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Siegfried Freytag
10 September 1917(1917-09-10) ‚Äď 1 June 2003 (aged 85)
Siegfried Freytag.jpg
Siegfried Freytag
Place of birth Danzig-Langfuhr
Place of death Marseille, France
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany (to 1945)
France France
Service/branch Luftwaffe
French Army
Rank Major (Wehrmacht)
Sergent-chef (Légion étrangère)
Unit JG 77, JG 51, JG 7
Commands held II./JG 77, JG 77
Battles/wars World War II
First Indochina War
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Other work French Foreign Legion

Siegfried Freytag (4 May 1917 in Danzig-Langfuhr ‚Äď 1 June 2003 in Marseille, France) was a German World War II fighter ace and member of the French Foreign Legion.


World War II

Freytag first served with 6./Jagdgeschwader 77 (JG 77) in the summer of 1940. His first victory was on 31 October 1940 when he claimed a Lockheed Hudson of Coastal Command. He, along with JG 77 then took part in the invasion of Greece and Crete in March ‚Äď May 1941. JG 77 then operated over the Eastern front. By June 1942 Oberleutnant Freytag had 57 victories to his credit, with some 12 aircraft destroyed on the ground, and he was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 3 July 1942.

Freytag was by now Staffelkapitän of 1./JG 77, and relocated to the Mediterranean theatre, operating against Malta from July until October 1942. Freytag was one of the most successful aces during these operations, claiming 21 victories, and raising his victory total to 78. He was shot down by Spitfires on 27 July, being rescued from the sea off Valetta by a Dornier Do 24 flying boat.

Operating over North Africa and Tunisia, Freytag scored 16 more victories. On 13 March 1943, Freytag was made Gruppenkommandeur, II./JG 77. He flew over Sicily but was shot down over Gela by P-38 Lightning fighters on 12 July, bailing out wounded of his stricken Bf 109 G-6. Following his recovery Freytag then commanded II./JG 77, on Reichsverteidigung (Defense of the Reich) duties based in Germany.

On 25 December, Freytag was appointed acting Geschwaderkommodore of JG 77 when Major Johannes Wiese was shot down and wounded.

Freytag may have shot down RCAF fighter ace Flt/Lt. Henry Wallace McLeod. Freytag claimed the only Spitfire for his 101st claim on 27 September 1944 in the Duisberg area.[1] He recorded his last (102nd) victory on 1 January 1945. Freytag was again appointed acting Kommodore of JG 77 on 7 March, following the death of Major Erich Leie.

On 4 April 1945, Freytag was transferred to the Geschwaderstab of Jagdgeschwader 51 (JG 5) but was soon transferred to Jagdgeschwader 7 (JG 7), operating the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter, where it was intended he become a Gruppenkommandeur. The war ended before he could take up the position.

Siegfried Freytag was officially credited with 102 victories. He claimed about 50 victories over the Eastern front. Among his victories claimed over the Western front are at least 3 four-engine bombers. Freytag had been nominated for the Oak Leaves to Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross but the war ended before the paperwork had been processed.

After the war

Siegfried Freytag survived World War II only to discover that all his family and friends had perished.[2] He then joined the French Foreign Legion as a regular infantry soldier. He fought in Indochina as an infantryman. He survived and ended up in the French Foreign Legion retirement home in Puyloubier, where he died on 1 June 2003.



  1. ^ According to Scherzer in the II./JG 77[4]


  1. ^ Siegfried Freytag
  2. ^ Siegfried Freytag
  3. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 186.
  4. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 319.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Tr√§ger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5
  • Johnson, J.E. Wing Leader. London: Goodall Publications Ltd. 2000 (original edition 1956). ISBN 0-907579-87-6.
  • 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. Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 - 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II. Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall, 2001. ISBN 3-931533-45-X.
  • 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.

Foreign Legion Retirement Home Mark Corcoran visit 2004

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Major Johannes Wiese
Acting Commander of Jagdgeschwader 77 Herz As
December 26, 1944 ‚Äď December 29, 1944
Succeeded by
Major Erich Leie
Preceded by
Major Erich Leie
Acting Commander of Jagdgeschwader 77 Herz As
March 7, 1945 ‚Äď March 31, 1945
Succeeded by
Major Fritz Losigkeit


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