
64 22 May ‘43 12.18 7./JG 3 - Feldflugplatz "Uhu" Maj Wolfgang Ewald E of Wesselyj: 500m MiG-3 C.2032/II, A Nr.241
65 22 May ‘43 12.32 7./JG 3 - Feldflugplatz "Uhu" Maj Wolfgang Ewald Eof Gresnoje: 50m MiG-3 C.2032/II, A.Nr.242
66 29 May ‘43 6.58 7./JG 3 - Feldflugplatz "Uhu" Maj Wolfgang Ewald SE of Platowo: 3000m LaGG-3 C.2032/II, A.Nr.243
67 29 May ‘43 7.04 7./JG 3 - Feldflugplatz "Uhu" Maj Wolfgang Ewald SE of Platowo: 3500m LaGG-3 C.2032/II, A.Nr.244
68 29 May ‘43 17.05 7./JG 3 - Feldflugplatz "Uhu" Maj Wolfgang Ewald N of Dsershinsk: 4500m LaGG-3 C.2032/II, A.Nr.245
69 29 May ‘43 17.20 7./JG 3 - Feldflugplatz "Uhu" Maj Wolfgang Ewald W of Nowo-Aidar: 50m LaGG-3 C.2032/II, A.Nr.246
70 2 Jun ‘43 10.35 7./JG 3 - Feldflugplatz "Uhu" Maj Wolfgang Ewald S of Kursk: 5500m La-5 C.2032/II, A.Nr. 247
71 10 Jun ‘43 8.30 7./JG 3 - Feldflugplatz "Uhu" Maj Wolfgang Ewald E of Novo-Astrakhan: 3000m La-5 C.2032/II, A.Nr. 248
72 14 Jun ‘43 14.33 7./JG 3 - Feldflugplatz "Uhu" Maj Wolfgang Ewald W of Nishnaja-Duwenka: 2500m La-5 C.2032/II, A.Nr. 250
73 15 Jun ‘43 17.32 7./JG 3 - Feldflugplatz "Uhu" Maj Wolfgang Ewald N of Starobelsk: 3500m LaGG-3 C.2032/II, A.Nr. 251
74 15 Jun ‘43 17.36 7./JG 3 - Feldflugplatz "Uhu" Maj Wolfgang Ewald N of Starobelsk: 3000m LaGG-3 C.2032/II, A.Nr. 252
75 16 Jun ‘43 18.20 7./JG 3 - Feldflugplatz "Uhu" Maj Wolfgang Ewald NE of Starobelsk: 4000m LaGG-3 C.2032/II, A.Nr. 253
76 5 Jul ‘43 6.35 7./JG 3 - Bessonovka Maj Wolfgang Ewald N of Tomarewka: 2000m La-5 C.2032/II, A.Nr. 260
77 5 Jul ‘43 15.22 7./JG 3 - Bessonovka Maj Wolfgang Ewald E of Belgorod: 800m Il-5 (?) C.2032/II, A.Nr. 268
78 5 Jul ‘43 15.24 7./JG 3 - Bessonovka Maj Wolfgang Ewald E of Belgorod: 800m Il-2 C.2032/II, A.Nr. 270
79 5 Jul ‘43 15.26 7./JG 3 - Bessonovka Maj Wolfgang Ewald E of Belgorod: 1000m LaGG-3 C.2032/II, A.Nr. 271
80 6 Jul ‘43 15.10 7./JG 3 - Bessonovka Maj Wolfgang Ewald W of Nikolskoye: 1000m LaGG-3 C.2032/II, A.Nr. 278
81 6 Jul ‘43 19.15 7./JG 3 - Bessonovka Maj Wolfgang Ewald S of Goroditsche La-5 C.2032/II, A.Nr. 270
82 9 Jul ‘43 6.20 7./JG 3 - Bessonovka Maj Wolfgang Ewald NNE of Prokorovka: low-level La-5 C.2032/II, A.Nr. 289
83 11 Jul ‘43 10.06 7./JG 3 - Bessonovka Maj Wolfgang Ewald W of Prokorovka: 300m Il-2 C.2032/II, A.Nr. 284
84 14 Jul ‘43 12.33 7./JG 3 - Bessonovka Maj Wolfgang Ewald W of Leski: 3800m LaGG-3 C.2032/II, A.Nr. 288
85 14 Jul ‘43 12.49 7./JG 3 - Bessonovka Maj Wolfgang Ewald W of Wesselyj: 1500m LaGG-3 C.2032/II, A.Nr. 290
86 17 Jul ‘43 15.20 7./JG 3 - Feldflugplatz "Uhu" - 1 km N of Chervonyy-Oskol: 1800m LaGG-3 C.2032/II, A.Nr. 292
87 21 Jul ‘43 9.43 7./JG 3 - Feldflugplatz "Uhu" Hptm Walther Dahl 1 km S of Bogoroditskoye: 100m P-39 C.2032/II, A.Nr. 294
88 21 Jul ‘43 9.46 7./JG 3 - Feldflugplatz "Uhu" Hptm Walther Dahl 2 km SE of Bogoroditskoye: 200m Il-2 C.2032/II, A.Nr. 296
89 21 Jul ‘43 9.49 7./JG 3 - Feldflugplatz "Uhu" Hptm Walther Dahl 5 km E of Bogoroditskoye: 250m Il-2 C.2032/II, A.Nr. 297
90 30 Jul ‘43 11.00 7./JG 3 - Makejevka Hptm Walther Dahl 3 km E of Marinovka: 200m Il-2 C.2032/II, A.Nr. 307
91 30 Jul ‘43 11.05 7./JG 3 - Makejevka Hptm Walther Dahl E of Marinovka: 400m LaGG-3 C.2032/II, A.Nr. 305
92 31 Jul ‘43 7.32 7./JG 3 - Makejevka Hptm Walther Dahl  ?
