Hans-Joachim Marseille file photo [18265]

Hans-Joachim Marseille

SurnameMarseille
Given NameHans-Joachim
Born13 Dec 1919
Died30 Sep 1942
CountryGermany
CategoryMilitary-Air
GenderMale

Contributor:

ww2dbaseHans-Joachim Walter Rudolf Siegfried Marseille was born in Berlin, Germany in 1919 to Siegfried Marseille and Charlotte Marseille (née Riemer). His French family name was due to the fact that his paternal ancestors were among the Huguenot refugees who fled religious persecution in France many generations prior. To those closest to him, he was known by his nickname "Jochen". His parents divorced when he was still young, and he remained with his mother, using his step-father's name, Reuter briefly on his school records before reverting to his original family name. He took interest to music as a child, and he was classically trained in piano; this interest would continue even after the start of his military career, as shown by his large records collection, most of which were of the American Jazz genre. His best friend during his younger years was a Jew, as was the doctor who delivered him; both of them disappeared during the mid-1930s, and their disappearance troubled Marseille. He was a rebellious teen, driven in whatever interested him at the time but lazy with the mundane. Between Mar and Aug 1938, he fulfilled his mandatory service with the Reich Labor Service, and in Oct 1938 he began basic infantry training. Although he and his father were never close, Siegfried Marseille, a military officer, was the one who helped him secure flight training after the younger Marseille expressed interest. He received flight training at Jagdfliegerschule 5 flight school in Schwechat, Austria. Although he excelled both academically and in the cockpit, his rebelliousness nature caused his record to be tainted with a great many reprimands. On a few occasions he was found drunk just before flight, which was a dismissal offense, and once he landed on the autobahn without authorization just because he needed to urinate, knowing well that it could lead to a court martial. Nevertheless, he graduated from flight training in Jul 1940, just in time to participate in the air battle over Britain.

ww2dbaseMarseille's first kill was achieved on 24 Aug 1940, merely two weeks after being assigned to a front line squadron; the victim was a British Hurricane Mk I fighter which he shot down over Kent, England, United Kingdom after having abandoned his wingman to pursue this target. After he returned from the mission, his commanding officer Oberleutnant Herbert Ihlefeld congratulated him on the first kill as well as reprimanded him for having abandoned his wingman. This would be the first of many exhibits of Marseille being a great fighter pilot yet a very poor team player. His rebelliousness continued while stationed in France. More than once, he stole his commanding officer's vehicle to drive into town to pick up girls. Even more daringly, he became romantically involved with the daughter of a local Nazi Party official; after the official had learned of it, Marseille only got away with it because his superior chose to play dumb with confronted with the party official. It was said that Marseille's bedroom conquests included a German general's wife, a Hungarian Countess, singer Nilla Pizzi, actress Zarah Leander, and many others. In 1941, Oberleutnant Johannes Steinhoff finally grew intolerant of the undisciplined Marseille and successfully transferred him to another unit in North Africa. In retrospect, this transfer allowed Marseille to change from a good fighter pilot to a larger-than-life figure. "If there had been girls in Africa, I do not think he would have had such success", Steinhoff would later say, concluding that the lack of girls, bars, and distractions of that type allowed him to concentrate on the war.

ww2dbaseIn Feb 1942, Marseille became engaged to Hannelies Küpper, a Berlin teacher. This came as a surprise for many of his comrades given Marseille's reputation with women.

ww2dbaseMarseille's performance as a fighter pilot shined brighter by the day, not only regularly scoring multiple kills during each sortie, but he also amazingly spent very little ammunition with each kill. Perhaps reflecting chivalrous values of a prior era, he always aimed at the engines of his victims and avoided shooting at the cockpits, so that his victims would have a greater chance of survival. On more than one occasion, as he noticed that his victims became wounded or could not see out of their cockpit windows, he would fly alongside the enemy aircraft in an attempt to guide his victims to a potential safe crash landing. He had also made several flights over enemy airfields, risking being shot down by anti-aircraft defenses in order to deliver messages about the fate of Allied pilots who were shot down in battle. Two such flights were made for Australian pilot Lieutenant Pat Byers, with the first flight made to inform his squadron mates that Byers was shot down but was under the care of German doctors, and the second flight delivering a message of condolence that Byers had passed away from his wounds several days later.

