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Hans Strelow

German flying ace
The basics
Date of birth Berlin, Germany
Date of death May 22, 1942 Mtsensk
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
The details

Hans Strelow (26 March 1922 – 22 May 1942) was a former Luftwaffe fighter ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub) during World War II. 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. He received the award two days before his 20th birthday making him the youngest recipient of the Oak Leaves.

To avoid capture by the Red Army Strelow committed suicide after he was shot down by a Petlyakov Pe-2 twin-engine bomber in Bf 109 F-2 "Black 10" (Werknummer 8239—factory number). He had made a forced landing 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) behind Soviet lines.


  • Iron Cross (1939)
    • 2nd Class (5 July 1941)
    • 1st Class (14 September 1941)
  • Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe on 24 November 1941 as Leutnant and pilot
  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
    • Knight's Cross on 18 March 1942 as Leutnant and Staffelführer of the 5./JG 51 "Mölders"
    • 84th Oak Leaves on 24 March 1942 as Leutnant and pilot in the 5./JG 51 "Mölders"
  • Mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht on 18 June 1942

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