Otto "Otsch" Bertram
Major

Otto Bertram

    Otto “Otsch” Bertram was born on 30 April 1916 at Wilhelmshaven. He joined the Luftwaffe in 1935. In March 1938, Bertram joined the Condor Legion in Spain supporting Franco’s Nationalists in the civil war. Leutnant Bertram claimed nine victories flying with1./J 88, being one of the most successful fighter pilots in that conflict. On 4 October 1938, a Republican I-15 fighter shot him down. He baled out and was taken prisoner.  He was awarded the Spanienkreuz in Gold mit Brillanten for his accomplishments. On 26 October 1939, Bertram was appointed Staffelkapitän of 1./JG 2. Oberleutnant Bertram opened his account for World War 2 on 20 April 1940, when he downed a Morane fighter over St Avold, flown by future French ace Sgt Chef Antoine Casenobe (7 victories, killed in action 21 February 1943) . However, the claim was not confirmed. He claimed four victories during the Battle of France, although he was shot down and crash-landed after gaining two victories on 19 May 1940. However, he was able to return to his unit unhurt. Bertram led 1./JG 2 during the opening phases of the Battle of Britain. He claimed seven victories in five days between 2 September and 6 September 1940 with the unit, all RAF fighters. On 26 September 1940, Bertram was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 2. He claimed two further victories with the unit, two RAF Blenheim twin-engine bombers shot down near Le Havre on 9 October, to record his 21st and 22nd victories. On 28 October 1940, Hauptmann Bertram was awarded the Ritterkreuz for 13 victories in World War 2 and ordered to cease combat flying and return to Germany. Otto Bertram was one of three brothers serving in the Luftwaffe, two of whom had been killed in action – Hans, Gruppen Adjutant of I./JG 27, had been shot down over England in September 1940, and Karl, a nightfighter pilot with 9./NJG 1, had been killed when he crashed his Bf 110 west of Kiel following an engagement with a RAF bomber on 28 October. Otto, as the sole surviving brother was prohibited from further combat uty. Bertram was to spend the remainder of the war in administrative posts or training units. He served at the Jagdfliegerschule 5 at Wien-Schwechat during 1940/1941 and was Kommodore of JG 101 from 6 January 1943 to 30 April 1944. From February 1945, Major Bertram was Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 6, a position he held until the end of the war. Bertram died on 8 February 1987 at Freiburg.
    “Otsch” Bertram shot down a total of 22 enemy aircraft, nine of which were claimed during the Spanish Civil War.
 
No
Date
Time
A/c Type
Unit
Location / Comments
1
12.8.1938
-
I-16 1./J 88 Spain
2
14.8.1938
-
I-16 1./J 88 Spain
3
15.8.1938
-
I-16 1./J 88 Spain
4
23.8.1938
-
I-16 1./J 88 Spain
5
7.9.1938
-
I-16 1./J 88 Spain
6
7.9.1938
-
I-16 1./J 88 Spain
7
23.9.1938
-
I-16 1./J 88 Spain
8
27.9.1938
-
I-16 1./J 88 Spain
9
4.10.1938
-
I-15 1./J 88 Spain
-
20.4.1940
-
Morane 1./JG 2 St Avold / H-75A (No 189) of GC II/4 flown by Sgt Chef Casenobe (7 victories), crash-landed at Xaffevillers – not confirmed
10
14.5.1940
20:05
Morane 1./JG 2 Bouillon
11
19.5.1940
12:50
Hurricane 1./JG 2 Cambrai
12
19.5.1940
12:55
Hurricane 1./JG 2 Cambrai
13
3.6.1940
14:45
Bloch 150 1./JG 2 Reims
14
2.9.1940
14:25
Spitfire 1./JG 2 New Romney
15
2.9.1940
18:25
Spitfire 1./JG 2 London
16
4.9.1940
10:10
Spitfire 1./JG 2 Folkestone
17
4.9.1940
14:05
Spitfire 1./JG 2 London
18
5.9.1940
16:10
Spitfire 1./JG 2 S Canterbury
19
5.9.1940
16:10
Spitfire 1./JG 2 S Canterbury
20
6.9.1940
10:20
Hurricane 1./JG 2 SW Dover
21
9.10.1940
18:35
Blenheim Stab III./JG 2 20km N Le Havre
22
9.10.1940
18:37
Blenheim Stab III./JG 2 20km N Le Havre

Victories : 22
Awards : Ritterkreuz  (28 October 1940)
Units : J/88, JG 2, JG 101, JG 6

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