Adolf "Dolfo" Galland
Generalleutnant

Adolf Galland

    Adolf “Dolfo” Galland was born on 19 March 1912 at Westerholt, Westphalia. At the age of 17 he started flying gliders. He began flying for Lufthansa after graduating from the German Commercial Air Transport School at Brunswick. This was at a time when the German Air Arm was created, following Hitler's rise to power, and students were sent clandestinely to the Soviet Union and Italy. In February 1934, he joined the Luftwaffe, an accomplished pilot and instructor, at the Fighter Pilot School at Munich-Schleissheim. By April 1935 he was a fighter pilot with Jagdgeschwader 2 “Richtofen”. In 1937, he volunteered for service with the Condor Legion in Spain. Galland was put in command of 3 Staffel of J/88, equipped with the Heinkel He-51 biplanes, which were used in the ground attack and support role. He distinguished himself, especially on the Asturias, Teruel and Ebro fronts, completing 280 combat sorties before being relieved by Werner Mölders in mid-1938. He had met Mölders in the hotel "Cristina" where they were billeted, and they were to become firm friends. Galland’s many original contributions to ground support techniques brought him to the attention of the Luftwaffe High Command. However, his reward for the innovative work in Spain was flying a desk in the Air Ministry working out directives for the organisation of close support units and the training of fighter pilots in direct support operations. When World War 2 broke out Oberleutnant Galland was a Staffelkapitän of 4.(S)/LG 2 equipped with the Henschel Hs 123, a biplane Stuka. He took part in the invasion of Poland flying 50 ground attack missions. Galland was awarded the Iron Cross, Second Class for his efforts. Galland was posted away to JG 27 at Krefeld, arriving there on 15 February 1940. He was assigned to the Geschwaderstab and assumed the role of Geschwader Adjutant. On 12 May, west of Liege, Belgium, he scored his first aerial victory. Two more victories followed that day. All three victims were RAF Hurricanes. By the end of the French campaign he had accumulated 14 victories. On 6 June 1940, Hauptmann Galland was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 26. Promoted Major on 18 July, Galland stayed with III./JG 26 through the Battle of Britain.
 

Major Adolf Galland after scoring his 40th victory on 23 September 1940
Major Adolf Galland after scoring his 40th victory on 23 September 1940. Galland is greeted first by his crew chief Uffz. Mayer.
 
    On 24 July, Galland led III./JG 26 over the north coast of the Thames Estuary. Here they engaged Spitfires and Galland was able to shoot one down to the north of Margate. He had shot down the British ace P/O “Johnny” Allen (7.333 confirmed and 5 unconfirmed destroyed victories) of 56 Sqn, RAF, who was killed in the crash-landing that followed this combat. On 28 July, RAF fighters were scrambled to intercept a large German bomber formation headed for Dover. When confronted by the RAF fighters, the German bomber formation promptly headed for home. The RAF fighters were thus left to combat the escorting German fighters of I. and II./JG 51 and III./JG 26. Galland claimed a Spitfire shot down near Dover for his 17th victory. He had shot down another British ace, Sub-Lt Francis Dawson-Paul (7.25 confirmed and 1 unconfirmed destroyed and 1 damaged victories), a Royal Navy pilot on loan to the RAF. Dawson-Paul was shot down into the Channel where he was picked up by a German E-boat, but he died from the wounds received in this combat on 30 July. Galland was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 1 August for 17 victories. It is thought he again shot down a notable RAF pilot on 15 August, when he brought down the New Zealand ace F/Lt “Al” Deere (17.333 confirmed and 2.5 unconfirmed destroyed, 4 probable and 7.5 damaged victories) of 54 Sqn, RAF. Deere baled out of his Spitfire between Dover and Folkestone. On 24 September, Galland downed his 40th victim, another notable RAF pilot, Harold Bird-Wilson (5.2 destroyed, 3 probable and 3 damaged victories) of 17 Sqn, RAF who baled out badly burned near Chatham. Galland was awarded the newly instituted Eichenlauben on 25 September. By the end of September he had 42 victories. On 1 November 1940, Galland was promoted to Oberstleutnant and given command of JG 26. He