Hartmann Grasser
Major

Hartmann Grasser

    Hartmann Grasser was born on 23 August 1914 at Graz in Steiermark. He fled Austria in 1934 for political reasons and settled in Germany. In 1936, he joined the Luftwaffe with the rank of Fahnenjunker. At the outbreak of World War 2, Grasser was serving with JGr 152. Leutnant Grasser was assigned to 3./JGr 152. He participated in the French campaign shooting down a French captive observation balloon on 16 September 1939. His first victory over an aircraft was recorded on 24 September 1939, when he shot down a French Curtiss Hawk fighter near Hornbach, although he had to force-land near Bingen following this engagement. In January 1940, JGr 152 was redesignated I./ZG 52 and re-equipped with Bf 110 Zerstörer twin-engined fighters. In June 1940, I./ZG 52 was redesignated II./ZG 2. Grasser flew with 6./ZG 2 during the Battle of Britain gaining two additional victories to raise his tally to six. In October 1940, Grasser was posted to the Geschwaderstab of JG 51 as adjutant to Werner Mölders (115 victories, RK-Br, killed in action 22 November 1941). On 1 December 1940, Grasser shot down a RAF Hurricane fighter near Ashford. Oberleutnant Grasser participated in the invasion of Russia. He recorded his initial victory in the new theatre on the opening day of Operation Barbarossa when he shot down a Russian SB-2 twin-engine bomber. He recorded two enemy aircraft shot down on 29 June 1941 to record his ninth and 10th victories. Grasser claimed a Russian DB-3 twin-engine bomber shot down on 29 July to record his 20th victory. On 1 August 1941, Grasser was appointed Staffelkapitän of 5./JG 51. He recorded his 30th victory on 7 September, when he shot down a Russian I-61 fighter near Karlewez. Grasser was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 51 on 4 September 1941 and awarded the Ritterkreuz for 29 victories. He recorded his 40th victory on 14 December, when he shot down a Russian Pe-2 twin-engine bomber. However, on 24 January 1942, after downing his 45th opponent, Grasser was shot down in Bf 109 F-2 (W.Nr. 9204). He baled out, landing behind Russian lines but despite a serious eye injury, was able to make his way back to German lines. After a lengthy stay in hospital recovering from his wounds, Grasser returned to the front to record his 50th victory on 23 June, a Russian I-153 biplane fighter.  On 5 July 1942, he shot down six Russian aircraft (54-59), including three Russian Il-2 ground-attack aircraft. Grasser recorded his 70th victory on 13 August, followed by his 80th victory on 29 August. His total had reached 91 when he was moved away from the Eastern Front. In November 1942, Grasser led II./JG 51 to North Africa. Over Tunisia, Grasser claimed 12 victories to raise his victory total to 103. On 7 June 1943, Grasser took up a staff post with 4. Jagddivision based in Paris. Major Grasser was awarded the Eichenlaub (Nr 288) on 31 August. Grasser was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 1 based in Germany performing Reichsverteidigung duties on 28 April 1944. He replaced Hauptmann Friedrich Eberle (33 victories, DK), who had been wounded in aerial combat with USAAF bombers and fighters. His stay with the unit was a short one. He passed command of III./JG 1 to Hauptmann Erich Woitke (28 victories, killed in action 24 December 1944) in May. In December 1944, Grasser was appointed Kommodore of JG 210. At war’s end, Grasser was handed to the Russians and was incarcerated until 1949. Grasser died on 2 June 1986 at Köln.
    Hartmann Grasser was credited with 103 victories aircraft in 700 missions (about 200 mission and 4 victories with Bf 110 heavy fighter). He recorded 20 victories over the Western front, including one four-engine bombers. Included in the 83 victories he recorded over the Eastern front are 13 Il-2 Sturmoviks.
 
