Otto Schultz

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Otto Schultz
Born(1920-05-31)31 May 1920
Died28 July 2013(2013-07-28) (aged 93)
AllegianceNazi Germany Nazi Germany (to 1945)
 West Germany
Service/branchBalkenkreuz.svg Luftwaffe
Years of service?–1945
RankHauptmann (Wehrmacht)
Oberstleutnant (Bundeswehr)
UnitJG 51
Commands heldII./JG 51

World War II

AwardsKnight's Cross of the Iron Cross
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Otto Schultz
Born(1920-05-31)31 May 1920
Died28 July 2013(2013-07-28) (aged 93)
AllegianceNazi Germany Nazi Germany (to 1945)
 West Germany
Service/branchBalkenkreuz.svg Luftwaffe
Years of service?–1945
RankHauptmann (Wehrmacht)
Oberstleutnant (Bundeswehr)
UnitJG 51
Commands heldII./JG 51

World War II

AwardsKnight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Otto Schultz (31 May 1920 – 28 July 2013)[1] was a German Luftwaffe ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. For the fighter pilots, it was a quantifiable measure of skill and success. Schultz was credited with 73 aerial victories in about 820 combat missions. [Not to be confused with the similarly named fighter ace Otto Schulz who served with JG27]

Military career[edit]

After completing his pilot-training in 1940 Feldwebel Schultz was assigned to 4./JG 51 (4th squadron of the 51st Fighter Wing). Under Staffelkapitän Josef Fözö he learnt his craft as a junior pilot during the Battle of Britain. After a short break early in 1941 his Gruppe, II./JG 51, took up its station in eastern Poland for the invasion of Russia, Operation Barbarossa.

Schultz got immediate success in his first missions of the campaign, shooting down two SB-2 bombers on 22 June for his first victories. But in the hectic opening days it would be a week before he got his next victory. There was no shortage of opportunities though, as the Russians flew desperate missions to support their surrounded frontier armies, and by the end of July he had scored 11 victories. Through the battles for Smolensk, Kiev and Moscow, he continued to pick up victories and when he was awarded the Ehrenpokal on 3 November his tally had risen to 18.

After an extended period away from the Eastern Front over the winter of 1941-42, Ofw Schultz returned to II/JG 51. Although the Central front appeared very static, fierce air battles took place overhead as the Soviets launched major offensives to try and drain German forces away from their disintegrating southern front. After sporadic victories in June and July, he scored a dozen in August over the Rzhev salient to extend his score to 36 victories.

Another period of leave followed from September (perhaps due to injury?) and he was awarded the German Cross in Gold on 24 September. Meanwhile his Gruppe was withdrawn in October 1942 to upgrade to the new Fw 190A fighter, but events overtook them: after the defeat at El Alamein in late October, the Western Allies then staged the Operation Torch landings in Algeria and Morocco. So II./JG 51, with its core of veteran pilots, was immediately dispatched to reinforce the Mediterranean forces with new Me 109G2's instead, and were ready for operations by mid-November.

Back with 4./JG 51 and based near Tunis, Ofw Schultz scored his first western victory on 1 December, downing a Spitfire. In December, the Gruppe was very successful over the new American pilots - claiming 50 victories while losing only two of their own. But as in Russia, in 1943, the superior numbers soon made their impact.[2] Meanwhile, Schultz scored regularly and on 14 March 1943 he was awarded the Knight's Cross for reaching 51 victories. He was now one of the veteran experts of the Gruppe and they spend 1943 hopping across the Mediterranean. With the fall of Tunis in May, they went onto Sicily, Sardinia, southern and central Italy.

In August, orders transferred II./JG 51 to Munich to retrain as a specialist anti-bomber unit.[3] With the 15th USAAF now well established in Italy, Germany was now being targeted from two directions. Also at this time, Schultz undertook officer-training and was commissioned as a Leutnant. Transferred back with II./JG 51 to northern Italy in December as a first line of defense, he shot down his first Viermot (four-engined bomber) on 28 December. The Anzio landings in January 1944 then brought a forward deployment to Rome to be cover for the ground-attack aircraft supporting the counter-attack.

On 4 February 1944 Schultz (now with about 65 victories) was promoted to Staffelkapitän of 6./JG 51 following the death in action of 54-victory ace Herbert Puschmann northeast of Rome. In March he led his unit across the Adriatic into the Balkan theatre. The American bombers were now also targeting the Romanian oil-refineries at Ploesti, vital to the German war effort. He claimed 7 more Viermots there, including possibly his last victory on 15 July 1944.

