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Hauptmann Emil Lang

Β© Dan & Nick’s Collaborative Experten Biographies

[photo credits | Traces of War]

Hauptmann Emil Lang is credited with 172 victories in 403 missions, and one Soviet MTB sunk.
He recorded 141 victories over the Eastern Front and 31 victories over the Western Front, including nine Spitfires, nine P-51 Mustangs, six P-47 Thunderbolts, four P-38 Lightnings and one four-engined bomber.
πŸ“ŒLang scored 28 of his 173 victories over the Normandie Invasion Front in France, which was the highest total of any German ace.
He was credited with 72 victories in a three-week period, among them an unsurpassed total of 18 on 3 November 1943.
Emil β€œBully” Lang was born on 14 January 1909 at Talheim (near Sontheim) in the Neckar region of WΓΌrttemberg.
Lang was a well-known track-and-field athlete and professional civilian pilot with Lufthansa before World War 2.
πŸΆπŸ• He earned the nickname β€œBully” from his bulldog-like appearance.
He joined the Luftwaffe as a member of the military reserve force on 4 January 1938.
From 8 May to 3 June 1939, he served with 8. Staffel (8th squadron) of Kampfgeschwader 51 (KG 51β€”51st Bomber Wing).
πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ On 26 August 1939, he was put on active duty.
Following the outbreak of war, Lang served as a transport pilot with the Fliegerhorst Kompanie (Airfield Company) at Gablingen, flying missions to Norway, France, Crete and North Africa.
πŸ†On 1 November 1941, he was promoted to Leutnant (second lieutenant).
In 1942, he was accepted for fighter pilot training.
After completing fighter training, he was then assigned to Jagdgruppe Ost (Fighter Group East) on 6 January 1943 and then to Jagdgeschwader 54 (JG 54β€”54th Fighter Wing) on the Eastern Front on 11 February 1943.
Serving with 1./JG 54 (1st Squadron of the 54th Fighter Wing), Leutnant (Second Lieutenant) Lang was 34 and considered exceptionally old for a novice fighter pilot.
πŸ“ŒHis first three aerial victories were claimed in the end of March 1943.
πŸ”°πŸ”°πŸ”°Claims Research Verification by
Nick Hector
πŸ”°3rd claim
Was this a Yak of 14 GIAP? Definitely another one lost around this time or a LaGG-3 of 13 IAP/3 GIAP, 61 IABR, KBF? Lt. Alexei Alexeivich Ilyichev downed in Krasny Bor area this date
πŸ“ŒWithin a month of being assigned to 1st Staffel, he was transferred to 5./JG 54 (5th Squadron of the 54th Fighter Wing), of which he became StaffelkapitΓ€n (Squadron Leader) on 20 August 1943.
πŸ”°πŸ”°4th and 5th claims
30.5.43/2019 and 2026
2 x Curtiss P-40s
240 and 275 IAD known to have lost three Yak-7Bs to II/JG 54 this day. 191 IAP definitely in action with P-40s this date
πŸ’₯He makes his 8th victory claim over an La-5 on the 13th of July 1943.
πŸ”°8th claim
Day’s La-5 losses to Fw190s include Aleksandr Fyodorovich Moshin HSU, OL, ORB and ORS of 32 GIAP KIA. Other La-5 losses include Leitenant Alexei A Goncharev of 171 IAP, KIA
πŸ“ŒFour days later, Lang registers another double kill when he claims 2 x LaGG-3s shot down.
πŸ”°πŸ”°9th and 10th claims
17.7.43/1342 and 1344
2 x β€œLaGG-3s”
Were these actually misidentified Yaks of 65 GIAP? Starshii Leitenant Gavril Gavrilovich Guskov, S. Albinovich, V Ponomaryev, and Antonina Lebedeva (female) all KIA
πŸ’₯πŸ’₯On 20 July 1943, Lang shoots down 2 x Aircobras of 1 GIAD, 15 VA (Bryansk Front).
πŸ”°πŸ”°11th and 12th claims
20.7.43/1905 and 1907
2 x P-39 Airacobras
30 GIAP or 67 GIAP of 1 GIAD, 15 VA (Bryansk Front). Details pending
πŸ“ŒOn 1 August 1943, Lang claims his first triple victory day when he shoots down 3 x P-39s for his 15th – 17th victories.
πŸ”°πŸ”°πŸ”°15th, 16th and 17th claims
1.8.43/0520 and 0528, 1234
3 x P-39 Airacobras
196 IAP Airacobras definitely in action against Fw190s over Leningrad this day. Seeking details of any losses
πŸ†πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ† Lang was promoted to StaffelkapitΓ€n (Squadron Leader) of 5./JG 54 on 20 August 1943.
