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My flying life
In April 1939 I had the opportunity to participate in a gliding course in euzauche-Straupitz take. I seized this opportunity and started from the slope of the vineyard, just as Otto Lilienthal, the Gliding. Our glider was launched with a bungee cord, and yet there I flown to the "A" test. After that we went to further education after Finsterwald, where I until 1941 until all tests Put pilot license, then the so-called "Official C" could. I really wanted to be a pilot and was drafted in March 1942 as a volunteer. About Berlin, I came to Schleswig, where I was dressed and immediately forwarded to Douia in Northern France. Here I spent my time and was able to recruit during this time, all examinations and Preliminary tests for the pilots to meet career. About the trainee pilot's 1st Battalion "Monte Rosa" I joined in January 1943 to Flugzeugführerschule A/B3 to Guben. Here began the work of the school Neuhausen near Cottbus my training as a pilot. I made with a 181 the 1st Bücker Alleinflüge, to transfer to the Bücker 131, the FW 44 Stieglitz and Klemm 35th On completion of flying training I came to Drewitz for further training on the 2-engined French Caudron C 445th After fulfillment of this program, I came back to Guben to complete training. In Guben I continued in the art, land, instrument and night flight training. Besides took many lessons instead, so the sparks with listening and giving. In September 1943 there I passed the test pilot and received the badge and the flying daggers awarded. Afterwards the transfer to fighter training schools JG 102 to Zerbst First, I was redirected to the pre-fighters south of Magdeburg. Here, we trained at the Heinkel He 51, the FW 44 pestle, The Bücker 133 and the Arado 96th In Magdeburg, we were in the air shooting at ground targets, the association and low altitude, and air combat trained. Then it was back to Zerbst for retraining to the Messerschmitt Me 109
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"At last we stood before our dream plane. This was different in all of the previously flown aircraft. She was the "Star Fighter" this time. The ME was then the fastest Fighter aircraft at all, it reached a cruising speed of over 500 km / h, had a rate of climb over 1000 mtr. / min. and the Meter Service ceiling was at 12,000. She had an enclosed cabin, retractable landing gear and an automatic Verstellluftschraube and automatic adjustment of the cooling water valves and much more. However, she was taking off and landing extremely sensitive to handle and leaned heavily to break. It has allowed many big problems pilots to fly this plane racy. The Transition from open biplanes to Me was great. The Me 109 came in 1936, first appearance.
Then she had a 800 horsepower engine and a takeoff weight of 2,000 Klg. The latest version of the I flew the other hand, an engine with 2000 hp off power, and weighed over 4000 Klg. Thus, the speed, armament, payload and reach altitudes were different. The Me 109 was built in the world, Most data on fighter aircraft, about 40th 000 pcs produced them. There was then no doubles of this type. To help us with the handling of this Familiarize aircraft could, it was initially an extensive training program on Soil done .. Then we went rolling tests, so we learned to feel, in spite of this device poor visibility from the pilot's seat to move from the ground. Then start attempts were made with Grid, rolling back and cancel the launch. The Me Meter had a very narrow landing gear and a strong engine with a propeller of 3.75. Diameter. The short trunk and low vertical stabilizer produced changes in the longitudinal Curlers at the start a very strong return torque. This often led to outbreaks, and ended then with a so-called Ringelpietz. There was thus the start-and landing process often breaks .. Out Therefore, were also used only the best pilots through their pilots on this machine. After completion of this exercise program was dismantled for the first flights, the cabin roof to
Schiebemomentverhalten during the takeoff and landing to feel better.
Without difficulty, I was able to achieve the training objective for the fighters and, after passing the test group to complement the East to Legnica, Silesia for further training added. Since I was scheduled for the Me 109 a further move took place after the Lamsdorf Near Brzeg, Silesia. Here I received from experienced fighter pilots the final touch, then made my transfer to a task force. I was transferred to the Second Group of Jagdgeschwader 27 according Fels am Wagram - Austria. The Second group of JG 27, was assigned to me, was with three squadrons, the 4th, 5th, and the 6. Season on the air base Fels am Wagram. After great losses of pilots and Machines was this hunting group here refreshed with personnel and equipment. Group Commander Group II was Capt. Fritz Keller. I got the "yellow 14" assigned to Fighter Wing emblem of 27 Squadron commander of the 6th Season, to which I belonged, was Olt. Eberhard Schade. I was also lucky because Both officers were exemplary in their attitude and as a supervisor. The planes of the 6th Season wore yellow flag and I was the "yellow assigned to 14". After Achievement of full operational strength should be our group, against Italy from the incoming
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Allied air forces are used. It was mainly about the war-oil fields and protect refineries in Austria, Hungary and Romania. In my notes, I will describe any exploits but try some of my To describe experiences as a fighter pilot. The Messerschmitts of Group II / JG 27 were as 1 Association in the air force with a special Height engine has been fitted. He had instead of the 2-stages of a 3-loader loaders from the stairs DB 603 engine and fitted with this, we had advantages in air combat with enemy fighters in high altitude. The addition of the larger turbocharger also changed the look of this type.