With Romania's surrender to Soviet forces in late August, and its subsequent declaration of war against Germany, II./JG 51 was forced to retreat back to Yugoslavia. Left as final air-cover for the army retreating out of Greece, 6./JG 51 reportedly engaged their former allies in Romanian-flown Bf 109s.[4] When they finally reached Budapest, the Gruppe only had 3 serviceable aircraft left, out of a nominal complement of around 90, although aircraft-production was no longer the issue - it was fuel and lack of trained pilots. They were re-united with the rest of JG 51 again, albeit scattered the length of the (shortening) Eastern Front. Now fighting against two enemy forces and grossly outnumbered, on 24 December, Oberleutnant Schultz was given command of II./JG 51, with whom he had fought throughout the war. This was after its previous Kommandeur, Major Karl Rammelt was severely injured against American bombers northwest of Budapest.

With its back to the wall there was now little of consequence that his Gruppe could do to impact on the war's outcome. After covering the SS Panzer Army's attack at Lake Balaton, it retreated back to Austria, flying its last mission on 9 April before disbanding three days later. It is possible that he was thereafter sent to Lechfeld to train on flying the Me 262 jet.

Oberleutnant Otto Schultz survived the war, and in 820 missions was credited with 73 victories. He went on to serve in the reformed West German airforce, retiring in 1976 with the rank of Oberstleutnant (Lt Colonel).


