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JG54 - Squadron Profile.


Founded :
Country : Germany
Fate :

I./JG 54 was initially formed as I./JG 70 near Nuremberg in July 1939, just two short months before hostilities broke out. As was to become tradition within Grunherzgeschwader, the Gruppe took the Nurember coat-of-arms (a veritcally divided shield with a black heraldic bird on the left, and red and white diagonal stripes on the right) to represent the region the unit came from.

On September 15, 1939, I./JG 70 was redesignated I./JG 54

The initial unit designation for II./JG 54 was I./JG 138. This unit was raised in 1938 after the Austrian annexation. Naturally many Austrian nationals were recruited when I./JG 138 was formed. The Aspern coat of arms (black lion's head surmounting a white cross on a red field) was taken by the Gruppe for its identity.

I./JG 138 was briefly designated I./JG 76 before finally becoming II./JG 54 on April 6, 1940.

The III./JG 54 has its roots in Prussia. Initially I./JG 21, the members were drawn from the Jesau region in Prussia. The modified Jesau coat-of-arms (a shield with a Jesau cross with three diving aircraft on a red background, with a white outline on the shield) was adopted as the Gruppe's own.

On July 15, 1939, I./JG 21 was redesignated III./JG 54. However, the bureaucratic nature of the young Luftwaffe was such that it was over a year before records would reflect the new designation. Consequently, III./JG 54 fought in Poland and France as I./JG 21.

Kommodoren of JG 54 :

Major Martin Mettig; 2 Feb 40 to 25 Aug 40.
Oberst Hannes Trautloft; 25 Aug 40 to 5 Jul 43.
Major Hubertus von Bonin; 6 Jul 43 to 15 Dec 43.
Oberstleutnant Anton Mader; 28 Jan 44 to Sep 44.
Oberst Dieter Hrabak; 1 Oct 44 to 8 May 45.


Latest JG54 Artwork Releases !
 The Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 54 Erich Rudorffer is depicted in Fw190A-6 'Black Double Chevron' over the misty forests of Finland in June 1944. Credited with 222 aerial victories, he survived being shot down no less than sixteen times and survived the war until eventually passing away in 2016 aged 98.

Erich Rudorffer by Ivan Berryman.
 Just after midday on 27 September 1940 one of the bitterest engagements of the Battle of Britain took place in the skies over Kent when the Spitfires of 19 Squadron took on the Bf109s of JG54.  In the huge dogfight that ensued, 19 Squadron claimed 8 enemy aircraft destroyed.
Bitter Engagement by Robert Taylor.
 Major Erich Rudorffer claims one of three Airacobra's shot down on 10th October 1944 as he claims seven victories in a single day in his Fw190 of JG54.  One of the greatest Aces of World War Two, Rudorffer scored a total of 222 victories including over 75 on the western front, making him the 7th highest scoring Ace of all time.

Erich Rudorffer - Eastern Front Ace by Brian Bateman. (P)
 Krasnowardeist, Russia, 21st September 1941.  Oblt. Hans-Ekkehard Bob claimed his 36th victory over a Soviet Polikarpov I-153 as the German forces surged towards Leningrad. Although an obsolete design, the I-153 was a very manoeuvrable and potentially deadly foe.

A Nimble Foe by David Pentland.

JG54 Artwork Collection
Click the images below to view the fantastic artwork we have available to purchase!

Erich Rudorffer - Eastern Front Ace by Brian Bateman. (P)

The Last Patrol by David Pentland.

Hannes Trautloft by Graeme Lothian.

Green Hearts by Ivan Berryman.

Savage Skies by Robert Taylor.

Snow Warriors by Nicolas Trudgian.

Green Heart Warriors by Nicolas Trudgian. (B)

Bitter Engagement by Robert Taylor.

Erich Rudorffer by Ivan Berryman.

Holding the Line, Dunaburg, Latvia, 21st July 1944 by David Pentland.

Hunting Sturmoviks by David Pentland.

Jagers by David Pentland.

Messerschmitt versus Messerschmitt by David Pentland.

Ikarus Downed by David Pentland.

