11 March 1913|
|Died||23 March 1944
|Buried at||Cemetery in Mönchengladbach-Holt|
Condor Legion (1939)
|Years of service||1934–44|
|Unit||J/88, JG 53, JG 3|
|Commands held||III./JG 53, JG 3|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords|
|Relations||Friedrich von Scotti (stepfather)|
Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke (11 March 1913 – 23 March 1944) was a German Luftwaffe military aviator during World War II, a fighter ace credited with 162 enemy aircraft shot down in 732 combat missions. The majority of his victories were claimed over the Eastern Front, with 25 over the Western Front, including four four-engined bombers.
Born in Schrimm in the Province of Posen, Wilcke volunteered for military service in the Reichswehr of the Third Reich in 1934.[Note 1] Initially serving in the Heer (Army), he transferred to the Luftwaffe (Air Force) in 1935. Following flight training, he was posted to Jagdgeschwader "Richthofen" (Fighter Wing "Richthofen") in April 1936. After an assignment as fighter pilot instructor he volunteered for service with the Condor Legion during the Spanish Civil War in early 1939. After his return from Spain, he was appointed Staffelkapitän (squadron leader) of the 7. Staffel (7th squadron) of Jagdgeschwader 53 (JG 53—53rd Fighter Wing). Following the outbreak of World War II, he claimed his first aerial victory on 7 November 1939. On 18 May 1940 and during the Battle of France he was shot down and taken prisoner of war. After the armistice with France, he returned from captivity and was appointed Gruppenkommandeur (group commander) of the III. Gruppe (3rd group) of JG 53 during the Battle of Britain and claimed 10 victories over England.
Wilcke then fought in the aerial battles of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union. There, after 25 aerial victories, he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 6 August 1941. In September 1941, he relocated with his group to the Mediterranean Theatre, where he was able to claim further victories. In end May 1942, he was transferred to the Stab (headquarters unit) of Jagdgeschwader 3 (JG 3—3rd Fighter Wing) "Udet" and in August 1942 he was appointed as its Geschwaderkommodore (wing commander). Following his 100th aerial victory on 6 September, he received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves on 9 September 1942. During the Battle of Stalingrad, on 17 December 1942, he claimed his 150th aerial victory. On 23 December 1942, he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords, his total now 155 aerial victories.
Subsequent to the presentation of the Swords to his Knight's Cross, he was officially banned from operational flying. Occasionally he still flew combat missions and on 23 March 1944, flying in defense of the Reich, he claimed his 162nd and last aerial victory and was killed in action by United States Army Air Forces long-range P-51 Mustang fighters near Schöppenstedt, in Lower Saxony.
- 1 Early life and career
- 2 World War II
- 3 Awards
- 4 Notes
- 5 References
- 6 Further reading
- 7 External links
Early life and career
Wilcke was born on 11 March 1913 in Schrimm in the Province of Posen, at the time a province of the Kingdom of Prussia. Today it is Śrem in the Greater Poland Voivodeship, Poland. Wilcke was the son of a Hauptmann (captain) of Infanterie-Regiment 47 (47th Infantry Regiment), Hans Wilcke, who died of pneumonia when Wilcke was just four weeks of age. His mother, Hertha von Schuckmann, married again on 14 June 1919. In 1931, Wilcke was arrested for attending a then-illegal demonstration of the Nazi Party. Although his loyalty to the Nazi cause is emphasized multiple times in his personal military files, according to biographers Prien and Stemmer, he was a firm opponent of the National Socialist regime. As a testimony of the latter, later in his career, for a time after taking command of III. Gruppe (3rd group) of Jagdgeschwader 53 (JG 53—53rd Fighter Wing),[Note 2] he had the Swastikas on his unit's aircraft painted over. He volunteered for military service in the Reichswehr after receiving his Abitur (diploma). He joined Artillerie-Regiment 6 (6th Artillery Regiment) in Minden as a Fahnenjunker (officer cadet) on 1 April 1934. His legal guardian and stepfather, Friedrich von Scotti, also served in this regiment.