Pilots of the 6th Stff. / II.JG 27 in Fels am Wagram in early June 1944 (Up to Toni Bradatsch, Hans and Fritz Koal Stenglein all these pilots from the 6th stff. Fell in 1944, been wounded, or flights of enemy never returned.) In early June 1944, the Group II JG 27 was reported again serviceable and I expected my 1st Combat mission. Often we knew the start time of the enemy formations, which were launched in Italy or in England. So we could calculate approximately when they will fly into our defense and Thus, our approximate starting time. Over a Rundsprechanlage was constantly the battle situation transmitted, in between there was music titles. The program was in announcements of new Bereitschaftsstufen interrupted. "Attention, attention, whether immediate readiness 15 minutes," then rattled through the speakers. now knowwe that we can expect in the next 15 minutes with an alarm start. Nervously smoked a few comrades prepare a cigarette or tried on their way to the combat mission. Then came the expected next Beloved: "From now on" Home readiness ". The divided pilots run their machines, where waiting Flugzeugwarte already. Fast pee once more to the tail wheel as it the superstition of Fighters demands, then create the parachute, get in, buckle. Yet Once all the check and wait for the start command. This is the worst period before a Set off an alarm until finally comes the command for starting the engines. From that moment on, focus was only on the launch, flight and the enemy, all others had forgotten, or else one is already lost. Forget about the beautiful yesterday evening with the girlfriend at home and not in what one might happen could crash, injury, or a parachute jump that one of the enemy flight is no longer could return.
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Already on my third flight I could use my 1st Achieve victory in the air. I shot American P-51 Mustang from. The dogfight took place as follows: After the alarm got our start Season with 12 Meter machines quickly towards the Alps to an altitude of over 10,000. We got in contact with enemy fighters from the American Type Mustang which somewhat lower than we flew. It started a wild dogfight, I first tried keeping close behind my Swarm to remain leader. Then I saw a Mustang, which flew by me and a little lower mitkreiste. So I left my position and squeezed my way Me down and came at once into good
Shooting position behind the enemy aircraft. A tough dogfight ensued between us, it was about Life or death, everyone wanted to shoot the others. Attempts are in a good shooting position behind to benefit the enemy. Attempts must be made by flying skills, the other this To make possible. In a dogfight says nerves reserve the right to remain calm and continue fighting. I shot with my guns, achieved results and saw the pilot taken from his machine got out with the parachute. (My shooting was confirmed by the USAF.) A very special experience I had after that after landing in Götzendorf. A Flugzeugwart dismissed me to a splitter, I turned off the engine. As usual, the Wart jumped up on the wing to when you open the heavy, armored canopy to help. Big surprise, the Wart was my friend Wolfgang Eichler, we were together as apprentices in Vetschau in "FaGeb"
been. Wolfgang was used in Götzendorf as Flugzeugwart. (Coincidence!)
On another mission that went through Hungary to Romania, I flew as in Kaczmarek
Squadron commander. On the way back we got a dogfight over Hungary, with over 20 Mustangs. I was forced to make a belly landing in the city Vámosmikola in Hungary. After the successful Belly landing I was received by people working in the fields So close they had never seen an airplane in their lives. Then the police came and I gave they guard the job, the machine itself.
A carriage with two thoroughbred horses in front and two foals drove up alongside ongoing. A Lady with her two daughters got out, greeted me and invited me to be in her house guest. They spoke good German. As we rode in a triumphal procession through the village and people were everywhere and
waved to me. I can do it all not so reflect, but for me it was a unique experience. My Landing site was called "Vamosmicola" and is located on the Danube Bend, just north of the city on Gran Eipel, a Tributary of the Danube. The city has been much celebrated, and everyone wanted as a guest of the German air have. I had to always plenty to eat and drink. In the evening found me at the estate in honor of my Quartier people dance instead. A gypsy band was playing. I was then 20 years old and came great to me improbable. Finally, I had the bride by the son of my district people
kiss. This is where tradition and custom. Only after three days of the salvage command came from Budapest and I had the hospitable city leave. Quasi hitchhike, I went then by train, took a Truppentransportzug and finally me coming from Budapest doctor of Pressburg-Bratislava in his Opel until after
Vienna. With the train I rode the last stretch to Fels am Wagram. My squadron had already written me off and reported me as missing, since my country reporting did not succeed because telephone lines were disrupted.