New Enemy by David Pentland.

Bombers Bane by David Pentland.

A Nimble Foe by David Pentland.

Ice Warriors by Nicolas Trudgian.

Aces for : JG54
A list of all Aces from our database who are known to have flown with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking the pilots name.
Otto Kittel267.00
Walter Nowotny258.00The signature of Walter Nowotny features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Erich Rudorffer222.00The signature of Erich Rudorffer features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Hans Philipp206.00
Maximilian Stotz189.00
Emil Lang173.00
Horst Ademeit166.00
Gerhard Thyben157.00The signature of Gerhard Thyben features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Hans Beisswenger152.00
Fritz Tegtmeier146.00The signature of Fritz Tegtmeier features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Albin Wolf144.00
Heinrich Sterr130.00
Franz Eisenach129.00The signature of Franz Eisenach features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Rudolf Rademacher126.00
Dieter Hrabak125.00The signature of Dieter Hrabak features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Robert Weiss121.00
Reinhard Seiler118.00
Heinz Wernicke117.00
Werner Schroer114.00
Max-Hellmuth Ostermann102.00The signature of Max-Hellmuth Ostermann features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Ulrich Wernitz101.00
Wolfgang Spate99.00
Horst Hannig98.00
Hermann Schleinhege96.00The signature of Hermann Schleinhege features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Anton Dobele94.00
Siegfried Schnell93.00
Gerhard Loos92.00
Anton Mader86.00
Ulrich Wohnert86.00
Hans Gotz82.00
Helmut Missner82.00
Hubertus von Bonin81.00
Hugo Broch81.00The signature of Hugo Broch features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Wilhelm Philipp81.00
Hans-Joachim Kroschinski76.00
Alfred Teumer76.00
Helmut Grollmuss75.00
Joachim Wandel75.00
Gunther Scheel71.00
Heinz Lange70.00The signature of Heinz Lange features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Eugen-Ludwig Zweigart69.00
Heinrich Jung68.00
Karl Fuchs67.00
Reinhold Hoffmann66.00
Karl-Heinz Kempf65.00
Hannes Trautloft61.00The signature of Hannes Trautloft features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Hans-Ekkehard Bob60.00The signature of Hans-Ekkehard Bob features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Gerhard Beutin60.00
Kurt Tangermann60.00
Franz Eckerle59.00
Herbert Broennle57.00
Hans-Joachim Heyer53.00
Friedrich Rupp53.00
Carl Sattig53.00
Karlheinz Cordes52.00
Alfred Gross52.00
Heinrich Wefers52.00
Wilhelm Schilling50.00
Herbert Koller49.00The signature of Herbert Koller features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Gunther Fink46.00
Karl Schnorrer46.00
Otto Vinzent44.00
Hubert Mutherich43.00
Josef Pohs43.00
Rudolf Klemm42.00
Norbert Hannig42.00The signature of Norbert Hannig features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Peter Bremer40.00
Rudolf Sinner39.00
Hans Dortenmann38.00
Gerhard Koall37.00
Gunther Bertram35.00
Paul Brandt34.00
Helmut Wettstein34.00
Erwin Leykauf33.00The signature of Erwin Leykauf features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Peter Crump31.00
Gerhard Friedrich30.00
Hermann Leiste29.00
Arnold Lignitz25.00
Hakon von Bulow24.00
Paul Pausinger24.00
Gunther Scholz22.00
Georg Munderloh20.00
Siegfried Muller17.00The signature of Siegfried Muller features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Karl Wunschelmeyer16.00
Waldemar Wubke15.00
Walter Repple15.00
Karl Hier14.00
Helmut Zilken12.00
Wilhelm Muller10.00
Rudolf Hager10.00
Willy Szuggar9.00
Erich von Selle9.00
Kurt Hein8.00
Max Clerico7.00
Bruno Mischkot7.00
Georg Kiening7.00
Michael Hauer7.00
Hans-Erich Heinbockel7.00
Richard Hausmann7.00
Anton Stangl6.00
Hans Schtzel5.00
Wilhelm Breuer5.00
Aircraft for : JG54
A list of all aircraft known to have been flown by JG54. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.


