Dezső Szentgyörgyi

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The native form of this personal name is Szentgyörgyi Dezső. This article uses Western name order when mentioning individuals.
Dezső Szentgyörgyi
Born (1915-01-16)16 January 1915
Kőkút, Austria-Hungary
Died 28 August 1971(1971-08-28) (aged 56)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Allegiance  Kingdom of Hungary
Service/branch  Royal Hungarian Air Force
Years of service 1933 – 1945
Rank Warrant Officer

1/2. Ludas Matyi vadászrepülő század 1/1. Dongó vadászrepülő század

101. Puma vadászrepülő osztály (101st Home Air Defence Fighter Wing)

World War II

Other work Civilian Pilot

Warrant Officer Dezső Szentgyörgyi (16 January 1915 – 28 August 1971) was the highest scoring Hungarian fighter ace of the Royal Hungarian Honvéd Air Force in World War II.

Early life/Royal Hungarian Honvéd Air Force[edit]

Dezső Szentgyörgyi was born in 1915 in Kőkút. He finished his studies in Enying, and was 18 years old when he volunteered for the Royal Hungarian Air Force. Initially he was an aircraft-mechanic, but later received pilot training. He finished the aviation school in Székesfehérvár with excellent ratings. He was trained as a fighter pilot, and took part in 1/2 FS’s operations in northern Hungary with the Fiat CR.32. In summer 1942 he was transferred with the 1/1 "Dongó" (Bumblebee) Fighter Squadron to the Soviet front. He flew the Reggiane Re.2000 Falco (MÁVAG Héja), then the Messerschmitt Bf 109G. He shot down his first aircraft on 7 August 1942 in a friendly fire accident, while flying a Re.2000. The victim being a German Heinkel He 111 bomber that opened fire on him during while Szentgyörgyi was trying to identify the aircraft. His first victory over an enemy fighter was almost a year later, 26 June 1943, a Soviet fighter, a Yak-1 or Yak-7 , on Gresnoje.[1] His record on the Eastern Front was 142 sorties and 6 kills.

In the Puma Group[edit]

The 101. Honi Légvédelmi Vadászrepülő Osztály (101st "Puma" Fighter Group) was formed on 1 May 1944. Szentgyörgyi was transferred to the 101/2 "Retek" (Radish) Fighter Squadron. He continued to score his kills among the Pumas, and shot down 6 American planes. By the summer of 1944 he was a flight leader. He was promoted to Ensign on 16 November 1944. After the "American Season" ended, once again Soviet fighters became the main enemy. Dezső scored an additional 17 kills. He achieved his last air victory on 16 April 1945: a Yak-9 on Guttenbrunn.[1] He never crashed a plane due to pilot error, and he was never shot down. By the end of the war he had completed more than 220 sorties, and had 29 confirmed kills; the most successful Hungarian fighter pilot.

After the war[edit]

After the war, he returned home and became a pilot of the MASZOVLET (Hungarian-Soviet Airlines) between 1946 and 1949. Between 1950 and 1956 he spent several years in Communist prisons, before becoming a pilot of the renamed Malév Hungarian Airlines again, logging 12,334 flight hours and covering more than 5 million kilometres in the air. On 28 August 1971 Szentgyörgyi died in a crash near Copenhagen while flying an Ilyushin Il-18 (HA-MOC). He was due to retire in less than three weeks.

The MH 59th "Szentgyörgyi Dezső" Air Base of the Hungarian Air Force in Kecskemét (equipped with MiG-29 and JAS 39 Gripen fighters) is named in his honour.


Kill No. Date Type
1 26 June Yak-7b
2 7 July La-5
3 3 August La-5
4 3 August Il-2
5 4 August La-5
6 4 August Pe-2
7 14 June P-38
8 27 June P-51
9 2 July B-24
10 16 July B-24
11 27 July B-24
12 22 August B-24
13 13 November Yak-9
14 16 November Il-2
15 8 December Yak-9
16 20 December Il-2
17 4 January La-5
18 8 January La-5
19 18 January La-5
20 18 January Il-2
21 28 January Yak-9
22 30 January Yak-9
23 12 February Il-2
24 9 March Yak-9
25 11 March La-5
26 19 March Il-2
27 20 March La-7
28 23 March Yak-3
29 15 April Yak-9
1 20 July Soviet fighter
2 3 August Soviet fighter
3 5 August Soviet fighter
4 6 August Soviet fighter
5 7 August Soviet fighter
6 19 March La-5


  1. ^ a b Punka 2002, p. 84.
  • Becze Csaba - Elfelejtett Hősök - A Magyar Királyi Honvéd Légierő ászai a II. világháborúban, Puedlo Kiadó, 2006, ISBN 963-9673-06-4
  • Császár Ottó - Élet és Halál a Levegőben - vitéz Szentgyörgyi Dezső életrajzi regénye, Malév Kiadó, 1994, ISBN 963-450-600-3
  • Pataki I./Rozsos L./Sárhidai Gy. - Légi Háború Magyarország Felett I., Zrínyi Kiadó, 1992, ISBN 963-327-154-1
  • Pataki I./Rozsos L./Sárhidai Gy. - Légi Háború Magyarország Felett II., Zrínyi Kiadó, 1993, ISBN 963-327-163-0
  • Punka György - Hungarian Aces of World War 2, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, England, 2002.
  • Punka György - A "Messzer" - Bf 109-ek a Magyar Királyi Honvéd Légierőben, OMIKK, 1995, ISBN 963-593-208-1
  • Punka Gy./Sárhidai Gy. - Magyar Sasok - A Magyar Királyi Honvéd Légierő 1920 - 1945, K.u.K. Kiadó, 2006, ISBN 963-7437-51-7
  • Tobak Tibor - Pumák Földön-Égen, Lap és Könyvkiadó Kft., 1989, ISBN 963-7403-35-3

External links[edit]