BRUNO LOERZER | WW1 Ace
Germany's Aces of World War I
Bruno Loerzer, Germany's 6th highest ace with 44 victories, tied with Rudolph Berthold.
Bruno Loerzer (22 January 1891 - 23 August 1960) was an officer in the German Luftstreitkräfte during World War I and Luftwaffe during World War II.
Born in Berlin, Loerzer was a prewar army officer who learned to fly in 1914. Hermann Göring flew as Loerzer's observer until mid-1915. Transferring to fighters, Loerzer flew with two Jagdstaffeln in 1916 before joining "Jasta" 26 in January 1917. By then he had scored two victories over French aircraft. His tally reached 20 at the end of October and he received the Pour le Mérite in February 1918.
WW1 Flying Ace
The same month, he took command of the newly formed Jagdgeschwader III, the third of Germany's famed "flying circuses." His aces included his brother Fritz, who claimed 11 kills. Leading Jasta 26 and three other squadrons, Loerzer proved a successful wing commander. Equipped with the new BMW- engined Fokker DVII, JG III cut a wide swath through Allied formations in the summer of 1918, and his own score mounted steadily. He achieved his last ten victories in September when he reached his final score of 44. Shortly before the armistice, he was promoted to Hauptmann (captain).
Loerzer fought with the Freikorps from 1918-1920, combatting Communist elements in postwar Germany. During the 1930s he was a leader in various civil aviation organizations and commanded a fighter unit when the Luftwaffe was organized.
Loerzer benefitted from his long friendship with GÃ¶ring, becoming a lieutenant general in 1939. Serving in various command and administrate posts, he rose to Generaloberst before World War II ended.
Loerzer died in 1960, at the age of 69.
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