Otto Schultz

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Otto Schultz
Born (1920-05-31)31 May 1920
Dannenberg
Died 28 July 2013(2013-07-28) (aged 93)
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany (to 1945)
 West Germany
Service/branch Balkenkreuz.svg Luftwaffe
Years of service ?–1945
?–1976
Rank Hauptmann (Wehrmacht)
Oberstleutnant (Bundeswehr)
Unit JG 51
Commands held II./JG 51
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Otto Schultz (31 May 1920 – 28 July 2013)[1] 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. For the fighter pilots, it was a quantifiable measure of skill and success. Schultz was credited with 73 aerial victories in about 820 combat missions. [Not to be confused with the similarly named fighter ace Otto Schulz who served with JG27]

Military career[edit]

After completing his pilot-training in 1940 Feldwebel Schultz was assigned to 4./JG 51 (4th squadron of the 51st Fighter Wing). Under Staffelkapitän Josef Fözö he learnt his craft as a junior pilot during the Battle of Britain. After a short break early in 1941 his Gruppe, II/JG 51, took up its station in eastern Poland for the invasion of Russia, Operation Barbarossa.

Schultz got immediate success in his first missions of the campaign, shooting down two SB-2 bombers on 22 June for his first victories. But in the hectic opening days it would be a week before he got his next victory. There was no shortage of opportunities though, as the Russians flew desperate missions to support their surrounded frontier armies, and by the end of July he had scored 11 victories. Through the battles for Smolensk, Kiev and Moscow, he continued to pick up victories and when he was awarded the Ehrenpokal on 3 November his tally had risen to 18.

After an extended period away from the Eastern Front over the winter of 1941-42, Ofw Schultz returned to II/JG 51. Although the Central front appeared very static, fierce air battles took place overhead as the Soviets launched major offensives to try and drain German forces away from their disintegrating southern front. After sporadic victories in June and July, he scored a dozen in August over the Rzhev salient to extend his score to 36 victories.

Another period of leave followed from September (perhaps due to injury?) and he was awarded the German Cross in Gold on 24 September. Meanwhile his Gruppe was withdrawn in October 1942 to upgrade to the new Fw 190A fighter, but events overtook them: after the defeat at El Alamein in late October, the Western Allies then staged the Operation Torch landings in Algeria and Morocco. So II/JG 51, with its core of veteran pilots, was immediately dispatched to reinforce the Mediterranean forces with new Me 109G2's instead, and were ready for operations by mid-November.

Back with 4./JG 51 and based near Tunis, Ofw Schultz scored his first western victory on 1 December, downing a Spitfire. In December, the Gruppe was very successful over the new American pilots - claiming 50 victories while losing only two of their own. But as in Russia, in 1943, the superior numbers soon made their impact.[2] Meanwhile, Schultz scored regularly and on 14 March 1943 he was awarded the Knight's Cross for reaching 51 victories. He was now one of the veteran experts of the Gruppe and they spend 1943 hopping across the Mediterranean. With the fall of Tunis in May, they went onto Sicily, Sardinia, southern and central Italy.

In August, orders transferred II/JG 51 to Munich to retrain as a specialist anti-bomber unit.[3] With the 15th USAAF now well established in Italy, Germany was now being targeted from two directions. Also at this time, Schultz undertook officer-training and was commissioned as a Leutnant. Transferred back with II/JG 51 to northern Italy in December as a first line of defense, he shot down his first Viermot (four-engined bomber) on 28 December. The Anzio landings in January 1944 then brought a forward deployment to Rome to be cover for the ground-attack aircraft supporting the counter-attack.

On 4 February 1944 Schultz (now with about 65 victories) was promoted to Staffelkapitän of 6./JG 51 following the death in action of 54-victory ace Herbert Puschmann northeast of Rome. In March he led his unit across the Adriatic into the Balkan theatre. The American bombers were now also targeting the Romanian oil-refineries at Ploesti, vital to the German war effort. He claimed 7 more Viermots there, including possibly his last victory on 15 July 1944.

With Romania's surrender to Soviet forces in late August, and its subsequent declaration of war against Germany, II/JG 51 was forced to retreat back to Yugoslavia. Left as final air-cover for the army retreating out of Greece, 6./JG 51 reportedly engaged their former allies in Romanian-flown Me 109s.[4] When they finally reached Budapest, the Gruppe only had 3 serviceable aircraft left, out of a nominal complement of around 90, although aircraft-production was no longer the issue - it was fuel and lack of trained pilots. They were re-united with the rest of JG 51 again, albeit scattered the length of the (shortening) Eastern Front. Now fighting against two enemy forces and grossly outnumbered, on 24 December, Oberleutnant Schultz was given command of II/JG 51, with whom he had fought throughout the war. This was after its previous Kommandeur, Major Karl Rammelt was severely injured against American bombers northwest of Budapest.

