Karl Borris



JG 26, EKDO 190

i i i
25 May 1942
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
08 Sep 1942
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
25 Nov 1944
* Note: The Ehrenpokal (Silver Honor Goblet) was awarded to Luftwaffe Pilots for distinguished achievements in the air war.
Combat Missions
Pilot status

Surrended after Capitulation 1945

Combat Victories and details during Operation ‘Market Garden'

Victory No
Aircraft Type
Location of Kill




I./JG 26


P-51 of 339 FG, USAAF

Karl Borris was assigned to JG 26 in December 1939 and took part in the invasion of the Low-Countries and of France. Borris had a shaky start to his career as he was shot down on the 13 th May 1940 by a RAF Defiant before claiming his first victory. Not letting this deter him, he was back flying 4 days after and later was involved in fighter support over the evacuation of Dunkirk in June 1940. This is where Karl Borris claimed his first victory which was a RAF Spitfire. With another victory the next day, Karl Borris flew into the Battle of Britain in July 1940 as an ‘experienced' pilot with 2 recorded ‘kills'. During the Battle of Britain, Karl Borris recorded another 4 victories which included 3 Hurricanes and a Spitfire.

His next victory was to come over a year later in August 1941. This is because Karl Borris, as Technical Officer of JG 26, in late 1940, was selected as part of a specialised group to attend the German Luftwaffe testing facility in Rechlin. Here they were to test the new Focke Wulf Fw 190 A-0 fighter under the squadron name of Erprobungsstaffel 190 (Experimental Squadron 190 – Ekdo 190).

Erprobungsstaffel 190 - Fw 190A-0 fighters ready for test flying in mid 1941.

Initially with only 6 pre-production Fw 190A-0 fighters, this unit went onto test the new fighter (many variants) in comparison to the established Me109F2, which was the standard fighter at that time. The tests showed a superior Focke Wulf in speed, roll rate, firepower, high-speed handling, dive, range and turning rate in low to medium altitudes. The unit made over 50 modifications to the original plane before the Luftwaffe HQ would accept it as ‘safe' for combat. However the real test was to be in combat. How would they stand up against the allied counterparts? Karl Borris was transferred back to JG 26 before getting to see the new planes of Ekdo 190 in combat for the first time. However the new plane was successful in combat when it came across a Squadron of Spitfires over Belgium on the 6 th September 1941. Erprobungsstaffel 190 Fw190's shot down 3 Spitfire Mk V with no loss. The unit had proven its worth.

In November 1941, Karl Borris was appointed Staffelkapitän of 8./JG 26 after scoring another two victories with a total of 9 by the end of 1941. For the first half of 1942, Oberleutnant Borris scored another 11 victories all of them against RAF Spitfires. These successes were partly due to the superiority of the Fw 190s which now most of JG 26 flew. With the allied invasion of Dieppe on the 19 th August 1942, Karl Borris flew off from Wevelghem with his Gruppe led by Josef Priller. Their mission was a success with the Luftwaffe claiming 96 victories for the day. Oberleutnant Borris' Staffel returned home with no causalities and the squadron tally up by two; Karl Borris claiming his 21 st victory - another RAF Spitfire.

Fw190A-3 ‘Black 14’ of 8./JG 26 (flown by Oblt. Borris) in 1942

Starting 1943 with another 2 Spitfires and a Typhoon under his belt, Oberleutnant Borris claimed his first 4-engine bomber; a USAAF B-17 on the 14th May 1943. However he was hit by return fire and forced to bail out. Unfortunately for him his parachute only partially opened and Karl Borris suffered numerous broken bones on impact necessitating a lengthy stay in hospital. On his return he was promoted to Hauptmann and give command of I./JG 26. Promoted to Major in May 1944, Borris was involved in defence of the West bringing his total to 40 by the time Operation ‘Market Garden’ had started.

During Operation ‘Market Garden’, Karl Borris and I./JG26 where involved in incepting allied aircraft around the various drop zones. His Gruppe had the most success on the 21st September 1944 when they destroyed 17 Dakotas and 1 fighter over the Arnhem drop zone. Two days later Major Karl Borris shot down a P-51 Mustang of the 339 Fighter Group, USAAF. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross on the 25th November 1944 for 41 victories.

Major Karl Borris spent the last months of the war on the Defence of Germany scoring his last 2 victories. He ended the war in Flensburg by flying away from most certain Russian captivity and surrendering to the British Forces. His total victories amount to 43 by wars end which included 5 four-engine bombers and a total of 28 Spitfires.

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