Heinz Lange
Major

Heinz Lange

    Heinz Lange was born on 2 October 1917 in Köln. His father served as a pilot instructor in the Imperial Air Service. Lange entered the Luftskriegsschule Wildpark-Werder in 1937. After completing his training he joined 4./JG 234 at Düsseldorf, later serving with II./JG 132 and II./JG 26. On 15 July 1939,  Lange was transferred to 1./JG 21 based at Gutenfeld in East Prussia. He flew his first combat missions during the Polish campaign. Afterwards, I./JG 21 was deployed to the German Bight. Leutnant Lange claimed his first victory on 30 October 1939 when he shot down a RAF Blenheim twin-engine bomber near Quakenbück. I./JG 21 participated in the French campaign. On 6 June, I./JG 21 was redesignated III./JG 54 and Lange was assigned to the Stabsstaffel. In August, Lange was promoted to Oberleutnant and was transferred to 8./JG 54 on 25 August. By the end of October he had flown 76 missions during the Battle of Britain, including 32 over London and 13 in the fighter-bomber role. During the Balkan campaign, Lange flew six missions and three strafing attacks while based at Arad, Rumania. During Operation Barbarossa, III./JG 54 flew in support of Army Group North in its drive on Leningrad. Lange had claimed seven victories before he was named Staffelkapitän of 1./JG 54 on 1 October 1941. On 26 October he claimed the destruction of three locomotives. By the end of the year he had flown 45 missions over the Leningrad-Schlüsselburg-Wolchow area. Lange was appointed Staffelkapitän of 3./JG 51 on 6 November 1942. After his 500th mission in February 1943, Lange was promoted to Hauptmann. During spring 1943, JG 51 attacked the numerous railway lines located behind the Russian lines in preparation for Operation Citadel. On 22 August, he claimed a La-5, a Yak-1 and two Il-2s thus reaching a total of 40 victories. On 1 January 1944, he claimed his 50th victory. From 7 January 1944, Lange was appointed acting Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 54. On 9 May 1944, Lange was named Gruppenkommandeur of IV./JG 51. During July he claimed five more victories over Galicia. From August, IV./JG 51 was based at Modlin, Poland primarily in the Stuka escorting role. The unit took part in support of operations against Russian bridgeheads over the Narew and Vistula rivers, as well as engaging Mediterranean-based American aircraft conducting fighter sweeps over the Eastern Front. On 15 October, Lange claimed his 70th victory for which he was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 18 November. He was promoted to Major on 1 January 1945. IV./JG 51 participated in the evacuation of Danzig before receiving orders on 20 March to begin conversion to the Fw 190 A-8 and Fw 190 D-9 at Anklam. On 2 April 1944, Lange was appointed the sixth, and last, Geschwaderkommodore of JG 51, although it was not until 12 April that he relinquished command of of IV./JG 51 to Oberleutnant Günther Josten (178 victories, RK-EL). On 28 April, Stab JG 51 was disbanded and Lange returned as Gruppenkommandeur of IV./JG 51. In the three weeks from 15 April until the end of the war, IV./JG 51 claimed 115 victories for the loss of only five pilots. He flew his last mission on 29 April over Berlin. After the war, Lange received a doctorate in law from the University of Kiel and worked for an insurance company. He remains an active member of JG 51 veterans’ organizations.
    Heinz Lange flew 628 missions and claimed 70 victories, all but one on the Eastern Front. Included in his total are 24 Il-2 Sturmoviks and 12 Bomber.
 
No
Date
Time
A/c Type
Unit
Location / Comments
1.
30.9.1939
12:50
Blenhiem 1./JG 21 Gross-Bersen/Emsland / Blenheim I (L1415) of 18 Sqn, RAF flown by F/O DF Elliott
2.
30.6.1941
14:48
DB-3 8./JG 54  
3.
5.7.1941
12:30
DB-3 8./JG 54  
4.
5.7.1941
12:32
DB-3 8./JG 54  
5.
29.7.1941
13:45
SB-3 8./JG 54  
6.
2.8.1941
18:40
I-18 8./JG 54  
7.
23.9.1941
11:02
I-18 8./JG 54  
8.
7.10.1941
16:40
MBR-2 1./JG 54  
9.
3.2.1942
14:27
I-18 1./JG 54  
10.
6.2.1942
14:10
R-5 1./JG 54  
11.
14.3.1942
16:17
Il-2 1./JG 54  
12.
15.5.1942
10:51
Yak-1 1./JG 54  
20.
20.9.1942
-
E/a 1./JG 54  
21.
4.12.1942
-
Il-2 3./JG 51  
22.
4.12.1942
-
Il-2 3./JG 51  
23.
17.12.1942
-
Il-2 3./JG 51  
24.
17.12.1942
-
Il-2 3./JG 51  
?
7.1.1943
8:01
Il-2 3./JG 51 7 683
?
5.7.1943
15:55
Yak-1 3./JG 51 63 613
37.
22.8.1943
-
La-5 3./JG 51  
38.
22.8.1943
-
Yak-1 3./JG 51  
39.
22.8.1943
-
Il-2 3./JG 51  
40.
22.8.1943
-
Il-2 3./JG 51  
?
21.10.1943
-
Yak-9 3./JG 51  
50.?
1.1.1944
13:55
E/a 3./JG 51 S Vitebsk: 100m
50.?
1.1.1944
13:57
E/a 3./JG 51 S Vitebsk: 200m
50.?
1.1.1944
13:57
E/a 3./JG 51 S Vitebsk: 200m
?
4.1.1944
11:48
Il-2m3 Stab I./JG 51 W Vitebsk: 600m
?
4.1.1944
11:57
Il-2m3 Stab I./JG 51 W Vitebsk: 300m
?
4.1.1944
12:00
Il-2m3 Stab I./JG 51 W Vitebsk: 200m
?
6.1.1944
9:59
Il-2m3 Stab I./JG 51 5 193
?
VII.1944
-
5 victories Stab IV./JG 51 Galicia 
70.
15.10.1944
-
E/a Stab IV./JG 51  

Victories : 70
Awards : Ehrenpokal (27 October 1942)
                Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (17 May 1943)
                Ritterkeuz (18 November 1944)
Units : JG 21, JG 54, JG 51

Home