No
Date
Time
A/c Type
Unit
Location / Comments
1
16.9.1939
-
Fesselballon 3./JGr 152 -
2
24.9.1939
-
Curtiss 3./JGr 152 near Hornbach / H-75A of GC II/4, Armée de l'air
3
??.??.1940
-
E/a 3./ZG 52 or 6./ZG 2 with Bf 110
4
??.??.1940
-
E/a 3./ZG 52 or 6./ZG 2 with Bf 110
5
??.??.1940
-
E/a 6./ZG 2 with Bf 110
6
??.??.1940
-
E/a 6./ZG 2 with Bf 110
7
1.12.1940
15:16
Hurricane Stab JG 51 Ashford
-
16.4.1941
18:42
Spitfire Stab JG 51 Berck-s-Mer / not confirmed
8
22.6.1941
12:37
SB-2 Stab/JG 51 -
9
25.6.1941
12:32
SB-2 Stab/JG 51 -
10
29.6.1941
18:30
Il-2 Stab/JG 51 -
11
29.6.1941
19:55
I-16 Stab/JG 51 -
12
30.6.1941
11:45
DB-3 Stab/JG 51 -
13
30.6.1941
15:45
DB-3 Stab/JG 51 -
14
30.6.1941
15:50
DB-3 Stab/JG 51 -
15
1.7.1941
14:50
DB-3 Stab/JG 51 -
16
7.7.1941
19:30
Il-2 Stab/JG 51 -
17
10.7.1941
7:50
RZ Stab/JG 51 -
18
11.7.1941
9:55
DB-3 Stab/JG 51 -
19
12.7.1941
18:50
DB-3 Stab/JG 51 -
20
13.7.1941
19:30
DB-3 Stab/JG 51 -
21
26.7.1941
16:32
Douglas 5./JG 51 -
22
26.7.1941
19:20
R-5 5./JG 51 -
23
29.7.1941
18:36
SB-3 5./JG 51 -
24
29.7.1941
18:30
SB-3 5./JG 51 -
25
9.8.1941
13:50
Pe-2 5./JG 51 -
26
26.8.1941
18:16
Douglas 5./JG 51 15km E Kaluga
27
30.8.1941
17:42
I-61 5./JG 51 -
28
30.8.1941
17:45
Pe-2 5./JG 51 -
29
2.9.1941
7:06
R-3 5./JG 51 50km SE Sechtschinskaja
30
7.9.1941
17:20
I-61 5./JG 51 25km E Karlewez
31
2.10.1941
10:55
I-18 5./JG 51 -
32
5.10.1941
14:27
DB-3 5./JG 51 NE Ssewsk
33
5.10.1941
14:30
DB-3 5./JG 51 NE Ssewsk
34
7.10.1941
14:10
Pe-2 5./JG 51 -
-
8.10.1941
-
Pe-2 5./JG 51 not confirmed
35
22.10.1941
14:59
I-61 5./JG 51 -
36
24.10.1941
14:10
SB-2 5./JG 51 -
37
5.11.1941
9:32
DB-3 5./JG 51 -
38
16.11.1941
9:35
DB-3 5./JG 51 -
39
2.12.1941
11:10
Pe-2 5./JG 51 -
40
14.12.1941
9:20
Pe-2 5./JG 51 -
41
4.1.1942
12:15
Pe-2 5./JG 51 -
42
4.1.1942
12:50
Pe-2 5./JG 51 -
43
11.1.1942
14:05
Pe-2 5./JG 51 -
44
19.1.1942
12:20
DB-3 5./JG 51 -
45
24.1.1942
12:45
DB-3 5./JG 51 -
46
31.3.1942
12:10
LaGG-3 Stab II./JG 51 -
47
31.3.1942
15:12
LaGG-3 Stab II./JG 51 -
48
1.4.1942
10:50
LaGG-3 Stab II./JG 51 E Tschern
49
21.5.1942
6:55
R-Z Stab II./JG 51 -
50
23.6.1942
12:40
I-153 Stab II./JG 51 -
51
25.6.1942
11:29
I-16 Stab II./JG 51 -
52
26.6.1942
11:15
Yak-1 Stab II./JG 51 -
53
3.7.1942
5:10
I-153 Stab II./JG 51 -
54
5.7.1942
4:15
Yak-1 Stab II./JG 51 -
55
5.7.1942
9:33
Il-2 Stab II./JG 51 -
56
5.7.1942
9:33
Il-2 Stab II./JG 51 -
57
5.7.1942
9:33
Il-2 Stab II./JG 51 -
58
5.7.1942
13:50
Yak-1 Stab II./JG 51 15km N Bolkhov
59
5.7.1942
19:30
