Leopold Münster rammed a B-24 Liberator Mid-Air as last Kill

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Leopold Münster

Leopold Münster was born on 13th December 1920 as son of Leopold Münster in Pohorsch near Odrau, Orbital Neutitschein/ Sudetenland. At the age of 5  he already was a young athlete of the Turnerjugend of the Sudetendeutschen Turnenverband. He visited the Volksschule in Pohorsch and afterwards the Bürgerschule in Odrau.

Later on he became Gebietsführer in the Sudetendeutsche Turnerjugend in Kuhländchen. Short after the annexation of Czechoslovakia (Sudetenland) to the German Fatherland, he became a SA-Sturmmann of the Sturm 31/100 Odrau and volunteered on the 7th of January 1939 for the Luftwaffe. Münster was trained in several flying school and applied to become a Fighter Pilot.

After his apprenticeship to Pilot he was transferred and deployed for assaults against the British Islands, afterwards he took part in the aerial fighting in the South, mostly over North-Africa and Malta. Following, he came in 1941 to II. Gruppe/ Jagdgeschwader 3 and put into action at the Channel Coast for Sperrflügen. Than Leopold flew from June 1941 with the II. Gruppe/ Jagdgeschwader 3 under Hauptmann Gollob against the Sovjet-Union, where he was counted as one of the best. After countless Abschüsse – earning the Iron Cross 2. Class and 1. Class – he was awarded the Ehrenpokal für besondere Leistungen im Luftkrieg. Further he was decorated the Flying Clasp in Gold and German Cross in Gold.

Portrait of Leutnant Leopold Münster

Portrait of Leopold Münster

The ambitious goal, the defeat of his enemy in mind, inspired the brave, young man to bold such deeds, as was each individual of his previously 51 victories in air combat. Leopold Münster had shown not only in dogfights high flying skills, he also inflicted considerable damage to the enemy in many low-level attacks. He stressed the absolute hardness of the struggle in Russia and at Stalingrad in particular.  He had until November 1942 no fewer than 350 sorties behind him. Feldwebel Münster was since 21 November 1942 in the home hospital in Troppau, where he would had to undergo a surgery.

After his health began to become better, he came to his home community Pohorsch, which counted 382 inhabitants, on convalescent leave. Here he received the news that he was awarded, for his 51st Aerial victory, on 21 December 1942 as sergeant (Feldwebel) and pilot in the II. Gruppe/ Jagdgeschwader 3 “Udet” the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernes Kreuzes). Afterwards in December 1942 and January 1943 he was given various honors. The Mayor of Pohorsch, Alois Ullrich gave him a certificate of honor. Other gifts of honor, inter alia an honor dagger with engraved dedication was given to him by the mayor of the city Neutitschein, the suburb of Kühlandchens congratulated the acclaimed and appropriated him as an honorary gift a painting of local artist Dr. Franz Sokol.

In February 1943, he took farewell of his home, so he could return to the Eastern Front to his old unit again.

Announcement of Leopold Münster's death.

Announcement of Leopold Münster’s death.

Later he was in August 1943 with the II. Gruppe/ Jagdgeschwader 3 “Udet” for the defense of the Reich, where almost daily attacks against American bomber streams were to survive. In rapid succession, he increased his Abschußquote and reported on 4 October 1943 his 77th Aerial victory. 9 October 1943 he scored his 78th Aerial victory, on 10 October 1943 his 79th and 80th Aerial victory. On 29 November 1943 he shot down two enemy aircraft, it were his 81st and 82 Aerial victory. As an unusually good shooter he soon had the most Abschüsse in the West of his Gruppe. On 1 April 1944 he was promoted to lieutenant (Leutnant) for bravery shown in front of the enemy.

Death

On 8 May 1944 after a fierce air battle, he was in a promising position behind a four-engine enemy bomber and its so secure prey threatened to escape after firing all his ammunition, Leutnant Münster decided to ram his Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 “Schwartze 1” (Werkenummer 441142) into the B-24 Liberator and therewith bringing down his 95th enemy aircraft. As a result from the explosion of the B-24 Liberator bomber, Leutnant Munster, Kapitän of the 4. Staffel der II. Gruppe/ Jagdgeschwader 3 “Udet”, died above Wöllersheim, southeast of Hildesheim a pilot’s death (“Fliegertod“).

The Oak Leaves to the Knight’s Cross (Eichenlaub zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) was posthumously awarded to him for highest commitment on 12 May 1944 as 471th Soldier of the German Wehrmacht. It reminds duty to bow in awe for such brave soldiers and to keep them in our memory forever. Leutnant Lepold Münster had recorded a total of 95 victories, of which about 25 in the West and at least eight four-engined bombers.


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