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Gustav Frielinghaus
Born (1912-03-05)March 5, 1912
Died 11 September 1963(1963-09-11) (aged 51)
Place of birth Osnabrück
Place of death Düsseldorf
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service ?-1945
Rank Hauptmann
Unit JG 3
JGr Süd
Commands held IV./JG 3

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Gustav Frielinghaus (5 March 1912 – 11 September 1963) was a German Luftwaffe ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Gustav Frielinghaus was credited with 74 aerial victories during World War II.

Life and career

Born on 5 March 1912 at Osnabrück, on the outbreak of war Frielinghaus was a Gefreiter instructor at flying school, and served at Jagdfliegerschule 5 . In June 1941, Leutnant Frielinghaus was posted to 6./Jagdgeschwader 3 (JG 3—3rd Fighter Wing) operating on the Eastern Front. He gained his first victory on 6 July 1941, a Soviet SB-2 bomber. On 25 July, after downing two DB-3 bombers near Stawiszce his Bf 109 F-2 was hit by return defensive fire necessitating a forced-landing at Moroszkoad. By autumn of 1941 he had achieved seven claims.

In spring 1942 6./JG 3 relocated to bases in Sicily flying missions over Malta. Frielinghaus was back on the Eastern front with Stab. II./JG 3 in May 1942. He got his 10th victory on 23 June, a LaGG-3 fighter near Ulanowka. His 20th victory followed on 6 August, a Russian Pe-2 near Salinskiy. By October 1942, Frielinghaus was operating over Stalingrad. He was to be one of the last to leave Pitomnik airfield, and was evacuated in a Ju 52 transport aircraft, having recorded 37 victories operating over Stalingrad.

On 25 March 1943 Frielinghaus was made Staffelkapitän of 6./JG 3, and recorded his 50th victory on 15 April 1943 over the Kuban bridgehead, before a posting as Staffelkapitän of 11./JG 3 in the Mediterranean theatre in May 1943.

Over Italy, Frielinghaus claimed eight more victories before, on 9 September, being badly wounded after his Bf 109 G-6 was destroyed in combat over Foggia with USAAF B-24 four-engine bombers. He had just recovered from these wounds when he was injured in a take-off accident on 19 December.

At the beginning of 1944 Frielinghaus was transferred to the Gruppenstab, IV./JG 3. Then from May to June he led II./JG 3.

In July, he was transferred as Staffelkapitän of 2./JGr Süd. On 28 March 1945, Frielinghaus was made Gruppenkommandeur of II./EJG 1.

Gustav Frielinghaus was credited with 74 victories in 350 missions. He recorded eight victories, including six P-38 twin-engine fighters, over the Western front. He died on 11 September 1963 in Düsseldorf.



  1. According to Scherzer as Oberleutnant in the Stab IV./Jagdgeschwader 3.[3]


  1. Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 124.
  2. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 187.
  3. Scherzer 2007, p. 320.
  • 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). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939–1945 (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 3-87341-065-6.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D. and Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941–1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II. Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 3-931533-45-X.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). 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 (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
  • Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. New York: Ivy Books. ISBN 0-8041-1696-2.

External links