WNr. 437, Uffz. Johannes Rathenow, 10./JG 1, Woensdrecht, the Netherland, July 1942
On July 4, 1942, in this Fw 190A-3 Uffz. Rathenow
scored his first air victory over the enemy aircraft,
the victim was a Boston Mk.III from No. 226 Squadron
RAF. The British bomber crashed into the sea twenty
kilometers west of the Dutch village of Callanstsoog.
During WWII Johannes „Boulette“ Rathenow scored
in total seven kills, besides the British Boston all
the others were American B-17s. He met his fate on
November 3, 1943 when he took off with 1./JG 1 for
a mission against the American bombers and their
escorting P-38 fighters who were headed for a raid
on Wilhelmshaven. After he was hit over Bad Zwischenahn Rathenow’s Fw 190A-6 exploded.
WNr. 2080, 10.(Jabo)/JG 2, Beaumont-le-Roger, France, spring 1942
In the end of 1941 Luftwaffe was considering to
restart its bombing of the Great Britain as well as the
coastal shipping. It was established that each fighter
unit deployed against Great Britain will commission
one Staffel to the „hit and run“ bombing attacks.
10.(Jabo) Staffel of the JG 2 flew in this role. Led by
Oblt. Frank Liesendahl, in four months the unit sank
20 ships representing 630 000 BRT displacement.
Blue 6 flying with 10.(Jabo)/JG 2 sported the standard
Luftwaffe day fighters‘ camouflage of RLM 74/75/76.
The units insignia was a fox biting the ship. On August 26, 1942 this Focke Wulf, at that time attached to
10.(Jabo)/JG 26 as black 13, was shot down by the AA
fire of a Canadian unit at Eastbourne. The pilot, Ofw.
Werner Kassa was killed.
WNr. 0552, Hptm. Josef Priller, CO of III./JG 26, Wevelgem, Belgium, late August 1942
Josef ”Pips“ Priller was born on July 27, 1915 in Ingolstadt, Bavaria. In 1935, he joined Wehrmacht, and
as soon as one year later, in October 1936, he started
to attend the fighter pilot training. He managed his
first shot down as a commander of 6. Staffel JG 51
when he downed a Spitfire above Dunkerque on May
28, 1940. In November 1940, he was appointed a commander of the 1./ JG 26. On December 6, 1941, he became commander of III./ JG 26, from January 11,1943 he
lead the whole Jagdgeschwader 26. His total number
of shot downs kept growing. On December 20, 1941,
his successes were rewarded - Priller was decorated
with Knights Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
and Swords. On January 28, 1945, he was appointed
a post of an Inspekteur der Jagdflieger Ost, where he
remained till the end of WWII. Priller’s total score of
shot downs was 101 enemy aircraft. All of the shot
downs happened in the Western Front. After war he
married Johanna Riegele, the proprietor of a brewery
and became general manager of Riegele brewery in
Augsburg, Germany. He died of heart attack on May
20, 1961. The aircraft flown by Josef Priller in late summer 1942, in the standard camouflage scheme for
Luftwaffe fighters, had a yellow rudder and bottom
portion of the engine cowl. It also carried the marking for the CO of the III. Gruppe. The tail carried 77
kill markings, his tally to August 29, 1942.