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Hans-Joachim Jabs
14 November 1917(1917-11-14) ‚Äď 26 October 2003 (aged 85)
Hans-Joachim Jabs.jpg
Hans-Joachim Jabs
Place of birth L√ľbeck
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Balkenkreuz.svg Luftwaffe
Years of service 1936‚Äď1945
Rank Oberstleutnant
Unit ZG 76 and NJG 1
Commands held Nachtjagdgeschwader 1
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
Other work businessman

Hans-Joachim Jabs (14 November 1917 ‚Äď 26 October 2003) was both a day and night fighter ace[Notes 1] in the German Luftwaffe during World War II. 50 victories[Notes 2] were scored. Jabs flew variants of the Messerschmitt Bf 110 Zerst√∂rer heavy day fighter and night fighter.



Born in L√ľbeck in 1917, Jabs joined the Luftwaffe in 1937. Originally trained as a Messerschmitt Bf 109 pilot, Jabs was posted to Zerst√∂rergeschwader 76 (ZG 76), flying the Messerschmitt Bf 110, in March 1940.

A member of II/ZG 76, Jabs operated over France in mid 1940, claiming four French aircraft and RAF fighters. He then flew over the British Isles during the Battle of Britain. Despite the vulnerability of the Bf 110 against the more nimble Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft, and the heavy losses incurred, Jabs claimed eight Spitfires and four Hurricanes destroyed. By the end of the year Jabs was one of the top scoring Zestörer (destroyer) pilots, with 16 victories.

In 1941 the majority of the Bf 110 units were withdrawn from daylight fighting, and Jabs was transferred to night fighting and Defense of the Reich. Retrained by October 1941, Jabs joined Nachtjagdgeschwader 3 stationed near Hamburg, protecting the port and Kriegsmarine installations. Opportunities for scoring remained elusive however, with just one more kill by June 1942. In November 1942 he transferred to IV/NJG 1. By January 1944 he had 45 kills to his credit, and in March 1944 became NJG 1 Geschwaderkommodore.

On 29 April 1944 his Bf 110-G night fighter was caught on a daylight air test by a flight of six Spitfires from No. 132 Squadron RAF, led by 15-kill ace Squadron Leader Geoffrey Page. The Spitfires came in at too high a speed and as one Spitfire overshot Jabs shot down the Spitfire flown by P/O R. B. Pullin, which went down in flames and the pilot killed. F/O J.J. Caulton then attacked Jabs head-on, though the heavy forward armament of the 110 took effect and the stricken Spitfire glided around and belly-landed onto Deelen Air Base. Jabs then conducted a surprise forced landing, quickly scrambling for cover before his aircraft was destroyed by strafing.

Hans-Joachim Jabs was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (Eichenlaub zum Ritterkreuz des Einsernen Kreuzes) on 24 March 1944.

His wartime kill tally included 22 day kills and 28 night victories.

He became a businessman in Westphalia after the war.



  1. ^ For a list of Luftwaffe night fighter aces see List of German World War II night fighter aces
  2. ^ 28 victories at night


  1. ^ Obermaier 1989, p. 62.
  2. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 415.
  • Drewes, Martin (2002). Sombras da noite. Rio de Janeiro: Adler Editora. ISBN 85-89015-02-5.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Tr√§ger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945 (in German). Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuztr√§ger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 - 1945 (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 3-87341-065-6.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D. and Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 - 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II. Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 3-931533-45-X.
  • Schaulen, Fritjof (2004). Eichenlaubtr√§ger 1940 - 1945 Zeitgeschichte in Farbe II Ihlefeld - Primozic (in German). Selent, Germany: Pour le M√©rite. ISBN 3-932381-21-1.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuztr√§ger 1939‚Äď1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verb√ľndeter Streitkr√§fte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
  • Toliver, Raymond & Constable, Trevor, 1979. Horrido!. Bantam Books.

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Oberst Werner Streib
Commander of Nachtjagdgeschwader 1
March 1944 ‚Äď 8 May 1945
Succeeded by


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