WNr. 681382, Hptm. Wilhelm Moritz, Stab IV./JG 3, Schongau, Germany, August 1944
Wilhelm Moritz was born on June 29, 1913, in Hamburg and joined the German army in 1933. He was assigned to the air force and went through fighter pilot training. The beginning of the war found him flying the twin-engine Bf 110 with II./ZG 1. In the summer of 1940 he was reassigned to 6./JG 77 and in April 1942, he served as CO of 11./JG 1. In September 1942, he was transferred to JG 51 on the Eastern Front where he would go on to shoot down twenty-five aircraft. On October 19, 1943, he was made Staffelkapitän of 6./JG 3. JG 3 was a component of the fighter network tasked with the defense of the Reich (Reichsverteidigung) and on April 18, 1944, Wilhelm Moritz became the CO of its IV. Gruppe. The Gruppe specialized in the use of heavily armed and armored single-engine fighters against Allied four-engine bombers. He was relieved of his command of IV. Gruppe on December 5, 1944, following a nervous breakdown. After convalescence he took over command of the Luftwaffe replacement training unit IV./EJG 1. He found his way back to a combat unit before the war ended, becoming CO of II./JG 4 on April 18, 1945, a post he held till the end of the war. He is credited with the downing of 44 enemy aircraft in total. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross on July 18, 1944.
WNr. 680747, Oblt. Hans Weik, CO of 10.(Sturm)/JG 3, Memmingen, Germany, June 1944
Hans Weik was born on July 6, 1922, in Heilbronn and joined the Luftwaffe in October 1941. After completing training, he was assigned to JG 3 on February 21, 1943, and sent to the Eastern front where he shot down ten Soviet aircraft. From May to November he served as an instructor at 4./JGr Ost and there he gained his first kill of a B-17 bomber. He was subsequently transferred to 9./JG 3 and on February 10, 1944, he was promoted to Commanding Officer position of 10. Staffel JG 3, where he achieved 23 kills. Twenty of them were four-engine heavy bombers. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross for his achievements on July 27, 1944. In April 1945 he was assigned to III./EJG 2, where he was retrained for Me 262. After the war, Hans Weik studied architecture and was responsible for the design of many structures. During retirement years he dedicated his time to ship modelling and died on June 5, 2001, in Heidenheim an der Brenz. The aircraft flown by Weik carried the markings of IV. Gruppe JG 3, i.e., a black engine cowl and a stylized Adlerflügel on the sides of the fuselage. The rear fuselage sports a white fuselage band that was common to JG 3 aircraft within the structure of the Defense of the Reich units. On these aircraft, the wave sign denoted the IV. Gruppe. The rudder carries victory markings up to June 1944.
Hptm. Gerhard Schröder, CO of II.(Sturm)/JG 4, Welzow, Germany, September 1944
The death of Obstlt. Hans-Günther von Kornatzki allowed 8. Staffel CO Hptm. Gerhard Schröder to take command of II./JG 4 on September 12, 1944. Kornatzki died in a failed emergency landing attempt that ended in high voltage transmission lines. Schröder was thirty-two years old at the time and remained Gruppe commander until the beginning of March 1945, when he was replaced by the cured Maj. Wilhelm Moritz. He held the post until the end of the World War II. Historians generally assert that the reason for the change of the II. Gruppe command was the poor showing of the unit during Operation Bodenplatte. The aircraft was camouflaged in the standard colors of RLM 74/75/76 and carried the JG 4 emblem on the nose and JG 4’s Defense of the Reich identifier in the form of black-white-black fuselage bands ahead of the tail surfaces.
Fw. Adalbert Koch, 6./JG 300, Löbnitz, Germany, fall 1944
JG 300 was initially tasked with nighttime interception of Allied bombers headed to targets in occupied Europe as was the case with her sister unit JG 301 as well. However, at the beginning of 1944, attention shifted to daylight operations. The II. Gruppe of the unit was formed in July 1943 and equipped with heavily armed and armored Fw 190A-8/R2s or R8s in the summer of 1944. It was also designated as a Sturmgruppe. One of the unit’s pilots was Fw. Adalbert Koch, who in the fall of 1944 flew an aircraft with the “yellow 15” code. The armor plating on the sides of the fuselage carried the inscription “Titi Wau Wau”. The Defense of the Reich marking for JG 300 consisted of a red fuselage band. By this time, very few of these aircraft retained their armored glass on the sliding portion of the canopy. The pilots generally had these removed because of condensation, which formed between the glass surfaces at high altitude, compromising visibility of the pilot.