NoDateTimeUnit & AirfieldGruppe Kommandeur[5]Location / PlanquadClaimed AircraftSource / Comments[6]
122 Jun 19419:324./JG 51 – SiedlceHptm Josef FözöBelorussia ?SB-2C.2036/II AnerkNr 51
222 Jun 19419:404./JG 51 – SiedlceHptm Josef FözöBelorussia ?SB-2C.2036/II AnerkNr 62
329 Jun 194117:504./JG 51 – SiedlceHptm Josef FözöBelorussia ?I-18 (MiG-3)C.2036/II AnerkNr 74
430 Jun 194117:304./JG 51 - SiedlceHptm Josef FözöBelorussia ?DB-3C.2036/II AnerkNr 75
530 Jun 194117:404./JG 51 - SiedlceHptm Josef FözöBelorussia ?DB-3C.2036/II AnerkNr 77
68 Jul 194119:204./JG 51 - Stara BychovHptm Josef FözöS of WalkiSB-2C.2036/II AnerkNr 81
710 Jul 19419:504./JG 51 - Stara BychovHptm Josef Fözö ?I-16Prien & Bock
811 Jul 194116:254./JG 51 - Stara BychovHptm Josef Fözö ?DB-3C.2036/II AnerkNr 93
913 Jul 194116:254./JG 51 - Stara BychovHptm Hartmann Grasser ?DB-3C.2036/II AnerkNr 183
1026 Jul 194118:454./JG 51 - SmolenskHptm Hartmann Grasser ?Pe-2C.2036/II AnerkNr 99
1126 Jul 194118:504./JG 51 - SmolenskHptm Hartmann Grasser ?Pe-2C.2036/II AnerkNr 101
129 Aug 194113:504./JG 51 - SchatalovkaHptm Hartmann Grasser ?Pe-2C.2036/II AnerkNr 111
1316 Aug 194115:424./JG 51 - SchatalovkaHptm Hartmann Grasser ?I-18 (MiG-3)C.2036/II AnerkNr 111
1425 Aug 19417:554./JG 51 - SchatalovkaHptm Hartmann GrasserS of GomelDB-3C.2036/II AnerkNr 115
1524 Sep 194110:504./JG 51 - SchatalovkaHptm Hartmann Grasser ?R-3 biplaneC.2036/II AnerkNr 121
1627 Oct 194115:404./JG 51 - SchatalovkaHptm Hartmann Grasser ?I-61 (I-16?)C.2036/II AnerkNr 138
1729 Oct 19417:204./JG 51 - SchatalovkaHptm Hartmann Grasser25 km NE of OrelI-16C.2036/II AnerkNr 139
1829 Oct 194112:404./JG 51 - SchatalovkaHptm Hartmann Grasser ?I-16C.2036/II AnerkNr 141
 ?8 Jun 19423:504./JG 51 - BryanskHptm Hartmann Grasser ?I-180 (Yak-7)C.2036/II AnerkNr 162
 ?23 Jun 194215:204./JG 51 - BryanskHptm Hartmann Grasser ?Pe-2C.2025/I AnerkNr 170
 ?2 Jul 194218:074./JG 51 - BryanskHptm Hartmann Grasser25 km NNW of DuginoPe-2C.2025/I AnerkNr 199
 ?9 Jul 194214:554./JG 51 - BryanskHptm Hartmann Grasser ?Yak-1C.2036/II AnerkNr 186
 ?3 Aug 19424:534./JG 51 - DuginoHptm Hartmann GrasserRzhev, 47 524:2500mLaGG-3C.2025/I AnerkNr 251
 ?4 Aug 194210:484./JG 51 - DuginoHptm Hartmann GrasserRzhev, 47 823:treetopIl-2C.2025/I AnerkNr 452
 ?6 Aug 194218:574./JG 51 - DuginoHptm Hartmann GrasserVyazma, 56 373:treetopIl-2C.2025/I AnerkNr 254
 ?9 Aug 194211:054./JG 51 - DuginoHptm Hartmann GrasserRzhev, 47 814:1000mLaGG-3C.2032/II AnerkNr 213
2922 Aug 194214:504./JG 51 - DuginoHptm Hartmann GrasserNW of Orel, 54 283:treetopIl-2C.2032/II AnerkNr 217
3022 Aug 194214:534./JG 51 - DuginoHptm Hartmann GrasserNW of Orel, 54 253:treetopIl-2C.2032/II AnerkNr 218
3123 Aug 19427:004./JG 51 - DuginoHptm Hartmann GrasserNW of Orel, 54 283:treetopIl-2C.2032/II AnerkNr 228
3225 Aug 19428:254./JG 51 - DuginoHptm Hartmann GrasserNW of Orel, 54 261:400mLaGG-3C.2032/II AnerkNr 231
3325 Aug 194214:244./JG 51 - DuginoHptm Hartmann GrasserNW of Orel, 54 283:2000mPe-2C.2032/II AnerkNr 233
3427 Aug 194217:454./JG 51 - DuginoHptm Hartmann GrasserN of Orel, 64 774:200mMiG-3C.2032/II AnerkNr 237
3527 Aug 194217:484./JG 51 - DuginoHptm Hartmann GrasserN of Orel, 64 772:1500mMiG-3C.2032/II AnerkNr 239
3627 Aug 194217:584./JG 51 - DuginoHptm Hartmann GrasserOrel, 63 131:treetopIl-2C.2032/II AnerkNr 240
371 Dec 194210:454./JG 51 – El AouinaHptm Hartmann Grasser15 km SW of Mateur:treetopSpitfireC.2027/I AnerkNr 26
383 Dec 194210:164./JG 51 – El AouinaHptm Hartmann Grasser1 km S of Tunis: 1200mLightningC.2027/I AnerkNr 26
394 Dec 194215:404./JG 51 – El AouinaHptm Hartmann Grasser15 km SW of Mateur: 2500mSpitfireC.2027/I AnerkNr 28
404 Dec 194215:474./JG 51 – El AouinaHptm Hartmann Grasser18 km SW of Mateur: 1500mSpitfireC.2027/I AnerkNr 29
4128 Dec 194215:334./JG 51 – La SebalaHptm Hartmann Grasser1 km S of Pont du Fahs: 700mLightningC.2027/I AnerkNr 31
 ?2 Jan 194312:274./JG 51 – La SebalaHptm Hartmann Grasser5 km W of Pont du Fahs: 7000mLightningC.2031/II AnerkNr 276
 ?10 Jan 19437:304./JG 51 – GabesHptm Hartmann Grassernear Feriana: 2500mSpitfireC.2031/II AnerkNr 2
 ?10 Jan 194311:004./JG 51 – GabesHptm Hartmann Grasser20 km W of Gabes: 5400mMarauderC.2031/II AnerkNr 28
 ?11 Jan 194316:004./JG 51 – GabesHptm Hartmann Grasser40 km NW of Gabes: 200-300mLightningC.2031/II AnerkNr 281
 ?15 Jan 194313:254./JG 51 – GabesHptm Hartmann Grasser30 km SNW of Gabes: treetopLightningC.2031/II AnerkNr 282
 ?22 Jan 194312:204./JG 51 – GabesHptm Hartmann Grasser15 km W of Gabes: 600mLightningC.2031/II AnerkNr 284
 ?30 Jan 194310:304./JG 51 – GabesHptm Hartmann Grasser18 km NW of Gabes: 3000mLightningC.2031/II AnerkNr 285
 ?30 Jan 194310:454./JG 51 – GabesHptm Hartmann Grasser10 km NW of Kebili: 20mLightningC.2031/II AnerkNr 285
 ?2 Feb 194314:304./JG 51 – GabesHptm Hartmann GrasserN of Gabes, 03Ost 95311:treetopTomahawkC.2027/I AnerkNr 305
 ?8 Feb 194312:524./JG 51 – GabesHptm Hartmann Grasser60 km NW of Gabes: 4000mMitchellC.2027/I AnerkNr 308
 ?26 Feb 1943 ?4./JG 51 – La Smala des SouassisHptm Hartmann Grasser ? ?[7]
 ?21 Mar 194314:204./JG 51 – La Smala des SouassisHptm Hartmann Grasser35 km ESE of Gabes: 800mSpitfireC.2031/II AnerkNr 316
 ?31 May 194313:054./JG 51 – Casa Zeppera, SardiniaHptm Hartmann Grasser70632: 200mLightningC.2031/II
 ?24 Jun 19439:154./JG 51 – Casa Zeppera, SardiniaHptm Karl Rammelt04Ost? 98214: 500mTomahawkC.2027/I
60?25 Dec 194311:245(?)./JG 51 – UdineHptm Karl RammeltS of Rovigo: 7000mLightningC.2031/II AnerkNr 361
61?25 Dec 194311:245(?)./JG 51 – UdineHptm Karl RammeltS of Rovigo: 7000mLightningC.2031/II AnerkNr 360
62?28 Dec 194311:555(?)./JG 51 – UdineHptm Karl Rammelt5 km S of Montegaldella: 3000mB-17C.2031/II AnerkNr 362
63?16 Jan 194412:405(?)./JG 51 – UdineHptm Karl Rammelt10 km NE of Civitavecchia: 3000mA-20C.2025/II
64?22 Jan 194415:505(?)./JG 51 – TuscaniaHptm Karl RammeltTivoli: 800mThunderboltC.2025/II
65?22 Jan 194416:055(?)./JG 51 – TuscaniaHptm Karl RammeltS of Ostia: 3000mLightningC.2025/II
665 Apr 194414:186./JG 51 – TârgşorulHptm Karl Rammelt80 km SW of Ploesti: 3000mB-24C.2032/I AnerkNr 21
6716 Apr 194411:306./JG 51 – TârgşorulHptm Karl RammeltRK-2:B-24C.2027/I AnerkNr 5
686 Jun 194410:456./JG 51 – RadomirMaj Karl RammeltZagubitza, UD-2.6: 4000mB-24C.2027/II AnerkNr 49
6911 Jun 194411:456./JG 51 – RadomirMaj Karl RammeltBielovo, 24Ost GF-7.6: 1000mB-24C.2027/II AnerkNr 52
7023 Jun 1944 ?6./JG 51 – SofiaMaj Karl Rammelt ?B-17[8]
7124 Jun 19448:556./JG 51 – SofiaMaj Karl RammeltRadomir, 24Ost S/GF-9: 5000mB-24C.2027/II AnerkNr 117
7215 Jul 1944 ?6./JG 51 – SofiaMaj Karl Rammelt ?B-24[9]
7322 Dec 194414:306./JG 51 – ImelyMaj Karl Rammelt14Ost N/ES-6.3: 1500mLa-5C.2035/II



