During the Battle Of Britain Leie had shot down 21 planes, he was awarded the Ritterkreuz in early August. He became commander of I/JG2 on the 2nd of May 1942 and was transferred to the Eastern front. By the 11th of June 1943 he had scored his 100th victory, at just 29 Leie had flown continuous combat like most Luftwaffe pilots   without any respite. On the 7th March 1945 during a large air Battle against Soviet Yaks, a downed aircraft falling out of control smashed into Leie's Messerschmitt. At an altitude of just 200ft Leie managed to break free of his cockpit but his parachute failed to open and Leie fell to his death. Erich Leie flew 500 missions and scored 118 Victories.