|Born||2 March 1911|
|Died||22 June 1941(aged 30)|
|Place of birth||Kassel|
|Place of death||near Grodno, Belarus|
|Years of service||1935–1941|
|Unit||JG 135, Condor Legion, JG 77, JG 2, JG 27|
|Commands held||JG 2, JG 27|
Spanienkreuz in Gold mit Schwertern und Brillanten|
Oberstleutnant Wolfgang Schellmann (2 March 1911 – 22 June 1941) was German World War II Luftwaffe Ace, commander of JG 2 and JG 27 and a winner of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). 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 combat success. Wolfgang Schellmann was credited with 25 victories in over 150 combat missions. He recorded 12 victories during the Spanish Civil War.[Note 1] Of his 13 victories recorded during World War II, 12 were claimed over the Western front and one over the Eastern front.
Career[edit | edit source]
Wolfgang Schellmann started his combat training as one of the select few German pilots at the Lipetsk fighter-pilot school in the Soviet Union. After his return and upon the official announcement of the new Luftwaffe, he was given command of the new 2./JG 135 squadron, in March 1935. Two years later, on 19 December 1937, Oberleutnant Schellmann took over command of the 1st Staffel of Jagdgruppe 88, in the "Condor Legion", fighting in the Spanish Civil War. Over the next year he became one of the leading aces in the theatre with 12 victories, second only to Werner Mölders.
Upon his return to Germany he was awarded the Spanish Cross with Swords and Diamonds (Spanienkreuz in Gold mit Schwertern und Brillanten) and promoted to Hauptmann (Captain). He then served on the Stab (Headquarters) flight of the newly formed IV Gruppe of the Jagdgeschwader 132, gaining command experience. Over the next year, it was renamed I./JG 331, then finally I./JG 77. At the outbreak of war in September 1939, he led this unit in the invasion of Poland, then afterward took up an administrative post for a short term, in the headquarters of Luftflotte 2.
On 15 December 1939, the now Hptm Schellmann, was made Gruppenkommandeur of the newly formed II./Jagdgeschwader 2 "Richthofen" (JG 2 — 2nd Fighter Wing), but he only scored his first victory in World War II after the invasion of France, on 15 May 1940. By the end of the campaign he had amassed six further victories. Scoring another victory on 18 July in the Battle of Britain, on 3 September he was promoted to Geschwaderkommodore of JG 2 "Richthofen" as part of Göring's policy to replace the 'Old Guard' fighter commanders with young lions like Werner Mölders (JG 51), Adolf Galland (JG 26), Günther Lützow (JG 3) and Hannes Trautloft (JG 54). Soon after, on 18 September, he was awarded the 'Ritterkreuz' for his 23 victories (including the 12 in Spain). A month later he made way for the charismatic Helmut Wick (at the time in a 3-way battle with Galland and Mölders, as top-scoring pilot) and moved to take command of JG 27. Promoted to Major, he led this Geschwader into the Balkan campaign in Spring 1941, scoring a 24th victory in Greece (20 April 1941), before the unit was pulled out, to central Poland in June, to prepare for the invasion of the Soviet Union.
On 22 June 1941, Major Schellmann was probably the highest profile German casualty of the opening day of Operation Barbarossa. Schellmann's Messerschmitt Bf 109-E (Werknummer 4189—factory number) was rammed by an I-153 Chaykahe piloted by a Lt Kuzmin just after he had shot down his 25th victim, an I-16, near Grodno. Kuzmin was killed in the collision but Schellmann managed to bail out over Soviet territory but was never seen again. It was believed that while attempting to make his way back to German lines he was captured and later killed by NKVD troops.
Wolfgang Schellmann scored 25 victories in 150 missions (including 12 over Spain), and was posthumously promoted to Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel).
Victories[edit | edit source]
|No||Date||Time||Unit||Gruppe Kommandeur||Location||Claimed Aircraft||Source / Comments|
|1||18 Jan 1938||-||1./JGr 88||-||Spain||I-16|
|2||8 Mar 1938||-||1./JGr 88||-||Spain||I-15|
|3||24 Mar 1938||-||1./JGr 88||-||Spain||I-15|
|4||13 Jun 1938||-||1./JGr 88||-||Spain||I-16|
|5||25 Jun 1938||-||1./JGr 88||-||Spain||I-16|
|6||18 Jul 1938||-||1./JGr 88||-||Spain||I-16|
|7||20 Jul 1938||-||1./JGr 88||-||Spain||I-16|
|8||20 Jul 1938||-||1./JGr 88||-||Spain||I-16|
|9||12 Aug 1938||-||1./JGr 88||-||Spain||SB-2|
|10||12 Aug 1938||-||1./JGr 88||-||Spain||SB-2|
|11||14 Aug 1938||-||1./JGr 88||-||Spain||I-16|
|12||20 Aug 1938||-||1./JGr 88||-||Spain||I-16|
|13||15 May 1940||9:35||Stab II./JG 2 - Peer||Obstlt Harry von Bülow-Bothkamp||Couly, E of Rethel||Hurricane||OKL & Prien/Bock|
|14||17 May 1940||8:35||Stab II./JG 2 - Attenrode||Obstlt Harry von Bülow-Bothkamp||SE of Brussels||Lysander||OKL & Prien/Bock|
|15||19 May 1940||6:05||Stab II./JG 2 - Attenrode||Obstlt Harry von Bülow-Bothkamp||W of Tournai||Lysander||OKL & Prien/Bock|