  1. ^
  2. ^ Weal 2006, pg. 96.
  3. ^ Weal 2006, pg. 99.
  4. ^ Weal 2006, pg.102.
  5. ^ Luftwaffe Air Units: Single–Engined Fighters website.
  6. ^ Aces of the Luftwaffe website.
  7. ^ JG51 Victory Claims pdf.
  8. ^ JG51 Victory Claims pdf.
  9. ^ JG51 Victory Claims pdf.
  10. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 318.
  • Bergström, Christer; Dikov, Andrey; Antipov, Vlad (2006). Black Cross, Red Star Vol 3 Eagle Editions Ltd ISBN 0-9761034-4-3
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). 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] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Forsythe, Robert (2008). Aviation Elite Units #27: Jagdverband 44 - Squadron of "Experten". Oxford: Osprey Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1-84603-294-3
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 – 1945 [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Luftwaffe Fighter Force 1941 – 1945] (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 978-3-87341-065-7. 
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). 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] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Spick, Mike (2006). Aces of the Reich. Greenhill Books. ISBN 1-85367-675-6
  • Weal, John (2001). Bf109 Aces of the Russian Front. Oxford: Osprey Publishing Ltd ISBN 1-84176-084-6.
  • Weal, John (2006). Aviation Elite Units #22: Jagdgeschwader 51 "Mölders". Oxford: Osprey Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-84603-045-5.

External links[edit]

Military Offices held[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Hptm Herbert Puschmann
Staffelkapitän of 6./JG 51
4 February 1944 – 23 December 1944
Succeeded by
Ltn Elias Kühlein
Preceded by
Major Karl Rammelt
Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 51
24 December 1944 – 12 April 1945
Succeeded by
None: unit disbanded