Errata and Additions
These are the discovered and recognized flaws in the Graf & Grislawski book, as well as some interesting additions. Any reader who detects any mistake in the book is welcome to contact the author.
1. Errata - errors in the book:
Page 12: Errata: Photo caption. German aviation historian Bernd Barbas kindly pointed out: "Schädelspalter SG 38, damit war ja der Holm vor dem Kopf gemeint , an den du dich geschlagen hast , bei einer falschen Landung . Besser wäre hier skull splitter or skull divider". In other words, the glideplane was not called Schädelspalter, but the stabilizing balk in front of the pilot. Barbas suggests "skull splitter" or "skull divider" as a more suitable translation than "bonebreaker".
Page 54: Errata: The aircraft in the photo is a Yak-7B.
Pages 62/63: Errata: The Ju 87 Stukas were destroyed by the aviation of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet, on the Crimean Peninsula.
Page 178: Errata: 4th Combat Wing's 24 missing aircraft were divided as such: 94th BG, one; 95th BG, four; 100th BG, nine; 385thth BG, three; 388 BG, one; 390th BG, six. The 96th BG indeed flew in the lead, but so did the 390th BG - positioned above the 96th - and the 388th BG - positioned below the 96th. From this follows that it was against the 390th (which recorded six losses) Grislawski delivered his opening attack.
Page 212: Errata: American aviation historian Don Caldwell kindly pointed out: "B-24s cruised 20 mph faster than B-17s."
Page 212: Errata and addition: Kevin Baesler provides us with material which shows that III./JG 1 was engaged by U.S. 4th FG alone on 22 April 1944. I have made a special page with Kevin's material.
Page 269: Errata: I./JG 1 was based at Dortmund in January 1944.
Page 269: Errata: Fritz Walter was the German national soccer team's captain in post-war years, not the national coach.
Page 289: Errata: The time for Graf's victory No 2 is a typo (by mistake the time from victory No 1, "slipped down" and was copied in for No 2 as well). Correct time for victory No 2 is 1806 hours.
2. Additions - interesting supplemental information to the book:
Pages 35 & 289: Acccording to the book Bitva za nebo 1941 by Dmitriy Khazanov (published in 2007), p. 169, the I-16 recorded as Hermann Graf's first victory on 4 August 1941 may have belonged to 255 IAP.
Pages 83 - 90: Addition: The origin of the name Karaya Staffel, and the "Karaya Brotherhood," is described in the chapter "The Karaya Staffel" on pages 83 - 90 in the Graf & Grislawski book. The original Karaya record has been discovered, through the help of the Grislawski family. Click here for further information.
Page 121: Addition: Additional information which might shed some light on the fate of 4./JG 52's 15-victory ace Lt. Otto Leicher: The files of Soviet 8 GIAD at the Russian Central Military Archive TsAMO show that 862 IAP's Batalyonnyy Komissar Aleksey Shapovalov did not ram any Messerschmitt 109. Instead he shot down a Messerschmitt 109 "in the Voznesenskaya area." Interestingly, the Soviet report states that the German pilot was captured, and proved to be an ace who was "awarded with four [sic] Iron Crosses." (TsAMO, f. 8 GIAD, op. 1, d. 4.) A few minutes later, Shapovalov's LaGG-3 was shot down by another Messerschmitt 109 and Shapovalov bailed out with injuries "in the Mozdok area." Due to German sources, Lt. Leicher attained his 15th and last aerial victory against a LaGG-3 at at 1405 hours, in PQ 44 451--which is northeast of Malgobek and southeast on Mozdok, south of the Terek River in the Caucasus. At 1408 hours, Lt. Gustav Denk of Stab II./JG 52 claimed a LaGG-3 in PQ 44 482, but that was at an altitude of only 200 meters (about 650 feet), which hardly would allow the pilot to bail out. Thus, it is plausible to assume that Shapovalov was shot down by Uffz. Hans Waldmann (Stab II./JG 52), who claimed a LaGG-3 in 1,400 meters altitude (about 4,600 feet) at 1409 hours in PQ 44 463. The note in Waldmann's Leistungsbuch reads: "8 km NE Malgobek. (. . .) Witnessed by Lt. Denk. Hit the cockpit, descended vertically, caught fire on impact." It was recorded as Waldmann's second victory. Voznesenskaya is located 5 km east of Malgobek and about 18 km southeast of Mozdok. A detailed map of the area can be found here. As the reader of the Graf & Grislawski book will realize, Grislawski also participated in the same scrap with Shapovalov and other 862 IAP LaGG-3 pilots, although Grislawski's claims in that engagement were made before Shapovalov was shot down. (With acknowledgment to Nikita Yegorov.)
