This day Leutnant Hans Schleef claimed his 93rd and thereby his last abschuss on the Eastern front. In fact this was to be the final day of fighting for III./JG 3 before joining the air defense of Germany.
Taking off at daybreak from his base at Makejewka this summer Sunday he spotted some Il-2:s escorted by Yak fighters. In a classic bounce he attacked one of the Yak´s and shoot it down at 05:25.
The pilot of this Yak-1 was the female ace Lydia Litvyak who didn't detect the attacking Messerschmitt util it was to late. Her fellow pilot friend Ivan Borisenko, saw her a last time, through a gap in the clouds, her Yak-1 pouring black smoke. Borisenko descended to see if he could find her. However no parachute was to be seen, and no explosion, yet she never returned from the mission.
version of Litvyak´s death is controversial, in 1979 a
search party discovered that an unidentified woman pilot had
been buried in the village of Dmitrievka, in the Shakhterski
district. It was then assumed that it was Litvyak and that she
had been killed in action after sustaining a mortal head wound.
A specialist commission was formed to inspect the exhumed body
and it concluded the remains were those of Litvyak. However those
fact has in resent time been disputed. New evidence had later
conclude that Litvyak was pulled from the downed aircraft by
German troops and held prisoner for some time. Furthermore the
body found was never exhumed and that verification was limited
to comparison of a number of reports.
was credited with 99 and at least two unconfirmed victories in
over 500 missions. He recorded 91 victories over the Eastern
Front, including fifteen Il-2 Sturmoviks, Of his eight victories
recorded over the Western allies, two was 4-engine bombers. On
31 December 1944, Oberleutnant Hans Schleef was shot down and
killed in aerial combat near Bad Durkheim flying in his Messerschmitt
Bf 109 G-10 "Blue 4".
Please note that there is not any photos of the Bf 109 G flown by Schleef his day, this profile is therfore based on other macines from this unit and space of time.