In August 1944, our Group II to the "kingdom was moved," as it said so in Austria. For uswas a heavy, lossy, but again, beautiful portion to an end. The hospitality Austria, Vienna, the wine, the girls and the beautiful scenery are unforgettable. Our new application has been Borkheide airfield near Berlin. Here, we flew as high-altitude fighter escort for the assault group of JG 3 "Udet". There was a further move to Finsterwalde to where the to incorporate the same job for the stationed here, JG 11th On 16 September 1944, a Sunday, our group was in the late afternoon suddenly Transfer command to an air base Gutersloh. I was already on its way to the station to another to go home. A dispatch riders back me up. British airborne troops were with Gliders and paratroopers in Holland in the Arnhem area, Eindhoven and Nijmegen landed. To support our ground troops, we were very early the next morning there used. For us as a special high-altitude fighter, this was a completely new and unfamiliar task. Flew otherwise we always at high altitudes, we were given orders to fight at low altitude to ground targets.
When I first outing at the landing site of the British flew over, I did not want my eyes . trust The ground was littered with gliders and parachutes used by the jumpers landed were allowed to lie. To indicate the various units that used the English different colored parachutes, and then looked from above as the landing big fields of tulips.
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About this Application, I had my first encounter with the legendary Spitfire of the RAF, the I almost became a disaster. I got some hits in my Me, but the flight characteristics not affected at first. However, by a grazing shot to the engine casing and which were Lock damaged. She jumped up and snapped on to the other side. This came in my Me Spin one movement and was uncontrollable. I decided to parachute jump and threw off the cabin roof. At that moment, the engine cover snapped back on the other side Me again and I was able to bring under my control. The engine cowling presented by the
Air flow at an angle on the engine and lay there. Open without a cabin roof, accompanied by a comrade as protection, I flew back to Gutersloh. Always ready, if necessary, immediately parachute jump off. Even in this perilous flight was a guardian angel to me again Side. At the moment of touchdown, the panel proposed to the other side and brought by my Machine in an unwanted tilt. It touched the right wing tip and the right Landing gear leg to the ground, I was able to prevent a roll-over. Our opponents had already suffered during the landing in Holland, big losses, because they landed exactly
in a staging area of a German Panzer division. The landing attempt was thus quickly smashed. Our mission was fulfilled and we went back to Finsterwalde of Gütersloh. But there was a further transfer to an air base in Riesa Canitz from here we should Leuna Werke, and other major industrial facilities to protect. Canitz was a simple airfield without halls and houses, and had only a dirt-off and landing area. We were now become a real circus. The pilots based private accommodation in town Canitz. With the residents, we had quickly established a good contact, they were proud of their Fliers and received us with cordiality. And there were pretty girls, too. The 12th November 1944 was a dark day for our season. It was a foggy dreary Sunday
Since we did not have to count because of the weather situation with a bet, we had our Quartier people and friends invited us to show our airplanes. Next
We drove away the time with all sorts of pilots absurdities. Most of us were just 20 Years old. Our guests arrived. In the afternoon the weather changed suddenly, the sun came out, the Mist disappeared and we had good flying weather. Our exuberant mood was suddenly disturbed by the shrill alarm of the phone, our squadron was alerted. Short then the order came to office preparedness. We pilots got in and waited for the start command. Enemy aircraft were reported in type mosquito approaching the Reich, and we should
this fight. After a short time, however, came the message that the Mosquitoes would be turned off and had the Reich left again. Our readiness has now been converted into a training and deployment We received start command. With three schools of four Me's, we went successively into the air, I led the 2nd Swarm. After the planned exercise program, we were in closed Formation flying over our squadron airfield at low level, then pull up, dissolve and because of the Narrowness of the space end up single file.
Everything went according to plan. We were descending from a great height, the various schools of flying all spread out and were about to become a closed organization to be formed. Hermann flew to my left side and we found ourselves in a right-hander. Put something back flying on the right side of the other two machines from my flock. Was the turning flight carried out within the schools of a position change to the flight path of the exterior and interior align flying machines. We cut "under or behind" us then. This is a slightly dangerous process, which is often practiced and mastered by all pilots must. When my Unterfliegen Me by Hermann, there was a collision between our two machines. With sawn through the propeller, the Me by him shortly after my seat and the trunk of my machine divided them into two halves. I raced against rudderless, with the front of the nearby soil. Fast cast
I am off the cab roof and jumped out. Because of my low altitude jump I immediately pulled the The parachute release handle and at the moment of opening I was at the height of the upper edge of a grain silo. At his side, I slipped down and hit bottom with the back of the Siding, just next to the loading dock. But I pulled myself heavily bleeding head injury. (See diagram) It had all happened in a split second. When I made my brief Swoon awoke, I saw that the entire rear section of my Me Only about 15 mtr. I was away.
