Luftwaffe’s Night Fighter

Oberleutnant Paul Gildner
(1914-1943)

Shortly after my last post, I found a book on Amazon that was written about the 420 RCAF Squadron, which I quickly ordered to continue my investigation into Uncle Billy.

Last night the book arrived and I poured through it and came upon a paragraph about Uncle Billy’s first/last mission. Included in the details was the name of the Ace Pilot in the Luftwaffe’s Night Fighter division, that that claimed the downing of my uncle’s plane. Apparently this guy flew 160 combat missions and claimed 48 victories, 46 at night. Sadly he too was shot down and died about a year after Billy.

German day and night fighter pilots claimed roughly 70,000 aerial victories during World War II. Due to the worsening war situation for Germany and Luftwaffe policies, night fighter aces remained in frontline roles until they were killed or wounded in combat or no longer capable of flying due to exhaustion. Continue reading

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