German pilot, probably Klaus Mietusch, exiting his Bf 109 fighter after a mission, 26 Mar 1944-18 Nov 1944, photo 1 of 2

Caption   German pilot, probably Klaus Mietusch, exiting his Bf 109 fighter after a mission, 26 Mar 1944-18 Nov 1944, photo 1 of 2 ww2dbase
Photographer   
Source    ww2dbaseGerman Federal Archive
Identification Code   Bild 101I-674-7775-31
More on...   
Bf 109   Main article  Photos  
Photos in Series See all photos in this series
Added By C. Peter Chen
Added Date 9 Jul 2010

This photograph has been scaled down; full resolution photograph is available here (800 by 552 pixels).

Licensing  Creative Commons. According to the German Federal Archive (Bundesarchiv), as of 21 Jul 2010, photographs can be reproduced with if these preconditions are met:
- quote the "Federal Archives" as source,
- add the signature of the pictures and
- of name of the originator, i.e. the photographer.
...
You also can use fotos from the Federal Archives for free on Wikimedia Commons
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Bundesarchiv



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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
7 May 2011 09:46:40 AM

OTTO LET ME TELL YOU: THE MUSTANGS WERE ALL AROUND ME, I HAD THEM SURRROUNDED AND DID A LOT OF FANCY FLYING, MY CANOPY WAS FOGGED UP
BUT, I THINK I GOT A PIECE OF ONE.
A PIECE OF ONE YOU SAY! THERE'S OR OURS?

I MADE IT THROUGH, WITH ENOUGH FUEL TO GET MY KITE BACK. HERR LEUTNANT TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR FUEL GAUGE, IT SHOWS EMPTY, YOU CAME IN AS A GLIDER PILOT.

Pilot returns from his sortie, happy to be back in one piece. Did the men in this photo
survive the war? did they live a life of peace afterward and have families.

Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant)
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
7 May 2011 11:28:42 AM

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY:

Major Klaus Mietusch, III./JG26 Claimed 75 victories 425 Combat Missions. Aircraft is Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6/U4 he was shot down by P-52 Mustangs on September 17, 1944 and was awarded postumously, Oak Leaves to his Knights Cross.
Awards:
Iron Cross 2nd Class, 1st Class
Wound Badge in Black and Silver
German Cross in Gold
Knights Cross w/Oak Leaces.
Luftwaffe Service 1836-1944
3. Bill says:
7 May 2011 02:48:10 PM

Major Klaus Mietusch shot down 75 aircraft
and flew 452 combat missions, my earlier comment stated 425 missions.

Luftwaffe pilots flew missions until they were killed or wounded they didn't have a
rotation system like the USAAF very few went
on to training schools to train new pilots, and pass on their combat experience.

In 1943 Luftwaffe fighter strength was 60% in the Western front, 22% in the Russian Front and 18% in the Mediterranean.
By 1944-1945 many of the experienced combat pilots had been killed or wounded so bad, they couldn't return to flying.
The few older veterans left didn't have the time to train the replacements, and many died after a couple of operational mission.

Replacement pilots had less than 160hrs of training compared to US pilots with 400hrs of training. Germany was running out of pilots, planes, fuel and oil.
The Luftwaffe lost 1,000 aircraft per-month
along the Western front and between 400 to 500 aircraft per-month on the Russian front.
Two weeks after D-Day June 1944 the Luftwaffe lost 600 of its 800 aircraft based in France. By January 1945 the Luftwaffe had
1,000 Messerschmitt Bf 109s left.


by January 1945 about 1,000
Bf 109s were left

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