Franz Dörr – Luftwaffe Fighter Ace

Franz Dörr

Franz Dörr 1

Franz Dörr was a World War 2 Luftwaffe Fighter Ace, born on 10 February 1913 in Mannheim. He was a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes), which was awarded for success in military leadership or extreme battlefield bravery.

Franz Dörr’s career had relatively humble beginnings. During the first campaigns of the war in Poland and France, Dörr served as a reconnaissance pilot flying the Fieseler Storch. During the spring of 1941, Feldwebel Dörr was transferred to 1.(Erg.)/Jagdgeschwader 3 (JG 3), under the command of Hans von Hahn, based in the Netherlands.

He claimed his first victory on 29 September 1941, when he shot down a Royal Air Force (RAF) Vickers Wellington twin-engine bomber in his Messerschmitt Bf 109E-7.

On 1 January 1942, 1.(Erg.)/JG 3 was re-designated 7./Jagdgeschwader 5 (JG 5) and relocated to the Northern front. By the end of 1942, Dörr had increased his victory total to 12. He claimed his 20th victory on 18 August 1943. Dörr was appointed Staffelkapitän of 7./JG 5 on 14 September 1943. By the end of 1943, Dörr had accumulated 37 aerial victories. May 1944 was to see Dörr begin an amazing series of victories: six victories on 16 May, four on 25 May, five on 26 May, four on 15 June, eight on 17 June, five on 27 June, seven on 28 June, five on 4 July and four on 17 July.

Oberleutnant Dörr was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 19 August 1944 for 99 victories. On 1 August 1944, Dörr was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 5. He claimed another six victories on 23 August to record his 100th through 106th aerial victories. In October 1944, Dörr claimed 22 Russian aircraft shot down, including six on 9 October and five on 21 October.

In November 1944, Franz Dörr with  IV./JG 5 returned to Southern Norway. Up to the end of the war, this unit formed the air defence against Allied raids on targets in Norway, principally the submarine bases at Trondheim and Bergen.

Franz Dörr survived the war. He died on 13 October 1972 in Konstanz.

During World War II Franz Dörr was credited with 128 victories in over 437 combat missions. All but one of his victories were claimed over the Eastern front, including 16 Il-2 Stormoviks.



  •  Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [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.
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 – 1945 [The Knight’s Cross Bearers of the Luftwaffe Fighter Force 1941 – 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.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D. (2008). Der Ehrenpokal für besondere Leistung im Luftkrieg [The Honor Goblet for Outstanding Achievement in the Air War] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-08-3.
  • 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 Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
  • Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. Ivy Books. ISBN 0-8041-1696-2.
  • 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.

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