Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Marseille, Hans-Joachim (1919–1942)

Luftwaffe fighter pilot and leading German ace on the Western Front. Born in Berlin on 13 December 1919, Hans-Joachim Marseille joined the Luftwaffe in 1938. Though a gifted flyer, he chafed at military discipline. This fact, coupled with his "playboy" attitude, landed him in trouble numerous times. Transferred to Jagdgeschwader (fighter wing) 27 in North Africa following the Battle of Britain, Marseille found the command climate there more tolerant. Sometimes called the "Star of North Africa," he was noted for his uncanny ability at deflection shooting and running up multiple victories, or kills, in a single day. His best day was 1 September 1942, when he was credited with shooting down 17 British aircraft during three sorties. He died shortly thereafter, in a flying accident over Alam Halfa on 30 September. His final tally was 158 victories. Just before his death, he was promoted to captain and was awarded the Diamonds to the Knight's Cross.

M. R. Pierce


Further Reading
Musciano, Walter. Messerschmitt Aces. New York: Arco Publishing, 1982.; Toliver, Raymond F., and Trevor J. Constable. Fighter Aces of the Luftwaffe. Fallbrook, CA: Aero, 1977.
 

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