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"'Dolfo" joined in 1934 and was commissioned a Leutnant late that year. He distinguished himself during the Spanish Civil War and was decorated with many honors including one of only 27 to be decorated with the Spanish Cross with Diamonds.
When the Polish Campaign, the beginnings of World War II, began ADOLF GALLAND flew his old Henschel HS 126 biplane, was decorated with the Iron Cross 2nd Class, and he was promoted to Hauptmann (Captain).
He really came into his own when his squadron received the new Messerschmitt Bf 109 and he began to score victory after victory. By this time he was a Major and after his 17th victory, he was decorated with the Knights Cross.
Leading his elite squadron during the Battle of Britain, he had downed a total of 40 enemy aircraft and he was decorated with the Oak Leaf to his Knights Cross - presented to him by Adolf Hitler himself. On 1 November 1940, he was promoted to the rank of Oberstleutnant (Lt. Colonel.)
Still on the Western Front, he reached a total of 69 aerial victories and on 21 June 1941, he was awarded the Crossed Swords to his Knights Cross. Then on 9 August 1941, Galland learned that one of the pilots he shot down was none other than famed British pilot Douglas Bader! "Dolfo" had Bader brought to his airfield and allowed him to sit at the controls of his Bf 109, then Bader was sent to POW camp - with a box of Galland's best cigars. After the war they became good friends.
He was promoted to Oberst (Colonel) on 4 December 1941 then on 28 January 1942, he was awarded the Diamonds to his Knights Cross after his 94th aerial victory.
The rest of his history is well known. "Dolfo" was a good and supportive Member of Sharkhunters and we were in contact for some years before his passing.
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