πŸ’₯He goes almost a month before claiming another victory, a Russian Pe-2 bomber, on 13 September 1943.
πŸ”°19th claim
PQ 26251 @ 6200m
Clearly a recce machine. Am seeking to consult TsAMO 15 ORAP, 11 ORAP among others for this one…..
πŸ”°20th claim
Possibly the engagement that saw S G Struzhkin of 168 IAP, 303 IAD, 1 VA downed
πŸ“ŒOn 15 September 1943, Lang claims a P-39, 2 x IL-2s and a La-5 shot down for his first quadruple victory day.
πŸ”°πŸ”°πŸ”°πŸ”°21st, 22nd and 23rd claims
Lang downs a P-39, 2 x IL-2s and a La-5
For the fighter claims:
1 VA or 240 IAD, 3 VA. Day’s losses include Lt. Dmitriy Kudryavtsev of 86 GIAP KIA and Ml.Lt. Yurii Vasilievich Gromov of 263 IAP, 215 IAD, 8 IAK, 1 VA KIA
πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ†πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ Between October (68) and November (33) 1943, Lang claimed 101 victories (25-125).
πŸ“ŒHe recorded 68 victories during October 1943, including 10 on 13 October (50-59) and 12 on 21 October (60-71) for which he was awarded the Ehrenpokal.
πŸ”°πŸ”°48th and 49th claims
12.10.43/1050 and 1052
2 x La-5s
162 IAP definitely in action with La-5s on the Kalinin front this date. A definite loss was Ml.Lt. Vasily Mikhailovich Bazhenov KIA near Pereyaslav
πŸ“ŒLang then went on an amazing scoring run, with a remarkable 72 victories scored around Kiev in just THREE weeks during October and November 1943.
πŸ”°πŸ”°91st and 92nd claims
25.10.43/1446 and 1447
Balnoyka – Gussenzof
Day’s Fighter losses in sector include Mladshii Leitenant Vasilii Alexandrovich Rogozhin HSU, OL, OPW 2nd class and 2 x ORS of 236 IAP, KIA
πŸ’― He was the 58th Luftwaffe pilot to achieve the century mark
πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ†πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ On 3 November 1943, Lang claimed 18 victories over the Kiev region, for his 101st – 118th credits.
β–ͺ18 victory credits in just over 5 hours, over 3 separate missions.
β–ͺ18 claims between 0931 and 1449.
πŸ“ŒSEVEN claims during his 1st mission, over 11 minutes of combat from 0931 – 0942.
πŸ“ŒTwo more during his 2nd mission.
πŸ“ŒThen NINE during his 3rd mission, over 34 minutes from 1415 – 1449.
πŸ’₯Planes credited destroyed:
9 x Sturmoviks
5 x Yaks
4 x La-5s
πŸ”°πŸ”°πŸ”°101st, 102nd and 103rd claims
3.11.43/0931, 0932 and 0933
3 x IL-2 Sturmoviks
Lyutezh sector
5 ShAK (4 GShAD and 264 ShAD) of 2 VA. Details pending
πŸ”°πŸ”°104th and 105th claims
3.11.43/0935 and 0936
2 x Yak-7s
Kassorivichi – Glebovka
256 IAD. Overclaiming, only two Yak-7s damaged and forced to belly-land during the whole day
πŸ”°106th claim
IL-2 Sturmovik
ENE of Glebovka
5 ShAK (4 GShAD and 264 ShAD) of 2 VA. Details pending
πŸ”°107th claim
ENE of Glebovka
256 IAD. Overclaiming, only two Yak-7s damaged and forced to belly-land during the whole day
πŸ”°108th claim
ENE of Blistawizd @ 2500m
Legitimate victory.This one known to be from 3 GIAP. Pilot KIA
5./JG 54
5./JG 54
E Moschtschum: at 1.000m
5./JG 54
N Moschtschum: at 800m
πŸ”°πŸ”°112th and 113th claims
03.11.43/1415 and 1420
2 x La-5s
NW of Vyshgorod (N of Kiev) @ 3000m and N of Kiev @ 1000m
235 IAD, 256 IAD and 8 GIAD of 2 VA. Day’s losses in the Kiev area include Vladimir Kuzmich Kuleshov HSU, OL, 2 x ORB and Red Star KIA
5./JG 54
W Valki: at 600m
5./JG 54
E Gostomel: at 1.000m
5./JG 54
W Vyshgorod: 1.500m [N Kiev]
5./JG 54
E Gostomel: at 1.000m
5./JG 54
V. Mostischtsche: 1.200m
πŸ“ŒOn 4 November 1944, he scored his 119th victory over yet another Il-2 Sturmovik.
