Joachim "Gnom" Wandel
Hauptmann

Joachim Wandel

    Joachim “Gnom” Wandel was born on 7 May 1914 at Schlochau in Westpreußen. Already enlisted in the army in 1935 and serving in the artillery, Oberfahnrich Wandel transferred to the Luftwaffe. On completion of his flying training he was posted to JG 132. At the end of 1936, Wandel transferred to the staff of J/88 operating in support of Franco’s Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War. On 15 May 1937, Wandel was shot down by flak near Bilbao and became a prisoner of war. He was awarded the Spanienkreuz in Silber mit Schwerten on his return. Wandel was serving with 2./JG 76 at the outbreak of World War 2. He participated in the invasion of Poland, the French campaign and the Battle of Britain. Oberleutnant Wandel recorded two victories during the French campaign. On 4 July 1940, 2./JG 76 was redesignated 5./JG 54. On 1 August 1940, Wandel was transferred to Jagdfliegerschule Zerbst. Wandel returned to front line duty in autumn 1941 as Adjutant to II./JG 54 based on the Eastern front. By mid-March 1942, he had 30 victories to his credit. On 21 April 1942, Wandel was appointed Staffelkapitän of 5./JG 54. Oberleutnant Wandel had 32 victories to his credit. In the summer months of 1942, Wandel was particularly succesful at night in the Leningrad area claiming 16 victories, including seven enemy aircraft on the night of 6/7 July to record his 37th through 42nd victories. He claimed 24 victories in August, including three Russian U-2 utility biplanes shot down on 3 August (50-52), five Russian MiG-3 fighters shot down on 9 August (57-61) and three Russian fighters shot down on 18 August (68-70). Hauptmann Wandel was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 23 August for 64 victories. On 7 October 1942, Wandel shot down a Russian LaGG-3 fighter northeast of Oschtaschkow for his 75th, and last, victory. He was shot down in this engagement, his Bf 109 G-2 (W.Nr. 10 353) “Black 11” being seen to fall vertically and crash into a forest. Wandel did not bale out of his stricken aircraft.
    “Gnom” Wandel was credited with 75 victories. He recorded approximately five victories over the Western front. Of his 70 victories recorded over the Eastern front, 16 were recorded at night.
 
No
Date
Time
A/c Type
Unit
Location / Comments
1
5.6.1940
11:00
Morane 406 2./JG 76 Amiens
2
7.6.1940
20:45
Hurricane 2./JG 76 S Dieppe
30
15.3.1942
18:05
I-26 II./JG 54 E Saniska
31
19.3.1942
17:08
I-18 II./JG 54 1km SE Flpl. Gremjaschkowo
32
23.3.1942
14:43
Il-2 II./JG 54 15km W Staraya Russa
33
25.4.1942
-
Il-2 5./JG 54 5km E Ramenschowo
34
28.4.1942
9:32
Yak-1 5./JG 54 10km NE Dammschowo
35
7.5.1942
15:50
Yak-1 5./JG 54 N Demjansk
36
6.7.1942
23:50
U-2 5./JG 54 Demjansk
37
7.7.1942
0:05
TB-3 5./JG 54 Kraseja
38
7.7.1942
0:32
U-2 5./JG 54 Kraseja
39
7.7.1942
0:50
U-2 5./JG 54 Ramenchewo
40
7.7.1942
22:50
SB-2 5./JG 54 Koroßtya
41
7.7.1942
23:09
U-2 5./JG 54 Ramenchewo
42
7.7.1942
23:18
U-2 5./JG 54 Ramenchewo
43
8.7.1942
0:33
U-2 5./JG 54 Ramenchevo
44
17.7.1942
17:34
Yak-1 5./JG 54 Wjasowel
45
17.7.1942
18:11
LaGG-3 5./JG 54 Koscheljewo
46
18.7.1942
17:34
Yak-2 5./JG 54 E Malyushki
47
18.7.1942
18:11
LaGG-3 5./JG 54 Kochelyevo
48
20.7.1942
0:54
U-2 5./JG 54 Ramenchewo
49
20.7.1942
1:15
U-2 5./JG 54 Ramenchewo
50
3.8.1942
1:35
U-2 5./JG 54 18 828
51
3.8.1942
1:45
U-2 5./JG 54 18 828
52
3.8.1942
2:00
U-2 5./JG 54 NE Ramenchevo
53
8.8.1942
19:37
R-5 5./JG 54 36 223
54
6.8.1942
19:35
Yak-1 5./JG 54 47 860
55
7.8.1942
18:07
Yak-1 5./JG 54 57 514
56
8.8.1942
19:37
R-5 5./JG 54 46 223
57
9.8.1942
10:11
MiG-3 5./JG 54 47 814
58
9.8.1942
10:18
MiG-3 5./JG 54 47 881
59
9.8.1942
13:50
MiG-3 5./JG 54 N Jakowlew
60
9.8.1942
13:52
MiG-3 5./JG 54 56 163
61
9.8.1942
14:12
MiG-3 5./JG 54 47 821
62
10.8.1942
18:49
MiG-3 5./JG 54 47 551
63
10.8.1942
18:57
MiG-3 5./JG 54 47 551
64
11.8.1942
8:48
Yak-1 5./JG 54 47 481
65
12.8.1942
18:55
Yak-1 5./JG 54 54 274
66
12.8.1942
18:57
Yak-1 5./JG 54 54 242
67
14.8.1942
18:45
Yak-1 5./JG 54 54 223
68
18.8.1942
8:58
I-16 5./JG 54 54 221
69
18.8.1942
11:55
Yak-1 5./JG 54 54 223
70
18.8.1942
17:15
I-180 5./JG 54 55 842
71
19.8.1942
10:05
Yak-1 5./JG 54 58 874
72
19.8.1942
10:10
Yak-1 5./JG 54 58 874
73
26.8.1942
8:46
Il-2 5./JG 54 47 672
74
6.10.1942
9:25
Il-2 5./JG 54 38 861
75
7.10.1942
10:30
LaGG-3 5./JG 54 3881

Victories : 75
Awards : Ehrenpokal (28 May 1942)
                Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (27 July 1942)
                Ritterkreuz (23 August 1942)
Units : J/88, JG 76, JG 54

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