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Usaaf 720th Bomb Squadron





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German Schumann, August Wilhelm "Rabatz" (JG 52) + 06-09-1941 Saturday




31.10.1938: Leutnant, with 2. J/ 88 of the Condor Legion in Spain
30.12.1938: Lt., 2. J/ 88, 1 victory
04.02.1939: Lt., 2. J/ 88, 1 victory
01.07.1939: Oberleutnant, transferred from I. of J/ 88 Legion Condor to I./ JG 52
15.07.1939: Oblt., I./ JG 52 transferred to II./ JG 72 and appointed Staka 11./ JG 72
01.09.1939-06.09.1941: appointed Staka 5./ JG 52
08.11.1939: Oblt., 4./ JG 52, 1 victory
14.05.1940: 5./ JG 52, 1 victory
20.10.1940: Oblt., 5./ JG 52, 1 victory
26.04.1941: Oblt., 5./ JG 52, 1 victory
06.09.1941: Oblt., 5./ JG 52, KIA – Bf 109 F-2 109F-2, Werknummer 9191 coded "black 1" struck another Bf 109 and crashed on return from a sortie in the Lyuban area, South of Leningrad
Credited with 20 victories (including 4 in Spain) Schumann, August Wilhelm "Rabatz" (JG 52) - TracesOfWar.com

  1. 3 x Foto LW Jagdflieger und Stfkpt. August Wilhelm Schumann im(JG52) (4297a) | eBay
  2. Flugzeuge Messerschmitt Bf 109, Schumann, August Wilhelm "Rabatz" (JG52) (4292a) | eBay
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Herbert Kirnbauer 5./JG52 + 25-03-1943 Thursday grave

Bf 109G-2 Wrknr 14811 GF+EM
KIA 25 March, 1943 during aerial combat over Map Quadrant Pl.Qu. 75741, Karbardinka, Ukraine. His first known victory, a Soviet Il-2 on 26 January, 1943. A 2nd, a LaGG-3 on 23 February, 1943. A 3rd, a LaGG-3 on 25 February, 1943. A 4th, an R-5 on 28 February, 1943. A 5th, a Boston on 5 March, 1943. A 6th, a P-39 on 11 March, 1943. A 7th, a LaGG-3 on 12 March, 1943. An 8th, a P-39 on 22 March, 1943. A 9th, an Il-2 on 23 March, 1943. Kracker Luftwaffe Archive


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Grouping to Unteroffizier Heinz Maschkowitz. Born in Gablonz, now Jablonec in the Czech Republic, he joined the Luftwaffe at age 18 in 1942. He was quickly admitted to pilot school in Straubing and earned his Flugzeugführer-Abzeichen in May 1944, when he was forwarded to the II. Gruppe of Jagdgeschwader 105 in Brieg (Brzeg, Poland) to continue training as a fighter pilot. Also serving with NahaufklärungsgruppeHe ended the war with the 3. Staffel of Ergänzungs-Jagdgeschwader 1, stationed with Bf 109G and Fw 190A in Hadersleben, Denmark. He survived the war and did not return to his Russian occupied home area, but joined the Oldenburg police instead. Crain's Militaria - Fighter pilot photo album & document grouping
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RAF Usworth Johannes "Flash" Le Roux DFC Fighter Ace Usworth 1942


An outstanding South African ace's triple D. F. C. group to Squadron Leader J. J. 'Chris' Le Roux, No. 's 91 and 111 Squadrons, Royal Air Force, officially credited with at least 23 victories between 1940 and his death in September 1944
DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS, G. VI. R., reverse officially dated 1941, with second and third award bars, dated 1942 and 1943 respectively; 1939-45 STAR; AIR CREW EUROPE STAR; AFRICA STAR; DEFENCE and WAR MEDALS, all unnamed as issued, mounted court style for display, extremely fine and very rare Only 42 D. F. C. 's with 2 bars for the Second World War; sold with original Memorial Scroll and a selection of contemporary photographs (6)

D.F.C., London Gazette, 17 October, 1941: 'This officer has carried out over two hundred operational sorties which have included shipping reconnaissances during which most valuable information has been obtained, and numerous attacks on shipping and enemy aerodromes in the face of heavy enemy fire. Flight Lieutenant Le Roux has destroyed three hostile aircraft in combat and at least one on the ground.'

Bar to D.F.C., London Gazette, 10 December, 1942: 'Since being awarded the D. F. C., this officer has destroyed a further five enemy aircraft. In addition to his air victories he has attacked shipping and targets on the ground with considerable success. At all times Flight Lieutenant Le Roux has displayed a fine fighting spirit.'

Second bar to D. F. C., London Gazette, 9 July, 1943: 'Squadron Leader Le Roux's magnificent leadership has played a large part in the many successes attained by his Squadron. He has personally destroyed fourteen enemy aircraft and damaged many others and has also inflicted much damage on enemy shipping. During the course of a large number of operational sorties this officer has set a splendid example which has been an inspiration to all.'

