Johannes Steinhoff was born on the 15th of September 1913. He scored some of the first victories of the War when he shot down two Wellington bombers near Wilhelmshaven. Steinhoff was called Macki by those who knew him, Macki was Staflkapitan of 10/JG 26 by late 1939, and in February 1940 he was transferred to leadership of 4/JG 52. By August of 1941 his score had reached 35 and he was awarded the Ritterkreuz, promotion to Hauptmann and Kommandeur of II/JG52 came in February 1942 and on the 31st of August that year he shot down his 100th victory. The Eichenlaub to his Ritterkreuz was awarded three days later. Steinhoff's 150th victory came on the 2nd of February 1943, just before he assumed leadership of JG 77 he would stay with this unit until 1944. Steinhoff was awarded the schwerten (or swords) to his Ritterkreuz on the 28th of July 1944. In January of 1945 Adolf Galland selected Steinhoff as one of the founding members of his 'Squadron of Experts' JV 44 equipped with the new Jet Fighter the Me 262.


The Luftwaffes last hope the Jet Powered Me 262

Steinhoff's roll at first in this new unit was to recruit the best pilot's he could. Steinhoff would go on to score six victories in this new powerful Jet, but on the Morning of the 8th of April 1945 while taking off, one of steinhoff's wheels was caught in a partially filled crater, causing the aircraft to veer and lose it's landing gear. The plane smashed into the ground and burst into flames, Steinhoff managed to climb from the burning wreckage. Horribly burned from the wreckage Steinhoff proved to the model of Human endurance. Johannes Steinhoff would go on to become the commanding officer of the New West German Air force. Steinhoff finished the War with 176 victories.