ww2dbaseMarseille's status as a successful pilot brought him some exposure to top level German leaders. While most others at comparable lowly ranks would be on their best behaviors when meeting such political celebrities, that just would not be Marseille. Having known that Marseille had extensive classical piano training, he was asked to play for Adolf Hitler, Hermann Göring, Joseph Goebbels, Arthur Axmann, Erhard Milch, and others dignitaries in Germany in Jun 1942. Characteristically, he thought it would be funny to play a jazz tune, a genre of music that was considered degenerate and was banned in Nazi Germany. Somehow, he got away with it without any punishment.

ww2dbaseWhile serving in Libya, Marseille had several sorties during which he performed superbly, but his achievements on 1 Sep 1942 would go down as his greatest in his short career. On that day, he flew three sorties and had 17 confirmed kills. While his squadron mates celebrated with Marseille, who was extremely exhausted from the over-excitement, German leaders from the highest ranks called in to congratulate him. For his achievements on this day, he was nominated to receive the coveted Diamonds to his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross medal. While he knew it was a great honor, he knew that once he had his hands on this decoration, there was a good chance that he would be recalled to Germany to serve in morale-raising roles. Such a transfer would remove him from his fellow pilots and his good friend Mathias.

ww2dbaseMathias was the nickname given to South African prisoner of war Corporal Mathew Letulu, who Marseille had taken on initially as his servant, but very quickly became a close friend. Marseille knew that as his kill score grew, the chance of him being pulled from the front lines increased every day, and if he was to be taken away, Mathias, who was black, might be in danger given the Nazi racial philosophy. With utmost seriousness, he had his fellow pilot Ludwig Franzisket promise to become Mathias' protector should Marseille lose the capability to be in that role.

ww2dbaseOn 30 Sep 1942, Marseille's brilliant 158-kill career came to an end. After the engine of his Bf 109G fighter developed serious trouble, he bailed from the aircraft close to friendly territory under the watchful eyes of his squadron mates. To their horror, Marseille's fighter unexpected fell at a steep angle, the vertical stabilizer striking him across the chest and hip. He either was killed at that moment or was knocked unconscious; in either case, his parachute did not deploy, and he struck the ground at about 1142 hours at about 7 kilometers south of Sidi Abdel Rahman, Egypt. Franzisket, along with the squadron surgeon Dr. Winkelmann, were the first two to arrive on the scene, bringing Marseille's remains back to the base. Mathias was the first to greet them, having already heard the bad news. While the entire squadron was devastated, Mathias, despite having known Marseille only for a short time, was deeply depressed at the loss of a dear friend; Mathias would survive the war under the protection of Franzisket. Marseille was initially buried in a German military cemetery in Derna, Libya during a ceremony which was attended by leaders such as Albert Kesselring and Eduard Neumann. He was later re-interned at Tobruk, Libya. In 1989, a new grave marker and a new plaque was placed at his grave site; Marseille's surviving comrades, as well as Mathew "Mathias" Letulu, attended the ceremony.

