Franz Eisenach
Major

Franz Eisenach

    Franz Eisenach was born on 11 August 1918 at Reetz in the Arnswalde region of Neumark. He became an officer cadet in 1937, and was made a Leutnant in the Luftwaffe in 1939. In 1940, and possibly into 1941, Eisenach served with II./ZG 76. In November 1941, he joined 1.(Erg.)/JG 51. In January 1942, he joined IV./JG 1, later renamed III/JG 5. Oberleutnant Eisenach was appointed Staffelkapitän of 12./JG 1 in June. In October of 1942, Eisenach was transferred to 9./JG 54, based at Krasnogvardeisk on the Eastern Front. On 8 November, during his 21st combat mission, Eisenach shot down P-40 fighter for his first victory. By the end of 1942 he had claimed three more victories. On 17 April 1943, Eisenach was appointed Staffelkapitän of 3./JG 54. In May his unit was equipped with the Fw 190 A fighter. On 24 May 1943, Eisenach claimed two Russian Il-2 Sturmovik ground-attack aircraft shot down for his 10th and 11th victories. On 8 July, he shot down a Russian Boston twin-engine bomber (21) but in the subsequent dogfight with escorting enemy fighters his aircraft was damaged necessitating an emergency landing. He sustained injuries in the incident, which required hospitalisation. Eisenach was awarded the Ehrenpokal on 31 August 1943. On 18 December 1943, after claiming two Il-2 Sturmoviks shot down (48-49), he was hit by flak while flying Fw 190A-6 (W.Nr. 530 391) "Yellow 3". Although seriously wounded, he successfully baled out. Oberleutnant Eisenach was awarded the Deutsches Kreuz on 16 January 1944. On 1 May, he was promoted to the rank of Hauptmann. In June 1944, he was serving with I./JG 54, based in Courland on the Eastern front. Eisenach recorded three victories on 26 June, when he shot down two Il-2 Sturmoviks and one Russian Yak-9 fighter (50-52). From July until August, he led 4./JG 54. Eisenach claimed 15 victories in July, including three victories on 24 July (59-61), a further three on 26 July (62-64) and five on 30 July (67-71).

Four Aces of the Jagdgeschwader 54

Four Aces of the Jagdgeschwader 54. From left: Hans-Ekkehard Bob (60 victories, RK), Waldemar Wübke (15 v., DK-G), Franz Eisenach and Günther Fink (46 v., RK, KIA on 15 May 1943).

    On 8 August 1944, Eisenach was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 54, replacing Horst Ademeit (166 victories, RK-EL), who went missing in action on 7 August. In August, he claimed 17 victories, including four on 3 August (73-76) and his 80th victory on 15 August. September was to be Eisenach’s most successful month. He claimed 19 victories, including, five Il-2 Sturmoviks and four Russian Pe-2 twin-engine bombers shot down on 14 September (92-100) and a further two Il-2 Sturmoviks and a Yak-9 fighter on 17 September (104-106). On 21 September, he was again seriously wounded during a bombing raid on his command post. He was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 10 October 1944 for his 107th victory and was sent on leave. He returned to the front on 15 December. Eisenach was promoted to the rank of Major on 1 January 1945. By 31 March, he had gained 22 more victories to achieve his final victory total of 129. Having survived the war and being incarcerated as a British POW, Major Franz Eisenach joined the Bundeswehr in 1956. He left the service in 1974 having attained the rank of Oberstleutant. He passed away on 21 August 1998.
    Franz Eisenach was credited with 129 victories in 319 missions. Some sources quote Eisenach’s final victory total as 154. Included in the total are 52 Il-2 Sturmovik ground attack aircraft.

