Galland, Adolf “Dolfo” Josef Ferdinand, born 19-03-1912 in Westerholt,
the second of four sons of a farmer, became a glider pilot in 1929 before he joined the Lufthansa. Adolf was fascinated by aviation from a very young age. When he was barely 12 years old, he was already building gliders with which he took off from a field next to his house. When Galland was only 16, he already competed as a glider pilot. Galland did in high school baccalaureate Buer Hindenburg in 1932 and joined the school of the German national airline, Lufthansa. He completed his training in Italy in 1935 and was appointed the first battle group, located then in Döberitz airfield near Berlin. In 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, he volunteered for the Condor Legion
and flew ground attack missions in support of the Nationalists under Bahamond Franco.
1940 Galland managed to persuade his superiors to allow him to become a fighter pilot. Galland flew a Messerschmitt Bf 109s
During the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain under defend of Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Sir Arthur Harris
“Bomber Harris” or “Butcher Harris”.
By the end of 1940 his tally of victories had reached 57. Adolf Galland was the commander of the Jagd Geschwader 26 “Schlageter”.
Galland earned the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords.
Albert Leo Schlageter (12 August 1894 – 26 May 1923) was a member of the German Freikorps. His activities sabotaging French occupying troops after World War I led to his arrest and eventual execution by French forces.
Although many Luftwaffe records were lost at the end of the war, research suggests that Jagd Geschwader 26 claimed around 2,700 aircraft shot down, with 763 pilots killed (631 in action, 132 in accidents). Some 67 were shot down and became prisoners.
Galland succeeded him. Over the ensuing years, Galland’s disagreements with Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering
(did you know
), Hermann’s cousin, Lieutenant Peter Goering was the wingman of Galland
(see Goering Peter
) (see Goering-Fock
) (see Goering-Sonnemann
) about how best to combat the Allied Air Forces bombing Germany caused their relationship to deteriorate. Galland was outspoken, something that was not often tolerated by Goering. Peter Goering was Hermann’s cousin and a wingman of Adolf Galland, he crashed over France and Hermann visited his grave in France one time. Yet, by earning and cultivating the support of other powerful personalities in the Luftwaffe, like Generalfieldmarschall der Flieger, Director of Deutsche Luft Hansa, Erhard Milch.
Milch a 100% Jew died age 79, on 25-01-1972 and Stafchef of the Luftwaffe, Günther Korten
and personalities in the industrial sector such as Albert Speer
On 17-01-1945, a group of senior pilots took part in a “Fighter Pilots Revolt”. Galland’s high standing with his fighter pilot peers led to a group of the most decorated Luftwaffe combat leaders loyal to Galland, including Oberst, Kommandeur der II./J.G. 52, Johannes “Macky” Steinhoff
and Freiherr Kurt Günther von Lützow
into confronting Goering with a list of demands for the survival of their service. Goering initially suspected Galland had instigated the unrest. Reichsführer-SS, Heinrich “Reichsheini” Himmler (Did you know)
had wanted to put Galland on trial for treason himself. The Oberkommando der Luftwaffe (OKW) appointed the more politically acceptable General der Flieger, Kommandeur II./J.G. 3, Gordon Gollob
a Nazi supporter, to succeed him as General der Jagdflieger Galland was captured by the Americans. Disengaging from the bombers, he was bounced by a P-47 flown by 1st
Lieutenant James J Finnegan
of the 50th
, USAAF, nickname “Sky Masters”. Finnegan and Galland have met first in 1979, in California
and have become good friends corresponding frequently. Galland was wounded in the right knee and his aircraft received further damage. He was able to bring his crippled jet back to München-Reim and successfully land, albeit with a flat nose wheel tire. He was forced to leap from his aircraft and take shelter because the airfield was under attack by American fighters. The wound suffered in this encounter were serious enough to end his combat flying. Galland surrendered himself to American forces at Tegernsee on 05-05-1945. He was held in military custody for two years. On 24-08-1945 imprisoned at Hohenpeissenberg. On 07-10-1945 Galland was returned to England for further interrogation. Galland was eventually released on 28-04-1947, He, together with Hauptmann, flying with I. Jagd)/LG2, “Star of Afrika”, Hans Joachim “Jochen” Marseille
Oberst, who destroyed 500 tanks, Hans Ulrich Rudel
and Manfred von Richthofen
, is seen as one of the best pilots all time. Galland married Sylvinia von Dönhoff
on 12-02-1954. Sylvinia was the former wife of posthumously Generalleutnant Harald von Hirschfeld
commander of the 78th Sturm Division
. He was severely wounded during the Battle of Dukla Pass and died en route to the field hospital on 18-01-1945, age 32.
However, Sylvinia was unable to have children and they divorced on 10-09-1963. On 10-09-1963, Galland married his secretary, Hannelies Ladwein. They had two children: a son, Andreas Hubertus
, nicknamed “Andus”, born 07-11-1966; and a daughter, Alexandra-Isabelle born 29-07-1969. The RAF ace Robert Stanford Tuck.
After the war, Stanford-Tuck became a mushroom farmer but continued to shoot–mainly grouse.
Death and burial ground of Galland, Adolf “Dolfo” Josef Ferdinand.
claimed 17 victories,
he was shot down and killed on 31-10-1942. Wilhelm “Wutz” Galland
, credited with 54 victories, was shot down and killed on 17-08-1943 over Holland (see About
) and is buried on the large war cemetery of Lommel in Belgium, 39.000 graves. Also buried there, Kommandeur Fallschirm Jäger Regiment 9
, the SS Obergruppenführer Friedrich “Fritz” Alpers,
Flyer ace Hauptmann, 25 victories in the Spain Civil war
, Walter Adolph
and the General der Wehrmacht, Chief Medical Officer with the Military Commander Belgium and North France, Dr. Wilhelm Dietrich
, General der Infanterie, Kommandeur of the 89th
, Konrad Heinrichs
and Vice Admiral, Military Replacement Inspector of Schleswig Holstein, Robert Schall Emden.
Galland later said in his autobiography: I consider myself a sportsman who plays a game with athletes from other countries. The purpose of the sport is to eliminate each other’s aircraft. Just as with car racing, fatal accidents sometimes occur. He also added:Politics has never fascinated me, I did not want to die for Germany or fight for Hitler. I just wanted to be the best. I happened to be born in Germany, if I was born in England I would have fought the Germans.
Dolfo flew 705 combat missions, and fought on the Western Front and in the Defence of the Reich. On four occasions, he survived being shot down, and he was credited with 104 aerial victories, all of them against the Western Allies.