As a Fähnrich (officer candidate), he was posted to the Kriegsschule (war school) in Dresden on 1 October 1934. On 1 November 1935, he was transferred to the newly emerging Luftwaffe holding the rank of Oberfähnrich (senior officer candidate). While serving at the flight school in Perleberg, he was promoted to Leutnant (second lieutenant) on 20 April 1936. On 15 October 1936, he was transferred to Jagdgeschwader "Richthofen" (Fighter Wing "Richthofen"), also known as Jagdgeschwader 132 (JG 132—132nd Fighter Wing), named after the after World War I fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen and forerunner of Jagdgeschwader 2 (JG 2—2nd Fighter Wing) "Richthofen". There he excelled as a pilot and showed exceptional leadership ability and was sent as fighter pilot instructor to the Jagdfliegerschule (fighter pilot school) in Werneuchen in the second half of 1937.
In March 1939, Wilcke volunteered for service with Condor Legion during the Spanish Civil War. For a few weeks, he flew with 1. Staffel (1st squadron) of Jagdgruppe 88 (J/88—88th Fighter Group) without claiming any aerial victories. He was awarded the Spanish Cross in Bronze with Swords (Spanienkreuz in Bronze mit Schwertern) for his service in Spain. In Spain he became friends with Werner Mölders and when Mölders was appointed Gruppenkommandeur (group commander) of the newly created III. Gruppe of JG 53, he selected Wilcke as Staffelkapitän (squadron leader) of the 7. Staffel (7th squadron) of JG 53.
World War II
World War II in Europe began on Friday, 1 September 1939, when German forces invaded Poland. Wilcke, who at the time was still a member of 3. Staffel (3rd squadron) of JG 53, flew missions over Poland. He claimed his first aerial victory on 7 November 1939 over the Western Front when he shot down an Armée de l'Air (French Air Force) Potez 630, a twin-engined fighter, near Völklingen during the Phoney War. For this achievement he was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class (Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse) on 25 November 1939.
From 2–16 January 1940, Wilcke and other pilots from III. Gruppe went on a ski vacation to the Vorarlberg. On 11 March 1940, he shot down another Potez at an altitude of 7,000 meters (23,000 feet) near the "three-nations-corner" north of Metz. He claimed his third victory at 2:55 pm on 25 March. 7. Staffel engaged a flight of Morane-Saulnier M.S.406 at 4,000 m (13,000 ft). In the resulting aerial battle, Wilcke shot down one of the Moranes over Diedenhofen.
Battle of France and Britain
The Battle of France, the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, began on 10 May 1940. On 18 May 1940, he engaged in aerial combat with eight French Curtiss P-36 Hawk fighter aircraft and was shot down west of Rethel. His victor may have been sous lieutenant Camille Plubeau. Wilcke bailed out and was taken prisoner of war. Following the armistice with France, he and Mölders, who had also been a prisoner of war, returned to the unit on 30 June 1940. He was promoted to Hauptmann the next day and again took command of 7. Staffel. On 11 July 1940, he was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class (Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse).
On 13 August 1940 during the Battle of Britain, Wilcke replaced Hauptmann Harro Harder as Gruppenkommandeur of the III. Gruppe.[Note 3] Harder had been last seen at 1:35 pm on 12 August and was reported as missing in action following combat east of the Isle of Wight. The day of his appointment, Wilcke almost lost his life too when he was forced to bail out after engine failure over the English Channel. He was later rescued that night by a Dornier Do 18 flying boat. III. Gruppe flew a bomber escort mission targeting London on 30 August. Wilcke destroyed a barrage balloon on the morning mission and claimed his fourth victory, a Supermarine Spitfire in the vicinity of Dover during his second mission of the day. On 1 September 1940, on another bomber escort mission which started at 11:20 am, Wilcke claimed his fifth victory, a Hawker Hurricane, south of London. His sixth victory, probably a Fairey Swordfish biplane, was claimed on 11 September over the Channel between Dover and Calais.