had 50 victories to his credit. JG 26 was escorting the Bf 110 fighter bombers of EprGr 210 on a raid of Martlesham Heath on 17 November. The formation was intercepted by RAF Hurricanes. In the ensuing combat, Galland claimed a Hurricane shot down. The pilot, ace Count Manfred Czernin (17 destroyed, 3.5 probable and 3.833 damaged victories) of 17 Sqn, RAF, baled out unhurt. On 21 June 1941, Galland shot down a Spitfire east of Boulogne. He, in turn, was shot down, by the Polish ace Boleslaw Drobinski (7.133/1.333/0 victories) of 303 Sqn, RAF, and baled out wounded. Shortly after, he was awarded the Schwerten to his Ritterkreuz. Galland had, by now, been ordered by Hitler and Göring not to fly combat missions. However, he disregarded these orders and continued to rack up aerial victories. On the death of Oberst Werner Mölders (115 victories, RK-Br) on 22 November 1941, Galland was named General der Jagdflieger. Before settling into his new job, Oberst Galland directed the fighter protection for the Channel dash of the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, from Brest. Operation Donnerkeil was a striking success. He was awarded the Brillanten to his Ritterkreuz on  28 January 1942 with his victory tally at 94. As General der Jagdflieger, he commanded a small unit operating Fw 190s. He flew about 10 combat missions and, it is thought, he gained two victories over USAAF B-17 bombers during 1944. It remains unsure whether his claims during this period were submitted or confirmed. Stab G.d.J claimed two B-17s shot down on 8 March 1944 and it is thought Galland may have been one of the claimants. Galland became one of the most controversial figures of his time through his skirmishes with Reichsmarschal Göring and his frank addresses to Hitler when he emphasized the need for more fighters to oppose the increasingly intense allied bombing raids over Germany. Galland’s contemporaries in combat commands eventually began planning to force Göring’s resignation, by seeking an audience with Hitler. Although Galland took no direct part in such activities, he was aware that all this was in train. In the denouement, Göring attributed the incipient mutiny to Galland, sacked him and prepared a trial in which blame for the collapse of the Jagdwaffe would be directed to the General der Jagdflieger. Hitler intervened but then insisted, as an end to the “Galland affair”, that he be given command of a unit of jet fighters. Galland led JV 44 until 26 April 1945 gaining up to seven victories flying the Me 262 jet fighter. On this day Generalleutnant Galland led 12 rocket-equipped Me 262s from München-Reim to intercept a formation of B-26 medium bombers targetting the airfield at Lechfeld. He claimed two of the bombers, but with cannon-fire rather than the rockets with which his Me 262 was armed. During his initial approach, Galland had failed to deactivate a safety switch which prevented him from firing the rockets. During his attacks on the bombers, Galland’s Me 262 was struck by return fire. Disengaging from the bombers, he  was bounced by a P-47 flown by 1st Lt James J Finnegan of the 50th Fighter Group, USAAF. Galland was wounded in the right knee and his aircraft received further damage. He was able to bring his crippled jet back to München-Reim and successfully land, albeit with a flat nose wheel tyre. He was forced to leap from his aircraft and take shelter because the airfield was under attack by American fighters. The wound suffered in this encounter were serious enough to end his combat flying. Galland surrendered himself to American forces at Tegernsee on 5 May 1945. He was held in military custody for two years. He was released in 1947. In October 1948, Galland took a position with the Argentine Air Force. There followed many offers to act as consultant to armament firms who would equip the new Luftwaffe. He made his choices and settled down to prosperous and lively decades as a businessman. In his final years he divided his time between his home in Germany and his bungalow by the Alicante coast of Spain. Adolf Galland passed away on 9 February 1996 at Remagen-Oberwinter.
    Adolf Galland achieved 104 aerial victories in 705 missions, all on the Western front. Included in his score are at least seven victories flying the Me 262 and four four-engined bombers. He was himself shot down four times.
