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  #1  
Old 28th February 2007, 02:57
Pete A Pete A is offline
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Seeking name of pilot who landed at Brandenburg Gate

Hello everyone,
I hope that you may be able to help me in a query I have. I am seeking the name of the feldwebel pilot that flew Field Marshall von Greim and Hanna Reitsch into Gatow from Rechlin on 26th April, 1945. This same pilot took off from the East-West Axis near the Brandenburg Gate under fire 3 days later with the same two individuals. Thank you very much for any information provided.

Pete A.
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Old 28th February 2007, 04:56
fsbofk fsbofk is offline
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Re: Seeking name of pilot who landed at Brandenburg Gate

According to After the Battle's Berlin - Then and Now, von Greim and Reitsch landed at Gatow in an FW 190 (Reitsch was crammed into the fuselage storage compartment !). From there, they flew a Fieseler Storch under fire to an improvised airstrip in central Berlin between the Victory Column and the Brandenburg Gate. While piloting, von Greim was wounded in the leg, so Reitsch had to lean over him from the back seat and take the controls. On April 30, they both flew out to Rechlin in an Arado 96.
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Old 28th February 2007, 06:14
Pete A Pete A is offline
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Re: Seeking name of pilot who landed at Brandenburg Gate

fsbofk,
Thanks very much for the info but there's a bit more to it. The luftwaffe pilot, that I am seeking information on, flew them in an FW-190 two-seat trainer below treetop level from Rechlin to Gatow under the protection of escorting fighters. Hanna Reitsch's presence in the fuselage of the Focke-Wulf only became known to von Greim during the takeoff run. From Gatow, Ms Reitsch and the Field Marshall flew themselves in a Fieseler Storch to the makeshift runway near the Brandenburg Gate. The Fieseler had its fuel tanks punctured by enemy fire during this flight, while as you mentioned the Field Marshall was wounded. Consequently, the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

Three days later, the same pilot who flew the two individuals to Gatow managed to fly a two-seat Arado-96 through the Russian defences onto the East-West Axis to retrieve his passengers. This time Ms Reitsch was bundled behind the pilots seat while once again the Field Marshall took the second seat. To outsmart the Russian anti-aircraft artillery for a few moments during the takeoff run, the pilot lifted off with the wind directly towards the Brandenburg Gate, just clearing the Quadriga.

This same pilot had flown Albert Speer into and out of Berlin via the makeshift runway some days previously. The pilot was obviously a brave individual and undoubtedly very experienced. It would be a shame not to identify correctly who this dare-devil is.

I have been intrigued for ages on this matter and hope that the knowledge out there can resolve my quest.

Pete A.
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Old 28th February 2007, 14:23
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robert_schulte robert_schulte is offline
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Re: Seeking name of pilot who landed at Brandenburg Gate

Hello Pete,
exactly this story is written in Hanna Reitsch's book "Fliegen - Mein Leben", where she describes the pilot as "Feldwebel B." I remember vaguely that the pilot should have been a flight instructor, however I don't remember the source and I wouldn't trust that memory too much.

Robert
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Old 1st March 2007, 20:03
Adriano Baumgartner Adriano Baumgartner is offline
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Re: Seeking name of pilot who landed at Brandenburg Gate

Hi!
Wasn´t this famous pilot the personal Fuhrer´s pilot, Bauer, who was also a Flight Instructor? I am just guessing...but it is sad that such a famous historian as Cornelius Ryan did not check this piece of information. He certainly had access to those who survived the last few moments, including those who lived with Mrs Hanna and Von Greim. Someone must have seeing, isn´t it?
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Old 1st March 2007, 20:08
Adriano Baumgartner Adriano Baumgartner is offline
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Re: Seeking name of pilot who landed at Brandenburg Gate