ww2dbaseSource:
Colin Heaton and Anne-Marie Lewis, The Star of Africa
Wikipedia

Hans-Joachim Marseille Timeline

13 Dec 1919 Hans-Joachim Marseille was born at Berliner Straße 164, Berlin, Germany at 2345 hours.
7 Nov 1938 Hans-Joachim Marseille was accepted into flight training and was given the rank of Flieger.
13 Mar 1939 Hans-Joachim Marseille was promoted to the rank of Fahnenjunker.
1 May 1939 Hans-Joachim Marseille was promoted to the rank of Fahnenjunker-Gefreiter.
1 Jul 1939 Hans-Joachim Marseille was promoted to the rank of Fahnenjunker-Unteroffizier.
1 Nov 1939 Hans-Joachim Marseille reported to Jagdfliegerschule 5 in Schwechat, Austria for training and was given the rank of Fähnrich.
1 Feb 1940 Hans-Joachim Marseille was awarded the Pilot's Badge.
18 Jul 1940 Hans-Joachim Marseille completed flight training at Jagdfliegerschule 5 in Schwechat, Austria.
10 Aug 1940 Hans-Joachim Marseille was assigned to I. (Jagd) Lehrgeschwader 2 based in Marck on the northern coast of France.
24 Aug 1940 Hans-Joachim Marseille scored his first kill, a British Hurricane Mk I fighter, over Kent, England, United Kingdom. While he was congratulated by his commanding officer, he was also reprimanded because he achieved the kill after abandoning his wingman to pursue the target. Later that evening, in his diary, he noted great sadness when he thought about the enemy pilot's mother not being able to see his son again.
2 Sep 1940 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a British Spitfire fighter, his second kill, over Kent, England, United Kingdom. He received minor damage in the engagement and ran out of fuel, but successfully crash landed on a beach near Calais, France.
9 Sep 1940 Hans-Joachim Marseille was awarded Iron Cross 2nd Class.
11 Sep 1940 Hans-Joachim Marseille scored his third kill when he shot down a British Hurricane fighter over the French coast at 1705 hours. His fighter received heavy damage and he was forced to crash land at Wissant, France.
15 Sep 1940 Hans-Joachim Marseille scored his fourth kill, a British Hurricane fighter, over southeastern London, England, United Kingdom.
17 Sep 1940 Hans-Joachim Marseille was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class.
18 Sep 1940 Hans-Joachim Marseille scored his fifth kill, a British Spitfire fighter, over Dover, England, United Kingdom.
27 Sep 1940 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down his 6th kill, a British Hurricane fighter, over London, England, United Kingdom. In doing so, he abandoned his duty as wingman to flight leader Staffelkapitän Adolf Buhl, and Buhl would happen to be shot down in combat in this engagement.
28 Sep 1940 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down his 7th kill, a British Spitfire fighter, over the English Channel. His fighter received damage in the engagement, but he was able to crash land in France.
16 Jan 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille began a period of rest at home in Berlin, Germany.
20 Feb 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille returned to his unit at Berck-sur-Mer, France after a period of rest at home.
1 Mar 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille was promoted to the rank of Oberfähnrich.
1 Apr 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille was promoted to the rank of Leutnant.
2 Apr 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a Hurricane fighter near Tobruk, Libya at 1250 hours.
23 Apr 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille scored his 8th kill, a British Hurricane II fighter, over Tobruk, Libya during the morning sortie. In the afternoon sortie, he was shot down and safely landed in German territory.
28 Apr 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down his 8th kill, a British Blenheim light bomber, over the water off Tobruk, Libya.
1 May 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down his 10th and 11th kills, two British Hurricane fighters, while escorting German Stuka dive bombers to Tobruk, Libya.
2 May 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille was promoted to the rank of Unteroffizier while stationed in Libya.
14 Jun 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille suffered damage in the engine of his fighter and was forced to crash land in friendly territory in Libya. He returned to based, took off in another fighter, and later was shot down once again, and again was able to crash land and escape unharmed.
16 Jun 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille suffered heavy damage with his fighter while in combat in North Africa. Unable to see due to oil-smeared windscreen, he still landed successfully, guided down over the radio by his flight leader Reiner Pöttgen.
17 Jun 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down two Hurricane fighters over Halfaya Pass in Egypt while escorting Stuka dive bombers; they were his 12th and 13th kills.
18 Jun 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille was granted medical leave; he would depart Libya for Berlin, Germany shortly.
25 Aug 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille returned to Ain el Gazala, Libya from his home leave in Berlin, Germany to Libya.
27 Aug 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a Hurricane fighter near Gambut, Libya.
