Army aircraft Messerschmitt Bf legend Hitler (MA) 109-G6n the foreign state as received from the auction.

Hermann Graf

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Hermann Graf
The head and shoulders of a man, shown in semi-profile. He wears a military uniform with various military decorations and an Iron Cross at the front of his shirt collar. His hair is dark and short and combed back, his nose is long and bent and his mouth is thin; he is looking into the camera
Hermann Graf
Born 24 October 1912
Engen, Germany
Died 4 November 1988 (aged 76)
Engen, West Germany
Buried at City cemetery in Engen
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Luftwaffe
Years of service 1936–45
Rank Oberst (Colonel)
Unit JG 51, EJGr Merseburg, JG 52, JG 50 and JG 11
Commands held JG 50, JG 11, JG 52

World War II

  • Phoney War
  • Battle of Crete
  • Operation Barbarossa
  • Eastern Front
  • Defense of the Reich
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds
Other work Salesman for an electronics manufacturer

Hermann Graf (24 October 1912 – 4 November 1988) was a German Luftwaffe World War II fighter ace. A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat.[1] He served on both the Eastern and Western Fronts. He became the first pilot in aviation history to claim 200 aerial victories—that is, 200 aerial combat encounters resulting in the destruction of the enemy aircraft.[2] He claimed 212 aerial victories in over 830 combat missions, 202 of which were on the Eastern Front.

Graf, a pre-war football player and glider pilot, joined the Luftwaffe in 1935. He was initially selected for transport aviation and was posted to Jagdgeschwader 51 (JG 51—51st Fighter Wing) in May 1939. At the outbreak of war he was stationed on the German–Franco border flying uneventful patrols. Serving as a flight instructor, he was stationed in Romania as part of a German military mission training Romanian pilots. Graf flew a few ground support missions in the closing days of the Germaninvasion of Crete.

Following the start of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Graf claimed his first aerial victory on 4 August 1941. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) after 45 Eastern Front victories on 24 January 1942. By 16 September 1942 his number of victories had increased to 172 for which he was honored with the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub, Schwertern und Brillanten). At the time of its presentation to Graf it was Germany's highest military decoration. On 26 September 1942 he became the first fighter pilot in aviation history to claim 200 enemy aircraft shot down.

By then a national hero, Graf was taken off combat operations and posted to a fighter pilot training school in France before being tasked with leadership of a high flying de Havilland Mosquito intercept unit called Jagdgeschwader 50 (JG 50—Fighter Wing 50). In November 1943 Graf returned to combat operations. He was appointed Geschwaderkommodore (Wing Commander) of Jagdgeschwader 11 (JG 11—11th Fighter Wing) and claimed his last aerial victory on 29 March 1944. He was severely injured during this encounter and, after a period of convalescence, became Geschwaderkommodore ofJagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52—52nd Fighter Wing). He and the remainder of JG 52 surrendered to units of the United States Army on 8 May 1945, and were turned over to the Red Army. Graf was held in Soviet captivity until 1949. After the war he worked as an electronic sales manager and died of Parkinson's disease in his home town of Engen on 4 November 1988.




Army aircraft Messerschmitt Bf legend Hitler (MA) 109-G6 foreign state as received from the auction. Purchased by the museum aircraft, used by Hermann Graf it has been restored according to its original camouflage. Restored version of the airplane to be presented to visitors very soon.