Friedrich-Karl "Nasen" Müller
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4 December 1911|
|Died||2 November 1987
|Years of service||1934–45|
|Unit||KGz.b. V 172, KG 50, NJ Kdo, JG Hermann, JG 300, NJGr 10, NJG 11|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Friedrich-Karl Müller — "Nasen-Müller" — (4 December 1911 – 2 November 1987) was one of the most successful Luftwaffe night fighter aces during World War II.[Notes 1] He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, awarded by Nazi Germany to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
He first received flying training in 1934 and joined the German airline Deutsche Lufthansa. At the beginning of World War ΙΙ, Müller was posted to KG z.b.V. 172 as a transport pilot flying the Junkers Ju 52. He was promoted to Feldwebel and assigned to 5./KG z.b.V. 172. After participating in the Polish campaign, in February 1940, Müller became an instructor at Blindflugschule 4 and promoted to Leutnant. He served with Blindflugschule 7 from September until December 1942, when he moved to I gruppe, Kampfgeschwader 50 as Technical Officer, the unit being equipped with the new Heinkel He 177 heavy bomber.
In summer 1943, Müller joined Hajo Herrmann as part of the latter's experimental Wilde Sau single-engine night fighting unit Stab/Versuchskommando Herrmann. Herrmann considered Müller an ideal candidate for the role because of his blind flying instructing experience.
On the night of 3/4 July, Müller recorded his first Wilde Sau victory, a Halifax near Cologne. On the night of 22 October, Müller's fighter suffered engine failure, and he was slightly injured after baling out. In mid August Müller was appointed Technical Officer of JG 300.
He claimed two victories on 11 August 1943, both Halifax bombers near Heidelberg. Two Lancasters was claimed near Swinemünde on 17 August 1943 and two Stirlings were claimed downed over Berlin on 24 August 1943. Müller then claimed a Lancaster SE of Munich on 7 September 1943. On the nihght of 8/9 October 1943 Müller claimed a Halifax northwest of Hannover. This was probably Halifax V (LK900) "ZL-D" of No. 427 Sqn, RCAF (piloted by Sgt FJ Kelly, the crew were all killed.)
By November 1943, Müller was Staffelkapitän of 1./JG 300 and had 19 night victories to his credit. In January 1944, Müller was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of 1./Nachtjagdgruppe 10 (NJGr 10) and was charged with evaluating all aspects of technical and tactical experimentation concerning single-engined night fighting, especially countering operations by the RAF's Mosquito fast bomber. Hauptmann Müller was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 27 July 1944 for 23 victories.
He then became commander of I./Nachtjagdgeschwader 11 (NJG 11) on 25 August 1944. Müller continued to fly against the RAF night bomber streams, allegedly sometimes flying a personal Bf 109G-14 uniquely fitted with an oblique-mounted MG 151/20 cannon in a Schräge Musik installation behind the cockpit, although has yet to be verified. Müller claimed a Mosquito near Eindhoven on 23 August 1944 and a Lancaster over Frankfurt on 12 September 1944. The Mosquito was Mark B-XX, KB242 of No.608 squadron RAF, based at Downham Market. Flown by Flt Lt SD Webb RCAF and navigator F/O John Campbell RAFVR, the badly damaged Mosquito crash landed at RAF Woodbridge at 01:10 hours. The crew escaped unhurt. A double victory was claimed over Lancasters on 4 December 1944.
By late 1944 and into 1945, Müller flew numerous nocturnal ground attack missions against Allied railway targets and supply columns. His last known victories were both on 21 February 1945.Towards the end of the war, I./NJG 11 received a few Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighters to experiment with in night interceptions. Müller died on 2 November 1987. Müller was one of the leading single-seat night fighter aces with 30 night victories ( and three unconfirmed) claimed in 52 missions.
- Iron Cross (1939) 2nd and 1st Class
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe on 26 November 1943
- German Cross in Gold on 25 November 1943 as Hauptmann in the Stab/JG 300
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 27 July 1944 as Hauptmann and Staffelkapitän of the 1./NJGr 10
- For a list of Luftwaffe night fighter aces see List of German World War II night fighter aces
- Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 318.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 317.
- 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 (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 – 1945 [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Luftwaffe Fighter Force 1939 – 1945] (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 978-3-87341-065-7.
- 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.