 
No
Date
Time
A/c Type
Unit
Location
Comments
1
12.5.1940
10:10
Hurricane Stab JG 27 10 km W Lüttich Hurricane I (L1970) of 87 Sqn RAF flown by F/O J A Campbell, killed
2
12.5.1940
10:20
Hurricane Stab JG 27 18 km S Lüttich Hurricane I (L1632) of 87 Sqn RAF flown by Sgt F V Howell, baled out
3
12.5.1940
15:50
Hurricane Stab JG 27 7 km EEN Tirlemont   
4
16.5.1940
19:30
Spitfire Stab JG 27 5 km S Lille  
5
19.5.1940
20:50
Potez 63 Stab JG 27 N Albert  
6
19.5.1940
21:45
Potez 63 Stab JG 27 SW Hirson  
7
20.5.1940
20:50
Potez 63 Stab JG 27 S Amiens  
8
29.5.1940
12:59
Blenheim Stab JG 27 15 km N Gravelines  
9
29.5.1940
13:04
Blenheim Stab JG 27 30 km NW Gravelines  
10
2.6.1940
9:28
Spitfire Stab JG 27 W Dunkirk  
11
9.6.1940
15:55
Curtiss Hawk 75 Stab JG 27 E Rotoy  
12
9.6.1940
16:10
Morane MS 406 Stab JG 27 13 km NW Meaux  
13
14.6.1940
17:15
Blenheim Stab III./JG 26 22km SE Vernon/Breval  
14
14.6.1940
17:28
Battle Stab III./JG 26 10km S Evreux  
15
24.7.1940
13:30
Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 30km N Margate Spitfire I of 54 Sqn, RAF flown by P/O J L Allen (12.333 victories), killed in crash-landing
16
25.7.1940
16:17
Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 Dover Harbour Spitfire of 54 Sqn, RAF
17
28.7.1940
15:20
Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 10km NNE Dover Spitfire I (L1035) of 64 Sqn RAF flown by Sub Lt (RN) F Dawson-Paul (8.25/0/1 victories), died of wounds
18
12.8.1940
12:41
Hurricane Stab III./JG 26 NNW Margate Hurricane of 501 Sqn, RAF
19
14.8.1940
13:30
Hurricane Stab III./JG 26 SW Dover  
20
15.8.1940
12:55
Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 10km E Dover-Folkestone Possibly Spitfire of 54 Sqn RAF flown by F/Lt A C Deere (19.833/4/7.5 victories), baled out
21
15.8.1940
16:00
Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 15km SE Folkestone Spitfire of 64 Sqn, RAF
22
15.8.1940
16:07
Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 20km SE Dover Spitfire of 64 Sqn, RAF
23
25.8.1940
19:50
Spitfire Stab JG 26 Dungeness-Folkestone  
24
28.8.1940
10:00
Defiant Stab JG 26 Faversham Defiant of 264 Sqn, RAF
25
31.8.1940
9:42
Spitfire Stab JG 26 20km SE Cambridge Spitfire of 19 Sqn, RAF
26
31.8.1940
18:50
Spitfire Stab JG 26 Gravesend  
27
31.8.1940
19:03
Hurricane Stab JG 26 Maidstone  
28
1.9.1940
14:55
Spitfire Stab JG 26 SE London  
29
3.9.1940
11:32
Hurricane Stab JG 26 Chelmsford Hurricane of 257 Sqn, RAF
30
6.9.1940
10:20
Hurricane Stab JG 26 Tonbridge Hurricane of 601 Sqn, RAF
31
11.9.1940
16:20
Hurricane Stab JG 26 NW Dungeness Hurricane of 501 Sqn, RAF
32
14.9.1940
17:03
Hurricane Stab JG 26 SE London Hurricane of 253 Sqn RAF
33
15.9.1940
15:30
Hurricane Stab JG 26 Thames Estuary Hurricane I (R 4087) NN-X of 310 Sqn RAF, flown by Sgt. Josef Hubacek
