Hans Ehlers
Hauptmann

Hans Ehlers

    Hans Ehlers was born on 15 July 1914 at Hennstedt in the Itzehoe region of Holstein. Ehlers was a member of the groundstaff of the Condor Legion during the Spanish Civil War. Unteroffizier Ehlers was serving with 2./JG 3 during the French campaign. On 18 May 1940, he recorded his first victories when he claimed two RAF fighters shot down during a freie-Jagd mission with 10 others of his Staffel over the area southeast of Valenciennes. However he, in turn, was shot down by RAF Hurricane fighters of 56 Squadron and crash-landed his Bf 109 E-1 south of Valenciennes and was listed as missing. However, Ehlers managed to evade and return to his own lines to rejoin his unit sometime later. During the Battle of Britain, Feldwebel Ehlers added a further two victories. However, he was forced to belly-land his damaged Bf 109 E-4 “Black 6” at Colembert following aerial combat over England on 15 August 1940. Ehlers participated in the invasion of Russia. On 30 June 1941, while taking-off from Lutsk, dust produced by a Bf 109 taking-off ahead of him obscured his view and he failed to see a Hs 126 tactical reconnaisance aircraft of 4./(H) 22 parked halfway down the runway. The wing of Ehler’s Bf 109 F-2 (W.Nr. 5708) struck the Hs 126 causing the Bf 109 to veer off the runway. The aircraft was completely destroyed and Ehlers suffered serious injuries. Ehlers recorded his 10th victory on 15 August, when he shot down a Russian I-17 fighter near Gorodishche. He recorded the 1,000th victory for JG 3 on 30 August when he shot down two Russian aircraft for his 12th and 13th victories. In mid-September, I./JG 3 were ordered back to Germany for rest and refit. However, Ehlers and a number of other I. Gruppe pilots remained in Russia serving with III. Gruppe. By the time he finally returned to Germany to rejoin 1./JG 3, Ehlers, attached to 8./JG 3, had increased his victory total to 14. Following a period of rest and re-equipment with Bf 109 F-4 fighters, I./JG 3 was ordered to relocate to bases in Holland in December 1941. On 15 January 1942, 3./JG 3 was redesignated 6./JG 1. On 3 May 1943, 6./JG 1 intercepted a formation of RAF Ventura twin-engine bombers and its escort of Spitfire fighters raiding a power station at Amsterdam. In the ensuing combat, Ehlers claimed a Spitfire and a Ventura shot down for his 18th and 19th victories. The Spitfire was piloted by the Wing Leader of the Coltishall Wing, RAF, Wing Commander Howard “Cowboy” Blatchford (6 confirmed, 3 probable and 4.5 damaged victories). Blatchford ditched in the Channel but was not found. By the end of June 1943, Ehlers had 23 victories to his credit. Leutnant Ehlers was appointed Staffelkapitän of 2./JG 1 on 1 October 1943. On 8 October 1943, Ehlers was wounded in aerial combat with USAAF B-17 four-engine bombers whereby, having shot down one, he rammed a second over Kalle. He baled out of his stricken Fw 190 A-6 (W.Nr. 530 715) “Black 5”. On 24 October 1943, Ehlers was presented the Deutsches Kreuz in Gold by Hermann Göring. On 11 November 1943, Oberleutnant Ehlers became Staffelkapitän of 3./JG 1. On 13 April 1944, Ehlers was again wounded in an aerial combat where he shot down a USAAF P-51 fighter and a B-17 but had to force-land his damaged Fw 190 A-8 (W.Nr. 170 046) “Yellow 5”. The injury was superficial. Following the serious injuries suffered by Gruppenkommandeur, Hauptmann Emil-Rudolf Schnoor (23 victories, DKiG), in a flying accident on 16 April 1944, Hauptmann Ehlers took command of I./JG 1. He was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 9 June 1944 for 52 victories, including 22 four-engine bombers. On 27 December 1944, Ehlers led off 18 Fw 190s on a mission to cover ground troops in the Dinant-Rochefort area. They were met near Mayen by P-51 Mustangs of 364th Fighter Group, USAAF and suffered the loss of six pilots killed. Among those killed was Hans Ehlers, shot down in his Fw 190 A-8 (W.Nr. 739 363) “White 20”.
    Hans Ehlers was credited with 55 victories. Included in his victory total are 24 four-engine bombers. He recorded eight confirmed victories on the Eastern front. His final score may well be higher as details of his successes during the Normandy campaign were never brought to account.
 