Click the name above to see prints featuring Fw190 aircraft.

Manufacturer : Fokke-Wulf
Production Began : 1940
Retired : 1945


The Focke-Wulf 190 development project began in 1937. Conceived as a hedge against total dependence on the Messerchmitt 109, the 190 was designed by Kurt Tank utilizing a radial engine. This was against generally accepted design criteria in Germany, and many historians believe that the decision to produce a radial engine fighter was largely due to the limited manufacturing capacity for in-line, water-cooled engines which were widely used on all other Luftwaffe aircraft. Despite these concerns, Tanks design was brilliant, and the 190 would become one of the top fighter aircraft of WWII. The first prototype flew in mid-1939. The aircraft had excellent flying characteristics, a wonderful rate of acceleration, and was heavily armed. By late 1940 the new fighter was ordered into production. Nicknamed the butcher bird, by Luftwaffe pilots, early 190s were quite successful in the bomber interceptor role, but at this stage of the war many Allied bombing raids lacked fighter escort. As the war dragged on, Allied bombers were increasingly accompanied by fighters, including the very effective P-51 Mustang. The Allies learned from experience that the 190s performance fell off sharply at altitudes above 20,000 feet. As a result, most Allied bombing missions were shifted to higher altitudes when fighter opposition was likely. Kurt Tank had recognized this shortcoming and began working on a high-altitude version of the 190 utilizing an in-line, water-cooled engine. Utilizing a Jumo 12-cylinder engine rated at 1770-HP, and capable of 2,240-HP for short bursts with its methanol injection system, the 190D, or Long Nose or Dora as it was called, had a top speed of 426-MPH at 22,000 feet. Armament was improved with two fuselage and two wing mounted 20mm cannon. To accommodate the changes in power plants the Dora had a longer, more streamlined fuselage, with 24 inches added to the nose, and an additional 19 inches added aft of the cockpit to compensate for the altered center of gravity. By mid 1944 the Dora began to reach fighter squadrons in quantity. Although the aircraft had all the right attributes to serve admirably in the high altitude interceptor role, it was not generally focused on such missions. Instead many 190Ds were assigned to protect airfields where Me-262 jet fighters were based. This was due to the latter aircrafts extreme vulnerability to Allied attack during takeoff and landing. The 190Ds also played a major role in Operation Bodenplatte, the New Years Day raid in 1945 which destroyed approximately 500 Allied aircraft on the ground. The High Command was impressed with the 190Ds record on this raid, and ordered most future production of the Doras to be equipped as fighter-bombers. In retrospect this was a strategic error, and this capable aircraft was not fully utilized in the role for which it was intended.


Click the name above to see prints featuring Me109 aircraft.

Manufacturer : Messerschmitt
Production Began : 1937
Retired : 1945
Number Built : 33984