The front hit about 400 mtr distance to the middle of a pitch, but not exploded. Fortunately, this Sunday was not an athletic event held on this. It's incredible
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I had a luck. When I look at the port of Husum on the high silos by going, going I am still reminded of this crash. I was picked up with a car and taken to the infirmary. Our flight surgeon Dr. Winkelmann, care of my head wounds. He had to sew a wound in his head, two more by brackets Close .. When I came back from one weeks later, convalescent leave, looked after our group II after Hopsten published by Rhine. I received the order, according to the other machines and pilots Hopsten to come by. Now began for us the darkest chapter of our use of time, which we did not know but. We now lay close to the western front, and flew almost daily missions over the area. Constantly, we were the Low-level attacks on enemy bombers exposed to our airfield, and were often at or after the start engaged in air combat with the Allied airmen. Often, we were able to set our Not reach targets in the combat zone.
On 16 December 1944 began the Ardennes offensive. Now we were flying every day, encouraged by the Better weather conditions in our field operations to assist the under on the rise France placed ground troops
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The weather improved in the West and the enemy air formations came to us again with their numerical and material superiority against. We were running out of fuel and thus had we reduce our use of power daily. Due to the many failures have been experienced fighter pilots We also pilots through weakened. The cockpit of a Messerschmitt 109 I saw in December 1944 in action on the Western Front from Our new squadron commander came from the BGN-Kriegschschule Dresden, where he worked as a teacher. He had little combat experience as a fighter pilot. So I was flying with the leadership of the 6th Season Instructs and Capt. Lebert, our squadron commander, flew at my side as a wingman On 18 December we had flown several missions, and again suffered heavy losses. Also Our squadron commander, Capt. Fritz Keller was shot down, wounded and could only a parachute jump to save. After two days he came back limping. I met him in Season the field and told him to use state of the 6th Season. Another Capt. accompanied him.That he took of his epaulets two stars, they fastened on my shoulder flaps and
congratulated me for promotion to sergeant. I was just flat, I was only four months ago been promoted to sergeant. I had made a lightning career. This happened to me too when he told me awarded the Iron Cross First Class. We were in the headquarters for debriefing. "All right," said he, "then get out with you!" "Wait, I've forgotten something, Koal come here," he said, took his Iron Cross from his leather jacket and it fixed on mine. "Tomorrow you'll get your own, then you bring me back my back, "That was our favorite commander, Captain Fritz Keller. My fellow Hermann K. and Toni B. were shot down and escaped by parachute. Both personally sustained a concussion, they received a ticket to the Bad Wiessee Rest fighters to put their health to restore. On 1 Christmas Day 1944, it caught me too. I led the 6th Season with 16 Messerschmitt 109 and was ordered to the level of protection for the remaining three seasons of the Group II to take. We should fight against enemy bombers in the Brussels area. After starting the engines closed Hopsten we rolled into the rolling road to the middle of the three Klm long east-west runway, and then go way swarm into the air. Started at the same time The fifth season at the beginning of that path. The 4th u. 7 Season used transversely to the long runway lying orbit, and the lawn. After gathering the group but decreased in the battle group to Heading west toward Belgium.
