23 October 1914|
|Died||17 August 1943
west of Maastricht in the Netherlands
|Buried at||Lommel, Belgium
(Block 21-grave 290)
|Years of service||1935–1943|
|Commands held||II./JG 26 "Schlageter"|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Wilhelm-Ferdinand "Wutz" Galland (born 23 October 1914 in Bochum – killed in action 17 August 1943) was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. He is credited with 55 aerial victories achieved in 186 combat missions. All his victories were claimed over the Western Front and included seven four-engine bombers and 37 Supermarine Spitfires.
Wilhelm-Ferdinand Galland was one of four Galland brothers to serve in the Luftwaffe. The eldest brother Fritz Galland served in a fighter and reconnaissance unit and survived the war. Wilhelm-Ferdinand's older brother, Lt. General Adolf Galland was one of the most renowned German fighter pilots and leader of German fighter operations; and also survived the war. His younger brother Paul Galland, a flying ace with 17 victories, served with JG 26 and was killed in action on 31 October 1942.
Galland scored his first victory on 23 July 1941, shooting down a Spitfire near Hesdin. By the end of 1941 his victory total was three. On 5 May 1942 Galland was promoted to Staffelkapitän of 5./JG 26, with eight victories at the time. His score was 21 by the end of 1942. Hpt. Galland was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 26 in January 1943. Galland was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross in May 1943 for 35 victories.
Galland was killed in action on 17 August 1943 during the Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission. II./JG 26 took off on a bomber intercept mission and engaged the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber formation but the German aircraft were intercepted by escorting Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighters from the 56th Fighter Group, United States Army Air Forces. It is assumed that Galland was shot down by the American ace Walker "Bud" Mahurin of the 56th Fighter Group.
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (12 October 1942)
- German Cross in Gold (28 January 1943)
- Iron Cross (1939) 2nd and 1st class
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 18 May 1943 as Hauptmann and Gruppenkommandeur of the II./JG 26 "Schlageter"
- Obermaier 1989, p. 117.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 191.
- 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.
- Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. New York: Ivy Books. ISBN 978-0-8041-1696-1.
- "Aces of the Luftwaffe". Wilhelm-Ferdinand Galland. Retrieved 15 May 2008.