Erwin Bacsila

Erwin Bacsila

    Erwin Bacsila was born on 27 January 1910 at Budapest but lived in Austria. After studying chemistry at high school in Vienna, he attended the Theresiani Military Academy and was accepted into the Austrian army in 1931. He initially served in the artillery before transferring to the Austrian Air Force on 1 September 1935, serving with a flak regiment with the rank of Leutnant. Bacsila later undertook flying training and flew as a reconnaissance pilot before converting to fighters. Following the German annexation of Austria, Bacsila was absorbed into the Luftwaffe and was promoted to the rank of Oberleutnant on 1 June 1938. Bacsila served with I./JG 333 based at Herzogenaurach from its inception on 1 November 1938, where he fulfilled the role of Gruppen Adjutant. On 1 May 1939, I./JG 333 was redesignated I./JG 54, which, on 15 May, was redesignated II./ZG 1. Bacsila served during the Polish campaign in this role. He was later appointed Staffelkapitän of 11.(N)/LG 2. On 1 August 1940, Bacsila was appointed Staffelkapitän of 7./JG 52, based on the Channel front. Later the unit operated over Romania performing a training function. He served with the unit during Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of Russia, gaining several victories. In summer 1941, Bacsila was placed in temporary command of JG 52. He was then transferred to the staff of 3. Jagddivision. In September 1942, Bacsila was serving with the Geschwaderstab of JG 77 based in the Mediterranean theatre. He flew as Rottenflieger to Joachim Müncheberg (135 victories, killed in action 23 March 1943, RK-S) in the Geschwaderstab of JG 77. Bacsila operated over North Africa until January 1943. Bacsila transferred to Luftwaffenkommando 3 to undertake a Jagdfliegerführer role. From April to October 1943, he served on the staff of Jagdfliegerführer 4 (later Jagdfliegerführer Bretagne). In November 1943, Bacsila joined Sturmstaffel 1. Major Bacsila claimed the first officially confirmed victory for the unit shooting down a USAAF B-17 four-engined bomber on 30 January 1944. In April 1944, he was wounded in the arm and was subsequently declared unfit for combat.

Gruppenkommandeur of IV./JG 3 Major Erwin Bacsila in front of the Fw 190 D-9 1
Gruppenkommandeur of IV./JG 3 Major Erwin Bacsila in front of the Fw 190 D-9 "1"

    On his recovery from the wounds he received in April 1944, Bacsila was posted to Erprobungskommando 16, then the Ergänzungsstaffel of JG 400 and I./JG 400 , where he flew the Me 163 rocket powered fighter. In November 1944, Bacsila was serving as a Staffelführer in JG 301. Bacsila was to be one of the last Gruppenkommandeure of IV./JG 3 when he took command on 5 January 1945. He held the post until 17 February 1945, when he was transferred, once again, to JG 400. Having survived the war, Bacsila returned to Austria. He died on 3 March 1982 in Vienna.
    Erwin Bacsila was reputedly credited with 34 victories and eight unconfirmed victories. He may have been awarded the Deutsches Kreuz in Gold.
P-40 Stab JG 77  
Spitfire Stab JG 77 Near Agedabia
B-17 Sturmstaffel 1  

Victories : 34?
Awards : Deutsches Kreuz in Gold?
Units : ZG 1, JG 26, JG 52, JG 77, Sturmstaffel 1, JG 400, JG 3, JG 301