Egon Mayer


Egon Mayer

Infobox Military Person
name= Egon Mayer
lived=birth date|1917|8|19|df=ydeath date and age|1944|3|2|1917|8|19|df=y
placeofbirth=Konstanz
placeofdeath=near Montmédy


caption=Egon Mayer
nickname=
allegiance=flagicon|Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
branch=Luftwaffe
serviceyears=1937-1944
rank=Oberstleutnant
commands=7./JG 2, III./JG 2, JG 2
unit= JG 2
battles=World War II
*Battle of France
*Battle of Britain
awards="Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords"
laterwork=

Egon Mayer (born 19 August 1917 in Konstanz at the Bodensee, killed in action March 2 1944 near Montmédy) was a German World War II fighter ace who served in the Luftwaffe from 1937 until his death in 1944. He shot down 102 enemy aircraft. All his victories were claimed over the Western Front and included 26 four-engine bombers, 51 Supermarine Spitfire and 12 P-47 Thunderbolt. Egon Mayer was the first fighter pilot to score 100 victories entirely on the western front. His final command was Geschwaderkommodore of the JG 2 fighter wing.

World War II

Egon Mayer joined the Luftwaffe in 1937. After regular peacetime training, Fahnenjunker Mayer was transferred to I./JG 2 on 6 December 1939. He was serving with 6./JG 2 when he shot down a French Morane and claimed his first victory on 13 June 1940.

On 10 June 1941, Oberleutnant Mayer was appointed Staffelkapitän of 7./JG 2, based at St Pol-Brias. On 1 August 1941, after 20 victories, Mayer was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. On 19 August, his 25th birthday, Mayer shot down two Spitfires over Dieppe during Operation Jubilee.

In November 1942, Hauptmann Mayer was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 2. On 23 November, Mayer claimed his first victories over USAAF four-engine bombers, when he shot down two B-17 Flying Fortress and a B-24 Liberator. Together with Georg-Peter Eder, Mayer developed the head-on attack tactic against the Allied daylight heavy bombers.

It was in June of 1943 when Mayer encountered a future ace from the 56th Fighter Group, of the 8th Air Force. His name was Robert S. Johnson. Johnson's Republic P-47D Thunderbolt had been badly shot-up by a gaggle of Focke-Wulf Fw-190's during a routine mission. As Johnson limped home, with a canopy that wouldn't open, hydralic fluid and oil covering his windscreen, Mayer pulled along beside him, in his FW-190. Mayer looked the wounded P-47 over, and then circled to come in from Johnson's six-oclock, and give it the "coup de grace." The first gun pass failed to knock the heavy American fighter out of the sky. Mayer made two more runs on Johnson, without success. Finally, after running out of ammunition, Mayer pulled along side Johnson, saluted him and headed for home. Johnson landed his plane, and counted well-over 200 holes, without even moving around the airplane. He also saw that a 20mm cannon shell had exploded just behind his headrest, making it impossible to open his canopy. ["Thunderbolt by Robert S. Johnson"]

Egon Mayer was honored with the Oak Leaves to the Knight’s Cross on 16 April 1943 after 63 aerial victories.Fellgiebel p. 37, 60] Oberstleutnant Mayer was appointed Geschwaderkommodore of JG 2 on 1 July 1943, thus succeeding Oberst Walter Oesau.

His final score stood at 102, when he was shot down by a P-47 Thunderbolt and killed near Montmédy in Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 on 2 March 1944. He was posthumously decorated with the Swords to the Knight's CrossFellgiebel] .

In "An Ace of the Eighth" by Norman Fortier, the author states that Mayer was shot down by Walter Gresham of the 358th Fighter Squadron. This claim was made based on gun camera footage and recollections of Mayer's wingman, who was forced to bail out during the action.

Awards

* Wound Badge in Silver
* German Cross in Gold (16 July 1942)
* Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe in Gold with Pennant "300"
* Combined Pilots-Observation Badge
* Iron Cross 2. and 1. class
* Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
** Knight's Cross (1 August 1941)
** 232. Oak Leaves (16 April 1943)
** 51. Swords (2 March 1944)

References


*
* Berger, Florian. "Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges". Selbstverlag Florian Berger, 2006. ISBN 3-9501307-0-5.
* Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer. "Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945". Podzun-Pallas, 2000. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
* Fortier, Norman. "An Ace of the Eighth". Presidio Press-Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-89141-806-7.

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