ANTON HAFNER and EMIL 'BULLY' LANG - Wartime Signed Original Photo of Oak Leaves Presentation Ceremony
This is a VERY RARE Double Signed Wartime Hoffmann Press Photograph of the 'Oak Leaves' Presentation Ceremony that took place on the 5th May 1944 at the Berghof, Obersalzberg with Hitler and Goring.
The Photo shows the Oak Leaves recipients lined up and are - from Left to Right:-
Alfred GRISLAWSKI - JG1
Emil 'Bully' LANG - JG54
Gunther SCHACK - JG51
Otto KITTEL - JG54
Anton HAFNER - JG51 (shaking hands with Hitler)
The Photo measures 7 x 5 Inches and carries the Hoffmann Stamp on the reverse.
THIS IS A FABULOUS OPPORTUNITY TO OBTAIN A UNIQUE PIECE OF LUFTWAFFE HISTORY.
OBERLEUTNANT ANTON 'TONI' HAFNER - Knights Cross with Oak Leaves
Hafner served his entire wartime service with JG51 'Molders', which began in Russia in June 1941 with his first victories just days after the opening of Operation Barbarossa. He continued to score steadily until he had reached 60 victories. He was awarded the Knights Cross. He was then transferred to Tunisia where he was wounded in combat and spent 6 months in hospital.
In August 1943 he returned to the Stabstaffel JG51 back in Russia, where he flew the Fw190 with the same success as his previous Me109. His award of the Oak Leaves came when his score stood at 134 victories. He took over 8./JG51 and re-equipped with the Me109G scoring continuously - on 16th October 1944 he passed the 200 victory mark. The next day Hafner's Me109G clipped a tree during a dogfight and he crashed to his death.
Anton Hafner was the highest scoring Ace of JG51 'Molders' with 204 Victories
HAUPTMANN EMIL 'BULLY' LANG - Knights Cross with Oak Leaves
Lang joined JG54 in Russia in 1943 at the age of 34, which for a fighter pilot was considered 'very old'! Lang, however, was to prove deadly in combat and he was capable of shotting down multiple enemies. Flying the rugged Fw190 Lang claimed 101 victories in October - November 1943 (18 on 3rd November alone!) and he was quickly awarded the Knights Cross.
In April 1944 he was appointed StaKa 9./JG54 in the West and, during the Normandy landings in June, Lang claimed 15 victories over all major allied fighter types. On 28th June 1944 he was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of II/JG26 and during July and August he added another 14 victories to his total.
On 3rd September 1944 Lang took off in a Fw190A-8 'Green 1' that was suffering mechanical problems with it's undercarriage. His kette was intercepted by SpitfireXIV's of 41 Squadron and during the dogfight that followed Lang's Fw190 was seen diving vertically away with it's undercarriage leg extended - it crashed near St Trond.
Emil Lang had scored 173 Victories - 29 over the Invasion Front - the highest total of any Luftwaffe pilot.