Pages 149 & 298: Addition: Grislawski's 72nd victory on 5 December 1942 most certainly was the I-16 which, piloted by Starshina Anton Nasonov of 84 IAP, was reported shot down by a Bf 109 4 - 5 km north of Belorechenskaya at around 1220 hours (Russian time). 4 - 5 km north of Belorechenskaya is PQ 44721, where Grislawski's victory was claimed. (Belorechenskaya is situated between Ordzhonikidze and Nalchik in the Caucasus. To view photos of today's Nalchik, click here.) No other German fighter pilot claimed to have shot down an I-16 in that area on that day. (Source: 8 GIAD Documents, TsAMO, and Nikita Yegorov.)
Pages 149 & 298: Addition: Grislawski's 82nd victory on 12 December 1942 most certainly was the I-16 which, piloted by Leytenant Viktor Sukhov (Zveno commander in 84 IAP), was shot down in aerial combat and crashed south of Bechoy-Urt. No other German fighter pilot claimed to have shot down an I-16 in that area on that day. Actually, Sukhov was the next 84 IAP pilot to get killed after the loss of Starshina Nasonov, also due to Grislawski, on 5 December 1942. (Source: 8 GIAD Documents, TsAMO, and Nikita Yegorov.)
Pages 150 & 298: Addition: Grislawski's 85th and 86th victories most certainly were achieved against the two 131 IAP LaGG-3 pilots Leytenant Koralev and Leytenant Ryabov, who were listed as missing after an aerial combat south of Mineralnyy Vody. Leytenant Ryabov was severely injured and found in a local hospital several days later, but Koralev remained missing. No other German fighter pilot claimed to have shot down any Soviet single-engine inline-engine fighters in that area on that day. Another LaGG-3 was lost by 249 IAP in the Caucasus on the same day, but the time gap shows that this one could not have been shot down by Grislawski. (With acknowledgment to Nikita Yegorov.)
Pages 205 & 299: The first US bomber to get shot down in the great air battle on 11 January 1944 probably was shot down by Grislawski. This was 303rd BG’s B-17 #41-24587 Bad Check, piloted by 1/Lt. George S. McClellan, Jr.
US B/Gen. Robert F. Travis' (1BD Air Commander) Official Report of the German fighter attack probably describes how Grislawski’s Schwarm initiated the onslaught: ”The fighters started coming in at us in bunches. Our first attack was four FW-190s, next 30 FW-190s, next 12 and they just kept coming. They attacked straight through the formation from all angles without even rolling over.”
The Mission Report posted at 303rd BG’s website reads:
"#41-24587 Bad Check, piloted by 1Lt. George S. McClellan, Jr., was the first 303BG B-17 to be lost. The ship was last seen in distress at 12,000 feet going down in a tight turn. Another crew reported it going down in a slow spin with wheels down. Five parachutes were seen. Bad Check went down between 1055 and 1105 hours in the Lienen area and crashed about 20 miles southwest of Osnabruck. Lt. McClellan, 2Lt. William A. Fisher, T/Sgt. David Tempesta and T/Sgt. George A. Callihan were killed. T/Sgt. Callihan is buried in Ardennes
American Cemetery at Liege, Belgium. 2Lt. John C. Kaliher, 2Lt. Merlin L. Cornish, S/Sgt. Robert G. Yarian, S/Sgt. Barnell S. Heaton, S/Sgt. Alfred B. Chiles, Jr. and S/Sgt. Charles E. Dugan were captured and taken prisoner."
A photo of the crew may be seen here.
Page 224: Additional information on and by Kenneth Trott, who was shot down possibly by Grislawski on 13 July 1944.
From page 224 in the book:
“On 13 July British 2 TAF’s Wing Commander Baldwin led three 197 Squadron Hawker Typhoon fighter-bombers on an armed reconnaissance mission southeast of Cabourg. Grislawski led a group of III./JG 1 Bf 109s on a free hunting mission to the same area, and the two formations clashed violently. At 1815 hours, the Typhoon OV:A fell before Grislawski’s guns. Flying Officer Trott bailed out and was captured by German troops. Another group of Typhoons joined the combat; Squadron Leader Ahrens had led 257 Squadron to attack railyards at Vernewick, and on the return flight saw the combat commence and in turn bounced the Messerschmitts. Unteroffizier Kurt Senger’s Bf 109 White 9 was shot down (the pilot got killed)—it was claimed by both Wing Commander Baldwin and Flight Sergeant Shannon. In return, Herbert Kaiser blew Flight Sergeant Marriott’s 257 Squadron Typhoon out of the sky; Marriott followed Trott’s fate and ended up in German confinement. A third Typhoon, from 197 Squadron, was badly shot up before the combat ended.”