Victory list provided by Sean Leeman
 
No
Date
Time
A/c Type
Unit
Location
1
8.11.1942
14:04
P-40 9./JG 54 Rjelbitzi/Siverskaya
2
9.12.1942
11:11
Il-2 9./JG 54 Demyansk 
3
30.12.1942
12:00
Mig-3 9./JG 54 Demyansk 
4
30.12.1942
12:30
Il-2 9./JG 54 Demyansk 
5
5.1.1943
8:46
Il-2 9./JG54 Isotscha
6
8.1.1943
9:25
Il-2 9./JG 54 Isotscha 
7
13.1.1943
13:22
Il-2 9./JG 54 Isotscha 
8
14.1.1943
9:30
LaGG-3 9./JG 54 Isotscha 
9
16.1.1943
13:40
LaGG-3 9./JG 54 Isotscha 
10
24.5.1943
19:28
Il-2 3./JG 54 -
11
24.5.1943
19:36
Il-2 3./JG 54 -
12
17.6.1943
5:16
P-40 3./JG 54 -
13
17.6.1943
5:20
LaGG-3 3./JG 54 -
14
5.7.1943
9:57
LaGG-5 3./JG 54 63 624 
15
5.7.1943
14:45
LaGG-3 3./JG 54 63 393 
16
6.7.1943
7:52
LaGG-5 3./JG 54 -
17
6.7.1943
14:12
LaGG-3 3./JG 54 -
18
6.7.1943
14:31
LaGG-5 3./JG 54 -
19
7.7.1943
8:32
Yak-7 3./JG 54 -
20
7.7.1943
14:12
P-39 3./JG 54 -
21
8.7.1943
8:06
Boston 3./JG 54 -
22
30.9.1943
11:45
Il-2 3./JG 54 -
23
30.9.1943
11:46
LaGG-3 3./JG 54 -
24
7.10.1943
15:40
Yak-9 3./JG 54 06 249 
25
9.10.1943
6:52
Yak-9 3./JG 54 -
26
9.10.1943
6:54
LaGG-3 3./JG 54 -
27
11.10.1943
7:05
Yak-9 3./JG 54 -
28
12.10.1943
12:52
Yak-9 3./JG 54 -
29
13.10.1943
8:40
Yak-9 3./JG 54 -
30
15.10.1943
13:38
P-39 3./JG 54 -
31
20.10.1943
9:10
Yak-9 3./JG 54 -
32
22.10.1943
15:25
La-5 3./JG 54 -
33
27.10.1943
14:52
LaGG-3 3./JG 54 -
34
28.10.1943
15:21
Yak-9 3./JG 54 -
35
28.10.1943
15:34
Yak-9 3./JG 54 -
36
5.11.1943
10:40
Yak-9 3./JG 54 -
37
5.11.1943
10:44
Yak-9 3./JG 54 -
38
5.11.1943
10:46
Yak-9 3./JG 54 -
39
6.11.1943
10:36
Yak-9 3./JG 54 -
40
10.11.1943
12:50
La-5 3./JG 54 -
41
10.11.1943
13:42
Il-2 3./JG 54 -
42
10.11.1943
13:43
Il-2 3./JG 54 -
43
17.11.2043
10:22
Yak-9 3./JG 54 -
44
15.12.1943
9:14
LaGG-3 3./JG 54 -
45
15.12.1943
11:37
Yak-9 3./JG 54 -
46
15.12.1943
11:40
Yak-9 3./JG 54 -
47
15.12.1943
11:52
Yak-9 3./JG 54 -
48
18.12.1943
10:52
Il-2 3./JG 54 -
49
18.12.1943
10:54
Il-2 3./JG 54 -
50
26.6.1944
10:40
Il-2 Stab /JG 54 88 471
51
26.6.1944
10:44
Il-2 Stab /JG 54 88 612
52
26.6.1944
10:46
Yak-9 Stab /JG 54 88 624
53
29.6.1944
12:35
P-39 Stab /JG 54 PT-4.5
54
30.6.1944
13:30
P-39 Stab /JG 54 PS-8.9
55
30.6.1944
18:15
P-39 Stab /JG 54 OT-4.4
56
30.6.1944
18:15
Il-2 Stab /JG 54 OT-4.6
57
2.7.1944
17:22
P-39 Stab /JG 54 Pyatnitsa
58
4.7.1944
17:17
P-39 Stab /JG 54 05 48
59
24.7.1944
7:45
Il-2 4./JG 54 70 861
60
24.7.1944
7:59
Il-2 4./JG 54 70 824
61
24.7.1944
19:53
Yak-9 4./JG 54 70 694
62
26.7.1944
16:52
Pe-2 4./JG 54 50 381
63
26.7.1944
16:55
Pe-2 4./JG 54 60 575
64
26.7.1944
16:57
Pe-2 4./JG 54 60 581
65
27.7.1944
16:56
Il-2 4./JG 54 70 692
66
28.7.1944
4:48
Il-2 4./JG 54 60 393
67
30.7.1944
8:20
Il-2 4./JG 54 70 682
68
30.7.1944
19:49
Il-2 4./JG 54 60 492
69
30.7.1944
19:52
Il-2 4./JG 54 70 397
70
30.7.1944
19:53
Yak-9 4./JG 54 60 496
71
30.7.1944
19:54
Il-2 4./JG 54 70 357
72
2.8.1944
13:07
La-5 4./JG 54 70 454 
73
3.8.1944
11:07
Yak-9 4./JG 54 70 661
74
3.8.1944
11:11
Il-2 4./JG 54 70 694
75
3.8.1944
11:20
Il-2 4./JG 54 70 613
76
3.8.1944
20:08
Il-2 4./JG 54 70 653
77
4.8.1944
9:18
Il-2 4./JG 54 70 692
78
5.8.1944
12:50
Pe-2 Stab I/JG 54 50 433
79
5.8.1944
13:07
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 50 268
80
15.8.1944
11:19
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 LF-8.7 