34
18.9.1940
13:35
Hurricane Stab JG 26   Hurricane of 46 Sqn RAF
35
18.9.1940
13:52
Hurricane Stab JG 26 W Rochester Hurricane of 46 Sqn RAF
36
18.9.1940
13:55
Hurricane Stab JG 26 W Rochester Hurricane of 46 Sqn RAF
37
20.9.1940
12:05
Spitfire Stab JG 26 S Hornchurch Spitfire of 222 Sqn, RAF
38
21.9.1940
19:25
Spitfire Stab JG 26 W Ashford-Canterbury Spitfire of 92 Sqn, RAF
39
23.9.1940
10:45
Hurricane Stab JG 26 N Rochester Hurricane of 257 Sqn, RAF
40
23.9.1940
10:45
Hurricane Stab JG 26 N Rochester  
41
24.9.1940
10:00
Hurricane Stab JG 26 Rochester Possibly Hurricane (P3878) of 17 Sqn RAF flown by HAC Bird-Wilson (5.2/3/3 victories), baled out
42
30.9.1940
18:05
Hurricane Stab JG 26 S Guidford Hurricane of 303 Sqn, RAF
43
8.10.1940
10:20
Spitfire Stab JG 26 S Eastchurch Spitfire of 66 Sqn, RAF
44
11.10.1940
17:12
Hurricane Stab JG 26 Dartford/Rochester Hurricane of 253 Sqn, RAF
45
11.10.1940
17:00
Spitfire Stab JG 26 SE Chatham/Ashford Spitfire of 421 Flt, RAF
46
15.10.1940
13:50
Spitfire Stab JG 26 S Rochester/Gillingham  
47
26.10.1940
17:30
Hurricane Stab JG 26 Maidstone/S London  
48
30.10.1940
12:55
Spitfire Stab JG 26 E London Spitfire of 222 Sqn, RAF
49
30.10.1940
17:30
Spitfire Stab JG 26 S Eastchurch/Maidstone Spitfire of 41 Sqn, RAF
50
30.11.1940
17:40
Spitfire Stab JG 26 Canterbury/Maidstone Spitfire of 41 Sqn, RAF
51
1.11.1940
12:50
Spitfire Stab JG 26 W Ashford  
52
8.11.1940
15:28
Spitfire Stab JG 26 10km S Dover  
53
15.11.1940
14:15
Hurricane Stab JG 26 Near Dover Hurricane of 605 Sqn, RAF
54
17.11.1940
10:20
Hurricane Stab JG 26 W Harwich Possibly Hurricane I (V7500) of 17 Sqn flown by F/Lt Count MB Czernin (17/3.5/4.833 victories), baled out 
55
17.11.1940
10:20
Hurricane Stab JG 26 20km E of “sunk” lightship Hurricane of 257 Sqn, RAF
56
17.11.1940
10:15
Hurricane Stab JG 26 E Harwich  
-
27.11.1940
17:07
Spitfire Stab JG 26 E Kenley Spitfire of 74 Sqn, RAF, unconfirmed
57
28.11.1940
15:40
Hurricane Stab JG 26 Dartford Hurricane of 249 Sqn, RAF
58
5.12.1940
12:30
Spitfire Stab JG 26 Dover-Dungeness Spitfire of 64 Sqn, RAF
59
4.4.1941
17:50
Spitfire Stab JG 26 Dover-Canterbury Spitfire of 91 Sqn, RAF
60
15.4.1941
17:50
Spitfire Stab JG 26 30km W Dover  
61
15.4.1941
18:00
Spitfire Stab JG 26 Dover-Margate Spitfire of 266 Sqn, RAF
-
15.4.1941
18:00
Spitfire Stab JG 26 S England Spitfire of 266 Sqn, RAF, unconfirmed
62
13.6.1941
13:15
Hurricane Stab JG 26 5km W Dover Hurricane of 601 Sqn, RAF
63
13.6.1941
13:18
Hurricane Stab JG 26 10km NE Ashford Hurricane of 601 Sqn, RAF
64
16.6.1941
16:35
Hurricane Stab JG 26 W Boulogne Hurricane of 258 Sqn, RAF
65
17.6.1941
19:38
Hurricane Stab JG 26 15km W St Omer  
66
17.6.1941
19:40
Hurricane Stab JG 26 15km W St Omer  
67
18.6.1941
18:18
Spitfire Stab JG 26 1km E Ardres Spitfire of 145 Sqn, RAF
