15 September 1915|
|Died||13 December 1969
Bad Homburg, Germany
|Years of service||1935–1945|
|Unit||JG 2 and JG 77|
|Commands held||9./JG 3|
World War II
|Awards||Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub|
Viktor Bauer (15 September 1915 – 13 December 1969) was a former Luftwaffe fighter ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves during World War II. A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat. Bauer is credited with 106 aerial victories, achieved in over 400 combat missions, all but four claimed on the Eastern front.
Viktor Bauer was born on 19 September 1915 in Löcknitz. He joined the military service on 1 April 1935, initially serving in Infanterie-Regiment 1 (1st Infantry Regiment). He served in the Reichsarbeitsdienst (Reich Labour Service) from 1 January 1936 until 31 March 1936. He joined the Luftwaffe on 1 April 1936 as a Fähnrich (officer canditate). His first operational deployment was with I./Jagdgeschwader 2 "Richthofen" (JG 2—2nd Fighter Wing) where he was promoted to Leutnant.[Notes 1] On 1 March 1940 he was transferred to the 2./Jagdgeschwader 77 (JG 77—77th Fighter Wing). Bauer claimed his first aerial victory on 15 May 1940 west of Bruges, a Royal Air Force (RAF) Hawker Hurricane. He shot down another Hurricane near Cambrai on 18 May. Bauer served in the Battle of Britain, claiming one more victory before transferring in November 1940 to 9./Jagdgeschwader 3 (JG 3—3rd Fighter Wing).
In preparation for the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Operation Barbarossa, he and his JG 3 were transferred to the Eastern front. Bauer was by now Staffelkapitän of 9./JG 3. In June 1941, he claimed 15 Soviet aircraft shot down, including five SB-2 twin-engine bombers claimed on 26 June alone. He then claimed 17 victories in July, including five Russian DB-3 twin-engine bombers on 12 July. On 23 July 1941 he wss severely wounded in aerial combat with bombers but was able to make an emergency landing in his Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-2. He returned to combat duty in February 1942. Oberleutnant Bauer was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 30 July 1941 after claiming his 34th aerial victory. One year later on 26 July 1942, he received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves for 102 aerial victories. On 9 August he claimed his 106th victory on the 7th his Bf 109 F-4 was damaged by enemy return fire and Bauer was wounded and forced to landing.
On recovery, he was promoted to Major in early August 1943, and put in command of Ergänzungs-Jagdgruppe Ost in southern France on 9 August 1942. Promoted to Oberstleutnant, and Geschwaderkommodore he then commanded Ergänzungs-Jagdgeschwader 1 (EJG 1) until the end of hostilities in May 1945.
Oberst Bauer was taken prisoner of war and released in July 1945.
Viktor Bauer died on 13 December 1969 in Bad Homburg.
- Wehrmacht Long Service Award 4th Class
- Iron Cross (1939)
- Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe for Fighter Pilots
- Combined Pilots-Observation Badge
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (22 June 1942)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
- Spick 1996, pp. 3–4.
- MacLean 2007, p. 47.
- MacLean 2007, p. 45.
- Obermaier 1989, p. 52.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 124.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 206.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 60.
- 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.
- MacLean, French L. (2007). Luftwaffe Efficiency & Promotion Reports — For the Knight's Cross Winners. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Military History. ISBN 978-0-7643-2657-8.
- 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 (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. New York: Ivy Books. ISBN 978-0-8041-1696-1.
- Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6.
- "Aces of the Luftwaffe". Viktor Bauer. Retrieved 14 February 2008.
- "Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS 1939–1945". Viktor Bauer. Retrieved 13 February 2008.