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Hubertus von Bonin

Hubertus von Bonin

German flying ace
The basics
About
Gender male
Birth August 3, 1911 (Potsdam)
Death December 15, 1943
Hubertus von Bonin
The details
Biography

Hubertus von Bonin (born 3 August 1911, Potsdam – 15 December 1943) was a German Second World War fighter ace who served in the Luftwaffe. A flying or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat. Bonin is credited with shooting down 77 enemy aircraft. The majority of his victories were claimed over the Eastern Front. He also claimed four victories in Spain during the civil war. His commands included Geschwaderkommodore of Jagdgeschwader 54 (JG 54—54th Fighter Wing).

Military career

Bonin transferred to the Condor Legion in the fall of 1938, replacing Werner Mölders as Staffelkapitän (Squadron Leader) of the 3./Jagdgruppe 88 on 5 December 1938. During the course of the Spanish Civil War he claimed four republican fighter aircraft shot down, for which he was awarded the Spanish Cross in Gold with Swords. After his return from Spain, Bonin took command of the 5./Jagdgeschwader 26 (JG 26) and was made Gruppenkommandeur (Group Commander) of the I./Jagdgeschwader 54 (JG 54). He claimed his first aerial victory of the Second World War on 11 May 1940. By mid September 1940 he had claimed eight British fighter aircraft and bombers. For three months, from 1 July 1941, he served with Jagdfliegerschule 4 (fighter pilot training school Nr. 4). He then took command of the III./Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52) on the Eastern Front. He claimed his thirtieth aerial victory on 17 November 1942 and was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross after 51 aerial victories. He was appointed Geschwaderkommodore of JG 54 on 6 July 1943.

Bonin was killed in action on 15 December 1943 near Vitebsk, in a fight with Soviet P-39 Airacobras. Bonin's brother, Jürgen-Oskar von Bonin, was killed in action while serving as an observer in a transport Geschwader. Another brother, Major Eckart-Wilhelm von Bonin, also a Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipient, was a night fighter ace with 37 kills who survived the war.

Awards

  • Spanish Cross in Gold with Swords
  • German Cross in Gold on 27 October 1942 as Major in the III./JG 52
  • Iron Cross (1939) 2nd and 1st class
  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 21 December 1942 as Major and Gruppenkommandeur of the III./JG 52
  • Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 51.
  • Fellgiebel 2000, p. 139.

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