Willy Messerschmitt designed the BF109 during the early 1930s. The Bf109 was one of the first all metal monocoque construction fighters with a closed canopy and retractable undercarriage. The engine of the Me109 was a V12 aero engine which was liquid-cooled. The Bf109 first saw operational service during the Spanish Civil War and flew to the end of World War II, during which time it was the backbone of the Luftwaffe fighter squadrons. During the Battle of Britian the Bf109 was used in the role of an escort fighter, a role for which it was not designed for, and it was also used as a fighter bomber. During the last days of May 1940 Robert Stanford-Tuck, the RAF ace, got the chance to fly an Me109 which they had rebuilt after it had crash landed. Stanford-Tuck found out that the Me109 was a wonderful little plane, it was slightly faster than the Spitfire, but lacked the Spitfire manoeuvrability. By testing the Me109, Tuck could put himself inside the Me109 when fighting them, knowing its weak and strong points. With the introduction of the improved Bf109F in the spring of 1941, the type again proved to be an effective fighter during the invasion of Yugoslavia and during the Battle of Crete and the invasion of Russia and it was used during the Siege of the Mediteranean island of Malta. The Bf109 was the main fighter for the Luftwaffe until 1942 when the Fw190 entered service and shared this position, and was partially replaced in Western Europe, but the Me109 continued to serve on the Eastern Front and during the defence of the Reich against the allied bombers. It was also used to good effect in the Mediterranean and North Africa in support of The Africa Korps. The Me109 was also supplied to several German allies, including Finland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovakia. The Bf109 scored more kills than any other fighter of any country during the war and was built in greater numbers with a total of over 31,000 aircraft being built. The Bf109 was flown by the three top German aces of the war war. Erich Hartmann with 352 victories, Gerhard Barkhorn with 301 victories and Gunther Rall with 275 kills. Bf109 pilots were credited with the destruction of 100 or more enemy aircraft. Thirteen Luftwaffe Aces scored more than 200 kills. Altogether this group of pilots were credited with a total of nearly 15,000 kills, of which the Messerschmitt Bf109 was credited with over 10,000 of these victories. The Bf109 was the most produced warplane during World War II, with 30,573 examples built during the war, and the most produced fighter aircraft in history, with a total of 33,984 units produced up to April 1945. Bf109s remained in foreign service for many years after World War II. The Swiss used their Bf109Gs well into the 1950s. The Finnish Air Force did not retire their Bf109Gs until March 1954. Romania used its Bf109s until 1955. The Spanish Hispanos flew even longer. Some were still in service in the late 1960s.
Signatures for : JG54
A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking their name.

Major Hans-Ekkehard Bob
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Major Hans-Ekkehard Bob
9 / 8 / 1942Ace : 60.00 Victories
Major Hans-Ekkehard Bob

After success in the Battle of Britain, Hans-Ekkehard Bob took over leadership of 9./JG54 in 1940. The following year he was awarded the Knights Cross. Transferring to the Eastern Front his victories rose steadily to 50 by September 1942. His Group later transferred back to the West for a short period, where in April 1943, he rammed a B-17 Fortress. Returning to the Eastern Front as Kommander of IV./JG3, he ended the war as Adjutant of Gallands JV44 in the West. In his 700 missions he scored 60 victories.

Hans-Ekkehard Bob signing the print - JV44 Kette of Swallows - by Graeme Lothian.

Leutnant Hugo Broch
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Leutnant Hugo Broch
9 / 8 / 1942Ace : 81.00 Victories
Leutnant Hugo Broch

Vital to all fighter units are the pilots who make such superb wingmen that their leaders are loath to part with them. Hugo Broch was one such wingman. Having joined VI./JG54 in January he flew first with Horst Adameit (166 victories), and later with Bazi Sterr (130 victories), but soon demonstrated his own skill in combat. By the end of 1944 he had lifted his personal score to 71 victories. One of JG54s great Fw190 Aces, Hugo Broch saw combat on the Eastern and Baltic Fronts, and completed the war having flown 324 combat missions, and claiming 81 victories. He was awarded the Knights Cross.

Unteroffizier Gustav Drees
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Unteroffizier Gustav Drees
Unteroffizier Gustav Drees

Born in 1923, Gustav Drees was called up for military service in 1942, and with a passion for flying joined the Luftwaffe. After training as a fighter pilot he was immediately posted to the Eastern Front with his first front-line unit - JG54 Green Hearts, where he flew the Me 109. In very early 1943 he became one of the first of the JG54 pilots to fly the Fw190A in combat. With four air victories to his credit with JG54 in Russia, towards the end of the war he was posted to join JG 108 in Austria, where he stayed until the end.

Franz Eisenach
Click the name above to see prints signed by Franz Eisenach

21 / 8 / 1998Died : 21 / 8 / 1998
21 / 8 / 1998Ace : 129.00 Victories
Franz Eisenach

From 1940 Franz Eisenach flew with various Groups, until joining 9./JG 54 on the Eastern Front in October 1942. As Squadron Leader of 3./JG 54 he had considerable success until, flying an Fw190A in December 1943, he was kit by flak and badly wounded. After convalescence heymned I./JG 54, becoming its Gruppenkommandeur but in September 1944 he was wounded again, this time after an encounter with a bomber. Awarded the Knights Cross he returned to the Front until the wars end. His final tally was 129 victories, 52 of which were IL-2s, and flew 317 combat missions. He died 21st August 1998.

