Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-2/R6

Double black Chevron, flown by Major Hans "Assi" Hahn, Stab II./JG 54, Rjelbitzy/USSR, January 1943

Hans "Assi" Hahn claimed his last and 66th kill on the channel front on September 16, 1942. In October he was surprised when received an order that he should be transferred to JG 54 on the Eastern Front. It was his old friend Hannes Trautloft as head of "Grunhertz Geshwader" who wanted him to take over the II./JG 54. Hans Hahn reluctantly left his comrades in the "Richthofen Geschwader" but soon his mind-set would change. He soon found himself in a Gruppe filled with excellent, highly decorated pilots. and that his new second Gruppe had the highest fighting spirit possible. Here he met with Max Stotz and Hans Beisswengher, both decorated with the Ritterkreutz after more than 100 kills under their belts. However "Assi" was most impressed with the the 4th Staffeln as all pilots in this unit had claimed enemy aircraft. His posting to the East would soon prove to be a great success, his commander Trautloft wrote in his diary: "Major Hahn, this lively commander, excels at his jokes, his humor and his good spirit.. He has a firm grip on his Gruppe and led it from one success to the next ". Within a few months, Hans "Assi" Hahn managed to increased the number of victories by 41 to a total of 107 abschusse.

On February 20, Hans "Assi" Hahn flew his 560th and final combat mission. On this day, as the weather had cleared JG 54 had been sent towards Demjansk pocket where large VVS force had been spotted. It was the "Rotte" with Hahn and Max Stotz who first discovered the enemy, eight La-5 at 2 500 meters altitude. Hahn made a perfect bounce and managed shot down the machine that was flown by first Lieutenant Michail Vorbjevi in his first attack. thereafter he placed his Bf 109 behind the wingman, Lieutenant Balandin who after hits in his machine managed to save himself by parachute. The third La-5 would however turn out to be a more difficult opponent, he remembered: "I soon noticed that I was dealing with a real expert, because he made it damn difficult for me, I had never met such an opponent before, neither over the canal or to the east". During the fierce battle, Hahn lost his orientation and did not know if he was over his own or enemy territory. He then tried to fly back to his base at treetop height, while being chased by two La-5s, suddenly he heard a loud bang and the propeller on his Messerschmitt stopped. The last words his wingman heard from his Gruppenkommandeur was: "Stotz, they have learned Dad a lesson! I have to make an emergency landing". Hahn put down his machine on a road strip and was promptly captured. Over six years of hardship in Soviet captivity would follow.

This profile is one of eight made during the week, Hahns G-2 would probably be included in profile book No 13.

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