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Oberst Günther Lützow, a fighter ace.

06-10-2017

Günther Lützow, born 04-09-1912 in Kiel, was a German Luftwaffe aviator and fighter ace credited with 110 enemy aircraft shot down in over 300 combat missions. Apart from five victories during the Spanish Civil War , most of his claimed victories were over the Eastern Front  He also claimed 20 victories over the Western Front, including two victories—one of which was a four engined bomber—flying the Messerschmitt MEe 262 jet fighter.  Lützow  volunteered for military service in the Reichsheer  of the Weimar Republic in 1931. In parallel, he was accepted for flight training with the Deutsche Verkehrsfliegerschule , a covert military training organization, and at the Lipetsk fighter pilot school . Following flight training, he was posted to Jagdgeschwader “Richthofen” (Fighter Wing “Richthofen”) in 1934. In 1937, he volunteered for service with the Condor Legion  during the Spanish Civil War where he was appointed Staffelkapitän in Jagdgeschwader 88 under the leadership of Leutnant Hannes Trautloft . From April to September 1937, he claimed five aerial victories. For his service in Spain he was awarded the Spanish Cross  in Gold with Swords and Diamonds, Germany’s highest decoration of the Spanish Civil War.

After an assignment as fighter pilot instructor, he was appointed Gruppenkommandeur in Jagdgeschwader 3  under command of Oberstleutnant Oskar-Heinz, “Pritzl”, following the outbreak of World War II. He led the Gruppe through the Battle of France and claimed his first victory of World War II on 14 May 1940. Lützow became Geschwaderkommodore commander) of JG 3 on 21 August 1940. After 15 aerial victories during the Battle of Britain, he was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross  on 18 September 1940. Lützow commanded JG 3 in the aerial battles of Operartion Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union. There, after his 42nd aerial victory, he was awarded the Oak Leaves  on 20 July 1941. Three months later, following his 92nd aerial victory of the war, Lützow was awarded the Swords  on 11 October 1941.  On 24 October, he claimed his 100th victory of the war, becoming the second fighter pilot after Werner “Vatti”  Mölders to do so. From September to November 1941, he also served as acting commander of Jagdgeschwader 51 , replacing Friedrich Beckh , who had been injured in combat, until the position was filled by Karl Gottfried “Karlfried” Nordmann. Nordmann worked as the president of Mercedes-Benz in North America and Canada from 1971 until shortly before his death on 22-07-1982, age 66. Beckh crashed near Charkow, age 34, on 21-06-1942. After being instructed not to fly operations, Lützow ignored the order, adding two more victories before being posted on 11 August 1942 to the staff of General der Jagdflieger Adolf Galland, serving as “Inspector of Day Fighters, East”.

In July 1943, Lützow was tasked with commanding fighter operations in Italy. From September 1943 to March 1944, he led the 1st Jagd Division  commanding all day-, succeeding Generalleutnant Kurt-Bertram von Döring , and night-fighter operations in northwestern Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. Döring died on 9 July 1960 at Medingen, age 71. Lützow’s role in the “Fighter’s Pilots Revolt” was considered mutiny by Herman Goering, who exiled Lützow to Italy. In April 1945, he joined Galland’s Jagdverband 44 . He was reported missing in action flying the Me 262 on 24 April 1945, age 32 while attempting to intercept a U;S; Army Air Forces B-26 Marauder raid  near Donauwörth. His body was never recovered. 

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