Nowotny, Walter “Nowi” or “Tiger of Wolchowstroj”.

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Nowotny, Walter “Nowi” or “Tiger of Wolchowstroj”, born on 07-12-1920 at Ceske Velenice-Gmünd on the Czechoslovakian-Austrian border. His father, Rudolf Nowotny, was a railway official; his two brothers, Rudolf and Hubert, became officers in the Wehrmacht. Hubert Nowotny was killed in action in the Battle of Stalingrad . Rudolf was taken prisoner of war on the West Front in 1944 and would be the only one to survive the war. After the war Rudolf wrote a book about his brother Walter’s life .

From 1925 to 1935, Walter’s family lived in Schwarzenau until his father was relocated to Mistelbach, north of Vienna. Walter attended the primary school in Schwarzenau before graduating to the Bundesoberrealschule in Waldhofen an der Thava. As a child, Walter Nowotny showed a great interest in sports, playing soccer and excelling in javelin throwing. During these years, he also sang in the Cistercian convent choir in the Zwetll Abbey In 1938, just after the Anschluss of Austria, he volunteered at the Reichsarbeitsdienst. Nowotny had joined the Nazi Party (NSDAP—National Socialist German Workers’ Party) in 1938 with a membership number 6,382,781  He joined Hermann Goering’s (did you know) Luftwaffe on 01-10-1939. His flying training was completed at Jagfliegerschule 5 at Schwechat, near Vienna. Nowotny was posted to JG 54, under command of Oberst Hannes Trautloft;  on 23-02-1941. Leutnant Nowotny was assigned to 9./JG 54. His first four weeks with the unit were served with the Stabsschwarm of Ergänzungsgruppe/JG 54. at the time under command of Oberst Johannes “Hannes” Trautloft; Nowotny claimed his first victories over Ösel Island on 19 July, when he shot down two Russian I-153 biplane fighters. However, he was, in turn, shot down in Bf 109 E-7 (W.Nr. 1137) “White 2” by an I-153, flown by the future Russian ace Alexandr Avdeev, Avdeev had 13 victories, and was killed in action 12-08-1942) of 153 IAP, VVS, over Riga Bay in this engagement. After three days and nights at sea in a rubber dinghy, Nowotny finally reached the shore. He recorded his 10th victory on 13 September. On 11-03-1942, Nowotny transferred to 3./JG 54. He shot down five Russian fighters on 20 July. On 02-08-1942, Nowotny claimed seven enemy aircraft shot down to record his 48th through 54th victories. On 11 August, he shot down two Russian MiG-3 fighters. His Bf 109 G-2 was hit in the engagement and caught fire. Nowotny was able to bring the burning aircraft back to his base for a crash-landing, although he did suffer some injuries. Leutnant Nowotny was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 4 September for 56 victories. Nowotny, was appointed Staffelkapitän of 1./JG 54, nickname “Grünherz”  on 25-10-1942, he succeeded Major Gerhard Homuth Homuth was missed in action, age 28 on 02-08-1943 near Orel. Gerhard Homuth was credited with 63 victories in approximately 450 missions, 47 in Africa. He recorded two victories over the Eastern Front. His older brother was killed in action in 1942 on the Eastern Front, his father was shot by looting soldiers on 23-04-1945, age 28. Novotny recorded his 75th victory on 20-03-1943. On 26-03-1943, Nowotny met the first Russian flown Spitfire fighters, operated by the 26 GvIAP of the Leningrad Air Defence, and shot down one of them for his 79th victory. In June, he shot down 41 enemy aircraft, including five on 1 June (84-88), six on 8 June (93-98), his 100th victory on 15 June, six on 21 June (109-114) and 10 on 24 June (115-124). On 10-08-1943, Nowotny was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 54. He recorded 49 Soviet planes shot down in August 1943, including nine on 13 August (129–137), six on 18 August (146-151) and seven on the 21 August (155-161). His prolific scoring continued in September when he shot down 45 enemy aircraft during the month. On 01-09-1943, he shot down ten enemy aircraft (174-183); five in the space of 12 minutes during a morning sortie and another five in nine minutes at noon. He shot down six enemy aircraft the next day (184-189). On 4 September, Oberleutnant Nowotny was awarded the Eichenlaub for 189 victories. He shot down five enemy aircraft on 8 September, including his 200th victory. On 14 and 15 September, he claimed six enemy aircraft on each day to raise his victory total to 215. Hauptmann Nowotny was awarded the Schwertern (Nr 37) on 22 September for 218 victories. During his last ten days on the Eastern Front, ending on 14-10-1943, Nowotny shot down 32 Russian aircraft, including eight on 09-10-1943 (224-231) and six on 13 (239-244) and 14 October (245-250). Nowotny was the first pilot in history to pass 250 victories and was now the top-scoring fighter ace of the Luftwaffe.

