24 July 2013

Günther Rall and His Men with Unit Mascot

Image size: 1600 x 1184 pixel. 408 KB
Date: Saturday, 6 March 1943
Place: Kerch Strait, Crimea, Soviet Union
Photographer: Reissmüller

"Wie spricht Rata?" (how does Rata?) Eichenlaubträger Oberleutnant Günther Rall (Staffelkapitän 8.Staffel/Jagdgeschwader 52) and the men of his Staffel (Fighter Wing) during a short break between two feindflüge (combat missions). The standing squadron dog is named "Rata". Front, from left to right: Unteroffizier Manfred Lotzmann (15 Abschüsse), Unteroffizier Werner Höhenberg (33 Abschüsse), and Leutnant Hans Funcke (19 Abschüsse). Rear : Oberleutnant Günther Rall (275 Abschüsse), Leutnant Hans Martin Markoff (15 Abschüsse), Feldwebel Karl-Friedrich Schumacher (56 Abschüsse), and Oberleutnant Gerhard Luety (38 Abschüsse). The picture was taken by Kriegsberichter Reissmüller in March 1943. Günther Rall (10 March 1918 – 4 October 2009) was the third most successful fighter ace in history. He achieved a total of 275 victories during World War II: 272 on the Eastern Front, of which 241 were against Soviet fighters. He flew a total of 621 combat missions, was shot down 8 times and was wounded 3 times. He fought in the invasion of France, the Battle of Britain, in the Balkan Campaign and over Crete. He began the conflict as a young Leutnant (Second Lieutenant), and was a Major and Kommodore of JG 300 at the surrender. He claimed all of his victories in the Messerschmitt Bf 109.


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