Monday, January 11, 2016

Stuka Ace Oberleutnant Johann Klaus

Oberleutnant Johann-Alfred Klaus (born 4 September 1918) was a veteran pilot from II.Gruppe / Schlachtgeschwader 1 (SG 1). He joined II./StG 1 in july 1942 and by the spring of 1944 was one of the Gruppe's best pilots. His demonstrated abilities resulted in his appointment to the position of Staffelkapitän of 6./StG 1 in August 1943. In 30 August the same year Klaus was awarded the Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (German Cross in Gold). After more than 600 combat missions, he was awarded the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes (Knight's Cross of the Iron Crosses) at Rovaniemi/Finland on the same day as Oberleutnant Hans-joachim Jäschke (26 March 1944). This photo was taken by an unidentified Hauptmann of the Gruppenstab who was taken prisoner in southern Germany in May 1945. There American soldiers took from him several rolls of exposed, but undeveloped, film. The film was later developed by Kodak in the USA, and decades after that a collector discovered the collection by chance. The photographs were subsequently returned to Germany, albeit in poor condition.

Source :
"Luftwaffe im Focus", Spezial No.1 - 2003

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