1944 Meeting with Hitler and Luftwaffe Officers
From left to right-those interviewed have their names underlined. Not present in the photo are Generalleutnant Adolf Galland, General of the Fighters, Generalmajor Dietrich Peltz, General of the Bombers, and Generalleutnant Hans Baur, WW I ace and Hitler's personal pilot.
1) Oberst Werner Streib Original Luftwaffe night fighter. He was officially credited with shooting down 66 aircraft, with 65 at night. He was was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords on this day.
2) Major Gerhard Barkhorn Luftwaffe day fighter. He scored 301 victories in 1,104 missions; all victories on the Russian Front. On this day he received Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords, later flew Me-262 jets with Galland and Krupinski.
3) Generalmajor Erich Walther Fallschirmjäger commander was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. Promoted to Generalmajor on 30 January 1945 he was taken prisoner of war by the Red Army on 8 May 1945. Erich Walther died at Soviet Special Camp 2 on 26 December 1947.
4) Oberstleutnant Kurt Bühligen Luftwaffe day fighter. By 1944 he had shot down his 100th victim. While flying over Soviet held territory his engine malfunctioned and he was forced to land. He was captured by the Russians and held as a POW until 1950. He had scored a total of 112 victories.
5) Oberstleutnant Hans-Joachim Jabs Luftwaffe day and night fighter scored 50 victories. Jabs primarily flew variants of the Messerschmitt Me-110 Zerstörer heavy day fighter and night fighter.
6) Oberstleutnant Bernhard Jope Luftwaffe bomber pilot. Recipient of the Knight?s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. Jope flew the Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor in the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean in support of the U-Boat wolfpacks of the Kriegsmarine.
7) Major Reinhard Seiler Luftwaffe day fighter pilot credited with exactly 100 victories on top of an additional 9 victories during the Spanish Civil War for 109 victories.
8) Major Erich Hartmann ( blocked from view by Hitler) Luftwaffe day fighter. Nicknamed Bubi by his comrades and "The Black Devil" by his Soviet adversaries, Erich Hartmann is the most successful fighter ace in the history of aerial warfare. He flew 1,404 combat missions and entered combat 825 times shooting down 352 Allied aircraft with 345 Soviet and 7 American. He received Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds on 25 August 1944 for claiming 301 aerial victories. He spent 10.5 years in Soviet gulags.
9) Major Horst Ademeit Luftwaffe day fighter. He was credited with 166 victories in over 621 missions and recorded 164 of his victories over the Eastern Front. He was posthumously promoted to Major.
10) Major Johannes Wiese Luftwaffe day fighter with 133 victories in 480 combat missions. Additionally he had 75 more unconfirmed claims. Among his claims are 70 Il-2 Stormoviks. Soviet fighter pilots therefore greatly respected Wiese, and referred to him as the ?Lion of Kuban?.
11) Wachtmeister Fritz Petersen Flak commander, Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves for extreme battlefield bravery.
12) Major Dr. Maximilian Otte ? Luftwaffe Stuka pilot. He was killed on 20 May 1944 by Soviet flak during the First Jassy-Kishinev Offensive. During his career he flew 1179 missions, most as a tank buster.
13) Hauptmann Walter Krupinski -Luftwaffe day fighter with 197 victories in 1,100 sorties. He also has 24 Soviet tank destructions. He was called by his fellow pilots Graf Punski (Count Punski) due to his Prussian origins. Krupinski was one of the first to fly the Me 262 jet fighter with Barkhorn in JV 44 led by Adolf Galland.