Joachim Brendel was born in 1921, he was one of the most successful pilots of JG 51. Brendel began his combat career in 1941 as a Leutnant and Rotenflieger (wingman) with I/JG 51 on the Russian front. On only his fourth mission he scored his first victory, but had to wait another 116 missions to score again. He was a slow starter as were many of the Luftwaffe greats. The beginning of 1943 saw a marked change in Brendels performance, by February he had 20 kills under his belt, on the 9th of July 1943 he had scored his 50th victory. His 95th victory brought him his RitterKreuz, and on the 16th of October he had his 150th victory that brought him his Eichenlaub to his RitterKreuz. By now he had been promoted to the rank of Hauptmann and was GruppenKommadeur of III/JG 51. His final victory came on the 25th of April 1945. Joachim Brendel finished the War with 189 victories.