Hannes Trautloft was born on the 3rd of March 1912, he joined the Army after graduating from high school. By 1935 he had transferred to the new Luftwaffe and during that following year he was among the first six German pilot's to arrive in Spain, it was here in Spain that Trautloft received the first Messerschmitt which he was to fly for combat evaluation, it is said that Trautloft would pave the way for the finishing touches on this new aeroplane. On his return to Germany Trautloft was promoted and placed in charge of III Gruppe of JG 51, this unit would see plenty of action in the Battle Of France and the early stages of the Battle Of Britain. His leadership of this unit was so outstanding that he was given command of his own Geschwader and took over command of the newly formed JG 54. Trautloft will always be associated with this unit because it was Trutloft that gave the  unit it's Geschwader insignia (identifying badge). Because he came from a region known as 'the green heart of Germany' he chose a green heart with a narrow white outline, after this JG54 was known as Green heart or Green Heart warriors. By now Trautloft was a Major.



At 3 am on the morning of the 22nd of June 1941 the Green Heart's were the first to cross the Soviet Border in Operation Barbarossa, by the late afternoon the unit had flown many missions, with Trautloft shooting down his first Russian Bomber. During the first four days of Operation Barbarossa  JG54 shot down an incredible 500 Soviet aircraft. Trautloft was awarded the Ritterkreuz after his 20th victory for his excellent leadership of JG54. The Green Hearts would reach unbelievable scoring heights reaching 3,500 by February 1943. Many of the Green Hearts became very successful, pilots such as Otto Kittel 267 victories, Walter Nowotny 258 victories, Hans Philipp 206 and so on. Leading these men proved a very moving experience for Hannes Trautloft he was always remembered  for putting his men before his own personal requirements.



In July 1943 Adolf Galland appointed  Trautloft Inspector of Day Fighters East, a higher position than Kommodore, together with Galland and Lutzow they would try to stem the ever growing number of Allied Bombers now pounding Germany. Trautloft never found this post as satisfying as Kommodore of JG524 though.  Trautloft's involvement in the so-called “Mutiny of the Fighter Pilots” in 1945 led to his removal and subsequent posting to 4 Fliegerschule Division, which he held until war's end. Hannes Trautloft finished the War with 57 victories , including four in Spain. He help create the New West German Airforce and became it's Inspector General during the 1960's. Many historians consider Trautloft as one of the Luftwaffe's most effective leaders and should be mentioned in the same breath with Molders, Galland and Lutzow.