On 15 September, III. Gruppe engaged 20 to 30 Royal Air Force (RAF) fighters south of London. In the resulting combat, Wilcke claimed the destruction of his second Hurricane. Two days later, on a mission which began at 4:35 pm, Wilcke achieved his ninth victory overall, another Hurricane. His tenth victory, again a Hurricane, was claimed on a 11:15 am mission targeting the London area on 20 September 1940. He claimed two victories on the last day of September 1940 taking his total to 12. It was the second mission of the day which began at 1:45 pm escorting Dornier Do 17 to London. In combat with RAF Spitfires, Wilcke claimed his 13th victory at 11:45 am on 10 October 1940, his final of the Battle of Britain. Following these achievements he was awarded the Honor Goblet of the Luftwaffe (Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe) on 1 April 1941.
On 8 June 1941, the bulk of JG 53 air elements moved via Jever, in northern Germany, to Mannheim-Sandhofen. There the aircraft were given a maintenance overhaul prior to moving east. On 12 June, III. Gruppe was ordered to transfer to a forward airfield at Sobolewo. On 21 June, the Geschwaderkommodore (wing commander) of JG 53 and its Gruppenkommandeure were summoned to nearby Suwałki where Generalfeldmarschall (field marshal) Albert Kesselring gave out the final instructions for the upcoming attack. In the evening of that day, Wilcke briefed his pilots.
On 22 June the Geschwader crossed into Soviet airspace in support of Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union which opened the Eastern Front. III. Gruppe took off on its first mission at 3:20 am with the Gruppenstab (headquarters unit) and 7. Staffel targeting Soviet airfields at Alytus and Oranji. On this mission, Wilcke shot down three Polikarpov I-15 biplane fighter aircraft. The second mission of the day by III. Gruppe was a Stuka escort mission to Grodno at 6:00 am and Wilcke was able to claim another victory. Wilcke led another attack at 4:10 pm; while strafing airfields, he claimed his fifth aerial victory of the day, an "ace-in-a-day" achievement, taking his total to 18 victories.
On 25 June 1941, JG was relocated with III. Gruppe arriving at Vilnius at 8:30 am. There on this day, Wilcke was slightly injured when he collided with another aircraft during takeoff. He claimed his 19th victory in the evening of 30 June 1941, flying a combat air patrol into the Barysaw area. Wilcke was ordered to form "Battle Group Wilcke" on 1 July 1941. He commanded his III. Gruppe and II. Gruppe of Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52—52nd Fighter Wing) to counter-attacking Soviet bombers. On 9 July, Wilcke destroyed a Petlyakov Pe-2 ground attack aircraft. Wilcke claimed a victory on 25 July during fighter escort missions in the Vyazma area. On 29 July 1941, III. Gruppe provided fighter cover for the German armored spearheads in the Dukhovshchina area. During this mission, Wilcke claimed another victory. The next day, over the spearheads at Yartsevo-Bely, Wilcke shot down an Polikarpov I-180 fighter. Wilcke was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) on 6 August 1941 for 25 victories. Both Wilcke and Leutnant Herbert Schramm were decorated by Kesselring on 9 August 1941.
On 23 August 1941, the 9th Army began its assault on the Soviet forces in the Velikiye Luki area. In support of these operations, Wilcke claimed two aerial victories. III. Gruppe started to return to Germany in early October 1941. The air elements left the Soviet Union on 4 October, while the ground units were transported back by train to Mannheim on 13 October. Since 22 June 1941, III. Gruppe had claimed 769 aerial victories for the loss of 6 pilots killed, 7 missing in action, 2 captured and 12 wounded.
