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  #1  
Old 22nd December 2021, 17:25
Schlageter Schlageter is offline
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Luftwaffe Pilots from other Armed Forces branches

Hello gents,

I would like to ask for your help researching the career of specific Luftwaffe pilots.

I am interested how many and which members of the Army and Navy (maybe Waffen-SS too?) volunteered or were selected for pilot training and subsequent transfer to the Luftwaffe during wartime.

What was the criteria/ ratio behind these changes in the careers? Were e.g. only professional soldiers eligible for such a step? Did the other Armed Forces branches encourage these transfers or did they try to prevent losing their members (and trained and specialized personnel) to the Luftwaffe?

I am excluding from my request the Army members who served as observers in Nahaufklärungsgruppen and from 1943 onwards were sent to pilot training as well the (pilot trained) Army and Navy personnel who were transferred in the 1930s to build up the Luftwaffe.

I know of following examples to above-described process:
  • Helmut Lipfert (JG52), member of Nachr. Abt.37 of 1. Panzerdivision, volunteered 1941 for pilot training
  • Hans Dortenmann (JG54, JG26), NCO in an Infantry Regiment, transferred to Luftwaffe after self-inflicted wounds saw him unfit for ground combat duties
  • Siegfried Sy (JG26), Officer in an Infantry Regiment, began 1943 pilot training
  • Willi Heilmann (JG54, JG26), Officer in an Engineer Battalion, began 1943 pilot training
Do you know other examples of such a wartime transfer and career change?

Thanks a lot in advance

Best

Michael
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  #2  
Old 22nd December 2021, 20:29
tonda75 tonda75 is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe Pilots from other Armed Forces branches

Hi Michael,
It probably happened very often that the pilot was first a member of the WH, or another type of army.
I started searching among JG 26 pilots whose surname begins with the letter S and K.

Uffz.W. Spiegl 5./JG 26 I.R. 483
Uffz.H. Streufert 10./JG 26 Kraftf.-Ers.Abt. 32
Uffz.A. Jenner 11./JG 26 San.Ers.Komp.
Uffz.E. Kohler 3./JG 26 I.R.
Ofw.K. Kruska 6./JG 26 A.R.121
Hptm.G. Kelch 7./JG 26 A.R. 59 and 39.

If you are interested I can continue.
I did not include Flak members in this list.
Interestingly, before the war, many pilots were members of the police.
Regards Tony
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Old 23rd December 2021, 00:41
Schlageter Schlageter is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe Pilots from other Armed Forces branches

Hello Tony,

thank you very much for that promising start! Especially interesting that there are many JG26 pilots who went that career path…

Do you maybe also have the years they switched to the Luftwaffe?

Thanks again and all the best

Last edited by Schlageter; 23rd December 2021 at 00:42. Reason: Spelling mistake
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Old 23rd December 2021, 00:58
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Re: Luftwaffe Pilots from other Armed Forces branches

Alfred Wehmeyer (ZG 26) started his military career as a Gebirgsjäger (a member of the mountain infantry) and later transferred to the Luftwaffe. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Wehmeyer
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Old 23rd December 2021, 01:04
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Re: Luftwaffe Pilots from other Armed Forces branches

Hans Beißwenger (JG 54) was first in the SS, then in the anti-aircraft artillery, and then moved to the Luftwaffe: https://de.metapedia.org/wiki/Bei%C3%9Fwenger,_Hans

Dietrich Hrabak (JG 54) was first in the navy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietrich_Hrabak

Josef Zwernemann (JG 52) was also a sailor at the beginning: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josef_Zwernemann
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Old 23rd December 2021, 11:55
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Re: Luftwaffe Pilots from other Armed Forces branches

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonda75 View Post
Interestingly, before the war, many pilots were members of the police.
Regards Tony


there was a Polizeifliegerstaffel stationed in Oberschleißheim, overseeing control of German borders and air traffic.

for the OP, Fahnenjunker Martin Drewes was a tank commander in Pz-Rgt 6 before applying to fly and joining 4./ZG 76 in 1940.
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Old 23rd December 2021, 12:09
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Re: Luftwaffe Pilots from other Armed Forces branches

Quite a massive undertaking and noting the request is wartime only. Hans-Karl Mayer from JG 53 was a midshipman pre-war like loads of others
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Old 23rd December 2021, 13:51
John Manrho John Manrho is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe Pilots from other Armed Forces branches

In my research into JG 6 I also have numerous pilots who belonged to other branches of the armed forces before they joined the Luftwaffe. This concerns enlisted men and officers.

John
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Old 23rd December 2021, 14:05
tonda75 tonda75 is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe Pilots from other Armed Forces branches

Hello,
this is the rest of the pilots, the year in which the pilot training began is indicated in parentheses:

Uffz.W. Spiegl (1941)
Uffz.H. Streufert (1942)
Uffz.A. Jenner (1940)
Uffz.E. Kohler (1943)
Ofw.K. Kruska (1939/40)
Hptm.G. Kelch (1941)

OBlt.K. Bertels II./JG 26 Rgt. "General Göring" (1940)
Ofw.F. Roggenkamp 7./JG 26 I.R. 107 (1940)
Ogefr. H. Grimm 9./JG 26 Ln.Rgt. 1 (1943)
Fw.K. Schmidtke 4./JG 26 Ln.Rgt. 1 (1941)
Fw.K. Friedrich 11./JG 26 Geb.Jäger Rgt.98 (1940)
Lt.W. Nink 3./JG 26 I.R. 110 (1942)
Ofw.K.-H. Ehret 7./JG 26 I.R.110 and 485 (1939/40)
Ofw.F. Buchegger 2./JG 26 Aufkl.Rgt.9 (1940)

There are also opposite cases.
Two JG 52 ground staff, Gefr.Rudolf Wüster and Gefr.Eduard Woll, joined the Luftwaffe voluntarily in 1939.
In 1943, they volunteered for the SS and were members of the crew of the tank Tiger SS-Pz.Rgt.2 "Das Reich"
Regards Tony
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  #10  
Old 23rd December 2021, 15:13
tonda75 tonda75 is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe Pilots from other Armed Forces branches

Hello,
The pilots I had in mind were members of the police in different parts of Germany.
For example, Oblt.Herbert Heck (2./JG 26).
Before the war: SS-Obersturmführer H.Heck, Kriminalsekretär
Staatspolizei-Leistelle,Hamburg (GESTAPO)

Tony
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