Galland, Wilhelm , born 23-10-1914 in Bochum, was one of four Galland brothers to serve in the Luftwaffe. Galland was born in Westerholt (now Herten), Westphalia to a family with French Huguenot ancestry. The first Galland in Westerholt was a refugee from France in 1792 from Veynes. He became a bailiff to the count von Westerholt, beginning a tradition that was handed down from father to son. Galland (junior) was the second of four sons of Adolf Galland (senior) and his French wife Anna, born Schipper. Upholding the family tradition, Galland (senior) worked as the land manager or bailiff to the Count von Westerholt. Their father had pet names for all his family members. His wife Anna was called “Anita”. Fritz, his older brother, was called “Toby”, Adolf was “Keffer”, Wilhelm-Ferdinand was nicknamed “Wutz” and Paul was called “Paulinchen” or since they were expecting a girl, occasionally “Paula” The oldest brother Fritz Galland served in a fighter and reconnaissance unit and survived the war. His older brother, Generalleutnant der Flieger, Adolf Galland
was one the most renowned German fighter pilots and leader of German fighter operations and also survived the war. His youngest brother Paul Galland, a flying ace with 17 victories, served with Jagdgeschwader 26 and was killed in action on 31-10-1942.
Wilhelm Galland enlisted in the Luftwaffe in 1935 serving with a flak regiment and participated in the invasion of the Low Countries and France with a flak regiment before volunteering for flight training at the end of 1940. He competed operational training with Ergänzungsgruppe/JG 26 and reported to II./JG 26 on 27-06-1941, under command of his brother Oberstleutnant Adolf Galland. He scored his first victory on 23-07-1941, shooting down a Spitfire near Hesdin. By the end of 1941 his victory total was three. On 05-05-1942 Galland was promoted to Staffelkapitän of 5./JG 26 , with eight victories at the time. His score was 21 by the end of 1942. Galland was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 26 on 03-01- 1943. On 13 January he claimed a Spitfire shot down, but, it was, in fact, a 6th Staffel Bf 109G-4 piloted by Unteroffizier Johann Irlinger. The mistaken identification of the Messerschmitt for a Spitfire cost Irlinger his life. The incident was cleaned up for the official records…
On 28 January, Galland received the Deutsches Kreuz in Gold for 24 victories. He recorded his 30th victory on 15 February, when he shot down a Spitfire near Ramsgate. Galland was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 18-056-1943 for 35 victories.
Galland was killed in action on 17-08-1943 during the Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission. II./JG 26 took off on a bomber intercept mission and engaged the B-17 bomber formation but were bounced by the escorting P-47 fighters from the 56th Fighter Group, USAAF . It is assumed that Wutz Galland was shot down by the American ace Walker “Bud” Mahurin of the 56th Fighter Group, USAA. Walker “Bud” Mahurin died old age 91, on 11-05-2010.
Death and burial ground of Galland, Wilhelm Ferdinand “Wutz”.
Wutz Galland is buried on the largest war cemetery in West Europe, 39.000 graves, of Lommel in Belgium. Also buried there, Friedrich Alpers, Kommandeur Fallschirm Jäger Regiment 9, SS Obergruppenführer Friedrich “Fritz’ Alpers, Flyer ace Hauptmann, 25 victories in the Spain Civil war, Walter Adolph and the Generalarzt der Wehrmacht, Dr. Wilhelm Dietrich, General der Infanterie, Chief Medical Officer with the Military Commander Belgium and North France, Konrad Heinrichs and Vice Admiral, Military Replacement Inspector of Schleswig Holstein, Robert Schall Emden.