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Capt Hans-Joachim "Jochen" Marseille
Birth: Dec. 13, 1919
Berlin-Mitte
Berlin, Germany
Death: Sep. 30, 1942, Egypt

German World War II Fighter Pilot, Ace, Knight's Cross Recipient, and recipient of the Italian Gold Medal for Bravery, he was known as "The Star of Africa." He had 158 confirmed kills, the highest total against the Western Allies. Educated at Prinz Heinrich Gymnasium in Berlin, he graduated in 1938, but did not go to college, instead joining the Luftwaffe as an officer candidate. His superiors considered him a brilliant pilot but a disciplinary headache, which repeatedly cost him promotion. After joining a training squadron during the Battle of Britain, he scored his first victory on his first combat mission, on August 24, 1940. By October, he had scored seven victories, and was transferred to a combat squadron, Jagdgeschwader (JG) 52, although again he was passed over for promotion. Due to his playboy reputation and continual disobedience of orders, he was transferred again, to JG 27, in December 1940. His new squadron leader recognized his potential, however, though it was clear even to him that Marseille's reputation was deserved, stating: "Marseille could only be one of two, either a disciplinary problem or a great fighter pilot." In April 1941, JG 27 went into action in North Africa. During his first few months in combat there, he often came home with aircraft damaged beyond repair, and no victories, and his squadron leader was beginning to lose patience. However, Marseille kept practicing (and eventually became known for his highly accurate deflection shooting) and worked hard to strengthen his body for the rigors of high-G aerial combat. By September of 1941, this practice and hard work had begun to pay off, as he claimed victories on September 24th over four British Hurricane fighters. By the end of 1941, his total had increased to 25 victories. With this success finally came promotions, and by May 1942, he was promoted to First Lieutenant and made a Group Leader in his squadron. By June 1942, he had reached 100 kills, including a solo fight against 16 British P-40's, where he shot down six, including three British aces. His greatest day in battle came shortly after two months leave in Germany: on September 1, he shot down a then record 17 aircraft in a single day (for which he was awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds, at the time Nazi Germany's highest military award), and was shortly thereafter promoted to Captain. But the end was soon to come. On a routine escort mission on September 30, he was flying an untested new model of his usual aircraft, a Messerschmitt Bf 109, on its first combat flight. On the return leg, his cockpit began filling with smoke. He rolled the aircraft on its back and bailed out, but he hit the tail of his aircraft on exit and plummeted to the desert floor, landing without his chute opening, south of Sidi Abdel Rahman. He was originally buried in the Heroes Cemetery in Derna, Libya, but his body was moved to its current location after the war. His original marker bore a one word epitaph: Undefeated. He was mentioned in the Wehrmacht Report six times. There is a cenotaph in the family plot in a Alt-Schöneberg, Berlin, cemetery. In 1957, a movie, "Der Stern von Afrika" (The Star of Africa), was made of his life in Germany. Today, a Luftwaffe base near Hamburg bears his name.
 (bio by: Kenneth Gilbert) 
 
Burial:
German Military Cemetery Tobruk
Tobruk
Al Butnan, Libya
Plot: Sarcophagus 4133
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Kenneth Gilbert
Record added: Nov 26, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 81058613
Capt Hans-Joachim Jochen Marseille
Added by: Kenneth Gilbert
 
Capt Hans-Joachim Jochen Marseille
Added by: Dieter Birkenmaier
 
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Rest in Peace, pilot. See you in Heaven.
- Mary
 Added: May. 29, 2014
Eric(Bubbi)Hartmann-352 and Adolph Galland-102, PLUS no telling how many more..Said you were,"THE BEST",I know you loved to drink,DANCE,---k and fly "THE BEST",The Messerschmitt-Bf-109,know you liked yellow,in like yellow-14,and,your desert kubelwagon,"OT...(Read more)
- Lemmie Lee
 Added: Oct. 14, 2013

- Brad Rebers
 Added: Jul. 10, 2013
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