28 Aug 1941 On his first combat mission after reutrning from home leave to recover from dysentery, Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a South African Air Force Hurricane fighter flown by Lieutenant V. F. Williams; it was his 14th kill.
9 Sep 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a Hurricane fighter over the Bay of Sollum in the morning, his 15th kill. In the afternoon, on another mission, he shot down another Hurricane fighter, the 16th kill, while escorting Stuka dive bombers toward Bardia, Libya.
11 Sep 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille claimed shooting down a South African Maryland bomber over Libya, but the kill was not confirmed.
13 Sep 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a British Hurricane fighter over Sofafi, Libya, his 17th kill. The Hurricane fighter was flown by Sergeant Nourse.
14 Sep 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down the Australian Hurricane fighter flown by Lieutenant Pat Byers over Bardia, Libya, his 18th kill.
16 Sep 1941 Without authorization, Hans-Joachim Marseille flew over an Australian airfield in Libya, amidst anti-aircraft fire, to deliver a message that pilot Lieutenant Pat Byers, whom he shot down two days prior, was being treated at a German hospital in Libya.
24 Sep 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a Maryland bomber and five Hurricane fighters near Buq Buq, Egypt, his 19th through 24th kills. Among his victims were South African Captain C. A. van Vliet, South African Second Lieutenant J. Mac Robert, South African Lieutenant B. E. Dodd, and New Zealand Pilot Officer D. F. Westenra.
12 Oct 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille scored his 24th and 25th kills as he shot down P-40 fighters piloted by Flying Officer H. G. Roberts and Sergeant Derek Scott over Bir Sheferzan, Libya. He also damaged another P-40 fighter on this day.
15 Oct 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille arrived at Munich-Riem Airfield in Germany to be introduced to the new Bf 109E-7 and Bf 109F4 variant designs.
3 Nov 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille was awarded the silver Honor Cup (Ehrenpokal) in Germany.
21 Nov 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille was officially awarded the German cross in Gold, but he would not physically receive this medal until 17 Dec 1941.
1 Dec 1941 Eduard Neumann and General der Flieger Hans Geisler awarded Hans-Joachim Marseille the German Cross in Gold.
3 Dec 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille returned to his unit at Ain el Gazala, Libya after duties in Germany.
5 Dec 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a British Hurricane fighter while escorting Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers south of Bir el Gubi Libya at 1525 hours. It was his 26th kill.
6 Dec 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down two Hurricane fighters, his 27th and 28th kills, over El Adem, Libya at 1210 and 1225 hours.
7 Dec 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a British Hurricane fighter, his 29th kill, at 0930 hours near Sidi Omar, Libya.
8 Dec 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a P-40 fighter, his 30th kill, over El Adem, Libya at 0845 hours.
10 Dec 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down the South African P-40 fighter piloted by Lieutenant B. G. S. Enslin near El Adem, Libya at 0850 hours. It was his 31st kill.
11 Dec 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down the British P-40 fighter piloted by Canadian Flight Sergeant M. A. Canty southeast of El Adem, Libya. It was his 32nd kill.
13 Dec 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille scored his 33rd and 34th kills, both South African P-40 fighters, when he shot down Flying Officer Thomas Trimble and either Lieutenant Connel or Lieutenant Meek northeast of Tmimi, Libya at 1600 and 1610 hours.
17 Dec 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille scored his 35th and 36th kills as he shot down two South African Hurricane fighters southeast of Derna, Libya at 1100 and 1128 hours; he also damaged another enemy fighter in combat. Later in the day, Albert Kesselring personally presented him the German Cross in Gold medal.
25 Dec 1941 Eduard Neumann ordered Hans-Joachim Marseille to depart Libya for Athens, Greece (changing the destination from Rome, Italy as originally planned) for rest due to the symptoms of sickness Marseille exhibited.
27 Dec 1941 Hans-Joachim Marseille arrived in Athens, Greece for treatment for malaria, jaundice, amoebic dysentery, and gastroenteritis.
28 Dec 1941 While in Athens, Greece, Hans-Joachim Marseille received a short telegram from his mother stating that his sister, Ingeborg, was dead, asking him to return to Berlin, Germany.
22 Jan 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille was medically discharged from a hospital near Berlin, Germany.
24 Jan 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille departed Berlin, Germany.
27 Jan 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille arrived in Athens, Greece.
28 Jan 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille arrived in Sicily, Italy.
