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|Born||29 August 1913
|Died||31 August 1968
Landsberg am Lech
|Allegiance|| Nazi Germany (to 1945)
German Air Force
|Years of service||1935–45
Sturzkampfgeschwader 2 "Immelmann"
|Commands held||I./Sturzkampfgeschwader 2 "Immelmann"|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves|
Bruno Dilley (29 August 1913 – 31 August 1968) was a highly decorated Major in the Luftwaffe during World War II, and one of 882 recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
The first bombing raid of World War II was conducted by Junkers Ju 87s of 3./Sturzkampfgeschwader 1 (StG 1—1st Diver Bomber Wing) led by Oberleutnant Dilley, together with Leutnant Horst Schiller and Unteroffizier Gerhard Grenzel, on 1 September 1939 at 04:36am. Their target was Polish defence positions near the Dirschau Bridge near the Danzig corridor.
After the Polish campaign Dilley served in Norway, and after the Battle of France he flew operations during the Battle of Britain, before a transfer to the Mediterranean theatre. After operations against Malta, Dilley served in the offensives in Yugoslavia, Greece and the Invasion of Crete. During the assault on Greece in 1941 One of the dive bomber force's first casualties was Oberleutnant Dilley, then with I./StG 1, who was shot down over Macedonia on 7 April 1941.
Dilley then served in North Africa, supporting the Afrikakorps. Hauptmann Dilley was acting Gruppenkommandeur of I Gruppe, StG 1 during December 1941. He then deployed with his unit to the Eastern Front, where after some 325 combat operations, Dilley received the Knight's Cross and promoted to command of I./Sturzkampfgeschwader 2 'Immelmann'. He then received the Oak Leaves on 1 August 1943 . Dilley was taken off operations in October 1943 to command the ground-attack training unit Schlachtgeschwader 103 in Metz, until May 1944.
In 1956 he joined the post-war Luftwaffe, rising to the rank of Oberstleutnant, commanding a flight school at Landsberg-Lech Air Base. Before retirement he was the Chief of the Military District of Reutlingen.
Awards and decorations
- Aviator badge (9 December 1936)
- Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe in Gold (16 June 1941)
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (13 June 1941)
- Iron Cross (1939)
- Narvik Shield (30 January 1941)
- Silver Medal of Military Valor
- German Cross in Gold on 15 December 1941 as Hauptmann in the 1./Sturzkampfgeschwader 1
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
- Thomas 1997, p. 121.
- Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 86.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 273.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 161.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 65.
- Brütting, Georg (1992) . Das waren die deutschen Stuka-Asse 1939 – 1945 [These were the German Stuka Aces 1939 – 1945] (in German) (7th ed.). Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch. ISBN 978-3-87943-433-6.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) . Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [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 (1976). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe 1939–1945 Band II Stuka- und Schlachtflieger [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Luftwaffe 1939–1945 Volume II Dive Bomber and Attack Aircraft] (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 978-3-87341-021-3.
- Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8.
- 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 Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
- 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.