Friedrich-Karl "Tutti" Müller
25 December 1916|
29 May 1944 27) (aged|
|Years of service||1935–44|
|Unit||JG 53, JG 3|
|Commands held||1./JG 53, IV./JG 3|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves|
Friedrich-Karl "Tutti" Müller (25 December 1916 – 29 May 1944) was a German World War II fighter ace who served in the Luftwaffe from 1935 until his death on 29 May 1944. A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat. He is credited with 140 aerial victories claimed in more than 600 combat missions. He claimed 8 aerial victories during the Battle of France, 89 on the Eastern Front, and 51 victories against the Western Allies, including 17 four-engined bombers.
At the start of World War II, Müller was a Leutnant with 8 Staffel of Jagdgeschwader 53 (JG 53). His first claim was an Armée de l'Air Curtiss Hawk on 27 May 1940. Müller flew through the Battle of Britain adding two Royal Air Force (RAF) fighters to his 8 claims after the French campaign.
Müller was involved in operation over the Russian Front from June 1941 and by the beginning of September 1941, had 20 kills. In November, Müller was made Staffelkapitän of 1 Staffel of JG 53. In spring 1942, 1./JG 53 were posted to the Mediterranean air bases in Sicily. Müller claimed 3 Hawker Hurricanes over Malta.
In May 1942, I./JG 53 was back on the Eastern Front. In August, Müller claimed some 25 victories, and in September claimed a further 35 victories. Oberleutnant Friedrich-Karl Müller received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) on 19 September 1942 following a series of 18 enemy aircraft destroyed: four on 16 September, five on 17 September, seven on 18 September and two on 19 September. On the latter day he claimed his 100th and 101st aerial victories. He was the 23rd Luftwaffe pilot to achieve the century mark. Together with Wilhelm Crinius he received the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes with Oak Leaves) on 23 September 1942.
In November 1942, Hauptmann Müller was appointed Gruppenkommandeur I./JG 53 and led the unit to Tunisia. Up to April 1943 Müller claimed another 12 victories to raise his score to 115. In May, after 3 further victories over Sicily and Italy Müller was suffering nervous and combat fatigue, and embarked on enforced leave. By February 1944, Major Müller was then appointed Gruppenkommandeur 'Sturmgruppe' IV./Jagdgeschwader 3 (JG 3) operating in Defense of the Reich sorties. He claimed three United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) four-engined bombers on 8 March to record his 122nd victory. On 24 March 1944, Major Müller was then appointed Geschwaderkommodore of JG 3.
Müller was killed in a landing accident at Salzwedel on 29 May 1944, when his Bf 109 G-6 (Werknummer 410827—factory number) stalled on landing approach at low altitude. He was posthumously promoted to Oberstleutnant.
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (13 December 1943)
- German Cross in Gold on 15 November 1943 as Major in the I./JG 53
- Iron Cross (1939)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
- Eastern Front Medal (Medaille Winterschlacht Im Osten 1941/42)
- Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe in Gold with pennant (after 500 mission)
- Pilot badge
- Wehrmacht Long Service Award for 4 years
- Mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht on 19 April 1944
- According to Fellgiebel as Staffelkapitän of the 8./JG 53 on 14 September 1941. Both Obermaier and Scherzer give 19 September 1942 as the presentation date.
- Both Fellgiebel and Scherzer state that Müller received the Oak Leaves while serving with 1./JG 3 "Udet", while Prien states that he was serving with 1./JG 53. 1./JG 53 seems to be correct based upon the chronicles of JG 53 which details the chain of events leading to the awarding of Oak Leaves just 4 days after the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) . Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.
- Nietrug, Gerd (2004). Die Ritterkreuzträger des Saarlandes 1939 – 1945. Zweibrücken: VDM Nickel. ISBN 3-925480-93-5.
- Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 – 1945 [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Luftwaffe Fighter Force 1939 – 1945] (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 978-3-87341-065-7.
- Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8.
- Prien, Jochen (1998). Jagdgeschwader 53 A History of the "Pik As" Geschwader May 1942 – January 1944. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Military History. ISBN 978-0-7643-0292-3.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
- Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. New York: Ivy Books. ISBN 978-0-8041-1696-1.
- Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9.
- Weal, John (2001). Bf 109 Aces of the Russian Front. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-084-1.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 3, 1. Januar 1944 bis 9. Mai 1945 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 3, 1 January 1944 to 9 May 1945] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2.
Oberst Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke
|Commander of Jagdgeschwader 3 Udet
24 March 1944 – 29 May 1944
| Succeeded by|
Major Heinrich Bär
Oberstleutnant Günther Freiherr von Maltzahn
|Acting Commander of Jagdgeschwader 53 Pik As
October 1943 – October 1943
| Succeeded by|
Major Kurt Ubben