Squadron Leader Johannes Jacobus 'Chris' Le Roux, D. F. C. and two bars, was born in South Africa on 18 September 1920, and joined the R. A. F. on a short service commission in May 1938. Between July 1939 and May 1940, he underwent training at 10 F.T.S., Tern Hill, 2 Service F.T.S. Brize Norton and 6 O.T.U., Sutton Bridge. Details of Le Roux's early career are sketchy, but it appears that he flew with 73 Squadron during the last hectic days of the Battle of France and according to one authority, E.C.R. Baker, in his book 'Fighter Aces of the R.A.F., ' he was shot down twelve times in 1940 'in France and the Battle of Britain. ' However it can only be presumed that these escapes by parachute all took place over France, as his Record of Service fails to show that he served with an active fighter unit during the Battle of Britain. By early 1941, Le Roux was a Flying Officer and joined No. 91 (Nigeria) Squadron operating Spitfire V's at Hawkinge. No. 91 was a special duties squadron carrying out low-level attacks on enemy shipping in the Channel or lone reconnaissance sorties over the French coast. Le Roux flew several such sorties in his early months with the squadron, but it was not until the summer that he began to make a name for himself. On 17 August, the inimitable Paddy Barthropp led five Spitfires to intercept an enemy patrol, giving air cover to a tanker east of Calais. From the direction of Boulogne, they met 15 or 20 109's. Barthropp attacked, sending one into the sea. Le Roux attacked another from astern and seeing him burst in flames, notched up the first of his victories. With Barthropp, Le Roux was to fly some one hundred sorties during his service with No. 91. As a friend, Barthropp recalled Le Roux as a 'bloody good looking bastard, ' in whose company 'you always got the ugly bird when you went out.'

During the morning of the 26th, Le Roux strafed four Bf 109's parked on the Furnes/Coxyde airfield and was able to report that one collapsed, which was later credited as a probable. Three days later another Bf 109 fell to his guns between Calais and Griz Nez, and on 4 September in Spitfire DL-N he destroyed a brace of 109's westof Breck-sur-Mer. He was carrying out a shipping recce in heavy haze when he sighted three 109's flying east. He circled and dived on them from astern, and after a short burst saw one disintegare. The Hun leader took violent evasive action but Le Roux managed to bring his guns to bear on the third Me 109, which after a medium burst parted company with its tail unit and fell into the sea. For this exploit he received a personal message of congratulations from the A.O.C. 11 Group. On the 21st, he was promoted Acting Flight Lieutenant and, on 17 October, was awarded the D.F.C., having flown 200 sorties and having been credited with four victories. In the afternoon of the 28th, the Squadron took part in a fighter sweep led by Wing Commander Jamie Rankin. Over the enemy-occupied coastline, the Spitfire formation encountered stiff fighter opposition. Le Roux, on seeing two Messerschmitts slip in behind Rankin's section, gave the Wing Co a timely warning and turned to meet the Nazi machines. Once surprised the 109's climbed for cloud cover. Hanging on to the tail of the rear 109 'Chris' gave him a long burst and followed him through the cloud. Moments later the 109 was falling earthward to its destruction near Calais. Eleven days into November, he ran into two 109's over the Straits of Dover firing both cannon and machine guns he knocked one down through low cloud. Le Roux followed, and, on emerging through the cloud, saw a large oil patch on the water below. His tour ended in early December, and he was then rested at 55 O.T.U., Usworth. He returned to the Squadron briefly in late 1942 as a flight commander. On 31 October, he and several other pilots were scrambled, following a hit-and-run raid by Focke Wulf 190's on Canterbury. The Spirfires roared over the coast in pursuit and during the course of a running fight over the sea, five FW 190's were shot down and four damaged. Le Roux claimed and was credited with two in the drink, and again received the thanks of the A.O.C. On 10 December, he was awarded his first bar to the D.F.C., having destroyed a further five enemy aircraft in addition to his success against ground and shipping targets. In January 1943, he changed both Squadron and theatre, and was posted to 111 Squadron in North Africa. On the 18th, Wing Commander 'Sheep' Gilroy led eleven of 111's pilots as escorts to Hurribombers attacking tank concentrations east of Bou Arada. Over the target they met six Bf 109's of 1/JG 53. During this encounter one e/a fell to Gilroy and one to F/Sgt. Joasson. Le Roux scored one destroyed and one damaged. The departure of tour expired S/Ldr Tony Bartley on the 25th gave Le Roux his Squadron Command. It was two months before he scored his first combat success as C.O. On 3 April, 111 intercepted a raid and Le Roux attacked two of four circling 109's at 2000 ft, one of which he sent crashing into the hills below. His second tour ended with the month, but not before he had destroyed a further FW 190 and a 109 in the same action. Prior to his departure from Africa, Le Roux had become renowned for his 'line-shoot' following a foul weather landing, when he claimed, 'You know, I didn't realise I was down until I heard the ground crew clapping!'

