Saturday, December 6, 2014

Major Gerhard Barkhorn

Major Gerhard Barkhorn (20 March 1919 - 11 January 1983) posed with the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern (vorschlag nummer 52) which he received in 2 March 1944 as a Hauptmann and Gruppenkommandeur of II.Gruppe / Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52) / VIII.Fliegerkorps / Luftflotte 4, after achieved his 250th aerial victory on 12 February 1944, the second to do so after Walter Nowotny. Despite being the second highest scoring pilot in aviation history, Barkhorn was not awarded the Brillanten to his Ritterkreuz after achieving his 300th victory on 5 January 1945. Barkhorn flew 1,104 combat sorties and was credited with 301 victories on the Eastern Front against the Soviet Red Air Force piloting the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9. He flew with the famed Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52—Fighter Wing 52), alongside fellow aces Hartmann and Günther Rall, and Jagdgeschwader 2 (JG 2). Less than two weeks later he left JG 52 on the Eastern Front and joined Jagdgeschwader 3 (JG 3), defending Germany from Western Allied air attack


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