Military Wiki
Hans Dortenmann
Born (1921-12-11)December 11, 1921
Died 1 April 1973(1973-04-01) (aged 51)
Place of birth Weingarten
Place of death Germany
Allegiance  Nazi Germany (to 1945)
Service/branch Heer (?-1941)
Luftwaffe (1941-1945)
Years of service ?–1945
Rank Hauptmann
Unit JG 54
JG 26
Commands held III./JG 54

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Hans Dortenmann (11 December 1921 – 1 April 1973) was a German Luftwaffe ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German language: 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.


Dortenmann was born 11 December 1921 at Weingarten. He served in the infantry until April 1941 when he transferred to the Luftwaffe to undergo pilot training. After training Leutnant Dortenmann was posted to Jagdgeschwader 54 on the Northern sector of the Eastern front.

He gained his first victory on 6 February 1944, colliding with a Lavochkin La-5 fighter. Dortenmann managed to belly-land his damaged Fw 190A-6 on his return to base. In June 2./JG 54 was withdrawn and relocated to the Western front, joining III./JG 54. Dortenmann had claimed some 14 victories by this and on 20 June 1944 was promoted to Staffelkapitän of 2./JG 54. The unit was then redesignated 12./JG 54. Dortenmann was shot down near Paris on 26 June but managed to bale out.

Over the Western front Dortenmann claimed six fighters shot down. In mid-August, III./JG 54 was withdrawn to Germany to received the new Fw 190 D-9 "Dora-9", becoming operational in October. 12./JG 54 and Leutnant Dortenmann were based at Achmer to fly airfield protection cover for the Me 262 jet fighters of Kommando Nowotny. On 29 December Dortenmann shot down a Spitfire near Münster. Dortenmann was made acting Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 54 on 30 December.

On 25 December, III./JG 54 was placed under operation command of Major Karl Borris with I./JG 26 for Operation Bodenplatte. On 1 January 1945, Dortenmann led III./JG 54 against Brussels-Grimbergen airfield, from which 12 Fw 190s failed to return. 12./JG 54 was thus disbanded on 19 February 1945 with aircrew distributed throughout III./JG 54. Dortenmann now took command of 11./JG 54. In late February, III./JG 54 was absorbed into JG 26 with 11./JG 54 becoming 14./JG 26.

On 29 March 1945 Oberleutnant Dortenmann became Staffelkapitän of 3./JG 26 and awarded the Ritterkreuz on 20 April for 35 victories. On 27 April Dortenmann shot down a Soviet Yak-3 over Berlin. Hans Dortenmann survived the war but died on 1 April 1973.

Hans Dortenmann was credited with 38 victories in some 150 combat missions, with 16 victories over the Eastern front and 22 over the Western front. He recorded 18 victories with the Fw 190 D-9,the most successful fighter pilot with this type.

He possibly claimed the Tempest V shot down of French ace Pierre Clostermann on 28 March 1945.[citation needed]



  1. Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 90.
  2. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 139.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) (in German). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches]. Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Hauptmann Robert Weiß
Acting Commander of III. Jagdgeschwader 54
January 1945
Succeeded by
Oberleutnant Wilhelm Heilmann

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