|Born||25 December 1916|
|Died||29 May 1944(aged 27)|
|Place of birth||Berlin-Lichterfelde|
|Place of death||Salzwedel|
|Years of service||1935–1944|
|Unit||JG 53, JG 3|
|Commands held||1./JG 53, IV./JG 3|
|Awards||Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves|
Friedrich-Karl "Tutti" Müller (25 December 1916 – 29 May 1944) was a German World War II fighter ace who served in the Luftwaffe from 1935 until his death on 29 May 1944. A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat. He is credited with 140 aerial victories claimed in more than 600 combat missions. He claimed 8 aerial victories during the Battle of France, 89 on the Eastern front, and 51 victories against the Western Allies, including 17 four-engined bombers.
At the start of World War II, Müller was a Leutnant with 8 Staffel of Jagdgeschwader 53 (JG 53). His first claim was an Armée de l'Air Curtiss Hawk on 27 May 1940. Müller flew through the Battle of Britain adding two Royal Air Force (RAF) fighters to his 8 claims after the French campaign.
Müller was involved in operation over the Russian Front from June 1941 and by the beginning of September 1941, had 20 kills. In November, Müller was made Staffelkapitän of 1 Staffel of JG 53. In spring 1942, 1./JG 53 were posted to the Mediterranean air bases in Sicily. Müller claimed 3 Hawker Hurricanes over Malta.
In May 1942, I./JG 53 was back on the Eastern front. In August, Müller claimed some 25 victories, and in September claimed a further 35 victories. Oberleutnant Friedrich-Karl Müller received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) on 19 September 1942 following a series of 18 enemy aircraft destroyed: four on 16 September, five on 17 September, seven on 18 September and two on 19 September. On the latter day he claimed his 100th and 101st aerial victories. Together with Wilhelm Crinius he received the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes with Oak Leaves) on 23 September 1942.
In November 1942, Hauptmann Müller was appointed Gruppenkommandeur I./JG 53 and led the unit to Tunisia. Up to April 1943 Müller claimed another 12 victories to raise his score to 115. In May, after 3 further victories over Sicily and Italy Müller was suffering nervous and combat fatigue, and embarked on enforced leave. By February 1944, Major Müller was then appointed Gruppenkommandeur 'Sturmgruppe' IV./Jagdgeschwader 3 (JG 3) operating in Defense of the Reich sorties. He claimed three United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) four-engined bombers on 8 March to record his 122nd victory. On 24 March 1944, Major Müller was then appointed Geschwaderkommodore of JG 3.
Müller was killed in a landing accident at Salzwedel on 29 May 1944, when his Bf 109 G-6 (Werknummer 410827—factory number) stalled on landing approach at low altitude. He was posthumously promoted to Oberstleutnant.
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (13 December 1943)
- German Cross in Gold on 15 November 1943 as Major in the I./JG 53
- Iron Cross (1939)
- 2nd Class (17 April 1940)
- 1st Class (20 June 1940)
- Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
- Eastern Front Medal (Medaille Winterschlacht Im Osten 1941/42)
- Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe in Gold with pennant (after 500 mission)
- Pilot badge
- Wehrmacht Long Service Award for 4 years
- Mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht on 19 April 1944
References in the Wehrmachtbericht
|Date||Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording||Direct English translation|
|19 April 1944||In den Mittagsstunden des 18. April drangen starke nordamerikanische Bomberverbände unter Jagdschutz bis in den Raum von Berlin vor. In verschiedenen Orten, besonders in Rathenow, entstanden Schäden und Verluste unter der Bevölkerung. Trotz schwieriger Abwehrbedingungen wurden 44 feindliche Flugzeuge, darunter 40 viermotorige Bomber, abgeschossen. Bei der Abwehr dieser Angriffe zeichnete sich ein Jagdverband unter Führung von Major Karl-Friedrich Müller durch die Vernichtung eines geschlossenen feindlichen Bomberverbandes besonders aus.[Notes 3]||Strong North American bomber units under fighter protection pressed into the area of Berlin during the midday hours of 18 April. In various locations damage and casualties among the population, especially in Rathenow, were inflicted. 44 enemy aircraft, among them 40 four-engine bombers, were shot down despite the difficult defensive conditions. A fighter unit under the leadership of Major Karl-Friedrich Müller distinguished itself in defense of these attacks by the destruction of an entire bomber formation.|
- According to Fellgiebel as Staffelkapitän of the 8./JG 53 on 14 September 1941. Both Obermaier and Scherzer give 19 September 1942 as the presentation date.
- Both Fellgiebel and Scherzer state that Müller received the Oak Leaves while serving with 1./JG 3 "Udet", while Prien states that he was serving with 1./JG 53. 1./JG 53 seems to be correct based upon the chronicles of JG 53 which details the chain of events leading to the awarding of Oak Leaves just 4 days after the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
- The order of his first names is quoted as stated in the original Wehrmachtberich
- Spick 1996, pp. 3–4.
- Spick 1996, p. 229.
- Prien 1998, p. 428.
- Prien 1998, p. 429.
- Weal 2001, p. 53.
- Obermaier 1989, p. 53.
- Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 319.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 555.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 317.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 61.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 84.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
- Obermaier, Ernst (1989) (in German). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 – 1945 [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Luftwaffe Fighter Force 1941 – 1945]. Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 978-3-87341-065-7.
- Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001) (in German). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2]. Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8.
- Prien, Jochen (1998). Jagdgeschwader 53 A History of the "Pik As" Geschwader May 1942 – January 1944. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Military History. ISBN 0-7643-0292-2.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007) (in German). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives]. Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
- Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. New York: Ivy Books. ISBN 978-0-8041-1696-1.
- Weal, John (2001). Bf109 Aces of the Russian Front. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-084-6.
- (in German) Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 3, 1. Januar 1944 bis 9. Mai 1945 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 3, 1 January 1944 to 9 May 1945]. München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2.
- Nietrug, Gerd (2004). Die Ritterkreuzträger des Saarlandes 1939 – 1945. Zweibrücken: VDM Nickel. ISBN 3-925480-93-5.
- <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>"Aces of the Luftwaffe". Friedrich-Karl Müller. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
- <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>"World war II Awards". Friedrich-Karl Müller. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
- <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>"Ritterkreuzträger 1939–45". Friedrich-Karl Müller. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
- <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>"Lexikon der Wehrmacht". Friedrich-Karl Müller. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
Oberst Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke
|Commander of Jagdgeschwader 3 Udet
24 March 1944 – 29 May 1944
Major Heinrich Bär
Oberstleutnant Günther Freiherr von Maltzahn
|Acting Commander of Jagdgeschwader 53 Pik As
October 1943 – October 1943
Major Kurt Ubben
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