Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3

Flown by Unteroffizier Hugo Dahmer, 4./JG 26, Dortmund/Germany, February 1940.

© Claes Sundin 2012



"Hugo Dahmer belonged to the most successful NCOs of the German fighter air arm during the early stage of the war, and this resulted in repeated friction with his superiors. He scored his first victory as an Unteroffizier with 6./JG 26 on May 16, 1940, and on June 6, 1940 he reached a total of five kills by bagging two RAF 43 Squadron Hurricanes over Dieppe/France. Shortly afterward, the Luftwaffe's C-in-C arrived to inspect the Staffel, and Göring was amused to find that an Unteroffizier was more successful in terms of victories than several of the officers-including the Staffelkapitän, Oberleutnant Waltyer Schneider, who could only file two victories. On February 1, 1941, when Dahmer had amassed a total of 12 victories (still more than his Staffelkapitän), the Geschwaderkommodore of JG 26, Oberstleutnant Adolf Galland, had him transferred to 1./JG 77 in Norway. When the war against the Soviet Union opened in June 1941, Dahmer flew against the Soviets in the Murmansk area, in the Far North, with considerable success. He developed the so-called Sauhaufen ("higgledy-piggledy") tactic against Soviet bombers-German fighters attacking Soviet bomber formations from all directions, at irregular intervals, thus creating confusion and chaos among the bomber crews. In this way he brought down 25 Soviet aircraft in s short space of time. On August 1, 1941, he became the first pilot in the Far North to be awarded with the Knight's Cross. In early 1942 he returned to the English Channel, first with JG 26, later with III./JG 2, where he developed to Staffelkapitän. Dahmer carried out his last combat sortie on October 10, 1943, when he was shot down by Spitfires in the Rouen area and was severely injured. (Quite extraordinary, there are no RAF or USAAF claims in that area on that date.) Hugo Dahmer carried out a total of 307 combat sorties and was credited with 57 victories.

© Christer Bergström 2002