Rolf Pingel

Rolf Pingel (1 October 1913 – 4 April 2000) was a German Luftwaffe military aviator and fighter ace during Spanish Civil War and World War II. He is credited with six aerial victories during the Spanish Civil War and further 22 aerial victories on the Western Front of World War II. He flew about 550 combat missions, including approximately 200 in Spain.

Born in Kiel, Pingel grew up in the Weimar Republic. He joined the military service in the Luftwaffe and was trained as a fighter pilot. During the Spanish Civil War, he volunteered for service in the Condor Legion. In Spain, he claimed his first aerial victory on 5 June 1937. For his service in Spain, he was decorated with the Spanish Cross in Gold with Swords. During World War II, Pingel claimed his first victory on 10 September 1939 as a squadron leader of 2. ''Staffel'' (2nd squadron) of ''Jagdgeschwader'' 53 (JG 53–53rd Fighter Wing). In August 1940, Pingel was transferred to ''Jagdgeschwader'' 26 "Schlageter" (JG 26—26th Fighter Wing) where he became a group commander. There, he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 14 September 1940. On 10 July 1941, his Messerschmitt Bf 109 was damaged in combat, resulting in a forced landing near St Margaret's at Cliffe and was captured by the British Home Guard. He was released in 1947 as a prisoner of war. Pingel died on 4 April 2000 in Lollar, Germany. Provided by Wikipedia
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