North Africa and Malta
After its return to Germany, III. Gruppe was deployed to the Mediterranean theater. The ground elements of III. Gruppe arrived in Catania in Sicily on 28 November 1941. Wilcke and his adjutant Jürgen Harder arrived on 2 December, with the rest of the Gruppe arriving the next day. On 6 December 1941, III. Gruppe was ordered to move to Timimi in Libya. On a fighter escort mission for Junkers Ju 88 bombers attacking Bir Hakeim, Wilcke claimed his 34th aerial victory on 11 December.
III. Gruppe relocated back to Sicily on 17 December for operations in the Siege of Malta (11 June 1940 – 20 November 1942). The island of Malta had a strategically important position in the Mediterranean Sea. With the opening of a new front in North Africa in mid-1940, British air and sea forces based on the island could attack Axis ships transporting vital supplies and reinforcements from Europe to North Africa. To counter this threat, the Luftwaffe and the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Royal Air Force) conducted bombing raids to neutralize the RAF defenses and the ports. During the siege, Wilcke claimed four victories over RAF fighters in April–May 1942. His first victory during the siege, the 35th overall, was claimed on 2 April 1942 over a Spitfire fighter aircraft. His 36th aerial victory claimed on 22 April may have been Hurricane (Z4011) "B" of No. 185 Squadron flown by Pilot Officer "Sonny" Ormrod, who was killed in the engagement. On 12 May 1942, III. Gruppe destroyed nine Spitfires, among them one by Wilcke.
Wing commander of JG 3
On 18 May 1942, Wilcke was transferred to Jagdgeschwader 3 "Udet" (JG 3—3rd Fighter Wing), named after the World War I fighter ace Ernst Udet. Operating on the Eastern Front, Wilke became a Geschwaderkommodore of JG 3 "Udet" on 11 August, replacing Oberst (Colonel) Günther Lützow who was posted to the staff of the General der Jagdflieger (General of Fighters) as Inspector of Day Fighters on the Eastern Front. Operating from the Chuguyev Airfield, JG 3 "Udet" saw combat in the Kharkov area, present-day Kharkiv, during the Second Battle of Kharkov (12–28 May 1942). On 26 June 1942, JG 3 "Udet" was assembled at Schtschigry on the southern sector of the Eastern Front for the upcoming summer offensive, supporting the Wehrmacht's advance towards Stalingrad. In the following months, JG 3 "Udet" was based at airfields at Gorshechnoye, Olkhovatka, Millerovo, Nowy-Cholan, Frolovo, Tuzov and Pitomnik.
On 13 June 1942, Wilcke claimed his first victory with JG 3 "Udet", shooting down a Lavochkin-Gorbunov-Gudkov LaGG-3 fighter for his 39th victory. This was followed by another LaGG-3 on 22 June, and a further LaGG-3 and a Polikarpov R-5 reconnaissance bomber, both on 24 June 1942. On 3 July 1942, he claimed three Douglas Boston medium bombers followed by two LaGG-3s and a further Boston the next day. He became an "ace-in-a-day" again on 6 July, shooting down a Bell P-39 Airacobra, a LaGG-3, a R-5 and three Hurricanes. Three days later, he shot down two Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik ground-attack aircraft and on 10 July four more Bostons. The next day, he claimed another R-5 and two Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-1 fighters. On 12 July, he again claimed a R-5 and two LaGG-3s before he shot down another LaGG-3 on 18 July. On 24 July he claimed a Polikarpov I-153 biplane fighter and two days later two Hurricanes and two Pe-2s. On both 27 and 28 July he claimed victory over a LaGG-3, his last victories in July 1942.