With its back to the wall there was now little of consequence that his Gruppe could do to impact on the war's outcome. After covering the SS Panzer Army's attack at Lake Balaton, it retreated back to Austria, flying its last mission on 9 April before disbanding three days later. It is possible that he was thereafter sent to Lechfeld to train on flying the Me262 jet.

Oberleutnant Otto Schultz survived the war, and in 820 missions was credited with 73 victories. He went on to serve in the reformed West German airforce, retiring in 1976 with the rank of Oberstleutnant (Lt Colonel).

Victories[edit]

No Date Time Unit & Airfield Gruppe Kommandeur[5] Location / Planquad Claimed Aircraft Source / Comments[6]
1 22 Jun 1941 9:32 4./JG 51 – Siedlce Hptm Josef Fözö Belorussia ? SB-2 C.2036/II AnerkNr 51
2 22 Jun 1941 9:40 4./JG 51 – Siedlce Hptm Josef Fözö Belorussia ? SB-2 C.2036/II AnerkNr 62
3 29 Jun 1941 17:50 4./JG 51 – Siedlce Hptm Josef Fözö Belorussia ? I-18 (MiG-3) C.2036/II AnerkNr 74
4 30 Jun 1941 17:30 4./JG 51 - Siedlce Hptm Josef Fözö Belorussia ? DB-3 C.2036/II AnerkNr 75
5 30 Jun 1941 17:40 4./JG 51 - Siedlce Hptm Josef Fözö Belorussia ? DB-3 C.2036/II AnerkNr 77
6 8 Jul 1941 19:20 4./JG 51 - Stara Bychov Hptm Josef Fözö S of Walki SB-2 C.2036/II AnerkNr 81
7 10 Jul 1941 9:50 4./JG 51 - Stara Bychov Hptm Josef Fözö  ? I-16 Prien & Bock
8 11 Jul 1941 16:25 4./JG 51 - Stara Bychov Hptm Josef Fözö  ? DB-3 C.2036/II AnerkNr 93
9 13 Jul 1941 16:25 4./JG 51 - Stara Bychov Hptm Hartmann Grasser  ? DB-3 C.2036/II AnerkNr 183
10 26 Jul 1941 18:45 4./JG 51 - Smolensk Hptm Hartmann Grasser  ? Pe-2 C.2036/II AnerkNr 99
11 26 Jul 1941 18:50 4./JG 51 - Smolensk Hptm Hartmann Grasser  ? Pe-2 C.2036/II AnerkNr 101
12 9 Aug 1941 13:50 4./JG 51 - Schatalovka Hptm Hartmann Grasser  ? Pe-2 C.2036/II AnerkNr 111
13 16 Aug 1941 15:42 4./JG 51 - Schatalovka Hptm Hartmann Grasser  ? I-18 (MiG-3) C.2036/II AnerkNr 111
14 25 Aug 1941 7:55 4./JG 51 - Schatalovka Hptm Hartmann Grasser S of Gomel DB-3 C.2036/II AnerkNr 115
15 24 Sep 1941 10:50 4./JG 51 - Schatalovka Hptm Hartmann Grasser  ? R-3 biplane C.2036/II AnerkNr 121
16 27 Oct 1941 15:40 4./JG 51 - Schatalovka Hptm Hartmann Grasser  ? I-61 (I-16?) C.2036/II AnerkNr 138
17 29 Oct 1941 7:20 4./JG 51 - Schatalovka Hptm Hartmann Grasser 25 km NE of Orel I-16 C.2036/II AnerkNr 139
18 29 Oct 1941 12:40 4./JG 51 - Schatalovka Hptm Hartmann Grasser  ? I-16 C.2036/II AnerkNr 141
 ? 8 Jun 1942 3:50 4./JG 51 - Bryansk Hptm Hartmann Grasser  ? I-180 (Yak-7) C.2036/II AnerkNr 162
 ? 23 Jun 1942 15:20 4./JG 51 - Bryansk Hptm Hartmann Grasser  ? Pe-2 C.2025/I AnerkNr 170
 ? 2 Jul 1942 18:07 4./JG 51 - Bryansk Hptm Hartmann Grasser 25 km NNW of Dugino Pe-2 C.2025/I AnerkNr 199
 ? 9 Jul 1942 14:55 4./JG 51 - Bryansk Hptm Hartmann Grasser  ? Yak-1 C.2036/II AnerkNr 186
 ? 3 Aug 1942 4:53 4./JG 51 - Dugino Hptm Hartmann Grasser Rzhev, 47 524:2500m LaGG-3 C.2025/I AnerkNr 251
 ? 4 Aug 1942 10:48 4./JG 51 - Dugino Hptm Hartmann Grasser Rzhev, 47 823:treetop Il-2 C.2025/I AnerkNr 452
 ? 6 Aug 1942 18:57 4./JG 51 - Dugino Hptm Hartmann Grasser Vyazma, 56 373:treetop Il-2 C.2025/I AnerkNr 254
 ? 9 Aug 1942 11:05 4./JG 51 - Dugino Hptm Hartmann Grasser Rzhev, 47 814:1000m LaGG-3 C.2032/II AnerkNr 213
29 22 Aug 1942 14:50 4./JG 51 - Dugino Hptm Hartmann Grasser NW of Orel, 54 283:treetop Il-2 C.2032/II AnerkNr 217
30 22 Aug 1942 14:53 4./JG 51 - Dugino Hptm Hartmann Grasser NW of Orel, 54 253:treetop Il-2 C.2032/II AnerkNr 218
31 23 Aug 1942 7:00 4./JG 51 - Dugino Hptm Hartmann Grasser NW of Orel, 54 283:treetop Il-2 C.2032/II AnerkNr 228
32 25 Aug 1942 8:25 4./JG 51 - Dugino Hptm Hartmann Grasser NW of Orel, 54 261:400m LaGG-3 C.2032/II AnerkNr 231
33 25 Aug 1942 14:24 4./JG 51 - Dugino Hptm Hartmann Grasser NW of Orel, 54 283:2000m Pe-2 C.2032/II AnerkNr 233
