Bartels, Heinrich, born on 13-07-1918 in Linz, Austria, was German World War II Luftwaffe
, 99 victories, Flying ace. A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat. Bartels was working as a baker when Hitler came to power. Following Austria’s unification with Nazi Germany in 1938, Bartels was drafted into the Luftwaffe. Bartels’ wife’s name was Margo, and they had one son, Heinz. Thus when Hitler came to power and completed his unification of Austria, Bartels was drafted by Adolf Hitler
(did you know
) (see Alois
(see William Hitler
). From early summer 1941, Bartels served with Ergänzungsstaffel/JG 26
on the Channel front and the Battle for Britain (see Bomber Harris
On 13-11-1942 he was awarded the Iron Cross for 46 victories. He claimed 47 Russian aircraft shot down in 100 combat missions on the Arctic front, 21 of which were in the month of September 1942 alone. He received the Knight Cross of the Iron Cross
after 46 aerial victories on 13-11-1942 In the spring of 1943, Bartels was transferred to Jagdgeschwader 27, nickname “Afrika”
, under Oberstleutnant, Gustav Rödel
based in the Mediterranean theatre.
His Bf 109 F “Black 13” was named Hella.
By the end of 1943 he had increased the number of aerial victories claimed to 73, 24 these victories in 6 weeks among them four each on 25-10-1943 and 15-11-1943. He claimed 12 fighters of the United States Army Air Force
shot down in the months April and May 1944. For these achievements he was nominated for Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves.
His score totaled 99 victories in some 500 combat missions, with 49 on the Eastern Front. His score included nine Spitfires, nine P-47s, eleven P-51s, and fourteen P-38s.
On 23-12-1944 Heinrich Bartels took off for his last and fatal mission. Most likely he was shot down by P-47 Thunderbolt fighters of the USAAF 56th
and was missed, his Messerschmidt had the number 13.
His intact parachute and the remains of his uniform jacket with his Iron Cross 1st Class, still attached found during his recovery in 1968. The 56th Fighter Group is credited by the Air Force Historical Research Agency with the destruction of 665.5 aircraft in air-to-air combat, the 56th Fighter Group had more air-to-air kills than any other fighter group in the Eighth Air Force , was the top-scoring Republic P-47 Thunderbolt group during World War II, and recorded the second-highest number of air-to-air kills of any USAAF fighter group. The 56th also claimed 311 fighters destroyed on the ground. Among the various units of the 56th, the 61st Fighter Squadron had the most victories, 232 shot down by 68 pilots. The 62nd Fighter Squadron was credited with 219.5 kills by 79 pilots, the 63rd Fighter Squadron with 174.25 kills by 64 pilots, and group headquarters with 39.75 kills by 4 pilots. Barton, Raymond Oscar Bartels is buried, in the age of 29, on the cemetery of Wachtberg, Villip, close by is the grave of
another flying ace, Kommandeur der II./J.G. 52, Oberst Johannes “Macky” Steinhoff. By the end of 1940, the unit had amassed 177 claims, but had suffered high losses; 53 pilots killed or POW in the Battle of Britain alone.