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Luftwaffe Ace - Josef "Pips" Priller (Geschwaderkommodore of JG 26)

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Published on May 18, 2012

Josef "Pips" Priller was a German World War II fighter ace. He has become famous because of the publicity regarding his Focke-Wulf's Fw 190A-8's single strafing pass attack on Sword Beach on June 6, 1944 (D-Day), accompanied by his wingman Herbert Huppertz. This act was first brought to the world's attention by the book, and then the film, The Longest Day. Contrary to popular belief, Priller and his wingman were not the only Luftwaffe forces to attack the beachhead on 6 June 1944. A Luftwaffe bomber unit Kampfgeschwader 54 made several attacks on the British beachheads on D-Day. Priller was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

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