Preliminary for the award of the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for Captain Johann (Hans) Thurner, Commander of I. Gruppe, Kampfgeschwader 6.
The award document (of the award on 17 September 1944) dated Headquarters d.Ob.d.L., 13 October 1944. With official seal and original signature of the Chief of Personnel Armament and National Socialist Leadership of the Luftwaffe, Generaloberst Loerzer.
Hans Thurner joined the Luftwaffe in 1938 as a Fahnenjunker, where he was trained as a fighter pilot. As a lieutenant he joined the 9th Squadron of Fighter Wing 55 and flew missions against England in autumn 1940. From June 1941 he flew over Russia and was awarded the Knight's Cross for his successful missions on 6 August 1941. In September 1942, he joined Kampfgeschwader 6 as First Lieutenant and Technical Officer, with whom he again flew missions against England. From summer 1943 he flew in the Mediterranean and again against England in 1944. On 1 November 1943, he was awarded the German Cross in Gold. In early 1944, he became commander of I Group of Kampfgeschwader 6 and was promoted to Captain on 1 May 1944. On 11 June 1944, he did not return from a mission after some 500 enemy flights. He is buried in Le Cambe.
Posthumously he was awarded the Oak Leaves on 17 September 1944.
Oakleaves (17.09.1944): For missions against the Soviet Union from 22.06. - 02.07.1941 (18 enemy flights) and 01.10. - 08.12.1941 (12 enemy flights) with Stalinlinie, uman - Perwomaisk, Kiev, Sea of Azov, Kharkov and Donets industrial area, Rostov, Taganrog, Donets basin, Isjum. Deployment from 09.12.1941 - 22.04.1942 in the occupied French territory (Nantes). From 08.05. - 24.05. 1942 recapture of the Kerch Peninsula. Kessel battle south of Kharkov, extermination battle west of Isjum, attack, defence and supply of Stalingrad. Since 20.07.1943 Squadron Leader of the 10th Squadron in Combat Squadron 6 and deployed in Italy until September 1943, then the squadron was transferred back to the Channel Coast at the end of September. From late January to May 1944, the targets were London, Hull, Portsmouth, Plymouth and Bristol, followed by operations against the Allied invasion fleet.
His successes included the destruction of 60 British night bombers, many aircraft hangars, a troop camp and a light metal plant.
Approx. 500 enemy flight missions.
Beautiful and rare award document of this brave pilot. Attached is an original photo of Captain Hans Thurner with his Knight's Cross.