Dietrich Hrabak




Hrabrak would become one of the most dominant influence's in JG 52, moulding it into one off the most successful fighter units. Born in Gros-Deuben on the 19th of December 1914, he was the son of an architect, Hrabak became interested in aviation at a very early age, he joined the German Navy in 1943 but then transferred to the Luftwaffe. In 1938 he was posted to the Vienna Jagdgruppe, and one  year later he was Gruppenkommanduer and assigned to the Polish campaign, where he became one of the first Luftwaffe pilots to be shot down, he belly landed on his very first mission. Hrabak scored his first victory (A Potez 63) on the 13th of May 1940. By the Summer JG 54 had been formed with Hrabak as one of it's founding members. He fought in the Battle Of Britain under Trauloft and was awarded the Ritterkreuz on the 21st of October for his 16th victory.



Hrabak would go on to fight in the Balkans, Greece and Russia until he was promoted to Kommodore of JG 52 in the Russian Front. It was said that his interest in men shaped the careers of many successful pilots who flew with him. He had two basic rules : Fly with your head not your muscles and "If you return from a mission with a victory, but without your Rottenflieger, you will have lost your battle". He was awarded the Eichenlaub on the 25th of November 1943 for his 118th victory. In all Hrabak flew 820 missions and scored 125 victories. After the War Hrabak worked in the formation of the new West German Air Force, and was one of the first German pilots to fly to the US for jet fighter training, 

RitterKreuz mit Eichenlaub, Schwerten and Brillanten.