Winterfeldt, Alexander von “Alex”.

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Winterfeldt, Alexander von “Alex”, born 11-12-1898 in Berlin-Brandenburg, Germany to the Prussian General.major and military attaché Detlof  Winterfeldt   ( 1896-1940) and his wife Marianne, born Freiin von Rotenhan (1873–1940)  Alex had two brothers, Rudolf ( 1897-1954) and Curt Wintersfeldt who would die, age 42, in World War II, in Poland in 1945.. Alexander a descendant from the noble famile Wintersfeldt joined the German Luftwaffe and became in october 1940 a Major and Kommandeur III. / Jagdgeschwader 77 nicknamed Herz As (“Ace of Hearts”). Jagdgeschwader 77 was a Luftwaffe fighter wing during World War II, famous ace  Johannes “Macky” Steinhoff

after a crash , would be one of his partners their.  

In 1945 JG 77 was relocated to Germany itself to help with the Reichsverteidigung (Defense of the Reich). In the last months of the war part of JG 77 was employed against the Soviet Air Force in Silesia. In this area on 07-03-1945 Kommodore Major Erich Leie, a 118-kill ace, was killed, age 28, in combat with Yak-9 fighters.

JG 77 served in all the German theaters of war, from Western Europe to the Eastern Front, and from the high north in Norway to the Mediterranean.All three gruppen (groups) within the unit operated variants of the Messerschmitt Bf 109. II. Gruppe was the only German unit entirely equipped, albeit only during November–December 1943, with the Macchi C.205, a highly regarded Italian fighter. The Macchi C.205 Veltro (Italian: Greyhound) (also known as MC.205, “MC” standing for “Macchi Castoldi”) was an Italian World War II fighter aircraft built by the Aeronautica Macchi of designer Mario Castoldi In 1945 Castoldi retreated to private life. He died at Trezzano sul Naviglio on 31-05-1968, age 80.

I./JG 77 took part in the invasion of Poland on 01-09-1939, while attached to Luftflotte 3. under command of Generalfeldmarschall Hugo Otto Sperrle.

In April 1940 JG 77 took part in Operation Weserübung, the invasion of Norway. After the invasion of France, I. Gruppe supported 10th Air Corps (under Luftflotte 5) under command of Generaloberst Hans-Jürgen Stumpff, in operations against the United Kingdom from bases in Norway. While stationed in Norway and Denmark in 1940 II./JG 77 claimed some 79 victories, for 6 pilots killed, before leaving in November 1940 for defence duties in Brest, France. In May 1941 II. and III./JG 77 were used in support of the invasion of Greece and the paratroop assault on Crete.

Following the operations in Crete, JG 77 was withdrawn to Romania; III. Gruppe was converted to the new Bf 109F. As Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union, started on 22-06-1941, II. and III. Gruppe plus Stab supported the advance East as part of Army Group South, while I. Gruppe served on the Finnish front. The Jagdgeschwader scored quickly. On 25 June, Walter Hoeckner of 6./JG 77 shot down 8 of 10 Tupolev SB claimed by III./JG 77, while on 26 June, Oberleutnant Kurt “Kuddel” Ubben  shot down 4 SB and Unteroffizier Reinhold Schmetzer shot down 5 SB.[5] In the period from 22 June to December 1941 the unit, and its attachment I.(J)/LG 2, destroyed 1,166 Soviet aircraft, in return for 52 losses in aerial combat and two aircraft on the ground.

Walter Hoeckner was killed in an aircrash on 25-08-1944, age 29. At that moment he held the rank of Major. By the time of his death he had achieved at least 68 aerial victories (including 56 in the East and 5 four-engined bombers) over the course of 500+ sorties. Reinhold Schmetzer would amassed a total of 35 confirmed victories before being shot down and killed over Catranico/Italy 07-05-1944, age 30.

Alexander “Alex” Winterfeldt was promoted  to Kommandeur Jagdflieger-Vorschule 4in Vienna-Schwechat.

Death and burial ground of Winterfeldt, Alexander von “Alex”.

Alexander von Winterfeld died on 16-05-1942, age 43, in battle, as Kommandeur Jagdflieger-Vorschule 4 at Vienna-Schwechat. He was posthumously promoted to Oberstleutnant der Reserve. He achieved 9 aerial victories and destroyed 15 ground targets. Alex is buried in a family grave with his parents and brothers Curt and Rudolf on the Invaliden Cemetery in Berlin. Close by the grave of Generaloberst der Luftwaffe, Director General of Equipment for the Luftwaffe. Ernst Udet  who commited suicide age 45.

 

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