Military Wiki
Josef "Joschko" Fözö
Nickname "Joschko"
Born (1912-11-07)November 7, 1912
Died 4 March 1979(1979-03-04) (aged 66)
Place of birth Vienna
Place of death Vienna
Allegiance Austria First Austrian Republic (to 1938)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Österreichische Luftstreitkräfte (1935-1938)
Luftwaffe (1938-1945)
Years of service 1935–1945
Rank Major
Unit Condor Legion
JG 72
JG 71
JG 51
JG 108
Commands held II./JG 51
I./JG 51

Spanish Civil War
World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Josef "Joschko" Fözö (7 November 1912 – 4 March 1979) 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.


Fözö was born on 7 November 1912 in Vienna, Austria. He joined the Austrian Luftstreitkräfte before transferring to the Luftwaffe in 1938. From the summer of 1938 until March 1939, Fözö flew with 3. Staffel Jagdgruppe 88, operating during the Civil war in Spain in support of Nationalist forces. He claimed three victories in some 147 missions and was awarded the Spanish Cross in Gold.

Oberleutnant Fözö was then posted as Staffelkapitän (squadron leader) of 10./JG 72 flying the Arado Ar 68 biplane fighter based at Böblingen, before a move to command 2./JG 71 in July 1939.

In October 1939, 2./JG 71 was redesignated as 4./JG 51. Fözö recorded his first victory on 16 April 1940 when he shot down an artillery-spotting dirigible balloon during the French campaign. On 8 July 1940 he claimed the Spitfire of S/L D. Cooke (killed), CO of No. 65 Squadron of the Royal Air Force (RAF). On 13 July he shot down two Hurricanes of No. 56 Squadron, and on 31 July a Spitfire of No. 74 Squadron flown by P/O Gunn, who was killed. Three kills were claimed on 16 August, a Hurricane of No. 501 Squadron (F/L Stoney killed) on 18 August and on 24 August a Spitfire of No. 610 Squadron flown by Sgt. Arnfield (who bailed out and broke an ankle on landing.) Another Spitfire was claimed on 26 August (of No. 616 Squadron; F/O Moberley killed). After 13 victories in the Battle of Britain, Fözö was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 51 in February 1941.

By the time Hauptmann Fözö flew in the invasion of Russia, he had 15 victories to his credit, and was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 2 July for 22 victories, including four bombers downed on 30 June alone. After his 24th victory on 11 July he was badly injured in a take-off accident at Stava Bychow in a Bf 109 F-2 and was hospitalised for a period. He returned to duty as Gruppenkommandeur I./JG 51, based on the Eastern front in May 1942. On 31 May he was again badly injured in a landing accident at Tubelja. On recovery Fözö was appointed Kommodore of training unit Jagdgeschwader 108 in June 1944. He led the unit until 10 January 1945.

Fözö died on 4 March 1979 in Vienna.

Josef Fözö was credited with 27 aerial victories in his career, 3 in the Spanish Civil War and 24 in World War II, including 9 on the Eastern Front.



  1. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 154.
  • 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 Günther Matthes
Commander of II. Jagdgeschwader 51
21 February 1941 – September 1941
Succeeded by
Hauptmann Hartmann Grasser
Preceded by
Hauptmann Wilhelm Hachfeld
Commander of I. Jagdgeschwader 51
3 May 1942 – 1 June 1942
Succeeded by
Hauptmann Heinrich Krafft

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