Peter "Bonifazius" Düttmann (23 May 1923 – 9 January 2001) was a World War II Luftwaffe flying ace. He achieved 152 kills in 398 sorties. All of his victories were scored against Soviet opposition on the Eastern Front flying the Messerschmitt Bf 109. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, the highest award in the military and paramilitary forces of Nazi Germany during World War II.

Peter Düttmann
PeterDuettmann.jpg
Nickname(s)Bonifazius
Born(1923-05-23)23 May 1923
Gießen
Died9 January 2001(2001-01-09) (aged 77)
Echterdingen, Germany
Allegiance Nazi Germany (to 1945)
Service/branchBalkenkreuz (Iron Cross) Luftwaffe
Years of service1941–45
RankLeutnant (second lieutenant)
UnitJG 52
Commands held5./JG 52
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsKnight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Military careerEdit

Düttmann, trained at Ergänzungs-Jagdgruppe Ost (Supplemantary Fighter Group East) in southern France, joined 5. Staffel (squadron), Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52—52nd Fighter Wing) on 7 May 1943. He served with the same unit until the end of the war and soon became one of their most successful pilots, flying with Heinz Ewald and Heinz Sachsenberg. He scored his first victory on 21 May 1943 and downed another 24 by the end of the year.

On 11 July 1943, Düttmann ditched his Bf 109 G-4 southeast of Anapa in the Black Sea after being hit by return fire form a formation of Douglas Boston medium bombers.[1] Following aerial combat on 9 August 1943, he force landed his Bf 109 G-6 (Werknummer 19623—factory number) in no-man's land and was posted missing for 17 hours. On the 23 August 1943, his Bf 109 G-6 was again hit by anti-aircraft artillery resulting in a forced landing 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) west of Nikolajewka.[2]

He scored a further 18 kills in March 1944, 22 in April and 14 in May 1944. Düttmann became an "ace-in-a-day" for the first time on 11 April 1944 over the Kerch Peninsula.[3] On 7 May 1944, he claimed nine aerial victories to take his score to 91.[4] Suffering from combat fatigue he was sent on leave at the end of May and returned in September 1944. His 100th kill was claimed on 25 September 1944. He was the 92nd Luftwaffe pilot to achieve the century mark.[5] On the 13 November 1944 he was shot down by an Il-2 rear gunner and bailed out at 1000 feet, landing behind enemy lines, but managing to reach German lines. The same happened to him on the 3 March 1945 due to AA damage and he returned a day later. On 23 December 1944, he was appointed Staffelkapitän of 5./JG 52. Düttmann claimed his last victory on 26 April 1945.

During two years on the Russian Front, Düttmann flew 395 missions and claimed 152 victories (including 9 in one day) at the Eastern Front, including two Sherman tanks. His tally includes 38 Il-2s, 8 Boston bombers, 5 Romanian aircraft and 98 Russian fighters. He was shot down or crash landed 17 times but was never wounded. His decorations include the Knights Cross and towards the end of the war was recommended for Oak Leaves.

Düttmann died on 9 January 2001.[6]

Aerial victory claimsEdit

Matthews and Foreman, authors of Luftwaffe Aces — Biographies and Victory Claims, researched the German Federal Archives and found records for 147 aerial victory claims, plus 45 further unconfirmed claims, including one North American P-51 Mustang. All of his confirmed victories were claimed on the Eastern Front.[7]

Victory claims were logged to a map-reference (PQ = Planquadrat), for example "PQ 34 Ost 96453". The Luftwaffe grid map (Jägermeldenetz) covered all of Europe, western Russia and North Africa and was composed of rectangles measuring 15 minutes of latitude by 30 minutes of longitude, an area of about 360 square miles (930 km2). These sectors were then subdivided into 36 smaller units to give a location area 3 × 4 km in size.[8]

AwardsEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j The "m.H." refers to a Ilyushin Il-2 with rear gunner (mit Heckschütze).
  2. ^ This claim is not listed by Prien, Stemmer, Rodeike and Bock.[18]
  3. ^ According to Obermaier on 8 February 1944.[25]
  4. ^ According to Von Seemen on 9 May 1944.[29]

ReferencesEdit

CitationsEdit

  1. ^ Prien et al. 2012, p. 398.
  2. ^ Prien et al. 2012, p. 399.
  3. ^ Bergström 2008, pp. 47–48.
  4. ^ Bergström 2008, p. 51.
  5. ^ Obermaier 1989, p. 243.
  6. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2014, p. 248.
  7. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2014, pp. 248–251.
  8. ^ Planquadrat.
  9. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2014, pp. 248–249.
  10. ^ Prien et al. 2012, p. 383.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Prien et al. 2012, p. 389.
  12. ^ Prien et al. 2012, p. 384.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Prien et al. 2012, p. 385.
  14. ^ a b c d e f Prien et al. 2012, p. 390.
  15. ^ a b Prien et al. 2012, p. 386.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g Prien et al. 2012, p. 387.
  17. ^ Prien et al. 2012, p. 393.
  18. ^ a b Prien et al. 2012, p. 394.
  19. ^ a b c d Prien et al. 2012, p. 395.
  20. ^ a b c Prien et al. 2012, p. 388.
  21. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2014, pp. 249–250.
  22. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2014, pp. 250–251.
  23. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2014, p. 251.
  24. ^ Patzwall 2008, p. 70.
  25. ^ Obermaier 1989, p. 104.
  26. ^ Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 95.
  27. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 167.
  28. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 283.
  29. ^ Von Seemen 1976, p. 115.

BibliographyEdit

  • Bergström, Christer (2008). Bagration to Berlin—The Final Air Battles in the East: 1944–1945. Burgess Hill: Classic Publications. ISBN 978-1-903223-91-8.
  • Bergström, Christer. "Bergström Black Cross/Red Star website". Identifying a Luftwaffe Planquadrat. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.
  • Matthews, Andrew Johannes; Foreman, John (2014). Luftwaffe Aces — Biographies and Victory Claims — Volume 1 A–F. Walton on Thames: Red Kite. ISBN 978-1-906592-18-9.
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 – 1945 [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Luftwaffe Fighter Force 1939 – 1945] (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 978-3-87341-065-7.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D. (2008). Der Ehrenpokal für besondere Leistung im Luftkrieg [The Honor Goblet for Outstanding Achievement in the Air War] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-08-3.
  • Prien, Jochen; Stemmer, Gerhard; Rodeike, Peter; Bock, Winfried (2012). Die Jagdfliegerverbände der Deutschen Luftwaffe 1934 bis 1945—Teil 12/II—Einsatz im Osten—4.2. bis 31.12.1943 [The Fighter Units of the German Air Force 1934 to 1945—Part 12/II—Action in the East—4 February to 31 December 1943] (in German). Eutin, Germany: Buchverlag Rogge. ISBN 978-3-942943-05-5.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
  • Von Seemen, Gerhard (1976). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 : die Ritterkreuzträger sämtlicher Wehrmachtteile, Brillanten-, Schwerter- und Eichenlaubträger in der Reihenfolge der Verleihung : Anhang mit Verleihungsbestimmungen und weiteren Angaben [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 : The Knight's Cross Bearers of All the Armed Services, Diamonds, Swords and Oak Leaves Bearers in the Order of Presentation: Appendix with Further Information and Presentation Requirements] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7909-0051-4.
  • Weal, John (2001). Bf 109 Aces of the Russian Front. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-084-1.