Defense of The Reich
On 16 January 1945 Barkhorn was assigned as Geschwaderkommodore to Jagdgeschwader 6 (JG 6), a unit assigned to defend the Reich and equipped with the Focke-Wulf Fw 190D,(although he preferred to retain his Bf 109G as well). JG 6 was a unit consisting mostly of new recruits and former Bf-110 pilots; it suffered heavy losses against the American air fleets. Barkhorn did not last long in this position and was forced to take a medical absence because of severe physical and mental strain.
After his hospitalization Barkhorn was invited by Adolf Galland to join the elite Jagdverband 44 (JV 44) flying the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet-fighter. He found flying the Me 262 over the western front difficult and he did not score any victories in it. On 21 April 1945, he flew his 1104th and last mission. One of the engines of his aircraft flamed out as he was approaching an enemy bomber formation and he was forced to make an emergency landing. As he approached the airfield, his jet was attacked by several prowling P-51 fighters; Barkhorn managed to land his burning plane though he received a slight wound as a result of this action when the cockpit canopy - which he slid back prior to crash landing - slammed forward on his neck. Taken prisoner by the Western Allies while still in hospital, he was released from Allied captivity in September 1945.
Barkhorn claimed 301 victories in 1,104 operational sorties. His total included 110 Yak fighters, 87 LaGG fighters, 21 Il-2s and 12 twin-engined medium bombers. He was shot down 9 times, bailed out once and was wounded 3 times.
Other articles related to "defense of the reich, of the reich":
... to be employed on Reichsverteidigung (Defense of the Reich) operations, stationed near Vienna from October 1943 to March 1944, before moving to south Western Germany. 1944 and after a short period refitting was active in the Defence of the Reich ...
... The disastrous Me 210, designed to replace the Bf 110, encountered design difficulties and was replaced with the Me 410 Hornisse, which was a development of the Me 210 ... The Me 410s were extremely vulnerable in hostile skies, and by 1944 were nothing more than cannon fodder for marauding Allied "day" fighters ...
Famous quotes containing the words defense of and/or defense:
“From a bed in this hotel Seargent S. Prentiss arose in the middle of the night and made a speech in defense of a bedbug that had bitten him. It was heard by a mock jury and judge, and the bedbug was formally acquitted.”
—Federal Writers Project Of The Wor, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)
“He said, truly, that the reason why such greatly superior numbers quailed before him was, as one of his prisoners confessed, because they lacked a cause,a kind of armor which he and his party never lacked. When the time came, few men were found willing to lay down their lives in defense of what they knew to be wrong; they did not like that this should be their last act in this world.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)