68
21.6.1941
12:32
Blenheim Stab JG 26 Near Lumbres Blenheim of 21 Sqn, RAF
-
21.6.1941
12:36
Blenheim Stab JG 26 Merville Blenheim of 21 Sqn, RAF, unconfirmed
69
21.6.1941
16:37
Spitfire Stab JG 26 N Etaples Spitfire of 616 Sqn, RAF
70
2.7.1941
12:30
Blenheim Stab JG 26 Merville Blenheim of 226 Sqn RAF
71
23.7.1941
13:35
Spitfire Stab JG 26 40km NW Gravelines  
72
23.7.1941
20:10
Spitfire Stab JG 26 Bruges  
73
23.7.1941
20:15
Spitfire Stab JG 26 Bruges  
74
7.8.1941
11:23
Spitfire Stab JG 26 Lumbres  
75
7.8.1941
17:40
Spitfire Stab JG 26 10km NW St Omer  
76
9.8.1941
11:32
Spitfire Stab JG 26 NW St Pol Spitfire of 452 Sqn RAF
-
9.8.1941
17:41
Spitfire Stab JG 26 N Ardres unconfirmed
77
12.8.1941
13:12
Spitfire Stab JG 26 20km W Vlissingen Spitfire (P6793) of 19 Sqn RAF
78
12.8.1941
13:18
Blenheim Stab JG 26 W Haamstede-Scheldt Estuary Blenheim of 139 Sqn RAF flown by F/L GA Herbert, 3 crew killed
79
19.8.1941
11:55
Spitfire Stab JG 26 Bergues  
80
19.8.1941
19:32
Spitfire Stab JG 26 NW St Omer Spitfire of 111 Sqn RAF
81
19.8.1941
19:45
Hurricane Stab JG 26 SE Gravelines Hurricane of 71 Sqn RAF
82
4.9.1941
17:19
Blenheim Stab JG 26 N St Omer Blenheim of 18 Sqn, RAF
83
7.9.1941
17:19
Spitfire Stab JG 26 20km W Boulogne Spitfire of 71 Sqn, RAF
84
20.9.1941
16:45
Spitfire Stab JG 26 Bergues-Bourbourg  
85
20.9.1941
16:55
Spitfire Stab JG 26 6km NW Braye-Dunes  
86
21.9.1941
16:23
Spitfire Stab JG 26 SE Etaples  
87
21.9.1941
17:35
Spitfire Stab JG 26 S Dunkirk Spitfire of 111 Sqn RAF
88
13.10.1941
14:17
Spitfire Stab JG 26 St Omer  
89
13.10.1941
14:27
Blenheim Stab JG 26 Samer Blenheim of 139 Sqn, RAF
90
21.10.1941
12:54
Spitfire Stab JG 26 W Samer  
91
21.10.1941
12:58
Spitfire Stab JG 26 6km W Hardelot  
92
21.10.1941
18:16
Spitfire Stab JG 26 15km W Boulogne Spitfire of 611 Sqn RAF
93
27.10.1941
13:25
Spitfire Stab JG 26 S Dunkirk Spitfire of 401 Sqn RAF flown by Sgt B Hodgkinson, POW
94
8.11.1941
12:58
Spitfire Stab JG 26 Near Montreuil Spitfire of 315 Sqn, RAF
95
8.11.1941
13:00
Spitfire Stab JG 26 10km S Hazebrouck  
96
18.11.1941
12:32
Spitfire Stab JG 26 W Boulogne Spitfire of 602 Sqn RAF
?
1944
-
B-17 Stab G.d.J.   unconfirmed ?
?
1944
-
B-17 Stab G.d.J.   unconfirmed ?
98
3.4.1945
-
P-38 JV 44    
99
5.4.1945
-
B-24 JV 44    
100
16.4.1945
-
B-26 JV 44   with R4M rockets
101
16.4.1945
-
B-26 JV 44   with R4M rockets
102
21.4.1945
-
B-17 JV 44    
103
26.4.1945
11:50~
B-26 JV 44 München-Reim B-26 of 17 BG, USAAF
104
26.4.1945
11:55~
B-26 JV 44 München Reim B-26 of 17 BG, USAAF

Victories : 104
Awards : Ritterkreuz (1 August 1940)
                Eichenlaub (25 September 1940)
                Schwerter (21 June 1941)
                Brillanten (28 January 1942)
Units : JG 27, JG 26, JV 44

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