Pflanz, Rudolf “Rudi”, born 01-07-1914 in Ichenheim in the Lahr region of Baden. His young brother Werner (born 12-01-1924 in Ichenheim), who signed up for the Air Force at the age of 18, died on 19-02-1945 as a corporal in the Kragau area in East Prussia, probably as a member of an Air Force field division. It rests on the war cemetery in Fischhausen (East Prussia) that was prepared by the German War Graves Commission. In 1938, Rudolf Pflanz was serving in Hermann Goering’s (did you know) Luftwaffe,
with Jagdgeschwader 131. On 01-05-1939, JG 131 was redesigned JG 2, nickname “Richthofengeschwader” At the outbreak of World War II, Pflanz was serving with 3./Jagdgeschwader 2, under command of Hauptmann Erich Mix . Mix died age 72 on 09-04-1971. Pflanz recorded his first victory over France on 30-04-1940 when he shared a French reconnaissance Potez 63-11 twin-engine reconnaissance aircraft with two colleagues of 3./JG 2. Pflanz recorded his first individual victory on 14 May, when he shot down a RAF Blenheim twin-engined bomber. During the Battle of Britain, Pflanz was to fly with Major Helmut Paul Emil Wick (56 victories, RK-EL) in the Stabschwarme of I./JG 2 and reputedly shot down British ace Flight Lieutenant John Dundas (13.333 confirmed, 2 probable and 4.5 damaged victories) of 609 Squadron RAF after Dundas had shot down Wick on 28-11-1940, Wick was never found and is missing to the present day. The Luftwaffe declared Wick MIA, presumed dead on 04-12-1940. John Dundas was shot in the same battle and died age 25 on 28-11-1940 and also never found.
Helmut Wick. John Charles Dundas.
By the end of 1940, Pflanz had recorded eight victories. Pflanz achieved marked success against RAF Spitfire fighters during 1941 and 1942. On 23-07-1941, Pflanz shot down five Spitfires and a RAF Hurricane fighter. After recording his 20th victory, he was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 01-08-1941. By the end of 1941 his victory total stood at 23. Oberleutnant Pflanz was appointed Staffelkapitän of 11./JG 2,
Death and burial ground of Pflanz, Rudolf “Rudi”.
On 5 June, he shot down three Spitfires over the Somme Estuary. He recorded his 49th and 50th victories when he shot down two further Spitfires on 28-07-1942. On 31-07-1942, Pflanz engaged in combat with Spitfires. He succeeded in shooting down one but was then shot down and killed in Bf 109 G-1 (W.Nr. 10318) “White 1” over Berck-sur-Mer in France. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Hauptmann. Rudolf Pflanz was credited with 52 victories. All his victories were recorded over the Western Front and included 45 Spitfires. Rudi Pflanz, age 28, is buried on the war cemetery of Bourdon. Also buried on the Bourdon cemetery are SS Hauptsturmführer, 1st Battalion of the SS Standarte, the II Battalion of the SS Standarte “Deutschland”, Georg Kubisch he married Hitler’s first love Maria “Mimi” Reiter,
Major, Kommandeur JG 27, Heinrich Setz, Hauptmann, Fliegerass. Befehlhaber 3rd Staffel, Horst Tietzen, SS Standartenführer, Führer of the SS Heimwehr unit, in Danzig, Hans Goetze and Hauptmann, Fliegerass, Befehlhaber 3rd Staffel, Rudolf Trenn