On 8 July 1944, Le Roux, now decorated with his second Bar to the D.F.C., took command of 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron equipped with Spitfire 9's. A week later he was scrambled alone, and vectored on to bandits over Caen at 5000 feet. Climbing through the cloud, he was jumped by the FW leader. As the German machine passed him and pulled up in a steep climbing turn, Le Roux fired a long burst, and his victim dived into the ground south of Caen. Later the same day he attacked and destroyed a 109 while leading a patrol, and on the 16th he destroyed another FW 190. The 17th, however, proved to be an even greater success. Having destroyed two more 109's and damaged two others, 'Chris' Le Roux strafed and wrecked a Horch Staff car driving along the Vimoutiers-Livarot road. Unbeknown to Le Roux, it contained General Field Marshal Erwin Rommel on his way back from a meeting with Oberstgruppenfuhrer Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich, commander of the 1st S.S. Panzer Division. Thus it was that Rommel sustained a triple fracture of the skull and had to be replaced at a critical stage as Commander of German Forces on the Western Front. Le Roux's last combat took place on 20 July, when with FO B. J. Oliver, he saw a FW 190 and attacked. The 190 pulled up and Le Roux put in a two second burst, causing the enemy machine to roll over and dive into the ground. This last kill, he shared with F.O. Oliver. Ultimately, however, like several other truly great fighter pilots, he was not destroyed by enemy gunfire, but by the unfortunate circumstances surrounding a fateful cross-channel flight on 29 August 1944. It seems that he had taken off from France and was attempting to make his way through appalling weather to Tangmere. He never reached the coast and crashed into the Channel. According to Paddy Barthropp, 'Chris' Le Roux was without a dinghy and was sitting on numerous bottles of champagne, which, as Barthropp points out, do not float. It was indeed a tragic end to one of South Africa's most popular and gallant fighter pilots.

  1. Info: https://www.noonans.co.uk/auctions/calendar/356/catalogue/1068/
  2. https://www.ebay.com/itm/276115114999?hash=item4049be4bf7:g:sx4AAOSwNZFlNTKO
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Date: Tuesday 24 February 1942
Time: 06:12 LT
Type: Handley Page Hampden Mk I
Owner/operator: 106 Sqn RAF
Registration: P4323
Fatalities: Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: dunes at Sylt island, Schleswig-Holstein - Germany
Phase: Combat
Nature: Military
Departure airport: RAF Coningsby
Destination airport: Gardening -Eglantine
Coned by Scheinwerferstaffel & I. Zug 1./988. Hit by Flak of Marine Flak Abt 264 (Batteries Wittdün and Puan Klent) and 3./lei Res Flak Abt 988. Aircraft crashed in dunes at Sylt at 06:12.

Pilot: 1182493 Sgt Stanley Arthur Kent - Kiel War Cemetery Plot 3 Row B Grave 14.
Observer: 1280773 Sgt Reginald Stephen Anderson - Kiel War Cemetery Plot 3 Row B Grave 17.
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner: 932614 Sgt Albert William Blake - Kiel War Cemetery Plot 3 Row B Grave 15.
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner: 1006997 Sgt Stanley Ronald McLeod - Kiel War Cemetery Plot 3 Row B Grave 16.


Leutnant Friedrich "Fritz" Gräff, Nachtjagd Pilot mit 5 Luftsiege, hier als Leutnant der 4./NJG1, später auch Staka in der NJG4 und schwer verwundet am 9. Juli 1943 bei Absturz seiner Bf 110 G-2 "3C+FB" (Werknr. 6311) nach Kollision mit Lancaster in Wignehies, südostlich Avesnes, Frankreich

GRÄFF, Fritz. (DOB: 27.02.20). c.19.07.39 began flight training. (n.d.) with Zerstörerschule 1. (n.d.) with 12./ZG 26. (n.d.) with 3.Erg./NJG 1. (n.d.) with 4./NJG 1. 10.06.42 Lt., 9./NJG 4. 08.42 with 9./NJG 1. 15.04.43 Lt., Stab I./NJG 4. 25.06.43 Lt., I./NJG 4. 01.07.43 in NJG 4, promo to Oblt. 09.07.43 Oblt., Stab I./NJG 4 WIA (severely) - Bf 110 collided with a Lancaster, 15 km SE of Avesnes/France- out of combat for a year. 10.07.44 Oblt. in I./NJG 4, reported to be not ready for operations due to insufficient flying time. 07.44 resumed flying missions. 14.12.44 Oblt., appt Staka of 1./NJG 4 (to 05.45). 01.02.45 Oblt., I./NJG 4. 03.03.45 Oblt., I./NJG 4. Credited with 5 victories. Quelle: ww2.dk


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