5./JG 54
N Vyshgorod: 700m [N Kiev]
πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ†πŸ₯‡He was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 22 November 1943 for 119 victories.
πŸ†Three days later on 25 November 1944, Lang was awarded the Deutsches Kreuz in Gold.
πŸ“ŒLang registered his 120th kill on 28 November 1943.
5./JG 54
E Kotsherovo: at 30m
πŸ“ŒHe claims 3 more victories the very next day.
5./JG 54
W Mestetschko: at 1.800m
5./JG 54 S
Wnysokoye: at 1.700m
5./JG 54
NW Wnysokoye: at 300m
πŸ’₯πŸ’₯On 30 November 1943, he claims 2 x Sturmoviks destroyed.
5./JG 54
N Nebyliza: at 200m
5./JG 54
91 562: at 3.000m
πŸ“ŒOn 13 December 1943, after a long 10 minute dogfight that ends up at tree-top level (20m), Lang claims his 126th and final victory of 1943 over a very determined La-5 pilot.
5./JG 54
dorf Nebryliza: at 20m
πŸ’₯πŸ’₯On 15 January 1944, Lang claims a pair of LaGG-5s in under 2 minutes for his 127th and 128th victories.
5./JG 54
99 114 at 2.500m
5./JG 54
99123 at 2.500m
πŸ“ŒLang scores a triple victory on 25 Mar 1944 when he claims 3 x Yak-9s, surpassing 130 victories.
5./JG 54
78 451: at 10m
5./JG 54
78 423: at 40m
5./JG 54
88 112: at 30m
πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯ On the 26th of March, he yet again scores three victories for his 132nd – 134th credits.
5./JG 54
70 663: at 50m
5./JG 54
70 692: at 1.500m
5./JG 54
70 692: at 1.200m
5./JG 54
88324: at 500m
πŸ“ŒAnother triple victory claim on 2 April 1944 brings his total to 138 credited victories.
5./JG 54
88 351: at 200m
5./JG 54
88 523: at 2.500m
5./JG 54
88 551: at 2.000m
πŸ’₯Lang claims another Yak-9 on the 3rd of April 1944 for his 139th victory.
5./JG 54
88 362: at 400m
πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯On 4 April 1944, 4-4-44, believe it or not, Lang claims 4 Russian aircraft destroyed; a Sturmovik and 3 x Yak-9s, to register his 140th – 143rd claims…
5./JG 5
488 352: at 50m
πŸ”°πŸ”°πŸ”°141st, 142nd and 143rd claims
4.4.44/1143, 1604 and 1608
3 x Yak-9s
Possibly the engagement in which Mikhail Machabeli of 10 GIAP-KBF was POW whilst Aleksandr Gerasimovich Baturin was WIA but made it home
On 9 April 1944, Oberleutnant Lang was transferred to 9th Staffel and was appointed StaffelkapitΓ€n of 9./JG 54 who were engaged in the Reich Defence.
πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ†πŸ₯‡πŸπŸ He was awarded the Eichenlaub (Nr. 448) on 11 April 1944.
πŸ“ŒOn the 24th of May 1944, Lang shoots down his only 4 engine bomber when he claims a B-17 Flying Fortress HSS, which appears to be “Toranado” of the 334th BS, 95th BG.
πŸ”°144th claim
B-17 Flying Fortress HSS
Oranienburg (PQ EG-6.9) @ 6500m
Appears to be a full, legitimate victory:
42-39924/BG-N “Toranado” of 334th BS, 95th BG. 2/Lt. William T Sheehan and 6 others KIA, remaining 3 crewmen all POW (aircraft had flown 52 missions)
πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯During June 1944, Lang claimed 15 aerial victories, including his 150thβ€”a United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) P-47 Thunderbolt on 14 June 1944.
πŸ”°146th claim
Mustang I
5km NW of Bernay/E of Argentan (PQ UB-4) @ 8-10m
Possibly AM128 of 168 sqn. F/O John Charles Low RAAF KIA
(overclaim as it was also claimed by Vogt and Hofmann of JG 26)
πŸ”°147th claim
NE of Caen (PQ TU-7) @ 100m
Was this a 652 or 662 sqn Auster? Details pending
πŸ“ŒLang then claimed four P-51 Mustang fighters shot down in four minutes on 20 June 1944.