I did a terrible mistake: the Fuhrer´s pilot was Hans Baur and he was responsible for the Fliegerstaffel des Fuehrers (F.d.F) - A special unit for the air transport of other high-ranking German officials and heads of state from other nations.
Maybe there were some Fi 156 Storchs, Ar 96, Bf 108 and other machines available to the Special Squadron. I will suggest the book:
Hitler’s Squadron: The Fuehrer’s Personal Aircraft and Transport Unit, 1933–1945 by C. G. Sweeting. Brassey’s (http://www.brasseysinc.com/ index.htm), 22841 Quicksilver Drive, Dulles, Virginia 20166, 2001, 192 pages, $31.95 (hardcover).
Maybe we can find the name of the famous pilot...
Cheers

Adriano Baumgartner
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Old 1st March 2007, 20:26
Adriano Baumgartner Adriano Baumgartner is offline
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Re: Seeking name of pilot who landed at Brandenburg Gate

Hi! More information about Gen.Hans Baur:
Birth:

1897, Germany
Death: 1993, Germany
Adolf Hitler's personal pilot, author. He was a decorated WWI flyer and a leading commercial aviator during the pioneer, fledging days of Lufthansa Airlines in the late twenties. Hitler became the first head of state to use air travel extensively. He personally selected Hans Baur to be his official pilot. "Luftwaffe One" was a reliable four engine Condor which was plushed up and called "Immelmann II" after Max Immelmann a famous WWI pilot who was the creator of the famous dogfighting maneuver used during early combat between planes. Hitler increasingly relied on Baur for advice about air war policy and technical developments. At war's end, he was trapped in the bunker with his beloved Fuhrer. Prior to being captured by the Russians, he was shot and his injuries were so severe that one of his legs had to be amputated. The Russians were deeply interested in Hans Baur, thinking he had flown Hitler to safety before the fall of Berlin. He endured ten years of questioning at the hands of Russian agents who finally released him in 1955. He returned to Germany to write his memoirs "Hitler At My Side". He died in Munich of strictly old age ailments and was interred in the family plot in the Westfridhof in Munich.

My questions are: Was he injured while flying high personalities out of Berlin ( Russian Flak, like you mentioned )? It seems that he was ordered to fly Martin Borman out on 1st May 1945...Did he flew such missions out of Berlin? What the Russians learned from him? Did someone read his book? Perhaps we would have more clues to those answers...
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Old 5th March 2007, 22:29
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Re: Seeking name of pilot who landed at Brandenburg Gate

From JG4 book by E.Mombeek:

. At 14h15 GenOberst von Greim and Anna Reitsch (arrived ten hours before with a Ju 188 ) left Rechlin/Lärz for Berlin-Gatow, a 90km flight, both together inside the tail from one JG 4 Fw 190. They were escorted by around 20 fighters from JG 4 which will land back to Rechlin at 15h30.
. Maj.W.Moritz, II.(Sturm)/JG 4 with 5 more Fw 190 was able to complete the close escort without problem...
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Old 6th March 2007, 00:12
Pete A Pete A is offline
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Re: Seeking name of pilot who landed at Brandenburg Gate

Thanks very much for the replies so far. Sorry, I haven't read Hans Baur's book. Is there any information available concerning Hans Baur’s groundcrew that were near the Brandenburg Gate on the days previous to this mission? Wondering if any of them ever mentioned the pilot of Speer’s aircraft. Also, would it be normal for a two seat Fw-190 to be on the books of an operational unit (in this particular case JG4)? I’ve no idea myself….just putting the question to you fellow readers.
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Old 6th March 2007, 02:29
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David E. Brown David E. Brown is offline
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Re: Seeking name of pilot who landed at Brandenburg Gate

Hello Peter,

If I am not mistaken, Wilhelm Moritz is still alive and living in Germany (he lived in Westport, Ontario, Canada for many years). Perhaps he might recall who the pilot was gievn that these were aircraft under his command as olivier notes. Hopefully someone can confirm his status.

Indeed, maybe Eric Mombeek might be able to shed some light on this. Try contacting him here or via his website.

Finally, another possibility would be the author David Irving who has written a lot about this period and its personalities. A question posted to his website might be worth a try.

Best of luck!

David
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