Print ID: IN1
Helmut Wick joined the Luftwaffe in 1935 at the age of twenty. He was posted to Jagdgeschwader 2 "Richthofen" just before war broke out and scored his first aerial victory in November 1939. This was followed by a further twelve confirmed and two unconfirmed during the 1940 French campaign. His success continued into the Battle of Britain, reaching his 22nd victory on 26th August 1940, for which he was awarded the Knight's Cross. Yet more victories followed, and on 5th October 1940 he shot down five RAF fighters in a single day. This feat earned him the Oak Leaves Cluster for his Knight's Cross. Within two weeks he was promoted to Major (the youngest in the Luftwaffe), and given command of the now famous JG2.
On 6th November 1940, Wick again shot down five RAF fighters in a single day, and by 28th November his total had reached 55. This briefly made him the world's most successful fighter ace. Later that same day his unit became involved in combat over the Isle of Wight. Wick shot down yet another Spitfire (his 24th) but was then attacked by Flight Lieutenant John Dundas of No.609 Squadron. His Bf109 severely damaged, Wick was forced to bale out over the English Channel. His body was never found.