JG 54 and Dortenmann?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by von hahn, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. von hahn

    von hahn Member

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    Hi All,

    I recently saw a photo of a Hans Dortenmann,of JG 54, in France next to his FW190 A-8.The aircraft wore a very attractive colour scheme and I investigated further that he had quite a lot of kills. Interestingly, virtually none of his kills ti late 1944 were USAAF-most were RAF fighters. So here's my question: why did he, and JG 54, have so little apparent contact with the USAAF, when they were in France in the thick of things, during the mid to latter part of 44? Did they r go up agains USAAF Bomber Command at all?

    thanks, vh
     
  2. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

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    This D-9 flown by Oblt. Dortenman has a very special story. He was never shot down while flying this aircraft. He transferred from JG54 to JG26 in this machine and personally destroyed it on May 4th 1945, prior to the arrival of British troops. This machine can be clearly identified by the Werknummer 210003. The colors and markings were changed. With the D-9 of 12./JG54 it is very noticeable that the tail was painted yellow. Oblt. Dortenmann writes in his diary on October 20th 1944 about it:

    ...I hound my Staffel to fly as many practice missions as possible. We fly in any weather. They have given me freedom of action. With Weiss and the Gruppe I have direct telephone contact but I receive no orders. In a short period of time I mold the Staffel into a fighting unit, train my Rotten and Schwarm leaders and look with a little more confidence to the future. In order that my pilots always know where their boss is I order that my aircraft¹s tail is painted bright yellow. That is very colorful and can be seen for a great distance. I don¹t care if the Americans and British will take mine to be a leaders aircraft; I have my pride too. With my little yellow tail everything works out fine. I don¹t have to scream my head off when the novices fly after the wrong aircraft during a diving attack and they save themselves a dressing down after they land.

    Even later while flying with 3./JG27 he kept the yellow paint but only on the tail plane, despite the fact that these colorful markings were prohibited in January 1945.

    Hans Dortenmann was born on the 11th December 1921 in Weingarten, Baden- Württemberg. He began his military career in the infantry and transferred to the Luftwaffe in April of 1941. After flight training, Hans Dortenmann was transferred to the Eastern Front to fly with JG54. On April 9th 1943 he crashed after a high altitude flight near Toulouse and spent four weeks in a military hospital. His wounds were serious and his right leg remained fairly stiff. Despite this he continued to fly for the Luftwaffe. He scored his first victory on the 6th of February 1944. On the 10th of June 1944, 2./JG54 was transferred from the Eastern to the Western Front and became III./JG54.

    Up to this point Hans Dortenmann was able to accumulate 16 victories. On June 20th 1944, Hans Dortenmann became Staffelkapitan of 2./JG54 and later 12./JG 54. At the end of December 1944 III./JG54 under the leadership of Robert Weiss (121 victories, RK- EL, killed in aerial combat on December 29th 1944) was equipped with 68 Fw190 D-9's and attached to JG26. On December 29th 1944, Dortenmann was witness to Gruppenkommandeur Robert 'Bazi' Weiss's death in combat. He was also a witness to the deadly crash of Major Walter Nowotny.

    Hans Dortenmann became Gruppenkommandeur i.V. of III./JG54 from December 30th until February 11th 1945. On the 19th of February 1945, 12./JG54 was dissolved and the surviving pilots were reassigned to III./JG54. Dortenmann took over command of 11./JG54. On February 25th, 11./JG54 was transferred to JG26. Dortenmann's 11./JG54 became 14./JG26. On March 29th, Oberleutnant took over 3./JG26 and on April 20th he was awarded the Knights Cross for 35 victories. During his last mission on April 27th 1945 he shot down a Yak-3. He was a POW of the British but was released soon due to his old wounds. He studied architecture and had a successful career in that branch in Heidelberg.

    Hunting had been a tradition in his family. His grandfather was a district official for the Hunt and Hans Dortenmann was also an enthusiastic hunter. On April 1st 1973 he died. In 150 missions, Oberleutnant Dortenmann achieved 38 victories, 16 on the Eastern Front and 22 on the Western Front including a B-17 Flying Fortress. He had the reputation of a daredevil and opened fire on his opponent from a very close distance. Despite this he was a prudent Staffelkapitan who often contradicted his superiors when the enemy numbers were overwhelming. His Staffel was thankful and they appreciated his talents.

    Not much on your question, but here is some info on him. I also posted the website that I got the pictures and info from.

    The Luftwaffe in Scale: Hans Dortenmann - Flying Ace, His aircraft and their history
     
  3. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Active Member

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