His first victory in August 1942, a Sukhoi Su-2 light bomber followed by two LaGG-3s, came on 5 and 6 August. On 9 August he filed a victory claim for an unknown aircraft type, bringing his "score" to 79 aerial victories. He took over command of JG 3 "Udet" and achieved his first victory as Geschwaderkommodore on 12 August, again over an unknown type of aircraft. He claimed eight further victories of unknown type, two in 13 August, one on 17 August, three on 20 August, and two on 23 August. His first victory on 26 August was identified as a Yakovlev Yak-7 fighter, the other two that day were again of unknown type. Another series of unidentified aircraft types shot down followed. He claimed one aircraft destroyed on 28 August, one more on 30 August and four on 31 August, taking his total to 96 aerial victories claimed by the end of August 1942. Wilcke claimed his next two victories on 3 September and two more on 6 September, all four of unknown types of aircraft. This brought his total to 100 aerial victories. On 9 September 1942, he was the 122nd officer or soldier of the Wehrmacht honored with the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub).
Battle of Stalingrad
From 10–19 September 1942, Wilcke claimed another series of victories over aircraft of unknown type, which included one on 10 September, one on 12 September, four on 18 September and two on 19 September. On 16 September 1942, the Soviets launched an offensive north of Stalingrad. Wilcke led about 40 serviceable German fighters against the Soviet 8 Vozdyshnaya Armiya (8 VA—8th Air Army), 16 Vozdyshnaya Armiya (16 VA—16th Air Army), and 102 Istrebitel'naya Aviatsionnaya Diviziya Protivo-Vozdushnaya Oborona (102 IAD PVO—Fighter Aviation Division of the Home Air Defense) over Stalingrad. At the time, Wilcke often flew with Hauptmann Walther Dahl as his wingman. On 20 September 1942, he shot down two LaGG-3s. Two days later, Wilcke shot down six Yakovlev Yak-1 fighters over Stalingrad, his third "ace-in-day" feat, taking his total to 116 aerial victories. It is possible that one of his opponents was Leytenant (Second Lieutenant) Nikolai Karnachyonok of 434 Istrebitel'nyy Aviatsionyy Polk (434 IAP—434th Fighter Aviation Regiment), who was killed in action that day and was posthumously made a Hero of the Soviet Union.
The Geschwaderstab was based at the Pitomnik Airfield from 23 September to 21 November 1942. There Wilcke directed fighter operations during the Battle of Stalingrad. During this summer offensive the Geschwaderstab of JG 3 "Udet" claimed 137 victories of which 97 victories were credited to Wilcke. While based at Pitomnik, Wilcke claimed four victories on 24 September, one on 25 September, three on 28 September, four on 29 September, one on 3 October and two more on 24 October. On 25 and 26 October he claimed one victory on each day and his final two while based at Pitomnik on 1 November 1942, taking his personal total to 135 victories. For these achievements he received the German Cross in Gold (Deutsches Kreuz in Gold), awarded on 3 November 1942.
In the aftermath of the encirclement of the 6th Army on 23 November the Geschwaderstab was moved to Morozovskaya-West, outside the Stalingrad pocket. Wilcke organized fighter escort missions for the transport aircraft delivering supplies for the encircled 6th Army. Pressed by the advancing Soviet armored spearheads, Morozovskaya-West had to be abandoned by the Geschwaderstab on 23 December, and the aircraft were moved to Morozovskaya-South, which was not yet threatened by the advancing Soviet Army. On 3 January 1943, this airfield had to be abandoned as well and the Geschwaderstab was relocated to Tazinskaya, there it remained until the fighting over the Stalingrad pocket ended. During this time the Geschwaderstab claimed 25 victories, 21 by Wilcke and 4 by Dahl, for the loss in action of two pilots.
