I Flew for the Führer
Heinz Knoke ( March 24th, 1921 - May 18th, 1993 ) was born in Hamelin ( present - day Lower Saxony, Germany ). On July 6th, 1938, whilst watching an air display, he made his first flight, a fifteen - minute joy ride in an old transport aircraft and took the preliminary examination for entry into the Luftwaffe.
On November 15th, 1939, Heinz Knoke underwent flight training at No. 11 Flying Training Regiment at Schönwald ( present - day Brandeburg ), near Berlin and in August 1940 attended Jagdfliegerschule 1 at Werneuchen ( present - day Brandeburg ).
In early 1941, Heinz Knoke received his first combat posting, joining Jagdgeschwader 52 ( JG 52 ), II. Gruppe. Throughout the Second World War, Heinz Knoke took part in initial operations during " Operation Barbarossa " ( invasion of Soviet Union, June 1941 ), participated in " Operation Donnerkeil " ( protection of battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, February 1942 ) with Jagdgeschwader 1 ( JG 1 ), and fought over the Western theatre of operations, Austria and Nazi Germany. He assumed various commands as an operational fighter pilot and as an Officer Commanding of an air base as well.
Shot down five times and wounded three times, he was, at the end of the war, credited with 32 confirmed aerial victories, 1 shared, 5 unconfirmed and 5 damaged.
In September 1945, Heinz Knoke returned to civilian life. From 1951 to his retirement in October 1972, Heinz Knoke was involved in politics as a member of both the Socialist Reich Party and the Freie Demokratische Partei ( FDP, Liberal Democratic Party ). In the mid - 1980s, he joined Osnabrück University ( present - day Lower Saxony ) to study literature and philosophy.
Heinz Knoke passed away at Bad Iburg ( Osnabrück ), at the age of 72.
( sources : Wikipedia, franckruffino.chez.com )