30 Jan 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille arrived in Benghazi, Libya.
6 Feb 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille returned to his unit at Martuba, Libya.
8 Feb 1942 While in landing pattern at Martuba airfield in Libya, Hans-Joachim Marseille in his Bf 109 fighter encountered five Hurricane fighters that tried to jump him; he was able to break off from his landing approach, out-maneuver his attackers, and shot down two of them in return (his 37th and 38th kills). Later in the day, several British Blenheim bombers, escorted by P-40 and Hurricane fighters, attacked Martuba; Marseille shot down two of the fighters, bringing his score to 40 kills. At the end of the day, against orders, he flew over an enemy airfield to drop a note that stated Flight Sergeant Hargreaves (his 37th kill) was captured and uninjured; this personal mission led to Marseille being grounded by his commanding officer Gerhard Homuth.
12 Feb 1942 Eduard Neumann lifted the grounding order against Hans-Joachim Marseille, and Marseille was able to participate in a mission that led to the scoring of four kills northwest of Tobruk, Libya, consisted of 1 Hurricane and 3 P-40 fighters, bringing his score to 44 kills.
13 Feb 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a Hurricane fighter at 0920 hours and another at 0925 hours east of Tobruk, Libya, which were his 45th and 46th kills. He later met his 46th victim, South African pilot Lieutenant Le Roux, after the engagement.
15 Feb 1942 While escorting German bombers over Gambut, Libya, Hans-Joachim Marseille spotted enemy fighters taking off from a nearby airfield to challenge them. He would shoot down two P-40 fighters, Flight Sergeant Frank Reid at 1300 hours as his 47th kill and Flight Officer P. J. Briggs at 1303 hours as his 48th kill.
21 Feb 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down two P-40 fighters in the Gambut and Fort Acroma area in Libya at 1210 hours and 1218 hours; they were his 49th and 50th kills.
22 Feb 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille was officially awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for his score of 50 kills, but the medal would not be presented to him until two days later.
23 Feb 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille was informed taht he was to be awarded the Silver Medal of Military Valor of Italy.
24 Feb 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross medal by Albert Kesselring at Martuba airfield, Libya. The citation of the award was dated 22 Feb 1942, two days prior.
27 Feb 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down two P-40 fighters, his 51st and 52nd kill, near Ain el Gazala, Libya. His victims were Sergeant Roger Jennings and Pilot Officer Richard Hart.
28 Feb 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille arrived in Berlin, Germany for a period of home leave.
1 Apr 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille was promoted to the rank of Oberleutnant.
24 Apr 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille returned to his unit at Martuba, Libya after a period of home leave.
25 Apr 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down two fighters north of Ain el Gazala, Libya, first piloted by Squadron Leader Osgood Hanbury (his 53rd kill) and the second piloted by Sergeant Wareham (his 54th kill).
1 May 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille received his citation of promotion to the rank of Oberleunant.
6 May 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille received temporary command of the squadron 3 Staffel I./JG-27.
10 May 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down two South African Hurricane fighters, Captain Cobbledick at 0913 hours and Lieutenant Flesker at 0915 hours, southeast of Martuba, Libya, raising his kill score to 56.
13 May 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down two Australian P-40 fighters, Sergeant Colin McDiarmid at 1010 hours and Flying Officer H. G. Pace at 1015 hours, near Ain el Gazala, Libya, raising his kill score to 58. Marseille's aircraft was damaged during this engagement, but he was able to fly his fighter back to base, overheated (from loss of engine oil) and with unbalanced propeller. His fighter would be out of action for two days for repairs.
16 May 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down two Australian P-40 fighters, Sergeant T. V. Teede at 1805 hours and Pilot Officer Dudley Parker at 1815 hours, near Ain el Gazala, Libya, raising his kill score to 60. When Parker's fighter went down, it crashed into another fighter piloted by W. J. Metherall, causing Metherall to crash and become killed; this was not witnessed by the Germans and thus did not count toward Marseille's score.
19 May 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a P-40 fighter piloted by Australian Flight Sergeant Ivan Young at 0720 hours near Fort Acroma, Libya and damaged another P-40 fighter. The kill he scored might had actually been scored by his wingman Reiner Pöttgen.
23 May 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down two Baltimore bombers over Tobruk, Libya at 0720 and 0730 hours.