Leutnant Norbert Hannig
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Leutnant Norbert Hannig
21 / 8 / 1998Ace : 42.00 Victories
Leutnant Norbert Hannig

Norbert Hannig began operations with JG54 on the Eastern Front near Leningrad in early 1943, flying first the Messerschmitt Bf109G, later converting to the Fw190. He became a Staffelkapitan with JG54, notching up an impressive 42 victories. Towards the end of the war, in early 1945, he converted to fly the new jet fighter, the Me262, and flew it in combat with III./JG7 from their airfield base at Brandenberg-Briest.

Dieter Hrabak
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Dieter Hrabak

15 / 9 / 1995Died : 15 / 9 / 1995
15 / 9 / 1995Ace : 125.00 Victories
Dieter Hrabak

Dieter Hrabak was shot down in his first aerial combat during the Polish Campaign. He survived to become one of the Luftwaffes most respected and popular leaders. He scored his first victory in the Battle of France, and got 15 more during the Battle of Britain. By Eagle Day he was in command of II./JG 54, which he led until taking command of JG 52 in 1942. He was the first JG 54 Ace to be awarded the Knights Cross. He ended the war back in command of JG 54, and was credited with 125 victories.

Dieter Hrabak was born on 19th December 1914 in a small village near Leipzig. Upon graduation from high school, he hoped to become a commercial pilot, but in 1934 Hrabak joined the Reichsmarine. Within 6 months he transferred to the newly formed Luftwaffe for flight training. By April 1939, Hrabak was recognised as an experienced pilot and given command of a squadron in Vienna. On his very first combat mission in September 1939 over Poland, he was shot down - the first of 11 times. Hrabaks first aerial victory came during the Battle of France. Flying an Me109, he claimed five more victories before the armistice. In the summer of 1940, his squadron was incorporated into a newly formed fighting wing, JG54 Green Hearts. Hrabak commanded II./JG54, one of the wings three groups as the Luftwaffe began its assault on England. During the Batttle of Britain he brought his score to 16 Royal Air Force fighters and Field Marshal Goring personally decorated him with the Knights Cross. In the spring of 1941, II./JG54 flew in the short campaign against Yugoslavia. When Operation Barbarosa began in Russia, he flew on the northern sector of the front and fought over Leningrad. In November 1942, Hrabak took command of JG52 on the southern front and fought over Stalingrad. In August 1943, he got his 100th aerial victory and in November, Hitler awarded him Oak Leaves to the Knights Cross. In early 1944, JG52 achieved its 10,000th aerial victory - the most by any Luftwaffe wing. In October 1944, he returned to his old wing, the Green Hearts, as Commander. Flying the Focke Wulf Fw190, he fought until near the end of the war in Kurland. After the war, he worked in the auto and chemical industry. He was a key architect in rebuilding the modern German Air Force. In 1953, Chancellor Adenaur asked him to help form a new German Air Force. Hrabak personally interviewed most of the officers who would form the nucleus. In mid-1955, he came to the United States and trained on modern jets. In the summer of 1956, he returned home to command the Advanced Pilot Training Centre at Furstenfeldbruck AB. By 1960, he commanded all GAF flying training centres. Two years later, he took charge of the air defence sector covering northern Germany and the Netherlands. In 1964, he was named NATOs Chief of Air Defence, Central Europe, until he became special manager for the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter. Finally, as a major general, he commanded the GAFs tactical command, retiring on 1st October 1970. He died on 15th September 1995.

Feldwebel Herbert Koller
Click the name above to see prints signed by Feldwebel Herbert Koller
15 / 9 / 1995Ace : 49.00 Victories
Feldwebel Herbert Koller

Posted to II./JG54 on the Eastern Front, Herbert Koller flew Fw190s with 5./JG54, scoring his first victory on 19th February 1943, over an Il-2. By the end of the year his victory claims had risen to 12, including 8 Il-2 Shturmoviks, and a Boston bomber. The year 1944 saw intense combat 5./JG54 on an almost daily basis, and month by month Herbert Kollers victories continued to mount, by the end of 1944 his tally had risen to 48. His final, and 49th victory came on 9th April 1945 when he downed a Yak 3.