93 1 Aug ‘43 5.25 7./JG 3 - Makejevka Hptm Walther Dahl SE of Stepanowka: 2500m LaGG-3 C.2035/I; Lydia Litvyak of 296.IAP
94 12 Aug ‘43 9.18 7./JG 3 - Makejevka Hptm Walther Dahl 3 km N of Konigswinter: 8500m B-17 C.2031/II, A.Nr 316
95 6 Sep ‘43 11.32 7./JG 3 - Makejevka Hptm Walther Dahl B-17 Prien: JG 3 list f.501
96 22 Feb 1944 12.17 3./JG 3 - Mönchen-Gladbach Hptm Josef Haiböck S of Tilburg [LL-1]: 6100m P-47 C.2025/I, A.Nr 62
97 8 Mar '44 13.40 3./JG 3 - Magdeburg Hptm Karl-Heinz Langer near Loburg-Görzke: 7500m P-51 C.2025/I, A.Nr 165
98 12 Dec '44 15.45 16./JG 4 - Frankfurt Hptm Franz-Josef Wienhusen W of Ludwigshaven [05OstS/SR8]: 1200m P-47 C.2027/II
99 23 Dec '44 9.41 16./JG 4 - Frankfurt Hptm Ernst-Albert Laube near Wittlich [05OstS/RO]: 3600m P-47 C.2027/II
31 Dec '44  ? 16./JG 4 - Frankfurt Hptm Ernst-Albert Laube near Bad Durkheim - [10]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ Luftwaffe Officer Career Summaries website.
  2. ^ Aces of the Luftwaffe website.
  3. ^ Bergström 2007, p. 31.
  4. ^ Aces of the Luftwaffe website.
  5. ^ Aces of the Luftwaffe website.
  6. ^ Obermaier 1989, p. 195.
  7. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 378.
  8. ^ Luftwaffe Air Units: Single–Engined Fighters website.
  9. ^ Aces of the Luftwaffe website.
  10. ^ Aces of the Luftwaffe website.
Bibliography
  • Bergström. Christer (2007). Kursk – The Air Battle, July 1943. Classic Publications ISBN 1903223881
  • 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. 
  • Jackson, Robert. Air Aces of WWII. Ramsbury, MarloboRugh, Vital Guide, Airlife Crowood Press, 2003. ISBN 1-84037-412-8.
  • Milanetti, Gian Piero (2011). Le Streghe della Notte: La storia non detta delle eroiche ragazze-pilota dell'Unione Sovietica nella Grande Guerra Patriottica (in Italian). Istituto Bibliografico Napoleone, Roma, Italia. ISBN 88-7565-100-0. 
  • 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 (2007). More Bf109 Aces of the Russian Front. Oxford: Osprey Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-84176-084-6.
  • Weal, John (2006). Bf109 Defence of the Reich Aces. Oxford: Osprey Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-84176-879-0.

External links[edit]

Military Offices held[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Hptm Rudolf Germeroth
Squadron Leader of 3./JG 3
15 October 1943 – 20 July 1944
Succeeded by
Ltn Dietrich Stiebler
Preceded by
Oblt Lorenz Andresen
Squadron Leader of 8./JG 5
21 July 1944 – 20 October 1944
Succeeded by
unit renamed 16./JG 4
Preceded by
new unit
Squadron Leader of 16./JG 4
20 October 1944 – 31 December 1944
Succeeded by
unknown