(1922 - 1995)
Erich Hartmann, the son of a doctor, was born in
, on April
19, 1922. He joined the Luftwaffe and was sent to the Eastern Front
in the autumn in 1942.
An outstanding pilot, he was appointed Squadron Commander
of Fighter Group 53 in 1944. Flying a ME 109 it is claimed he made 352
kills during the Second World
War. In 30 months of fighting, he flew 1,425 combat missions and
was shot down sixteen times but was never wounded.
Hartmann was captured by the Red Army in 1945 and held
in a prison camp for ten years. After his release in 1955 he joined
the West German Air Force.
His authorized biography, The Blond Knight of Germany,
was published in 1970.
Erich Hartmann died in Stuttgart in 1995.