|16||31 May 1940||15:55||Stab II./JG 2 - Grandglise||Obstlt Harry von Bülow-Bothkamp||Furnes, E of Dunkirk||Spitfire||OKL & Prien/Bock|
|17||1 Jun 1940||5:45||Stab II./JG 2 - Grandglise||Obstlt Harry von Bülow-Bothkamp||Dunkirk||Lysander||OKL & Prien/Bock|
|18||2 Jun 1940||9:45||Stab II./JG 2 - Grandglise||Obstlt Harry von Bülow-Bothkamp||Dunkirk||Spitfire||OKL & Prien/Bock|
|19||3 Jun 1940||14:45||Stab II./JG 2 - Grandglise||Obstlt Harry von Bülow-Bothkamp||Compiegne||Morane 406||OKL & Prien/Bock|
|20||18 Jul 1940||13:15||Stab II./JG 2 - Beaumont-le-Roger||Obstlt Harry von Bülow-Bothkamp||N of Le Havre||Blenheim||OKL & Prien/Bock; of 236 Sqn|
|21||25 Aug 1940||18:30||Stab II./JG 2 - Beaumont-le-Roger||Obstlt Harry von Bülow-Bothkamp||Warmwell||Spitfire||OKL & Prien/Bock|
|22||27 Aug 1940||~18:30||Stab II./JG 2 - Beaumont-le-Roger||Obstlt Harry von Bülow-Bothkamp||Wareham||Spitfire||OKL & Prien/Bock|
|23||31 Aug 1940||9:25||Stab II./JG 2 - Beaumont-le-Roger||Obstlt Harry von Bülow-Bothkamp||Eastchurch||Hurricane||OKL & Prien/Bock|
|-||26 Sep 1940||17:40||Stab/JG 2 - Beaumont-le-Roger||Maj Wolfgang Schellmann||Isle of Wight: 6000m||Spitfire||OKL & Prien/Bock|
|24||20 Apr 1941||12:10||Stab/JG 27 - Larissa, Greece||Maj Wolfgang Schellmann||Tanagra||Hurricane||C. 2033/I AnerkNr 31; P/O J Still of 80 Sqn|
|25||22 Jun 1941||3:15||Stab/JG 27 - Sobolevo, Poland||Maj Wolfgang Schellmann||Kamenki, nr Grodno||I-16||C. 2036/II Nr 81857 opening missions of Barbarossa|
|†||22 Jun 1941||-||Stab/JG 27 - Sobolevo, Poland||Maj Wolfgang Schellmann||Kamenki, nr Grodno|
Awards[edit | edit source]
- Spanish Cross in Gold with Swords and Diamonds
- Iron Cross (1939) 2nd and 1st Class
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 18 September 1940 as Major and Geschwaderkommodore of JG 2 "Richthofen"
Notes[edit | edit source]
- See also list of Spanish Civil War air aces.
References[edit | edit source]
- Luftwaffe Officer Career Summaries website.
- Aces of the Luftwaffe website.
- Bergström 2007, p. 18.
- Weal, p. 21
- Luftwaffe Air Units: Single–Engined Fighters website.
- Aces of the Luftwaffe website.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 375.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 659.
- Bergström, Christer (2007). Barbarossa - The Air Battle: July–December 1941. London: Chervron/Ian Allan. ISBN 978-1-85780-270-2.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945 (in German). Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
- Forsyth, Robert (2011). Aces of the Legion Condor. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84908-347-8.
- Musciano, Walter (1989). Messerschmitt Aces. Tab Books ISBN 0-8306-8379-8
- Nauroth, Holger (2005). Jagdgeschwader 2 "Richthofen", A Photographic History. Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, PA. ISBN 0-7643-2094-7.
- 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.
- Ringlstetter, Herbert (2005). Helmut Wick, An Illustrated Biography Of The Luftwaffe Ace And Commander Of Jagdgeschwader 2 During The Battle Of Britain. Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, PA. ISBN 0-7643-2217-6.
- 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.
- Weal, John (2008). Aviation Elite Units #1: Jagdgeschwader 2 'Richthofen’. Oxford: Osprey Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-84176-046-3
- Weal, John (2003). Aviation Elite Units #12: Jagdgeschwader 27 'Afrika'. Oxford: Osprey Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-84176-538-4.
- Weal, John (1996). Bf109D/E Aces 1939-41. Oxford: Osprey Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-85532-487-3.
- "Bf109 Aces of the Russian Front". Osprey. 1998. ISBN 1-85532-722-8. .
[edit | edit source]
- "Wolfgang Schellmann". Aces of the Luftwaffe. http://www.luftwaffe.cz/schellmann.html. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- "Wolfgang Schellmann". Luftwaffe 39-45 Historia. http://www.luftwaffe39-45.historia.nom.br/ases/schellmann.htm. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- "JG2". The Luftwaffe, 1933-45. http://www.ww2.dk/air/jagd/jg2.htm. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- "JG27". The Luftwaffe, 1933-45. http://www.ww2.dk/air/jagd/jg27.htm. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- "Luftwaffe Officer Career Summaries". Schellmann, Wolfgang. http://www.ww2.dk/Lw%20Offz%20-%20S-Z%20-%20April%202012.pdf. Retrieved 29 December 2012
Oblt Harro Harder
|Squadron Leader of 1.J/88
19 December 1937 – early September 1938
Hptm Siebelt Reents
none: new unit
|Group Commander of II./JG 2
15 December 1939 – 20 August 1940
Hptm Karl-Heinz Greisert
ObstLt Harry von Bülow-Bothkamp
|Commander of Jagdgeschwader 2 Richthofen
3 September 1940 – 19 October 1940
Maj Helmut Wick
Maj Bernhard Woldenga
|Commander of Jagdgeschwader 27 Afrika
22 October 1940 – 21 June 1941
Maj Bernhard Woldenga
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