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Fw 190A-4 of I./JG 54 (Werk Nr 410004) of Walter Nowotny

(Rus)  Fw 190A-6 of I./JG 54 (Werk Nr 410004) of Walter Nowotny.

Major Walter "Nowi" Nowotny (7 December 1920 – 8 November 1944) was an Austrian-born German fighter ace of World War II. He is credited with 258 aerial victories in 442 combat missions. Nowotny achieved 255 of these victories on the Eastern Front and three while flying one of the first jet fighters, the Messerschmitt Me 262, in the Defense of the Reich.

He scored most of his victories in the Focke-Wulf Fw 190, and approximately 50 in the Messerschmitt Bf 109. He was credited with three victories in this aircraft model before being killed in a crash following combat with United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) fighters on 8 November 1944.

... Nowotny radioed that he had downed a B-24 Liberator and a P-51 Mustang before he reported one engine failing and made one final garbled transmission containing the word "burning".

Helmut Lennartz recalled: "I remember Nowotny's crash very well. Feldwebel Gossler, a radio operator with our unit, had set up a radio on the airfield. Over this set I and many others listened to the radio communications with Nowotny's aircraft. His last words were, "I'm on fire" or "it's on fire". The words were slightly garbled.

Many witnesses observed Nowotny's Me 262 A-1a, Werk Nummer (factory number) 110 400, "White 8" dive vertically out of the clouds and crash at Epe, 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) east of Hesepe, Germany."

After his death, the first operational jet fighter wing, Jagdgeschwader 7 "Nowotny", was named in his honor. Walter Nowotny's grave remains unclear whether Nowotny was killed due to engine failure or whether he was shot down by United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) Captain Ernest Fiebelkorn (20th Fighter Group) and 1st Lieutenant Edward "Buddy" Haydon (357th Fighter Group) east of Hesepe. In recent years, United States military historians proposed that Nowotny's victor may have been P-51D pilot Lieutenant Robert W. Stevens of the 364th Fighter Group.


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