Günther Seeger - Military Career

Military Career

He joined the Luftwaffe in 1937 and underwent his fighter pilot training at Werneuchen. Upon graduation, Ofw Seeger was posted to 3./ JG 2 in late February, 1940. He participated in the Battle of France and recorded his first victory on 8 June by shooting down a French Morane fighter near Soissons. During the Battle of Britain Seeger claimed a further three victories, including two RAF Spitfire fighters on 7 September. From 27 March to 19 June 1941, Seeger was transferred to Ergänzungsstaffel/ JG2 (JG 2's training squadron) as an instructor. He returned to front line duty in late June, with the Stab, or HQ flight, of JG2, where he flew as wingman for several famous aces including Wilhelm Balthasar, Walter Oesau, Rudolf Pflanz and Erich Leie. By November 1941, Seeger had 19 victories to his credit, when he was sent for a second stint as a trainer with Ergänzungsstaffel/ JG2.

He returned to 3./ JG2 again in January 1942. During the abortive Allied landings at Dieppe in August, Oberfeldwebel Seeger shot down three Spitfires. However, he was also shot down himself and had to bail out of his Fw 190 A-3 ('Yellow 14' W.Nr 0536) and fortunately escaped injury. In September, he was recalled to Stab/ JG 2 for a short time, before transferring at the beginning of November to the recently established high-altitude intercept squadron, 11./ JG2. Following the Torch landings in North Africa at the same time, the unit was immediately transferred to the Mediterranean theatre to operate from bases in Tunisia. Seeger had 24 victories to his credit at this time and had been promoted to the rank of Leutnant.

Seeger recorded nine victories over Tunisia before the unit retreated to Sicily. In February, 11./ JG2 was disbanded and absorbed into II./ JG53. Seeger was assigned to 7./ JG53, and operating over Sicily and southern Italy, Seeger added 14 further victories. With the fall of Sicily in July 1943, and surrender of Italy in early September, he was sent back to Germany to recuperate from a bout of malaria. Sadly, in October, during an Allied air raid on Offenbach his mother was killed and his father injured when their house was destroyed by the bombing. Returning to duty in November he was initially back with 7./ JG53, now re-equipped with Bf109G6s armed with 20 and 30mm cannons and even rockets to intercept American bombers flying over northern Italy and the Alps. At the end of January, III./ JG53 swapped roles with its fellow I./ JG53 taking up ground support missions against the recent Anzio landings, from Orvieto just north of Rome. Leutnant Seeger was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 26 March 1944 (for forty-six victories) and promoted to the rank of Oberleutnant. Seeger finally left Italy once and for all when he transferred for a short stint to gain leadership experience with the Stab flight of II./ JG53, now based in southern Germany, and led by his former squadron commander at 11./ JG2, Julius Meimberg. Because, in April, Seeger was appointed Staffelkapitän of 4./ JG 53. In combat against US fighters on 13 May, he was shot down near Pritzerbe in his Bf109G6 'White 1' and received minor head injuries in the crash-landing.

Following the Allied landings in Normandy on 6 June 1944, II./ JG53 was rushed to western France. Seeger claimed four victories (including his 50th on 2 July near Caen) before the decimated Gruppe was withdrawn back to Germany in mid-July. In August his squadron was renamed 7./ JG53, and continued its futile defence against overwhelming odds and better quality pilots and equipment to the end of the year. On 2 November he was injured in a vehicle accident, and he handed over command of the squadron. Seeger did not participate in Operation Bodenplatte, the attack on Allied airfields in Holland, Belgium and France on New Year's Day 1945 as he had been granted leave to marry. He stayed with 7./ JG53 for the rest of the war, but chronic fuel shortages limited flight-time and he claimed only two further victories. He managed to avoid capture, making his way home to Offenbach on foot.

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