Bitsch, Emil, born on 14-06-1916 in Baden, after registering as a volunteer with the German Air Force in the late 1930s, he would arrive at the battlefield on the Russian front. He was a Hermann Goering´s
(see did you know
) Luftwaffe flying ace of World War II. He was one of the most successful pilots in the eastern front. Emil Bitsch was credited with 108 aerial victories. He claimed 104 victories over the Eastern front and 4 victories over the Western front, all four-engine bombers. On July 1941, Bitsch first served with III./JG 3
under command of Oberst Günther Lützow,
based on the Eastern front. Oberst Lützow was reported missing in action flying, age 32, the Me 262 on 24-04-1945, while attempting to intercept a U.S. Army Air Forces B-26 Marauder raid near Donauwörth. His body was never recovered. On 4 September, Oberleutnant Bitch was shot down by Flak near Wertjatschi am Don northwest of Stalingrad. He baled out of his Bf 109 F-4 and landed safely, but had suffered light injuries in the incident.
He recorded his 100th
victory on 21 July. Bitsch was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 29 August for 104 victories, by Hermann Goering.
Death and burial ground of Bitsch, Emil.
On 15-03-1944, at the age of 27, Bitsch was shot down again and now killed in BF 109 G-6 in aerial combat with USAAF P-47 fighters of the 352th Fighter Group , nicknamed “The Blue Nosed Bastards of Bodney” over Schijndel in Holland (see About) (see Ackermans). The 352nd Fighter Group had 27 fighter aces, including Major George Preddy,
Colonel, later General, John Charles. Meyer who survived the war and died 02-12-1975, aged 56, in Los Angeles, California, Captain. John Francis Thornell, who survived the war and died 03-09-1998, aged 77. Captain Raymond Henry Littge , who also survived the war and died died on 20-05-1949, age 45 and Captain. William Thomas Whisner .who died at his home in Alexandria, Louisiana on 21-07-1989, age 65, from complications following being stung by a yellow jacket. His remains were cremated and scattered into theRed River near Shreveport, his birthplace. Preddy was the leading P-51 ace and commanded the 328th Fighter Squadron.
The crash site of Emil Bitsch was re-discovered in 1994 by Thijs Hellings, a researcher of the WWII air war from Schijndel. With help from the land-owner remains of the plane where recovered including radio, armoured glass, compass and many small items. Bitsch, is buried on the German War Cemetery of Ysselsteyn, Netherlands, close to the grave of Generalmajor der Infanterie, Feldkommandeur der 642th in Arnhem, Friedrich Kussin
the first killed, and “scalped”, German General during Operation Market Garden, his driver Willeke next to him. Also buried there the personalities, Generalleutnant der Infanterie, Kommandeur der 526th Reserve-Division, Kurt Schmidt
, Generalmajor der Infanterie, Kommandeur der 376th Infanterie Regiment, Oskar von Hagen
, and the flyer aces Hauptmann, August Geiger
, Oberleutnant, Paul Gildner
, Major, Egmond Prinz zur Lippe Weissenfeld
, Major, Kommandeur I./N.J.G. 100
, Heinrich Prinz zur Sayn Wittgenstein, Oberleutnant, Helmut Woltersdorf
and Oberleutnant in the 26th
JG, Air Fighter Squadron, nickname “Schlageter”
, Karl Willius .