πŸ”°πŸ”°πŸ”°πŸ”°151st, 152nd, 153rd and 154th claims
20.6.44/1617, 1618, 1620, 1621
4 x P-51C-1-NT Mustang III
St. Andre-de-l’Eure sector (PQ AC-5)
19 sqn. Massive overclaiming, only one loss: 42-103127/FB233 of P/O F D Schofield, evaded capture
(there were EIGHT claims all up)
He then claimed another four P-51s on 24 June.
πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯On 24 June 1944, Lang claims another 4 Mustang IIIs destroyed for his 155th – 158th victory credits.
πŸ”°πŸ”°πŸ”°πŸ”°155th, 156th, 157th and 158th claims
24.6.44/0718, 0719, 0721 and 0722
4 x Mustang IIIs
πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†Hauptmann Lang was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 26 on 28 June 1944.
πŸ“ŒOn 9 July 1944, Lang shot down three more RAF Spitfire fighters in five minutes (victories 160–162) over Caen -Lisieux.
πŸ”°πŸ”°πŸ”°160th, 161st and 162nd claims
9.7.44/1319, 1321 and 1324
3 x Spitfire IXs
Caen -Lisieux (PQ UU-UA) @ 2500m
453 sqn RAAF. Overclaiming – no losses
❌ No Spitfires were shot down this day however: American historian Donald Caldwell noted that his claims were exaggerated but asserted Lang’s ebullience, energy and drive made him an effective combat leader.
πŸ“ŒOn 15 August 1944, Lang claimed two more USAAF P-47 fighters destroyed in one minute.
πŸ”°πŸ”°163rd and 164th claims
15.8.44/1231 and 1232
2 x P-47D Thunderbolts
Houdan-Rambouillet/NE of Chartres (PQ AD-BD) @ 2000m
373rd FG, overclaiming – only 4 losses: P-47D-11-RE 42-75510/U9- (ex-Gabby Gabreski machine from 56th FG) 1/Lt. William M Buttner KIA; P-47D-26-RA 42-28431/U9- of 411th FS, Capt. Everett Glenn King KIA; P-47D-11-RE 42-75529/U9-of 411th FS, 2/Lt. William R Sheppard evaded capture. 412th FS lost serial unknown of Capt. Walter E Knudson evaded (damaged then finished off by Flak)
(versus 9 claims in total….)
πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ 4 days later on 19 August 1944, Lang scores his 165th aerial victory over a 315th FS, 406th FG Thunderbolt.
1/Lt. Robert Emmit (“Bob”) O’Neill baled out and became a POW.
πŸ”°165th claim
P-47D-27-RE Thunderbolt
SE of Vernon/Mantes (PQ UD-7) @ 10m
42-26917/4P- of 315th FS, 406th FG. 1/Lt. Robert Emmit (“Bob”) O’Neill, baled out, POW
πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯On 25 August 1944, he shot down three USAAF P-38 twin-engine fighters in five minutes, in all probability from the 428th Fighter Squadron, 474th Fighter Group…
They lost 8 Lightnings.
πŸ”°πŸ”°πŸ”°168th 169th and 170th claims
25.8.44/1343, 1345 and 1348
3 x P-38 Lightnings
Beauvais/Gisors sector
428th and 429th FS, 474th FG. Eight losses from 428th and three from 429th. 428th lost P-38J-10-LO 42-67526/F5-Y of 2/Lt. Ray Delbert Packard KIA, P-38J-10-LO 42-67528/F5-C “My Lightning Baby” of 1/Lt. Joseph B Stone KIA, P-38J-15-LOs 43-28363/F5- of 2/Lt. William O Spiker POW, 43-28711 of 2/Lt. Wilbur L Jarvis III evaded capture and 44-23159/F5-Q of 2/Lt. William R Capron Jr evaded capture plus 44-23643 of Capt. James C Austin POW and also P-38J-15-LO 44-23661 of 2/Lt. Jerome J Lierlein KIA
429th FS lost P-38J-15-LOs 43-28446/7Y- of Capt. Charles N Holcomb KIA and 43-28538/7Y- of 2/Lt. James E Leahy evaded capture and P-38J-25-LO 44-23584 of 2/Lt. William Ruthvin Patterson evaded capture
πŸ“ŒThe hard-hit 428th Fighter Squadron, 474th Fighter Group lost 8 x P-38s, its worst combat performance to date.
The 429th also lost three P-38s. Not a single Fw 190 was lost.
πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ On 26 August 1944, he claimed three Spitfires in two missions for his final 3 victories (victories 170–172).
πŸ“ŒHis very last victory before his death has been attibuted to the loss of 341 Squadron Spitfire, PL395, flown by Cdt. Jacques Henri Schloesing, who was KIA.
His first 2 victories of the day most likely belonged to 421 Squadron RAF.
