Oberst Adolf Dickfeld (20 February 1910 – 17 May 2009) was a German World War II Luftwaffe 136 victories Flying ace. A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Early life and career
Dickfeld was born on 20 February 1910 in Jüterbog in the Province of Brandenburg, the son of an artillery officer. In his youth he learned to fly glider aircraft. He made his first flights at the glider school in Grunau in Silesia, present-day Jeżów Sudecki, Poland. Here, among others, he was taught to fly by Hanna Reitsch. He was also trained by Wolf Hirth on the Hornberg in the Black Forest, and by Heini Dittmar and Oskar Ursinus at the Wasserkuppe in the Rhön Mountains.
World War II
On 18 May 1942, Dickfeld was credited with his 100th aerial victory. He was the 8th Luftwaffe pilot to achieve the century mark.
Fw 190 A-4 of II./JG 2, flown by group commander Dickfeld, Tunisia 1943
Dickfeld was officially credited with 136 victories claimed in 1072 combat missions. He also claimed a further 15 enemy aircraft unconfirmed. In 1943 he was placed in a staff position as General für Nachwuchs (general of procreation/recruitment) of the Luftwaffe in the Reich Air Ministry and at the same time became Reich inspector of the Flieger (Aviation) Hitler Youth. He claimed about 128 victories over the Eastern Front. He claimed one victory flying the Heinkel He 162 Salamander ("Volksjäger") jet fighter, a P-47 Thunderbolt on 11 April 1945.
Dickfeld continued to fly professionally in Germany and East Africa. He died on 17 May 2009 in Dreieich.
Iron Cross (1939)
2nd Class (13 December 1939)
1st Class (12 January 1940)
Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe on 15 December 1941 as Leutnant and pilot
German Cross in Gold on 22 January 1942 as Leutnant of the Reserves in the 7./JG 52
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
Knight's Cross on 19 March 1942 as Leutnant (war officer) and pilot in the 7./JG 52
94th Oak Leaves on 19 May 1942 as Leutnant (war officer) and pilot in the 7./JG 52