34 27 Aug 1942 17:45 4./JG 51 - Dugino Hptm Hartmann Grasser N of Orel, 64 774:200m MiG-3 C.2032/II AnerkNr 237
35 27 Aug 1942 17:48 4./JG 51 - Dugino Hptm Hartmann Grasser N of Orel, 64 772:1500m MiG-3 C.2032/II AnerkNr 239
36 27 Aug 1942 17:58 4./JG 51 - Dugino Hptm Hartmann Grasser Orel, 63 131:treetop Il-2 C.2032/II AnerkNr 240
37 1 Dec 1942 10:45 4./JG 51 – El Aouina Hptm Hartmann Grasser 15 km SW of Mateur:treetop Spitfire C.2027/I AnerkNr 26
38 3 Dec 1942 10:16 4./JG 51 – El Aouina Hptm Hartmann Grasser 1 km S of Tunis: 1200m Lightning C.2027/I AnerkNr 26
39 4 Dec 1942 15:40 4./JG 51 – El Aouina Hptm Hartmann Grasser 15 km SW of Mateur: 2500m Spitfire C.2027/I AnerkNr 28
40 4 Dec 1942 15:47 4./JG 51 – El Aouina Hptm Hartmann Grasser 18 km SW of Mateur: 1500m Spitfire C.2027/I AnerkNr 29
41 28 Dec 1942 15:33 4./JG 51 – La Sebala Hptm Hartmann Grasser 1 km S of Pont du Fahs: 700m Lightning C.2027/I AnerkNr 31
 ? 2 Jan 1943 12:27 4./JG 51 – La Sebala Hptm Hartmann Grasser 5 km W of Pont du Fahs: 7000m Lightning C.2031/II AnerkNr 276
 ? 10 Jan 1943 7:30 4./JG 51 – Gabes Hptm Hartmann Grasser near Feriana: 2500m Spitfire C.2031/II AnerkNr 2
 ? 10 Jan 1943 11:00 4./JG 51 – Gabes Hptm Hartmann Grasser 20 km W of Gabes: 5400m Marauder C.2031/II AnerkNr 28
 ? 11 Jan 1943 16:00 4./JG 51 – Gabes Hptm Hartmann Grasser 40 km NW of Gabes: 200-300m Lightning C.2031/II AnerkNr 281
 ? 15 Jan 1943 13:25 4./JG 51 – Gabes Hptm Hartmann Grasser 30 km SNW of Gabes: treetop Lightning C.2031/II AnerkNr 282
 ? 22 Jan 1943 12:20 4./JG 51 – Gabes Hptm Hartmann Grasser 15 km W of Gabes: 600m Lightning C.2031/II AnerkNr 284
 ? 30 Jan 1943 10:30 4./JG 51 – Gabes Hptm Hartmann Grasser 18 km NW of Gabes: 3000m Lightning C.2031/II AnerkNr 285
 ? 30 Jan 1943 10:45 4./JG 51 – Gabes Hptm Hartmann Grasser 10 km NW of Kebili: 20m Lightning C.2031/II AnerkNr 285
 ? 2 Feb 1943 14:30 4./JG 51 – Gabes Hptm Hartmann Grasser N of Gabes, 03Ost 95311:treetop Tomahawk C.2027/I AnerkNr 305
 ? 8 Feb 1943 12:52 4./JG 51 – Gabes Hptm Hartmann Grasser 60 km NW of Gabes: 4000m Mitchell C.2027/I AnerkNr 308
 ? 26 Feb 1943  ? 4./JG 51 – La Smala des Souassis Hptm Hartmann Grasser  ?  ? [7]
 ? 21 Mar 1943 14:20 4./JG 51 – La Smala des Souassis Hptm Hartmann Grasser 35 km ESE of Gabes: 800m Spitfire C.2031/II AnerkNr 316
 ? 31 May 1943 13:05 4./JG 51 – Casa Zeppera, Sardinia Hptm Hartmann Grasser 70632: 200m Lightning C.2031/II
 ? 24 Jun 1943 9:15 4./JG 51 – Casa Zeppera, Sardinia Hptm Karl Rammelt 04Ost? 98214: 500m Tomahawk C.2027/I
60? 25 Dec 1943 11:24 5(?)./JG 51 – Udine Hptm Karl Rammelt S of Rovigo: 7000m Lightning C.2031/II AnerkNr 361
61? 25 Dec 1943 11:24 5(?)./JG 51 – Udine Hptm Karl Rammelt S of Rovigo: 7000m Lightning C.2031/II AnerkNr 360
62? 28 Dec 1943 11:55 5(?)./JG 51 – Udine Hptm Karl Rammelt 5 km S of Montegaldella: 3000m B-17 C.2031/II AnerkNr 362
63? 16 Jan 1944 12:40 5(?)./JG 51 – Udine Hptm Karl Rammelt 10 km NE of Civitavecchia: 3000m A-20 C.2025/II
64? 22 Jan 1944 15:50 5(?)./JG 51 – Tuscania Hptm Karl Rammelt Tivoli: 800m Thunderbolt C.2025/II
65? 22 Jan 1944 16:05 5(?)./JG 51 – Tuscania Hptm Karl Rammelt S of Ostia: 3000m Lightning C.2025/II
66 5 Apr 1944 14:18 6./JG 51 – Târgşorul Hptm Karl Rammelt 80 km SW of Ploesti: 3000m B-24 C.2032/I AnerkNr 21
67 16 Apr 1944 11:30 6./JG 51 – Târgşorul Hptm Karl Rammelt RK-2: B-24 C.2027/I AnerkNr 5
68 6 Jun 1944 10:45 6./JG 51 – Radomir Maj Karl Rammelt Zagubitza, UD-2.6: 4000m B-24 C.2027/II AnerkNr 49
69 11 Jun 1944 11:45 6./JG 51 – Radomir Maj Karl Rammelt Bielovo, 24Ost GF-7.6: 1000m B-24 C.2027/II AnerkNr 52
70 23 Jun 1944  ? 6./JG 51 – Sofia Maj Karl Rammelt  ? B-17 [8]
71 24 Jun 1944 8:55 6./JG 51 – Sofia Maj Karl Rammelt Radomir, 24Ost S/GF-9: 5000m B-24 C.2027/II AnerkNr 117
72 15 Jul 1944  ? 6./JG 51 – Sofia Maj Karl Rammelt  ? B-24 [9]
73 22 Dec 1944 14:30 6./JG 51 – Imely Maj Karl Rammelt 14Ost N/ES-6.3: 1500m La-5 C.2035/II