πŸ”°πŸ”°171st and 172nd claims
26.8.44/0917 and 0919
2 x Spitfire IXs
Beauvais – Rouen
421 sqn RCAF, two losses: MK661 of F/O D E Libbey POW and ML308 of F/O J McV Flood KIA (slight overclaiming because Gerhard Vogt also claimed)
πŸ”°173rd claim
Spitfire IX
La Feuillie – Gournay/E of Rouen – Gisors (PQ TD-1) @ 2000m
341 sqn, two losses: PL395 of Cdt. Jacques Henri Schloesing, KIA and NH522 of S/Lt. P Parent, baled out WIA and POW (slight overclaiming). This one said to be Schloesing
(Kemethmueller and Guenther also claimed, so again, slight overclaiming)
πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ’₯⚰ On 3 September 1944, Emil Lang was killed in action when his Fw 190 A-5 “Green 1” (W.Nr. 0150 1240) hit the ground and exploded in a field at Overhespen, Brussels/St.Trond, Belgium.
He is burried at Kattenbos cemetary, Lommel.
He actually was flying Fw 190 A-5 “Green 1” (W.Nr. 0150 1240) rather than his Fw 190 A-8 “Green 1” (W.Nr. 171 240).
He had experienced mechanical trouble on the runway, and when he finally took off from Melsbroek at 1320 at the head of a three aircraft Kette, the trouble continued.
Ten minutes later, Lang was still having difficulties raising his landing gear.
πŸ“ŒFlying at an altitude of 200 metres (660 ft), his wingman, Unteroffizier Hans-Joachim Borreck, called out “P-47 Thunderbolts to the Rear!…”
Lang immediately broke upward and to the left.
Leutnant Alfred Groß saw Lang’s Fw 190 diving in flames, its gear extended, but he lost sight of Lang when his own craft was hit and he had to bail out.
πŸ”πŸ”¬πŸ”­πŸ“‘ Examination of both German and American records suggests that Borreck and Groß misidentified their opponents.
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ The P-51 Mustangs of the 55th Fighter Group’s 338th Squadron intercepted a flight of three to six Focke-Wulfs. Lieutenant Darrell Cramer took a high deflection shot at the Focke-Wulf on the left, which fell upside down in a steep dive and crashed hard into the ground;
This undoubtedly was Emil Lang.
πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ It was originally thought that RAF Spitfire XIVs of 41 Squadron intercepted them and he was shot down by Flt/Lt Terry Spencer.
πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†On 28 September 1944, Lang’s commanding officer, Geschwaderkommodore (Wing Commander) Josef Priller, submitted a request for posthumous promotion to Major.
πŸ“ŒThe commander of the II. Jagdkorps (2nd Fighter Corps), Generalleutnant (Major General) Alfred BΓΌlowius, concurred with the assessment.
❌ Despite these recommendations, Emil Lang did not receive a posthumous promotion to Major.
☯️ Emil Lang is credited with 172 victories in 403 missions. He recorded 141 victories over the Eastern Front and 31 victories over the Western Front (including nine Spitfire, nine P-51, six P-47 and four P-38 fighters), 28 of which were claimed over the Invasion Front, the highest total of any German Ace.
πŸ›‘Awards :
β–ͺWar Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords (24 October 1940)
β–ͺFront Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe for Fighter Pilots in Bronze (23 March 1943)
β€’Silver (14 May 1943)
β€’Gold (25 June 1943)
β–ͺEhrenpokal (Honorary Cup of the Luftwaffe) (27 October 1943)
β–ͺDeutsches Kreuz in Gold (25 November 1943)
β–ͺπŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ†πŸ₯‡Ritterkreuz (22 November 1943)
β–ͺπŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ†πŸ₯‡πŸπŸ Eichenlaub (11 April 1944)
β–ͺTwo named references in the Wehrmachtbericht (22 October 1943, 30 August 1944)
πŸ›‘Promotion Dates:
β–ͺ1 November 1941: Leutnant (Second Lieutenant)
β–ͺ1 November 1943: Oberleutnant (First Lieutenant)
β–ͺ1 May 1944: Hauptmann (Captain)
posthumously: Major (Major), effetive as of 1 September 1944, never officially awarded.
πŸ›‘Units :
β€’JG 54
β€’JG 26

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owners Β© Dan & Nick’s Collaborative Experten Biographies.
AWG Team would like to thank Dan Case & Nick Hector for their contribution and continuous support for our Project.
More Biographies from Dan Case and Nick Hector | β€˜Dan & Nicks’ Luftwaffe Aces’ Biographies/Claims Vault’.

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