30 May 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down the RAF P-40 fighter piloted by Australian Flight Sergeant George Buckland at 0605 hours over El Adem, Libya, which was his 65th kill. After the mission, he drove to the site of the crash after hearing from his comrades that his victim bailed but the parachute did not open; he found the remains, retrieved identification papers, and made a flight over a British airfield to let the British know what happened to Buckland.
31 May 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down the P-40 fighter piloted by Major Andre Duncan at 0726 hours near Fort Acroma, Libya. Two minutes later, he shot down his first victim's wingman. At 0734 hours, he scored his third kill of the day. His score stood at 68 by the end of this date.
1 Jun 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down the P-40 fighter piloted by British Pilot Officer Collet over Gadd el Ahmar, Libya; it was his 69th kill.
3 Jun 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille engaged in the longest single aerial battle of his career over Bir Hacheim, Libya, shooting down six P-40 fighters (at 1222 hours, 1225 hours, 1227 hours, 1228 hours, 1229 hours, and 1233 hours), pushing his score up to 75. He used up only 12 cannon rounds and about 360 machine gun rounds in this fight.
4 Jun 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille originally received orders that he was to be sent back to Germany to be awarded Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, but on this date Albert Kesselring would personally arrive in Libya to deliver the citation (without the physical award). On the same day, he was ordered to prepare to become commanding officer of the squadron 3 Staffel I./JG-27.
7 Jun 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down the P-40 fighter piloted by South African Lieutenant Frewen over El Adem, Libya at 1610 hours. Three minutes later, he shot down the P-40 fighter piloted by South African Lieutenant Leonard James Peter Berragé. These were his 76th and 77th kills.
8 Jun 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille became the permanent commanding officer of the squadron 3 Staffel I./JG-27.
10 Jun 1942 Over Mteifel Chebir, Libya, Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down three P-40 fighters at 0735 hours, 0741 hours, and 0745 hours. At 0750 hours, at the far range of 500 feet, he shot down the Hurricane II fighter piloted by Pilot Officer A. J. Hancock. His score now stood at 81.
11 Jun 1942 In the El Adem, Libya area, Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down two British Hurricane fighters, Flight Sergeant Graves at 1625 hours and Australian Pilot Officer Charles William Parry Persse at 1635 hours.
12 Jun 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille flew a mission in Libya, providing support for ground troops.
13 Jun 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down four P-40 fighters in the El Adem-Gazala area in Libya between 1810 and 1815 hours. Three of his victims were Flight Sergeant Bill Halliday, Flight Sergeant Roy Stone, and Pilot Officer Osborne.
15 Jun 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down four P-40 fighters over El Adem, Libya between 1801 and 1806 hours, increasing his score to 91 kills.
16 Jun 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down four P-40 fighters over El Adem, Libya between 1802 and 1813 hours, increasing his score to 95 kills.
17 Jun 1942 In Libya, Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down 3 Hurricane fighters and three P-40 fighters between 1202 and 1212 hours over Gambut, Libya, increasing his score to 101 kills.
18 Jun 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille boarded a Ju 52 aircraft at Benghazi, Libya for Naples, Italy, where he was to transfer to Rome, Italy for his final destination of Berlin, Germany.
28 Jun 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille received Swords for his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross medal from Adolf Hitler at Wolfsschanze near Rastenburg, East Prussia, Germany. He also received Oak Leaves for his Knight's Cross, an award he had won earlier in this month.
6 Aug 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille received a telegram informing him that he was to travel to Rome, Italy to receive the Gold Medal of Military Valor (Medaglia d'oro al Valore Militare) from Benito Mussolini.
12 Aug 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille was awarded the Combined Pilots-Observation Badge in Gold with Diamonds.
16 Aug 1942 Benito Mussolini presented Hans-Joachim Marseille the Gold Medal of Military Valor (Medaglia d'oro al Valore Militare) in Rome, Italy.
21 Aug 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille departed Rome, Italy for Libya.
23 Aug 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille returned to his unit at Sanyet El Qutaifiya, Egypt.
24 Aug 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille met South African prisoner of war Corporal Mathew Letulu, whom the Germans called Mathias. Letulu would soon grow close to Marseille as his servant and friend.
31 Aug 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down two Hurricane fighters during the morning sortie over El Alamein, Egypt at 1003 and 1004 hours. In the afternoon sortie, he shot down a Spitfire fighter over Alam Halfa, Libya at 1825 hours. His score by the end of the day stood at 104.
