Name
Klaus Mietusch
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Rank

Major

Units
JG 26
Awards
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Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
09 Apr 1942
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Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
19 Sep 1942
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Eichenlaub ( Posthumously )
18 Nov 1944
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Victories
75
Combat Missions
452
Pilot status
KIA (17.09.44)

Combat Victories and details during Operation ‘Market Garden'

Victory No
Date
Time
Aircraft Type
Unit
Location of Kill
Comments
75.
17.09.44
14:55
P-51
III./JG 26
N München-Gladbach
P-51 of 361 FG, USAAF

Major Klaus Mietusch had flown over 440 missions by September 1944. As an original member of JG 26, he had seen combat as part of the Invasion of France, the Battle of Britain, Africa, the Mediterranean, the Russian and Western Fronts as well as the defence of Germany. Whilst in service of the Luftwaffe, Klaus Mietusch had been wounded several times and shot down ten times. This included being taken prisoner by the French during the invasion in 1940 only to return to his unit after capitulation. By the time Operation Market Garden had started, Klaus Mietusch had gained 59 victories (career total 75) over the Western Front which included 16 four-engine bombers and had been awarded the Knight's Cross.

Klaus Mietusch, feeding a donkey in Africa 1941. He scored three victories in Africa.

Whilst in command of III./JG 26 (Bf109G), Major Klaus Mietusch with his Gruppe took off in the early afternoon of September 17, 1944 to incept allied aircraft spotted over Holland. The plan was to engage allied aircraft and perhaps attack the slow moving transport planes carrying the troops into Arnhem. However like many mission before, the allied armada was covered by a strong fighter presence. The 361st Fighter Group covering the armada went into combat with the Gruppe from JG26.

Mietusch – another sortie in Spring 1944 in “Black 20” - JG 26

On 17 September 1944, Mietusch was engaged in combat with P-51 Mustangs. After gaining his 75th and final victory he was shot down and killed in Bf 109 G-6 (W.Nr. 441 646) “Black 25” in the vicinity of Aldekerk (less than 100 kilometres from Arnhem) by the American ace, Lieutenant William Beyer (9 victories) of the 376th Squadron of the 361st Fighter Group, USAAF. He was posthumously awarded the Eichenlaub (Nr 653) on 18 November 1944. Major Klaus Mietusch last engagement is superbly captured in the limited edition print “The Luck of the Draw” by Marlin Troutman seen below. (http://www.graphiclines.com/artwork.htm).

“The Luck of the Draw” by Marlin Troutman

Lt William Beyer of 361 st Fighter Group, USAAF engaging Major Klaus Mietusch of JG 26 over Arnhem on 17th September 1944.


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