Wilcke claimed two victories on 24 November, an Il-2 Sturmovik and a Yak-1, his first victories in support of the Stalingrad pocket. On 30 November he claimed the destruction of three aircraft of unknown type, one more on 2 December, and three more on 8 December. Four victories claimed on 12 December, one Lavochkin La-5 and three Yak-1s, took his total to 148 aerial victories. Wilcke became the fourth German fighter pilot to achieve 150 aerial victories in combat.[Note 4] He achieved this mark on 17 December 1942, claiming aerial victories 149–151. The next day he claimed victory over three more aircraft. Following this 154th victory, he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern) on 23 December 1943, the 23rd member of the Wehrmacht to be so honored. Along with the Swords came the ban from flying further operational combat missions. Although banned from flying, he was credited with two more victories on the Eastern Front, a Yak-1 on 28 December and an aircraft of unknown type on 5 January 1943.
In March 1943, Wilcke led Geschwaderstab and II. and III. Gruppe during operations against the Kuban bridgehead as part of the IV. Fliegerkorps (4th Air Corps). In early May 1943, the Geschwaderstab was ordered out of actions and returned to München-Gladbach, present-day Mönchengladbach. Wilcke had only the Geschwaderstab and I. Gruppe under his effective command and no further combat missions were flown until October 1943.
Defense of the Reich and death
Wilcke was promoted to Oberst on 1 December 1943 and requested permission to fly operationally and lead his Geschwader from the air. In February 1944, although still officially banned from flying operations, Wilcke ignored the order and flew several missions leading his Stabsschwarm against the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) in Defense of the Reich missions. He claimed his 157th victory over a Lockheed P-38 Lightning on 10 February and a Consolidated B-24 Liberator on 24 February. He shot down two Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers on 4 March 1944, his 159th and 160th aerial victory. On 6 March, his Bf 109G-6 was crippled in aerial combat and he made an emergency landing at Neuruppin. Combat on 6 March cost both sides' heavy losses. The Eighth Air Force lost 75 four-engined bombers and 14 escort fighters, the Luftwaffe lost 65 aircraft; 36 pilots were killed and 27 wounded.
On 23 March 1944, Wilcke led JG 3 "Udet" in an attack on an USAAF bomber formation near Braunschweig. On this day, the USAAF was targeting aircraft factories at Braunschweig and other targets of opportunity in Münster, Osnabrück and Achmer. In total, the Eighth Air Force had committed 768 B-17s and B-24s bombers to this attack, supported by 841 long-range fighters. The Luftwaffe countered this attack with 13 day fighter Gruppen, mustering 259 fighters on this day. Following combat, the Luftwaffe claimed the destruction of 51 enemy aircraft, including 44 four-engined bombers. The Luftwaffe suffered 16 pilots killed and six wounded as well as 33 aircraft lost. The USAAF admitted the loss of 29 bombers and 5 escort fighters while claiming 62 German aircraft shot down and an additional 2 destroyed on the ground.
During this engagement, Wilcke shot down a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber and a North American P-51 Mustang fighter, but was then shot down in his Bf 109G-6 (Werknummer 160 613—factory number) near Schöppenstedt. It is assumed that the victors were Captain Don Gentile and Captain John Trevor Godfrey of the 4th Fighter Group. By this date, Wilcke had shot down 162 enemy aircraft claimed in 732 combat missions. His death was announced in the Wehrmachtbericht, an information bulletin issued by the headquarters of the Wehrmacht, on 30 March.
Wilcke had been nicknamed "Fürst" (prince) by his comrades on account of his attitude towards his men and paternal sense of responsibility. He had also been very conscious of his style and appearance and wore a very expensive and custom tailored leather coat, a trade which also added to his perception and fostered the nickname. His funeral ceremony was held at the airfield in München-Gladbach. Among others, the funeral ceremony was attended by his stepfather. Wilcke was buried in the honor section of the cemetery in Mönchengladbach-Holt.