Major Heinz Lange
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Major Heinz Lange

26 / 2 / 2006Died : 26 / 2 / 2006
26 / 2 / 2006Ace : 70.00 Victories
Major Heinz Lange

At the outbreak of war Heinz Lange was with I./JG21 scoring his first victory in October 1939. He flew 76 missions in the Battle of Britain with 8./JG54, and never lost a wingman. After flying in the Balkan campaign he took part in the invasion of Russia, scoring 7 victories during the first week. In October 1941 he was given command of 1./JG54 and in 1942 command of 3./JG51. In January 1944 Heinz Lange returned to JG54 to command 1.Gruppe and then back to JG51 where he was appointed Kommodore of JG51 Molders, leading IV./JG51 at the same time. Heinz Lange flew over 628 missions and achieved 70 victories. He was awarded the Knight's Cross. Born 2nd October 1917, died 26th February 2006.

Heinz Lange signing the print - Fighter General - by Graeme Lothian

Heinz Lange with a model of his favourite aircraft.

Oberleutnant Erwin Leykauf
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Oberleutnant Erwin Leykauf
26 / 2 / 2006Ace : 33.00 Victories
Oberleutnant Erwin Leykauf

Born in January 1918, Erwin Leykauf learned to fly at glider school and Luftkriegschule, before being called up to fly at the beginning of the war. He flew with JG21 at the beginning of the Battle of Britain, which soon became JG54 where he scored his first 7 victories. Transferring to the Balkans and later the Eastern Front he was forced into an emergency landing behind enemy lines during Operation Barbarossa, eventually making his way back to rejoin his unit. On the night of 22nd - 23rd June 1942, he claimed 6 victories in less than one hour. In August 1943, Leykauf began converting with JG54 to the Fw190 fighter. At the end of the war he was with JG7, flying the Me262, although he did not get a chance to fly any missions on the jet fighter. Erwin was awarded the Iron Cross I and II and his victories had climbed to 33.

Major Walter Nowotny
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Major Walter Nowotny

8 / 11 / 1944Died : 8 / 11 / 1944
8 / 11 / 1944Ace : 258.00 Victories
Major Walter Nowotny

Walter Nowotny was one of the most popular Luftwaffe leaders. Joining 9./JG54 in 1941, he achieved his first victories in July, but was forced to ditch in the Baltic, spending three days adrift. In 1942 he took command of 9./JG54, and in June 1943 he downed 41 enemy aircraft in one month, another 49 in August, and 45 in September. By 4th September his tally was past 200, and on 14th October he reached 250, at the time the leading Luftwaffe fighter pilot. In August 1943 he was appointed Kommandeur of I./JG54, in February 1944 he became Kommodore of the Schulgeshwader 101 in France, and early in July commanded the unit testing the Me262 as a fighter. Walter Nowotny was killed on 8th November when he crashed on landing, his victories stood at 258. He had been awarded the Knights Cross, Oak Leaves with Swords, and Diamonds.

Max-Hellmuth Ostermann
Click the name above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Max-Hellmuth Ostermann

9 / 8 / 1942Died : 9 / 8 / 1942
9 / 8 / 1942Ace : 102.00 Victories
Max-Hellmuth Ostermann

Born in Hamburg on 11th December 1917, Max-Hellmuth Ostermann joined the Luftwaffe in March 1937. He flew Me110s with I./ZG1, participating in the invasion of Poland before transferring to JG21 in April 1940. During the Battle of France, he claimed his first victory, shooting down a French fighter on 20th May 1940. He claimed one more victory during the French campaign before the squadron was redesignated JG54 and fought in the Battle of Britain, where Ostermann claimed a further 6 victories. Participating in the Balkans campaign, he shot down a Yugoslavian Me109 fighter, before moving to fight the Russians on the eatern front. With 29 victories claimed, he was awarded the Knights Cross on 4th September 1941. He scored his 50th victory on 20th January 1942, increasing his total to 70 by the 20th of March that year. Early in May, after scoring his 97th victory, Ostermann was shot down but was unharmed. Returning to action, he scored his 100th victory on 12th May 1942, and was the 7th pilot to score this total. He was shot down on the same mission, suffering sufficient wounds to keep him out of action until August. On 9th August 1942, he scored his 102nd victory, but was shot down and killed by Russian fighters soon afterwards.

