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Bf109 Ace Günther Rall Interview

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Uploaded on Apr 7, 2008

From Jane's WWII Fighters

Günther Rall was born on March 10, 1918, in Gaggenau, a small village in the Black Forest. In 1939 he finished training as a fighter pilot on a base east of Berlin and was transferred to Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52). He had his first contact with the enemy in May 1940 over France.

Rall flew Messerschmitt Bf 109s during the Battle of Britain, during which he was made a squadron commander at the age of 22. His squadron was then moved to defend the Romanian oil fields and then on to the battle for Crete. With his score in the mid-thirties, he was shot down by Russian fighters, during which his back was broken in three places. His flying career was considered over as a result of the accident; however, sheer determination saw him back with his old unit after a nine month rehabilitation process in August 1942. A month later he was awarded the Knights Cross with his victory total at 65. He shot down his 100th victim in October 1942. His 200th victory came in August 1943, with his 250th following just three months later. In May 1944 he was shot down by a Thunderbolt and lost a thumb. He ended the war flying Me 262 jets in defense of the Reich.

He finished World War II as the third-highest-scoring fighter ace of all time with 275 aerial victories and held the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. His capture by the Americans was the beginning of a second career for him as a pilot. After retiring from the new German Air Force, General Rall began working in an advisory capacity for several well-known companies.

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