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Harry von Bülow-Bothkamp
File:Harry von Bülow-Bothkamp.jpg
Harry von Bülow-Bothkamp
Born (1897-11-19)19 November 1897
Died 27 February 1976(1976-02-27) (aged 78)
Place of birth Bothkamp, Holstein
Place of death Kirchbarkau, Holstein
Allegiance German Empire German Empire (to 1918)
Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Cross-Pattee-Heraldry.svg Luftstreitkräfte
Balkenkreuz.svg Luftwaffe
Years of service 1916–1918
Rank Oberst
Unit JG 77, JG 2, NJG 101
Commands held JG 2

World War I
World War II

  • Iron Cross (WW I)
    • II. Class
    • I. Class
  • Aviator badge (WW I)
  • Albert Order II. Class with swords
  • Military Order of St. Henry
  • House Order of Hohenzollern
  • Aviator badge (WW II)
  • Wehrmacht Long Service Award 4. Class
  • Clasp to the Iron Cross II. Class 1939
  • Clasp to the Iron Cross I. Class 1939
  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
  • Relations Walter von Bülow-Bothkamp (brother)

    Oberst Harry von Bülow-Bothkamp (19 November 1897 – 27 February 1976) Royal House Order of Hohenzollern, Iron Cross was a German fighter ace notable for being one of the few two-war aces in history. After scoring six victories in World War I, he became a Luftwaffe Ace in World War II, with 12 additional victories.[1]

    Early life and World War I

    Harry von Bülow-Bothkamp was a child of nobility, born in his family's castle in the village of Bothkamp in the Schleswig-Holstein Province of Germany.[2] He began his military service with Saxon Hussar Regiment No. 18 when he was 17, before learning to fly in August 1916. In December 1916 he joined the German air service. He was one of three brothers (the others being Walter and Conrad) to serve in the Fliegertruppe during World War I. He first flew two seaters with FFA 53, which became FA 272 (A), as a reconnaissance pilot adjusting artillery fire, before becoming a fighter pilot with Jasta 36, which was commanded by his brother Walter who fell on 6 January 1918.

    During his time with Jasta 36, Harry von Bulow-Bothkamp shot down an Airco D.H.4 on 12 October 1917, followed by five additional enemy fighters. His last victory came on 21 July 1918, over Major R.N. Freeman, CO of No. 73 Squadron. His notable win was his fourth, over British 10-kill ace Captain Cecil Clark of No 1 Squadron, who was wounded and taken prisoner.[3] Harry was discharged from the service by order of the Kaiser on 25 August 1918. Harry was the last survivor of four brothers; the oldest, Friedrich, was killed in 1914, and Conrad died in a flying accident on 26 September 1918 while commanding part of the Aviation Battalion of the Finnish Air Force.[4]

    Harry had earned the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern and Iron Cross for his service.[5]

    Between the wars

    After World War I he returned to school (Gymnasium) receiving his Abitur and went to University studying agriculture. Together with Paul Bäumer he founded the Bäumer Aero in Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel to produce airplanes. The company went bankrupt in the course of the Great Depression.

    He rejoined the German military aviation as a Hauptman (Captain) in 1935, in the newly established Luftwaffe. The following year, he was promoted to Major and assigned as the original commanding officer of Jagdgeschwader 2 "Richthofen", also known as JG II.[6] In 1939, he became Inspector of the Nationalsozialitische Fliegerkorps, the Luftwaffe's civil reserve.[2]

    World War II and beyond

    During the beginning of World War II, he commanded Gruppe II./JG 77 from November, 1939 onwards. He then became Commodore of Jagdgeschwader 2 in April 1940. He led this unit during the blitzkrieg into France during May and June 1940. Despite being over 40 years old, he vanquished at least 12 opponents in this campaign. This performance as a fighting commander of JG 2 earned him another promotion, to Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel), and made him a winner of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 22 August 1940.

    On 1 September 1940, he was reassigned to Nachtjagdschule 1 (Night Flight School 1). He remained in command of this unit through its redesignation as NJG 101, until October, 1943. He commanded the 5th Fighter Division from November, 1943 and then commanded Jafu 4 on the western front from March 1944 to September 1944. He ended the war back with the Nationalsozialitische Fliegerkorps.[7]

    He died of natural causes in Kirchbarkau, near his ancestral castle, where he was buried in the same plot as his brothers.


    See also

    Pilots who flew in both World Wars


    • 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. 
    • Nauroth,Holger- Jagdgeschwader 2 "Richthofen", A Photographic History (ISBN 0-7643-2094-7) - Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, PA, 2005
    • Ringlstetter,Herbert - Helmut Wick, An Illustrated Biography Of The Luftwaffe Ace And Commander Of Jagdgeschwader 2 During The Battle Of Britain (ISBN 0-7643-2217-6) - Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, PA, 2005
    • 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. 

    External links

    Military offices
    Preceded by
    Oberst Gerd von Massow
    Commander of Jagdgeschwader 2 Richthofen
    1 April 1940 – 2 September 1940
    Succeeded by
    Major Wolfgang Schellmann
    Preceded by
    Commander of Jagdfliegerführer Süddeutschland
    February, 1943 – June, 1943
    Succeeded by
    5. Jagd-Division
    Preceded by
    Generalleutnant Walter Schwabedissen
    Commander of 5. Jagd-Division
    September, 1943 – 11 November 1943
    Succeeded by
    Generalleutnant Joachim-Friedrich Huth
    Preceded by
    Oberst Josef Priller
    Commander of Jagdfliegerführer 4
    1 April 1944 – 31 August 1944
    Succeeded by

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