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ http://www.hanrieder-kondolenzen.de/otto_schultz-wittner
  2. ^ Weal 2006, pg. 96.
  3. ^ Weal 2006, pg. 99.
  4. ^ Weal 2006, pg.102.
  5. ^ Luftwaffe Air Units: Single–Engined Fighters website.
  6. ^ Aces of the Luftwaffe website.
  7. ^ JG51 Victory Claims pdf.
  8. ^ JG51 Victory Claims pdf.
  9. ^ JG51 Victory Claims pdf.
  10. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 318.
Bibliography
  • Bergström, Christer; Dikov, Andrey; Antipov, Vlad (2006). Black Cross, Red Star Vol 3 Eagle Editions Ltd ISBN 0-9761034-4-3
  • 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. 
  • Forsythe, Robert (2008). Aviation Elite Units #27: Jagdverband 44 - Squadron of "Experten". Oxford: Osprey Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1-84603-294-3
  • 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. 
  • Spick, Mike (2006). Aces of the Reich. Greenhill Books. ISBN 1-85367-675-6
  • Weal, John (2001). Bf109 Aces of the Russian Front. Oxford: Osprey Publishing Ltd ISBN 1-84176-084-6.
  • Weal, John (2006). Aviation Elite Units #22: Jagdgeschwader 51 "Mölders". Oxford: Osprey Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-84603-045-5.

External links[edit]

Military Offices held[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Hptm Herbert Puschmann
Staffelkapitän of 6./JG 51
4 February 1944 – 23 December 1944
Succeeded by
Ltn Elias Kühlein
Preceded by
Major Karl Rammelt
Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 51
24 December 1944 – 12 April 1945
Succeeded by
None: unit disbanded