- Spanish Cross in Bronze with Swords
- Wound Badge in Black
- Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe in Gold with Pennant "700"
- Combined Pilots-Observation Badge
- Iron Cross (1939)
- Honor Goblet of the Luftwaffe (1 April 1941)
- German Cross in Gold on 3 November 1942 as Major in Jagdgeschwader 3
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
- Knight's Cross on 6 August 1941 as Hauptmann and Gruppenkommandeur of the III./Jagdgeschwader 53
- 122nd Oak Leaves on 9 September 1942 as Hauptmann and Geschwaderkommodore of Jagdgeschwader 3 "Udet"[Note 5]
- 23rd Swords on 23 December 1942 as Major and Geschwaderkommodore of Jagdgeschwader 3 "Udet"
- Mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht
|Date||Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording||Direct English translation|
|30 March 1944||Der Kommodore eines Jagdgeschwaders Oberst Wilke, der für 155 Luftsiege vom Führer mit dem Eichenlaub und Schwertern zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes ausgezeichnet worden war, fand im Luftkampf den Heldentod. Mit ihm verliert die deutsche Luftwaffe einen ihrer hervorragendsten Jagdflieger und Verbandsführer.||The commodore of a fighter wing, Colonel Wilke, who had been awarded the Oak Leaves and Swords to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for 155 aerial victories by the Führer, found a heroes death in aerial combat. With him the Luftwaffe loses one of their most outstanding night fighter pilots and formation leaders.|
- From 1919, Germany's national defense force was known as the Reichswehr, which name was dropped in favor of Wehrmacht on 16 March 1935.
- For an explanation of Luftwaffe unit designations see Organization of the Luftwaffe during World War II.
- Harro Harder was the brother of Jürgen Harder.
- The first pilot to claim 150 aerial victories was Gordon Gollob of on 29 August 1942, the second pilot was Hermann Graf on 4 September 1942 and the third pilot was Hans-Joachim Marseille on 15 September 1942.
- Von Seemen presents two dates for the presentation of the Oak Leaves, the first date is 9 September 1942, the second is 10 September 1942.
- Stockert 1997, p. 70.
- Berger 1999, p. 407.
- Prien & Stemmer 2002, p. 27.
- Williamson & Bujeiro 2005, p. 2005.
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- Forsyth 2011, p. 101.
- Obermaier 1989, p. 33.
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- Sutherland & Canwell 2011, p. 143.
- Prien 1997, p. 123.
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- Prien 1997, p. 269.
- Prien 1997, p. 274.
- Prien 1997, pp. 285–286.
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- Stockert 1997, p. 72.
- Prien 1997, p. 290.
- Prien 1997, pp. 291–292.
- Prien 1997, pp. 299, 301.
- Prien 1997, p. 327.
- Prien 1997, p. 330.
- Prien 1997, p. 364.
- Shores, Cull & Malizia 1991, p. 213.
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- Prien & Stemmer 2002, p. 12.
- Prien & Stemmer 2002, p. 393.
- Prien & Stemmer 2002, p. 394.
- Prien & Stemmer 2002, pp. 394–395.
- Prien & Stemmer 2002, p. 395.
- Bergström, Dikov, Antipov, Sundin 2006, pp. 153–154.
- Bergström, Dikov, Antipov, Sundin 2006, p. 163.
- Prien & Stemmer 2002, p. 396.
- Obermaier 1989, pp. 19–21.
- Stockert 1997, p. 73.
- Prien & Stemmer 2002, p. 13.
- Prien & Stemmer 2002, p. 397.
- Prien & Stemmer 2002, p. 389.
- Prien & Stemmer 2002, p. 259.
- Berger 2000, pp. 379, 380.
- Prien & Stemmer 2002, pp. 389, 397.
- Scutts 1987, p. 58.
- Spick 1996, p. 229.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 69.
- Weal 1999, p. 64.
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- Berger 1999, p. 377.
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- Scherzer 2007, p. 786.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 446.
- Von Seemen 1976, p. 360.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 61.
- Von Seemen 1976, p. 30.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 40.
- Von Seemen 1976, p. 14.
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Oberst Günther Lützow
|Commander of Jagdgeschwader 3 Udet
11 August 1942 – 23 March 1944
Major Friedrich-Karl Müller