Major Erich Rudorffer
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Major Erich Rudorffer
9 / 8 / 1942Ace : 222.00 Victories
Major Erich Rudorffer

Erich Rudorffer was born on November 1st 1917 in the town of Zwickau in Saxony. Erich Rudorffer joined the Luftwaffes I./JG2 Richthofen in November 1939, and was soon flying combat patrols in January 1940 and was assigned to I/JG 2 Richthofen with the rank of Oberfeldwebel. He took part in the Battle of France, scoring the first of his many victories over a French Hawk 75 on May 14th, 1940. He went on to score eight additional victories during the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain. Rudorffer recalled an incident in August 1940 when he escorted a badly damaged Hurricane across the Channel - ditching in the English Channel was greatly feared by pilots on both sides. As fate often does, Rudorffer found the roles reversed two weeks later, when he was escorted by an RAF fighter after receiving battle damage. By May 1st 1941 Rudorffer had achieved 19 victories, which led to the award of the Knights Cross. In June 1941 Rodorffer became an Adjutant of II./JG2. In 1942 Rudorffer participated in Operation Cerberus (known as the Channel Dash) and flew over the Allied landings at Dieppe. Erich Rudorffer along with JG2 was transferred to North Africa in December 1942. It was in North Africa that Rudorffer showed his propensity for multiple-victory sorties. He shot down eight British aircraft in 32 minutes on February 9th 1943 and seven more in 20 minutes six days later. After scoring a total of 26 victories in Tunisia, Rudorffer returned to France in April 1943 and was posted to command II./JG54 in Russia, after Hauptmann Heinrich Jung, its Kommodore, failed to return from a mission on July 30th 1943. On August 24th 1943 he shot down 5 Russian aircraft on the first mission of the day and followed that up with three more victories on the second mission. He scored seven victories in seven minutes on October 11th but his finest achievement occurred on November 6th when in the course of 17 minutes, he shot down thirteen Russian aircraft. Rudorffer became known to Russian pilots as the fighter of Libau. On October 28th 1944 while about to land, Rudorffer spotted a large formation of Il-2 Sturmoviks. He quickly aborted the landing and moved to engage the Russian aircraft. In under ten minutes, nine of the of the II-2 Sturmoviks were shot down causing the rest to disperse. Rudorffer would later that day go on and shoot down a further two Russian aircraft. These victories took his total to 113 and he was awarded the Oak Leaves on April 11th 1944. Rudorffer would on the 26th January 1945 on his 210th victory receive the addition of the Swords. In February 1945 Rudorffer took command of I./JG7 flying the Me262. He was one of the first jet fighter aces of the war, scoring 12 victories in the Me262. He shot down ten 4-engine bombers during the Defense of the Reich missions. He was the master of multiple scoring - achieving more multiple victories than any other pilot. Erich Rudorffer never took leave, was shot down 16 times having to bail out 9 times, and ended the war with 222 victories from over 1000 missions. He was awarded the Knights Cross, with Oak Leaves and Swords.

Erich Rudorffer signing the print - Fighter General - by Graeme Lothian

Erich Rudorffer with artist Graeme Lothian and the original painting of Fighter General.

Leutnant Hermann Schleinhage
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Leutnant Hermann Schleinhage
9 / 8 / 1942Ace : 96.00 Victories
Leutnant Hermann Schleinhage

Born in 1916 Hermann Schleinhage joined I./JG3 as an Unteroffizier in 1941 before being posted to join II./JG54 Green Hearts in May 1942. He then flew continuously with JG54 through to the end of the war, by which time he was Staffelkapitan of 8./JG54. Flying a total of 484 combat missions, by the end of the war Hermann Schleinhage had reached a total of 98 victories, including 38 Soviet Il-2 Shturmoviks. In February 1945 he was awarded the Knights Cross.

