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Allied and Soviet Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the Air Forces of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union.

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Old 9th December 2015, 20:19
Bruce Lander's Avatar
Bruce Lander Bruce Lander is offline
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Joe Klaas

Joe Klaas was an American volunteer Fighter Pilot in the RAF, he flew Spitfires in the UK before transferring to the USAAF.
On 6th April 1943 while serving with the 31st Fighter Group/307th Squadron in Tunisia he was shot down in combat over La Fauconnerie by 109's and captured. For the remainder of the War he was a PoW and took part in the awful death march in the winter of 1944/45
His novel, Maybe I'm Dead, based on how he survived the Stalag Luft III death march is a terrific book.

Can anyone supply details of his RAF career ?

Bruce Lander
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Old 10th December 2015, 03:08
kaki3152 kaki3152 is offline
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Re: Joe Klaas

From the detail in his book, he was taken to the HQ of III/JG-77 after being taken POW.

He was also the grandfather of Polly Klaas, famous murder victim.
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Old 11th December 2015, 19:43
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Re: Joe Klaas

Hi Kaki,

thanks for that, I know he was one of several American RAF volunteers transferred to the 31st F.G. shortly after they arrived in England.
I just would be interested in his RAF operational career.
It seems that there were many American volunteers in the RAF, not all who served in the 3 Eagle Squadrons (and quite a few who stayed in the RAF).
Was it required to have served in 71,121 or 133 Squadrons to qualify as an Eagle ?

Bruce Lander
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