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It was a beautiful cloudless winter day, everything looked so peaceful from the air. About the blue Heaven is a lot of white vapor trails of high-altitude flying to Germany Enemy formations. But we had to fly the mission to Belgium. To avoid being recognized, flew we are at an altitude where it did not come to vapor. In the airspace over the Eifel The three were flying beneath me squadrons of our group of a large number Mustangs attacked. I gave my season orders to attack. The dive went down and it began fierce air battles. I came to this desert dogfight into a good shooting position behind a Mustang, shot and hit her difficult, she rushed away to bottom. Whether I shot it, I could not tell anymore, because At that moment it struck into my Me. It has been hard hit. and I came with her an uncontrollable tumbling flight condition. I had to get out. This does not initially worked as rotations through the strong centrifugal forces on my body and I interacted by Motionless was. So I did not have the force with your hands on the seat belts and Kabinentabwurfnothebel to come. In such a situation one is completely helpless, but remains at fully conscious. One can see everything and see how quickly turning down the altimeter rast. It was the most terrible seconds. my life. Then, suddenly changed the attitude of my Me I managed to solve the safety belts and the Throw off the cabin roof. I flew out of the seat, yet I still pulled off with one leg, the Vertical tail, pulled the Fallschirmauslösegriff and the screen opened. Suddenly unaccustomed silence
around me, only from a distance I heard the roar of engines and sounds of guns and machine guns. Hanging On the screen I noticed that everything was dark around me, only silver stripes went through my eyes. I could see no more! At first I assumed that I Coolant was injected into the eyes because they were watering heavily. Then I guessed that I am with the larynx microphone cables in my hood would have been strangled. Enraged, I took off and threw them them away. During the Hinunterschwebens one has much time to think, suddenly runs through one his previous From life like in a movie before my eyes. Dimly I got back a little sight in one eye and saw the lies beneath me Landscape. So I could make my projected landing site. Since I am not in a place land wanted, I'm now trying to influence my landing place. Below me was a mountainous, snow-covered landscape. After a relatively soft landing, I quickly sought a hiding place I did not know if I had landed on German or enemy territory. I crawled into a dense Thorn bushes, took off my medals and wiped out the secret records of Spectrum and target. Before long, I heard voices coming closer. I now no longer dared to breathe, because I assumed you could hear it. Despite my excitement recognized
I, however, that there were German speech sounds. I drew my attention by shouting, they came for me by gunpoint from my hiding place. I was just behind the front line on its own German territory landed in the snow Eifel. Where I stayed was Me, I could no longer determine. One wonders then again, why you in such an emergency situation in a position is. It was 1 Christmas Day 1944 and I was very lucky to have survived everything alive.
On Christmas Eve, I had my 21st Birthday celebration. Now I brought the soldiers in their command post and provided me. With a chance at Cologne moving car. I could go with him. From Cologne, I drove at night with a train
Next to Munster. Because of enemy fighter-attack during the day went no train. Once in Munster, I walked through the rubble of the devastated city with my parachute übern arm. I looked for a road heading north to get to Hopsten. On the streets were not people to see, let alone a vehicle. Then I reached the city limits. Surprisingly, I overtook a tractor driving in the direction of Greven, the driver took me. In Greven, I found an opportunity to make a telephone connection to get to my unit. Here are solved phone call from my great delight that I was still alive. "We immediately sent a car!"
Hello, I was received with great after my return to his comrades. Not only my
Squadron had suffered losses, but also the entire II.Gruppe. Several of my friends were of this application is not returned. Also, our new commander, Capt. Knight's Cross Kucha was shot at his first outing with our group II, and also came with the Parachute under his arm back to Hopsten. I was initially written fluguntauglich, received a Weeks of home leave and went to my Uncle Fritz after Raddusch. Then I got the popular ticket to Bad Wiessee fighters into convalescent home.
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Good recovery beginning in March 1945 I came back to the 6th Season back Hopsten-Rhine. I found no old friends more before. They had been wounded or had in this hopeless for us Have to fight her young life. I often wonder now how we cope with all this so? Every day, we lost good friends and again, we climbed into our machines. We still believed, against that fill us in every way superior enemy, our duty and the need to protect our country.
Who shot me? In 1998, I received a call from Bonn. "Are they former Sergeant Fritz Koal, on 24 December birthday and the day was shot after that? "" Yes, that's me! "" Well, then we have it at last! Do they know who they shot down? "" No, I do not know No! "" They were the last victim of the American fighter ace Major. George E. Preddy. It was after this combat during landing at its home airport in Belgium from its own Aisch FLAK shot and died while the Fliegertod! After Maj. Preddy me from the tail of a Mustang, behind which I sat, had been shot away, had I make a parachute jump. Now they sought witnesses with whom his last Preddy Had conducted aerial combat. From records in Washington show that I am its 27th and his last
Shooting was. He was in honor of the American White C. Trow a picture of my Me 109, the yellow "14", and painted with a corresponding report in Washington in an Air Museum display. (The picture and a report can be found on the Internet at Major Preddy.) On the night of the 19th March 1945 we were told by our intelligence information that the next day everyone in the room lying Rheine airfields by the Allied Air Forces should be bombed and destroyed. Each of our squadrons had still 16 operational Fighter aircraft. From fuel shortages, only half were fully fueled by them. During the night
the fully fueled Me's had to be emptied in half and then removed from petrol
the other machines will be distributed. At dawn of 20 Then in March 1945 launched the Group II as planned and ended up with all Machines on the fallback position Lippspringe bathroom. Shortly after we left Hopsten, came the "heavies" of the Americans and destroyed the Place in several hours of bombardment.
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On 11 Approx. We headlights.
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