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Erich Leie

German flying ace

Died when: 28 years 178 days (341 months)
Star Sign: Virgo


Erich Leie

Erich Leie (10 September 1916 – 7 March 1945) was a German Luftwaffe military aviator and wing commander during World War II.As a fighter ace, he is credited with 121 aerial victories claimed in more than 500 combat missions.

He claimed 44 on Western Front, 77 on the Eastern Front, including one four-engine bomber.Born in Kiel, Leie grew up in the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany.

In 1939, he served with Jagdgeschwader 51 (JG 51—51st Fighter Wing) before he was transferred to Jagdgeschwader 2 "Richthofen" (JG 2—2nd Fighter Wing) in early 1940.

Flying with this wing, Leie claimed his first aerial victory on 14 May during the Battle of France and received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 1 August 1941.

In June 1942, he was given command of I.Gruppe of JG 2.In 1943, he transferred back to JG 51 where he commanded I.

Gruppe.This unit fought on the Eastern Front where he claimed his 100th aerial victory on 6 November 1943.In December 1944, he was given command of Jagdgeschwader 77 (JG 77—77th Fighter Wing).

Leie was killed in action on 7 March 1945.Posthumously, he was promoted to Oberstleutnant (lieutenant colonel) and nominated for the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves.

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