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Johannes Steinhoff Interview


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My favorite part...


WWII: Please describe your humorous encounter with a Lockheed P-38 pilot named Widen in Italy in 1944.

Steinhoff: This is a good story. I was test-flying an Me-109 with my aide near our base at Foggia. This was before I had been exiled from Germany, during my first tour as Kommodore of JG.77. Well, we were attacked at low level by a flight of P-38 Lightnings, about 100 American fighters in all, but the two of us figured, why not attack? We turned into them, and I flew through their formation going in the opposite direction, getting good strikes on a couple of them. I poured a good burst into this P-38 and the pilot rolled over, and I saw him bail out. I had this on gun camera also. Well, he was picked up and made a POW, and I invited him to my tent for a drink and dinner, as well as to spend the night. We drank some of the local wine... and drank and drank. I thought to myself, "What am I going to do with this guy?" Well, it was long after midnight, so I lay down in my tent and stretched my legs so I could reach his head. He woke up and said, "Don't worry, I won't run away, you have my word as an officer and a gentleman. Besides, you got me too drunk." We slept, and he kept his word, and I never placed a guard on him.


Its absolutely amazing to me to read things like that. Mind blowing. Plus hearing him say that his base was Foggia made me smile lol

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