I-153 Stab II./JG 51 -
60
9.7.1942
5:15
I-153 Stab II./JG 51 -
61
9.7.1942
5:16
I-153 Stab II./JG 51 -
62
18.7.1942
11:35
Yak-1 Stab II./JG 51 -
63
2.8.1942
15:12
Il-2 Stab II./JG 51 47 582
64
2.8.1942
18:05
Pe-2 Stab II./JG 51 47 572
65
4.8.1942
6:35
MiG-3 Stab II./JG 51 47 552
66
4.8.1942
6:40
MiG-3 Stab II./JG 51 47 551
67
4.8.1942
12:05
LaGG-3 Stab II./JG 51 47 524
68
5.8.1942
17:00
Il-2 Stab II./JG 51 56 164
69
10.8.1942
17:10
Pe-2 Stab II./JG 51 47 524
70
13.8.1942
18:03
Yak-1 Stab II./JG 51 54 294
71
20.8.1942
11:55
MiG-1 Stab II./JG 51 64 142
72
21.8.1942
11:35
LaGG-3 Stab II./JG 51 55 884
73
22.8.1942
16:00
Pe-2 Stab II./JG 51 54 434
74
23.8.1942
6:40
Il-2 Stab II./JG 51 54 412
75
23.8.1942
7:00
Il-2 Stab II./JG 51 55 883
76
23.8.1942
17:33
Il-2 Stab II./JG 51 54 422
77
25.8.1942
6:32
Pe-2 Stab II./JG 51 64 173
78
27.8.1942
17:55
Yak-1 Stab II./JG 51 64 793
79
28.8.1942
14:00
Il-2 Stab II./JG 51 NNW Bolchoff
80
29.8.1942
11:35
LaGG-3 Stab II./JG 51 54 224
81
3.9.1942
13:30
LaGG-3 Stab II./JG 51 NE Stephanovka
82
4.9.1942
11:52
I-153 Stab II./JG 51 73 151
83
10.9.1942
10:22
LaGG-3 Stab II./JG 51 47 824
84
10.9.1942
15:05
MiG-3 Stab II./JG 51 44 132
85
14.9.1942
17:00
Il-2 Stab II./JG 51 47 593
86
14.9.1942
17:22
Il-2 Stab II./JG 51 47 591
87
26.9.1942
9:25
R-5 Stab II./JG 51 47 483
88
26.9.1942
9:26
R-5 Stab II./JG 51 47 483
89
27.9.1942
7:55
LaGG-3 Stab II./JG 51 47 542
90
1.10.1942
11:45
Pe-2 Stab II./JG 51 10km NE Kamarowo
91
16.11.1942
12:12
Spitfire Stab II./JG 51 -
92
27.11.1942
9:11
Spitfire Stab II./JG 51 10km E Béja
93
27.11.1942
9:19
Spitfire Stab II./JG 51 12km S Béja
94
28.11.1942
9:45
Lysander Stab II./JG 51 2km W Medjez-el Bab
95
2.12.1942
9:45
P-38 Stab II./JG 51 6km S Tebourda
96
2.12.1942
9:53
P-38 Stab II./JG 51 30km W Tebourda
97
4.12.1942
10:30
P-38 Stab II./JG 51 18 km N Medjez-el-Bab
98
5.12.1942
10:45
Spitfire Stab II./JG 51 8km W Tebourka
99
2.1.1943
12:26
B-24 Stab II./JG 51 SW Medjez-el-Bab
100
2.1.1943
12:27
P-38 Stab II./JG 51 SW Medjez-el-Bab
101
21.3.1943
13:07
Spitfire Stab II./JG 51 3km SE Gabes
102
22.3.1943
14:10
Spitfire Stab II./JG 51 12km S Mareth
103
26.3.1943
12:28
P-40 Stab II./JG 51 4km N Mannsour
 
Victories : 103
Awards : Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (19 September 1942)
                Ritterkreuz (4 September 1941)
                Eichenlaub (31 August 1943)
Units : JGr 152, ZG 52, ZG 2, JG 51, JG 11, JG 210

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