1 Sep 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille flew three sorties and shot down a total of 17 enemy aircraft (two Hurricane and two Spitfire fighters between 0826 and 0839 hours while escorting Stuka dive bombers to El Taqua in Libya, seven P-40 fighters between 1055 and 1103 hours near Alam Halfa, and five Hurricane fighters between 1747 and 1753 hours while escorting bombers toward El Imayid). His score at the end of the day stood at 121.
2 Sep 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a Hurricane fighter (Pilot Officer G. R. Dibbs) and two P-40 fighters (US 1st Lieutenant M. McMarrel serving in South African Air Force and British Lieutenant Stuart) in his morning sortie between 0916 and 0924 hours over El Alamein, Egypt. In the afternoon sortie, he shot down two more P-40 fighters (Lieutenant E. H. D. Carman and Lieutenant J. Lindbergh) over El Imayid, Egypt. At the end of the day his score stood at 126. Also on this date, his superiors nominated him for Diamonds to his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross medal.
3 Sep 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down three fighters (British Sergeant M. Powers, Flight Lieutenant Canham, and Pilot Officer Bicksler) in his morning sortie between 0720 and 0728 hours over Egypt. In the afternoon sortie, he shot down two P-40 fighters (British Warrant Officer Stan Bernier and South African Lieutenant Ryneke) and a Spitfire fighter between 1508 and 1542 hours. At the end of the day, his score stood at 132. In Germany, Adolf Hitler reviewed and approved the nomination for Marseille to receive Diamonds to his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross medal; Hitler decided to personally award Marseille with this decoration before the end of the year.
5 Sep 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down two Hurricane fighters and two Spitfire fighters between Ruweisat and El Taqua in Libya. His score stood at 136 kills.
6 Sep 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down five P-40 fighters and one Spitfire fighter over El Alamein, Egypt, bringing his score up to 142 kills. In the evening, he received personal congratulations on being awarded Diamonds to his Knight's Cross medal from Albert Kesselring, Erwin Rommel, Hermann Göring, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Joseph Goebbels, and Erhard Milch, but his spirits remained low because he had lost fellow pilot Hans-Arnold Stahlschmidt, whom he considered a close friend, in combat in the afternoon.
7 Sep 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down two P-40 fighters over El Alamein, Egypt.
11 Sep 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down two Hurricane fighters while escorting bombers to El Imayid, Libya between 0740 and 0742 hours, bringing his score up to 144 kills.
15 Sep 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down four P-40 fighters and three Hurricane fighters between 1651 and 1702 hours southwest of El Alamein, Egypt, bringing his score up to 151 kills.
16 Sep 1942 Eduard Neumann informed Hans-Joachim Marseille that he had submitted the paperwork to promote him to the rank of Hauptmann. Later in the day, Erwin Rommel personally congratulated Marseille over the phone for having become the youngest Luftwaffe Hauptmann; Rommel also invited him to join him for dinner.
26 Sep 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down one Hurricane fighter and three Spitfire fighters near El Daba, Egypt between 0910 and 0916 hours. In his second sortie of the day, escorting Stuka dive bombers to El Hammam, Egypt, he shot down four enemy fighters between 1656 and 1710 hours. His score stood at 158 kills by the end of the day. When he returned to base, he was observed to be extremely exhausted, and his hands trembled uncontrollably. His superior Eduard Neumann grounded him for some days to give him a chance to rest.
28 Sep 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille was telephoned by Erwin Rommel, who wanted him to accompany him to Berlin, Germany for a speech at the Berlin Sportpalast. Marseille rejected the offer, citing his wish to save his leave time to marry Hanne-Lies Küpper later in the year.
30 Sep 1942 After a dive bomber escorting mission, the engine of Hauptmann Hans-Joachim Marseille's Bf 109G-6 fighter caught fire southeast of El Imayid, Egypt. Unable to make it back to his airfield due to black smoke entering the cockpit, the 22-year-old "Star of Africa" attempted to bail out, but while doing so he struck the vertical stabilizer across his chest and hip. He fell to his death 7 kilometers south of Sidi Abdel Rahman, Egypt at 1142 hours.
1 Oct 1942 Hans-Joachim Marseille was buried at the Heroes Cemetery in Derna, Libya. Albert Kesselring and Eduard Neumann each delivered an eulogy.
30 Nov 1962 Italian Minister of Defense Giulio Andreotti awarded Hans-Joachim Marseille's mother 1,500 Deutsche Marks.
22 Oct 1989 A pyramid-shaped grave marker with a special plaque was placed at Hans-Joachim Marseille's grave in Tobruk, Libya. The ceremony was attended by his former servant and friend Mathew "Mathias" Letulu, among many others.