Kenneth Trott’s own account of the event appeared as the lead story in the 60th Anniversary D-Day edition of Wartime News:
”On 8 July, we landed at B3 St Croix on the beachhead and were due to stay a few days. We were about to return to Hurn on the evening of the 13th when we were briefed to conduct an armed recce over the Caen area. Four of us took off, led by Wing Commander Baldwin. I spotted an armoured carrier and requested permission to attack with my No 2. We strafed and immobilised the vehicle and were about to return to it when we received orders to get back up quickly as the others were being attacked by about thirty Me109s. We immediately took them on and I made a head-on attack which resulted in a collision. I was thrown from my aircraft, managed to pull my rip cord but then became unconscious. When I came to, I was hanging by my parachute from a tree surrounded by Germans, taken prisoner and subsequently spent the next ten months as a PoW, most of the time at Stalag Luft III.
In all, during the ten weeks of the Battle of Normandy, 150 Typhoon pilots lost their lives, while many others were taken prisoners of war. To commemorate this battle, and in particular the part played by the Typhoon, a memorial has been erected near the village of Noyers-Bocage, about ten miles south west of Caen.”
Now it is on the Internet:
See also Ken Trott’s website:
At that site, Trott states that he collided with a Bf 109:
”I was informed by the wing commander to rejoin him as they were being attacked by approx 30 ME 109's.
I quickly climbed up to about 4000 ft and spotted several 109's ahead of me just below broken cloud. I closed to make an attack but they had obviously seen us and broke to sweep past out of sight. By this time I was in cloud and on my own.
I broke cloud and noticed a solitary ME109 coming in my direction. I lined up for a head on attack firing my four cannons and, the next minute I realised I would have to break to avoid a collision As I did so my starboard wing collided with the wing of the 109. I felt my head hit the cockpit cover and my left shoulder the side of the cockpit, my helmet, oxygen mask, goggles and revolver holster were torn from my body and I hurtled into space with only my parachute intact. I realised I would have to pull my ripcord as my altitude was only about 3000 ft.”
It might be that Trott actually collided with a Bf 109, although none of the Bf 109 losses in the area on that day are attributed to an air collision. But it might also be that what Trott apprehended as a collision in fact was one of the 20-mm shells fired by (possibly) Grislawski which hit the wing of his Typhoon. It should also be remarked that apart from Grislawski, three other German pilots claimed altogether four more Typhoons shot down, while three Typhoons were actually shot down (one each from Nos. 197, 257 and 245 squadrons) in that engagement, with a third getting badly shot-up. Nevertheless, it appears as though Trott's aircraft was the first to get destroyed, and Grislawski was the first among the German pilots to claim a Typhoon shot down.
Click here to view some photos of the Typhoon which Trott flew earlier in the war. This however is not the one he was shot down in. Trott was shot down in Typhoon IB MN209 OV:A.
Page 298: Addition: Grislawski's 68th victory on 24 November 1942: On this day, these German fighter pilots claimed to have shot down three Soviet single-engine inline-engine fighters in the Caucasus area: Fw. Berthold Korts, a LaGG-3 at 0844 hours; Fw. Hans Dammers, a LaGG-3 at 1154 hours; and Grislawski, a LaGG-3 at 1155 hours. Due to Soviet records, 814 IAP/217 IAD lost two LaGG-3s, with a third that belly-landed, and 131 IAP/217 IAD registered two LaGG-3s that failed to return from a combat mission. (With acknowledgment to Nikita Yegorov.)
Page 298: Addition: Grislawski's 75th victory on 8 December 1942, a "MiG-1" most certainly was a misidentification for the LaGG-3 piloted by 862 IAP's Leytenant Amosov, which crashed burning southeast of Urukh. PQ 34 694 is the vicinity of Urukh. Other German fighter pilots claimed other Soviet single-engine inline-engine fighters in the Caucasus area, but none of them in the vicinity where Amosov's LaGG-3 was shot down. (With acknowledgment to Nikita Yegorov.)
Page 298: Addition: The Soviet fighter shot down by Grislawski's as
his 84th victory on 14 December 1942 may have been the one which, piloted by Kapitan Shevelev--one of the best pilots in 862 IAP--was shot down and
force-landed in the Semashki area, shortly after Shevelev had claimed a Bf 109
shot down. (With acknowledgment to Nikita Yegorov.)