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Mission: Defence of the Reich.

Date: 23rd December 1944

Unit: 15 Staffel/Jagdgeschwader 27

Type: Messerschmitt Bf 109G-10


Code:13 + (Yellow)

Location: Vilip, near Bad Godesberg, Germany.

Pilot: Oberfeldwebel. Heinrich Bartels 60019/27. Born 13.07.1918 in Linz a.d/Donau.- Missing. (Remains recovered 1968).


On the 23.12.1944 another enemy flight with his wingman Oberfaehnrich Rolf Brand, high above Cologne-Bonn. At an altitude of 7500 meters, they saw fuel tanks being jettisoned by the “Red nosed” enemy fighters. These were among American P-47 fighters of the 56th Fighter Group "Red Noses". Bartels now attacked the enemy formation, soon finding himself in combat with a very worthy adversary, the Thunderbolt pilot was Colonel David S. Schilling, who was one of the most successful and most highly decorated American pilots. Bartels failed to return and was listed missing in action.

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Oberfeldwebel. Heinrich Bartels pictured wearing his Knights Cross.

On the 26th January 1968, a full 24 years later, the Me 109 G-10 "Yellow 13" was found and recovered at VILIP near Bad Godesberg. The parachute was still intact in the cockpit, in addition to the physical remains of Heinrich Bartels. Heinrich Bartels made more than 500 sorties and achieved 99 aerial victories.

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The remains of his uniform jacket with his EK1 (Iron Cross 1st Class) still attached found during his recovery in 1968 together with the pilots control stick grip.

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Control stick grip KG13a

Burial Detail:
Heinrich Bartels now lies in the Kriegsgraeberstaette in Wachtberg-Villip, Germany. Grave 500
Researched by Melvin Brownless with thanks to Horst Jeckel & Werner Girbig (March 2013).