Hauptmann Karl-Fritz Schlossstein
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Hauptmann Karl-Fritz Schlossstein
9 / 8 / 1942Ace : 8.00 Victories
Hauptmann Karl-Fritz Schlossstein

Karl-Fritz Schlossstein initially flew Me110 heavy destroyers with JG5, when th Group first arrived in Norway in 1942 to provide air cover for the convoys supplying the rapidly increasing German garrison in that country. He commanded 13(Z)/JG5 from the summer of 1942 to June 1943, and then converted to fly Me109s. Later in Norway he flew the Me410 Hornet with ZG76, but finished the war with JG54 Greenhearts flying Fw190s in the Defence of the Reich.

Oberstleutnant Gunther Scholz
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Oberstleutnant Gunther Scholz
Oberstleutnant Gunther Scholz

After seeing action in the Spanish campaign, Gunther Scholz flew with 7./JG54 in Poland and France, and during the Battle of Britain. Transferring to the Eastern Front he flew with III./JG5 from February 1942, later with Geschwaderstab JG5. In July 1944 he was posted to Norway. Scholz was awarded the Iron Cross I and finished the war with 33 victories.

Leutnant Fritz Tegtmeier
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Leutnant Fritz Tegtmeier

8 / 4 / 1999Died : 8 / 4 / 1999
8 / 4 / 1999Ace : 146.00 Victories
Leutnant Fritz Tegtmeier

Born in 1917 he joined 2/JG-54 in October 1940, but after being injured in a crash it wasn't until 1941 that he achieved his first victory. A brief time as a fighter Instructor in 1943 he returned to the Russian Front and his score soon started to mount, By May 1944 he had over 100 victories. August 1944 saw his appointment as Staffelkapitan of 3/JG-54. In March 1945 he transferred to JG-7 flying Me262 Jet. By the end of the war he had flown 700 combat missions and had 146 victories. He was awarded the Knights Cross. Fritz Tegtmeier died on 8th April 1999 aged 81.

Fritz Tegtmeier with artist Graeme Lothian and the original painting - Fighter General.

Fritz Tegtmeier signing the print - Fighter General - by Graeme Lothian

Hannes Trautloft
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Hannes Trautloft

11 / 1 / 1995Died : 11 / 1 / 1995
11 / 1 / 1995Ace : 61.00 Victories
Hannes Trautloft

Hannes Trautloft is one of the Luftwaffe's great fighter leaders, scoring his first air victory in the Spanish Civil War in August 1936. Returning to Germany in 1937 he joined the national aerobatics team flying the Me109. Soon after the outbreak of World War II, Hannes took command of I./JG20 taking part in the Battle of Britain, before moving to the Balkans as Kommodore of JG54. Now leading the group on the Russian Front, JG54 took part in the heavy fighting, first in the Me109, then the Fw190. In the summer of 1943 Hannes Trautloft joined General Galland's staff. As a 'mutineer' he was sacked by Goering, thus ending an illustrious combat career comprising 550 combat missions and 57 aerial victories. he died 11th January 1995.

Leutnant Kurt Wuppermann
Click the name above to see prints signed by Leutnant Kurt Wuppermann
Leutnant Kurt Wuppermann

Kurt Wupperrnann was called up in 1942, and with a love of flying, joined the Luftwaffe. After completing his pilot training, he was posted to join JG54 Greenhearts flying the Fw190A-8. Transferring to the northern sector of the Eastern Front, he notched up three quick victories and flew oil combat operations continually until 18 December 1944, when he was shot down over the Baltic near Riga, making an emergency landing. On theground, he was rescued by Strafgeschwader 291, but had suffered bad facial injuries. So great was the need for experienced pilots in the last months of the war however that after six weeks in hospital he was patched up and flying combat again.

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