No
Date
Time
A/c Type
Unit
Location / Comments
1
18.5.1940
20:30~
Spitfire 2./JG 3 SE Valenciennes
2
18.5.1940
20:30~
Spitfire 2./JG 3 SE Valenciennes
3
26.8.1940
-
Spitfire 2./JG 3 W Calais
4
5.9.1940
-
Spitfire 2./JG 3 London area / rammed
5
5.2.1941
-
Spitfire 2./JG 3 10km NW St. Omer
6
22.6.1941
-
I-16 3./JG 3 -
7
25.6.1941
15:06
I-153 3./JG 3 20km NE Dubno
8
26.6.1941
5:07
SB-2 3./JG 3 15km E Dubno
9
26.6.1941
-
DJ-6 3./JG 3 -
10
15.8.1941
6:08
I-17 3./JG 3 15km W Gorodishche
-
15.8.1941
-
V-11 3./JG 3 not confirmed
11
26.8.1941
16:45
I-16 3./JG 3 SE Oschilkij
12
30.8.1941
10:20
R-10 1./JG 3 NW Ostijew / 1000th for JG 3 
13
30.8.1941
15:10
I-17 1./JG 3 W Ostijew
14
11.10.1941
-
Il-2 3./JG 3 -
15
19.6.1942
11:24
Spitfire 6./JG 1 20km NE Zeebrugge
16
19.6.1942
11:35
Spitfire 6./JG 1 SW Walcheren
17
6.12.1942
12:45~
B-17 6./JG 1 Lille-Ostend
-
11.3.1943
17:53
Spitfire 6./JG 1 40km W Ijmuiden / not confirmed
18
3.5.1943
17:52
Spitfire 6./JG 1 15km NW Haarlem / Spitfire IX of Coltishall Wing, RAF flown by Wg Cdr HP Blatchford (6/3/4.5 victories), killed
19
3.5.1943
17:58
Ventura 6./JG 1 25km N Haarlem
20
4.5.1943
19:18
Spitfire 6./JG 1 SE Lamswaarde
21
14.5.1943
-
P-47 6./JG 1 40km W Vlissinghen
22
10.6.1943
-
Spitfire 6./JG 1 -
23
22.6.1943
-
Spitfire 6./JG 1 -
24
17.8.1943
11:58
B-17 HSS 2./JG 1 W Wertheim
25
17.8.1943
12:15
B-17 2./JG 1 Worms
26
4.10.1943
11:50
B-17 HSS 2./JG 1 W Frankfurt
27
8.10.1943
15:45
B-17 2./JG 1 20km NW Nienburg
28
29.11.1943
14:40~
B-17 3./JG 1 Bremen-Oldenburgh
29
1.12.1943
12:22
B-17 3./JG 1 Düsseldorf area
30
11.12.1943
12:26
B-17 HSS 3./JG 1 Borger
31
16.12.1943
14:05
B-17 3./JG 1 Ijsselmeer
32
16.12.1943
14:15
B-17 3./JG 1 Wadenzee-Ijsselmeer
33
20.12.1943
12:05
B-17 3./JG 1 Bremen area
34
20.12.1943
12:30
B-17 3./JG 1 Off Frisians
35
5.1.1944
12:45
B-17 3./JG 1 Prüm-Saarbrücken
36
30.1.1944
12:05
B-17 3./JG 1 Pl Qu 05 Ost S/
37
30.1.1944
12:16~
B-17 3./JG 1 Pl Qu 05 Ost S/
38
20.2.1944
13:40~
P-51 3./JG 1 S Kassel
39
22.2.1944
12:50
B-17 3./JG 1 Gelsenkirchen area
40
6.3.1944
12:35
B-17 3./JG 1 Vechta
41
8.3.1944
13:30
P-47 3./JG 1 40km NE Hannover
42
15.3.1944
10:20~
P-38 3./JG 1 Uchte-Wagenfeld area
43
29.3.1944
-
P-38 3./JG 1 -
44
8.4.1944
13:55
B-24 3./JG 1 S Salzwedel
45
9.4.1944
11:12~
B-17 3./JG 1 Heiligenhafen area
46
9.4.1944
11:17~
P-51 3./JG 1 Heiligenhafen area
47
11.4.1944
11:02
B-17 3./JG 1 7km SE Burgdorf
48
11.4.1944
-
P-51 3./JG 1 -
49
11.4.1944
-
P-51 3./JG 1 -
50
13.4.1944
13:50
B-17 3./JG 1 Darnstadt area
51
13.5.1944
13:40
P-47 Stab I./JG 1 Mecklenberger Bucht
52
19.5.1944
13:00
B-24 Stab I./JG 1 S Verden
53
21.11.1944
12:10
B-17 Stab I./JG 1 Gotha-Erfurt area
54
23.12.1944
-
P-47 Stab I./JG 1 -
55
25.12.1944
-
B-24 Stab I./JG 1 -
 
Victories : 55
Awards : Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (17 October 1943)
                Ritterkreuz (9 June 1944)
Units : JG 3, JG 1

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