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Hans Schleef
19 July 1920 – 31 December 1944
Place of birth Gross Boernecke, Germany
Place of death Bad Durkheim, Germany
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Balkenkreuz.svg Luftwaffe
Years of service 1939–1944
Rank Oberleutnant
Unit JG 3, JG 5, JG 4
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Hans Schleef (19 July 1920 – 31 December 1944) was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II.

In late 1940, Unteroffizier Schleef was posted to 7 staffel of Jagdgeschwader 3 then flying over the Channel front. He claimed his first victory on 5 February 1941, when he shot down a Hurricane over St Omer. His second claim was on 31 May, a Bristol Blenheim. transferring with the unit to the Eastern front, Schleef claimed 14 victories for July 1941. On 4 August, he then claimed three Russian I-16 'Ratas' downed. On 7 April Schleef was shot down in combat and managed to bale out safely behind enemy lines. He evaded capture, and returned to his unit four days later. Feldwebel Schleef was awarded the Ritterkreuz in May 1942 for 41 victories. He was then transferred to Ergänzung-Jagdgruppe Ost as an instructor in May 1942.

Leutnant Schleef returned to in January 1943 to 7./JG 3., and in April recorded his 60th victory, his 70th following on 2 June. On 5 July he was again shot down, forced-landing in the German lines. He later that day shot down another three enemy aircraft. On 6 July, Schleef claimed his 80th victory and his 90th on 30 July. In early August 1943, 7./JG 3 was transferred to Germany to fly anti-bomber sorties with Defense of the Reich.

He shot down his first B-17 bomber on 12 August, though he himself was shot down on 17 August. On 15 October 1943, Oberleutnant Schleef was appointed Staffelkapitän, 3./JG 3. On 23 March, Schleef taxied his Bf 109 G-5 into a taking off He 177 slipstream , which flipped Schleef’s aircraft over; Schleef was rescued with only minor injuries.

Schleef was transferred as Staffelkapitän of 8./JG 5 in July 1944. In October 1944, 8./JG 5 was redesignated 16./JG 4. Schleef was killed in aerial combat with RAF Spitfires near Bad Durkheim in a Bf 109 G-10 on 31 December 1944.

Hans Schleef was credited with 99 (and at least 2 unconfirmed) victories in over 500 missions. He recorded 91 victories over the Eastern front, including 15 Il-2 Sturmoviks. Of his eight victories recorded over the Western front, 2 were four-engine bombers.



  1. ^ Obermaier 1989, p. 195.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 - 1945 (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 3-87341-065-6.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.

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