Franz Götz (pilot)

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Franz Götz
File:Franz Götz.jpg
Born (1913-01-28)28 January 1913
Obertsrot in the district of Rastatt, Germany
Died 4 May 1980(1980-05-04) (aged 67)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
 West Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1939–45, –1969
Rank Major (Wehrmacht)
Oberst (Bundeswehr)
Unit JG 53, JG 26
Commands held 9./JG 53, III./JG 53, JG 26
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Franz Götz (28 January 1913 – 4 May 1980) was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Franz Götz was the last Geschwaderkommodore (wing commander) of the renowned Jagdgeschwader 26 "Schlageter".


Focke-Wulf Fw 190 D-13/R11, "Yellow 10," Wk. Nr. 836017 from the Champlin Fighter Museum, Phoenix, Arizona, c. 1995.

Franz Götz enlisted as a fighter pilot in the pre-war Luftwaffe and began the war with III./Jagdgeschwader 53 (JG 53—53rd Fighter Wing) "Pik-As". Holding the rank of Oberfeldwebel he gained his first victory in May 1940 during the Battle of France. Götz served with JG 53 through successive European, Soviet, Mediterranean, and Reich Defence campaigns. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) and became Gruppenkommandeur (group commander) of III./JG 53 from October 1942 until early 1945. He claimed his first of three B-17 Flying Fortress on 24 August 1944 over the Lüneburger Heide.[1]

On 28 January 1945, (Götz's 32nd birthday) he was posted as Geschwaderkommodore of Jagdgeschwader 26 (JG 26—26th Fighter Wing), based at Fürstenau. His final tally was 63 victories, including 3 heavy bombers.

At war's end Götz's Fw 190 D-13 was surrendered to the British at Flensburg, in Northern Germany.The very rare Focke Wulf Fw 190 D-13/R11 (Werknummer 836017—factory number) is now on display at the Flying Heritage Collection in Everett, Washington, which recently had its Junkers Jumo 213 engine made operable on YouTube once more, to prepare it for flight in the 21st century.




  1. Weal 2006, p. 80.
  2. Obermaier 1989, p. 119.
  3. Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 143.
  4. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 198.
  5. Scherzer 2007, p. 340.


  • Crandall, Jerry (2000). Yellow 10 The story of the ultra-rare Fw 190 D-13. Hamilton, MT: Eagle Edition. ISBN 978-0-9660706-3-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 – 1945 (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 978-3-87341-065-7. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Weal, John (2006). Bf 109 Defence of the Reich Aces. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-879-3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Military offices
Preceded by
Oberst Josef Priller
Commander of Jagdgeschwader 26 "Schlageter"
28 January 1945 – 7 May 1945
Succeeded by