81
15.8.1944
17:40
P-39 Stab I/JG 54 LF-5.3 
82
23.8.1944
11:05
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 57 267
83
24.8.1944
18:55
Yak-9 Stab I/JG 54 37 395
84
26.8.1944
11:05
Yak-9 Stab I/JG 54 37 366
85
27.8.1944
14:54
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 58 897
86
27.8.1944
14:56
Yak-9 Stab I/JG 54 57 235
87
28.8.1944
11:26
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 57 237 
88
29.8.1944
18:55
Yak-9 Stab I/JG 54 37 525
89
12.9.1944
16:20
Pe-2 Stab I/JG 54 47 553
90
12.9.1944
16:23
P-39 Stab I/JG 54 47 572
91
12.9.1944
16:26
Pe-2 Stab I/JG 54 47 587
92
14.9.1944
11:52
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 57 215
93
14.9.1944
11:59
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 57 251
94
14.9.1944
16:34
Pe-2 Stab I/JG 54 37 264
95
14.9.1944
16:36
Pe-2 Stab I/JG 54 37 239
96
14.9.1944
16:36
Pe-2 Stab I/JG 54 37 263
97
14.9.1944
16:40
Pe-2 Stab I/JG 54 47 555
98
14.9.1944
18:18
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 47 376
99
14.9.1944
18:20
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 47 394
100
14.9.1944
18:21
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 47 531
101
15.9.1944
9:51
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 47 372
102
15.9.1944
10:05
Yak-9 Stab I/JG 54 47 346
103
15.9.1944
13:40
P-39 Stab I/JG 54 47 397
104
17.9.1944
9:40
Yak-9 Stab I/JG 54 47 451
105
17.9.1944
12:40
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 47 356
106
17.9.1944
12:50
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 47 365
107
19.9.1944
16:01
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 47 148
108
14.12.1944
12:11
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 7466
109
14.12.1944
12:15
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 7635
110
15.12.1944
11:01
Pe-2 Stab I/JG 54 17358
111
15.12.1944
11:04
Pe-2 Stab I/JG 54 17397
112
15.12.1944
11:05
Pe-2 Stab I/JG 54 17522
113
15.12.1944
11:08
Pe-2 Stab I/JG 54 17523
114
23.12.1944
8:46
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 27346
115
23.12.1944
8:47
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 27347
116
26.12.1944
10:02
Pe-2 Stab I/JG 54 37191
117
29.12.1944
10:55
Yak-9 Stab I/JG 54 27386
118
6.1.1945
11:31
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 37322
119
6.1.1945
11:33
Yak-9 Stab I/JG 54 37188
120
6.1.1945
11:46
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 37323
121
21.2.1945
13:40
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 17624
122
23.2.1945
16:30
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 17475
123
23.2.1945
16:31
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 17671
124
5.3.1945
9:06
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 27459
125
5.3.1945
9:07
Il-2 Stab I/JG 54 27481
126
5.3.1945
14:12
Yak-3 Stab I/JG 54 27465
127
6.3.1945
15:52
Yak-3 Stab I/JG 54 27464
128
19.3.1945
12:27
Pe-2 Stab I/JG 54 24361
129
19.3.1945
12:27
Pe-2 Stab I/JG 54 24354

Victories : 129
Awards : Ehrenpokal (31 August 1943)
                Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (16 January 1944)
                Ritterkreuz (10 October 1944)
Units : ZG 76, JG 1, JG 5, JG 54

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