Photographs

German Bf 109 fighter after force-landing on a French beach, 1940-1941; this might have been Hans-Joachim MarseilleGerman pilots Hans-Joachim Marseille and Werner Schröer having fun during a period of rest, date unknownHans-Joachim Marseille in Berlin, Germany, date unknownHans-Joachim Marseille in North Africa, 1941-1942
See all 25 photographs of Hans-Joachim Marseille



Share this article with your friends:

 Facebook  Reddit
 Twitter  Digg
 Google+  Delicious
 StumbleUpon  


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds



Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Sidney says:
8 Nov 2014 05:23:28 AM

Um dos maiores pilotos da WW2. Morrreu invicto, com 158 vitorias. Sempre sera lembrado por seus feitos. Descance em paz, bravo soldado.
2. Cody says:
16 May 2017 06:11:20 PM

'Having known that Marseille had extensive classical piano training, he was asked to play for Adolf Hitler, Hermann Goring, ...'

It's Göring and not Goring (which is simply an English word isn't it?). And the silly thing is in German with the umlaut all you have to do in English is add an 'e'. So if you can't spell Göring then spell it Goering. The same, I might add, is true of Führer: Fuehrer also works.
3. Commenter identity confirmed C. Peter Chen says:
17 May 2017 05:18:06 AM

Thank you Cody, the "Göring" spelling has been corrected.

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments
Security Code
 

 

Note: We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites
More on Hans-Joachim Marseille
Event(s) Participated:
» Battle of Britain

Associated Aircraft:
» Bf 109

Related Books:
» The German Aces Speak
» The Star of Africa: The Story of Hans Marseille

Hans-Joachim Marseille Photo Gallery
German Bf 109 fighter after force-landing on a French beach, 1940-1941; this might have been Hans-Joachim Marseille
See all 25 photographs of Hans-Joachim Marseille




Famous WW2 Quote
"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."

Winston Churchill