Franz Ruhl
Oberleutnant

Franz Ruhl

 
    Franz Ruhl was born on 12 December 1922 at Regensburg. He was the cousin of Eichenlaubträger Major Heinrich Setz (138 victories, RK-EL, killed in action 23 March 1943). In autumn 1942, Ruhl was posted to JG 3 based on the Eastern front.  Leutnant Ruhl was assigned to 4./JG 3. He recorded his first victory on 10 March 1943, when he shot down a Russian Il-2 Sturmovik ground-attack aircraft. On 29 April, he shot down four Russian LaGG-3 fighters to record his sixth through ninth victories. Ruhl encounter Russian flown Spitfire fighters over the Kuban bridgehead on 8 May. In the subsequent aerial combat, he shot down two for his 10th and 11th victories. On 9 May 1943, Ruhl was transferred to the Gruppenstab of II./JG 3. He recorded a further six victories with the unit to raise his victory total to 17. By late July 1943, Ruhl was once again serving with 4./JG 3. He accompanied the unit when it was ordered back to Germany for rest and re-equipment in August 1943. Ruhl had 20 victories to his credit at this time. In early September, 4./JG 3 was based at Schipol in Holland. Ruhl was appointed acting Staffelkapitän of 4./JG 3 in September 1943. He recorded his first victory over the increasing number of Allied four-engine bombers raiding Germany on 24 September, when he shot down a USAAF B-17 over the North Sea. On 8 October, Ruhl participated in a scramble from Schipol against a formation of USAAF B-17 four-engine bombers attacking Bremen. In the subsequent aerial combat over the Ijsselmeer Ruhl claimed two bombers shot down for his 24th and 25th victories. On 25 October 1943, Ruhl was appointed Staffelkapitän of 4./JG 3, replacing Hauptmann Werner Lucas (106 victories, RK) who had been shot down and killed the previous day. However, at the end of June 1944, after leading 4./JG 3 in France to combat the Allied landings at Normandy, Ruhl became ill requiring a lengthy  stay in hospital. He had 35 victories to his credit at this time and was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 27 July. In December 1944 Ruhl returned to combat duty as Staffelkapitän of 4./JG 3, now incorporated within I./JG 3 based at Paderborn. In the afternoon of 24 December 1944, Ruhl led a schwarm and rendezvoused with another schwarm of 10./JG 3 on a freie Jagd over the Schneeifel. USAAF fighters were encountered and, in the subsequent aerial combat, Ruhl’s Bf 109 G-10 (W.Nr. 490 423) “Green 2” was badly hit. The aircraft entered a vertical dive, crashed and exploded. Ruhl had no chance to exit his doomed aircraft and was killed.
    Franz Ruhl was credited with 37 victories in over 200 missions. He recorded 17 victories over the Western front, including fourteen four-engine bombers. He also claimed six further victories, including two four-engine bombers that were not confirmed.
 
No
Date
Time
A/c Type
Unit
Location / Comments
1
10.3.1943
15:25
Il-2 4./JG 3 70 872
2
11.4.1943
12:35
P-39 4./JG 3 -
3
12.4.1943
10:27
P-39 4./JG 3 86 814
4
20.4.1943
16:10
LaGG-5 4./JG 3 75 451
5
28.4.1943
16:20
LaGG-3 4./JG 3 85 151
6
29.4.1943
5:42
LaGG-3 4./JG 3 85 114
7
29.4.1943
5:45
LaGG-3 4./JG 3 75 233
8
29.4.1943
7:58
LaGG-3 4./JG 3 75 232
9
29.4.1943
8:12
LaGG-3 4./JG 3 85 191
10
8.5.1943
12:15
Spitfire Stab II./JG 3 75 264
11
8.5.1943
17:55
Spitfire Stab II./JG 3 75 263
12
9.5.1943
16:45
Yak-1 Stab II./JG 3 85 111
13
11.5.1943
6:30
Yak-1 Stab II./JG 3 85 121
14
8.6.1943
11:15
Yak-1 Stab II./JG 3 62 799
15
8.6.1943
11:20
LaGG-5 Stab II./JG 3 61 217
16
21.6.1943
14:45
Yak-1 Stab II./JG 3 62 849
17
23.6.1943
17:50
Yak-1 Stab II./JG 3 70 326
18
28.7.1943
16:30
Yak-1 4./JG 3 61 244
19
31.7.1943
5:37
LaGG-5 4./JG 3 88 262
20
31.7.1943
5:43
Yak-1 4./JG 3 N Stepanovka
21
16.9.1943
19:02
Beaufighter 4./JG 3 W Den Helder
22
24.9.1943
17:20
B-17 4./JG 3 North Sea
23
27.9.1943
11:15
B-17 4./JG 3 Manslagt
24
8.10.1943
14:42
B-17 4./JG 3 Noordwolde-Steenwijk
25
8.10.1943
15:12
B-17 4./JG 3 Ens-Emeloord
26
23.11.1943
15:06
Beaufighter 4./JG 3 N Texel
27
23.11.1943
15:08
Beaufighter 4./JG 3 N Texel
-
1.12.1943
11:27
P-47 4./JG 3 S Eindhoven / not confirmed
-
11.12.1943
12:50
P-47 4./JG 3 not confirmed
-
22.12.1943
14:03
P-47 4./JG 3 not confirmed
28
10.2.1944
12:30
B-17 4./JG 3 Braunschweig-Minden
-
21.2.1944
14:24
B-17 4./JG 3 Minden-Braunschweig / not confirmed
-
24.2.1944
13:25
B-24 HSS 4./JG 3 Eschwege-Bad Neustadt / not confirmed
29
24.2.1944
13:45
B-24 4./JG 3 Eschwege-Bad Neustadt
30
8.3.1944
13:32
B-17 4./JG 3 Celle-Rathenow
31
8.3.1944
13:50
B-17 4./JG 3 Celle-Rathenow
32
8.5.1944
10:05
B-17 4./JG 3 Achmer
33
12.5.1944
12:40
B-17 4./JG 3 Gießen-Frankfurt area
34
19.5.1944
13:50
B-17 HSS 4./JG 3 Near Rinow
35
24.5.1944
11:15
B-17 4./JG 3 NW Eberswalde
36
12.12.1944
13:59
Lancaster 4./JG 3 Witten-Kampen
37
12.12.1944
14:07
Lancaster 4./JG 3 Witten-Kampen
-
24.12.1944
-
P-47 4./JG 3 not confirmed

Victories : 37
Awards : Ehrenpokal (26 November 1943)
                Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (5 February 1943)
                Ritterkreuz (27 July 1944)
Units : JG 3

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