"The Kubanski lion"



Johannes Wiese is a little known high scoring Luftwaffe fighter pilot. Known as the Kubanski Lion to soviet pilots along the Russian front. Born in 1915 Wiese succeeded Johannes Steinhoff as Kommodore of JG/77. Wiese joined the Luftwaffe in 1936 and was an instructor for three years, when there War began Wiese flew reconnaissance missions. Wiese became a fighter pilot with JG 52 in the summer of 1942. By January of 1943 he had 53 victories to his credit and was awarded the Ritterkreuz on the 5th of January that year. Wiese flew during the Kursk offensive flying continuous combat missions up to seven each day, on the 5th of July 1943 he shot down 12 enemy planes in one day and crashed landed 5 times also. He was awarded the Eichenlaub on the 3rd of March 1944 for his 125th victory. The Kubanski Lion would score phenomenally against the heavily armoured Russian IL-2 Sturmoviks, and it is said that the Russian pilots would radio each other "Vniemanie Torretchi" "Kubanski Lion in the air".




In December 1944 while flying on a  patrol with his Rottenflieger (wingman) the pair were attacked by a formation of Spitfires, Wiese lost his wingman almost immediately, he fought desperately for several minutes sustaining many hits, Wiese was forced to bail out at around 27,000 feet. During the bail out Wiese was injured very seriously and he spent the winter months in hospital. Wiese surrendered  to US forces, but was later arrested by German communists and was handed to the Russians, he was held for nearly five years. Upon his release he lived in Breslau East Germany until 1964 where he moved to West Germany, he joined the German Federal Air Force as a GruppenKommandeur. Johannes Wiese finished the War with 133 victories.