267993_800 tumblr_n8q63rSrpa1rwiivfo7_1280  On 19 October, he became the eighth recipient of the Brillanten, by Adolf Hitler (did you know). The Nazi propaganda machine turned Nowotny into a “superstar” of the Luftwaffe. He had received the highest military awards available: Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub, Schwertern und Brillanten and was withdrawn from combat activity by the High Command. During the following months, his main role was to perform propaganda and moral-boosting duties before, on 01-04-1944, Hauptmann Nowotny was appointed Kommodore of JG 101, an operational fighter-training unit, based at Pau in France.   Walter Nowotny with Kurt Tank, Chief designer of Focke-Wulf aircraft factory. Tank (on the right) presents the German fighter pilot Walter Nowotny a model of the German standard fighter FW-190. Kurt Tank died 05-06-1983, aged 85, in Munich.  In September 1944, Major Nowotny was put in charge of Kommando Nowotny, equipped with the Me 262 jet fighter. The unit consolidated a number of test units and was tasked with acquiring tactical knowledge and experiene of Me 262 operations. The unit was based on two airfields northwest of Osnabrück: Nowotny was besieged with difficulties in operationally testing the jet fighter. In addition to staving off the increasing Allied fighter presence the jets attracted, he was also beset with the technical difficulties a new and immature technology presented. By 07-11-1944, Nowotny had claimed three victories in the new jet fighter. Command Nowotny mainly had to bring down American bombers that bombed German factories during the day. The forty kites shot over 136 of these bombers. On the other hand, there were also large losses: 25 of the forty were killed within three months, mainly because the Me 262 was a hard-to-fly aircraft whose engines also quickly overheated.Nowotny mainly had a leadership role with his squadron and only sporadically participated in the fighting. Nevertheless, during the period from September 1944 to November 1944, he still shot down seven American aircraft.  Hauptmann Nowotny at the bedside of one of his loyal fighter pilots.

From left Hartmann Grasser (103 victories), Walter Nowotny (258 victories), Günther Rall (275 victories) , Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein  (83 victories)   Grasser survived the war and died on 02-06-1986, age 71, at Köln.

Death and burial ground of Nowotny, Walter “Nowi” or “Tiger of Wolchowstroj”.

IMG_0134  Nowotny, age 23, took off on 08-11-1944, flying against USAAF bombers with a fighter escort. The exact circumstances of Nowotny’s death remain uncertain. Ground personnel reported hearing combat above the clouds. Nowotny reported he had downed a B-24 four-engine bomber and probably destroyed a P-51 fighter. He then reported an engine failure before making a garbled transmission referring to “i’m on fire” over the radio. Probably one of his engines was shot and Nowotny crashed with his device. He managed to get out of the cockpit and opened his parachute. Considering the low altitude, he did that a little too quickly, causing the parachute to flare open and hook onto the tailpiece of the Me-262. His Me 262 A-1a (W.Nr. 110 400) “White 8” was seen to dive vertically out of the clouds and crash at Epe/Branschke, 2.5 kilometres east of Hesepe. Nowotny crashed with his device and died instantly

  It is generally accepted that he was shot down by 1st Lieutenant Edward “Buddy” Haydon, of the 357th Fighter Group, USAAF and Captain Ernest Charles “Fieb” Fiebelkorn,  who died age 27, on 06-07-1950 in a crash in the mist, in Korea, (9 victories) of the 20th Fighter Group, USAAF whom shared a Me 262 victory at 12:45 over Achmer that day. Many witnesses observed Nowotny’s Me 262 A-1a Werk Nummer 110 400 (factory number) “White 8” dive vertically out of the clouds and crash at Epe, 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) east of Hesepe. The Wehrmacht announced his death on 09-11-1944 in the daily Wehrmachtbericht. Walter Nowotny flew over 442 missions in achieving 258 victories. Nowotny is buried on the Zentral Cemetery of Vienna in a grave of honor (Gate 2, honorary grave group 14 C). sponsored by the city of Vienna, which was still part of Nazi Germany.. Also buried here are Geli Raubal Hitler’s niece and “mistress” and General der Panzertruppe Hubicki, Alfred Eduard Franz Ritter von. Erik Iancovici from Sweden was so kind to sent the grave pictures .  .

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