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Hans Grünberg

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Hans Grünberg

Hans Grünberg
Nickname Specker
Born (1917-07-08)8 July 1917
Gross-Fahlenwerder, Germany
Died 16 January 1998(1998-01-16) (aged 80)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1939–1945
Rank Oberleutnant
Unit JG 3, JG 7, JV 44

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Hans "Specker" Grünberg was a former German Luftwaffe fighter ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Grünberg shot down 82 enemy aircraft in 550 missions.

Military career

Grünberg first acted in combat role when he was serving with Jagdgeschwader 3 (JG 3) based on the Eastern front, in August 1942. Unteroffizier Grünberg achieved his first victory on 19 August 1942, when he shot down a Soviet DB-3 twin-engine bomber. By the end of 1942, Grünberg had amassed 11 victories. He had bailed out four times during his time in the Soviet Union. On 16 July 1943, it is possible he became a victim of a female fighter ace, Lydia Litvyak. Grünberg then flew with 5./JG 3 on Defense of the Reich duties based in Germany. On 9 May 1944, Grünberg was appointed Staffelkapitän of 5./JG 3 in the place of Oberleutnant Leopold "Poldi" Münster was shot down and killed in action the day before. His last victory was claimed on 19 April, when he shot down a United States Army Air Forces B-17 over Bohemia but he had to bail out of his Messerschmitt Me 262 near Prague in this engagement. He served out the remainder of the war with this unit.

Grünberg was credited with 82 victories in 550 combat missions. He recorded 61 victories over the Eastern Front, including 27 Il-2 Sturmoviks. Of his 21 victories recorded over the Western Front, at least 11 were four-engine bombers. He is credited with five victories with the Me-262 jet fighter, all were four-engine bombers.[Notes 1]





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