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Mission: Operational flight.

Date: 22
nd May 1942

Unit: 5 Staffel./Jagdgeschwader 51

Type: Messerschmitt Bf 109F-2


Code: 10 + (Black)

Location: Uspenskoje, Soviet Union, (Russia).

Pilot: Leutnant. Hans Strelow (Staffelkapitän) – Suicide. Born 26.03.1922 in Berlin.


Shot down by Pe-2 twin-engined bombers and force landed 9 km behind Russian lines at Uspenskoje. With few chances of evading capture and knowing that highly decorated aces were often tortured before execution by the Russians, he chose to take his own life.

Hans Strelow
Leutnant. Hans Strelow took his own life rather than be captured by the Russians.

Brief history of Hans Strelow;

Upon completion of his flight training in February 1941 he was posted to 5./JG 51. After several missions over the Channel Front, Leutnant Strelow was deployed to the east for the invasion of Russia where he began his successes as a fighter pilot, claiming his first victory on 25 June. He received the Ehrenpokal in October 1941. By the end of the year he had a total of 26 victories. During the winter and spring of 1942 he achieved a rapid sequence of victories culminating on 18 March 1942 when he claimed his 46th through 52nd victories for which he was decorated with the Ritterkreuz. After claiming his 66th victory on 24 March he was awarded the Eichenlaub (Nr. 84). Receiving the award two days before his 20th birthday, he was the youngest recipient of the Eichenlaub during the war. After a period of leave, Strelow returned to action as Staffelkapitän of 5./JG 51. Hans Strelow flew more than 200 missions and claimed 68 victories on the Eastern Front.

Burial detail:

Researched and compiled by Melvin Brownless in memory of Hans Strelow, August 2013.