Alfred "Martello" Hammer
Hauptmann

Alfred Hammer

    Alfred “Martello” Hammer joined JG 53 in November 1941, based on the Dutch coast. Leutnant Hammer was assigned to 4./JG 53. In December 1941, II./JG 53 relocated to the Mediterranean theatre. Hammer flew combat missions over Malta escorting bombers and freie Jagd and fighter-bomber missions against Malta’s airfields. On 20 June 1942, Hammer recorded his 200th mission of which 198 had been flown during II./JG 53’s operations over Malta since December 1941. In summer 1942, II./JG 53 operated from the island of Pantelleria occasionally flying over Malta as well as escort missions for attacks on British supply convoys. On 14 May 1942, Hammer crash-landed his damaged Bf 109 F-4 (W.Nr. 7553) at Comiso in Sicily following aerial combat over Malta with RAF Spitfire fighters. It is thought Hammer had been shot up by Australian ace John “Tony” Boyd (5.666 destroyed, 5 probables and 11 damaged victories, killed in action 14 May 1942) of 185 Sqn, RAF. Hammer recorded his first victory on 25 October during his 271st combat mission. He shot down a RAF Spitfire fighter over Malta. Hammer recorded his second victory during operations over Tunisia on 4 March 1943. He claimed a USAAF P-38 twin-engine fighter shot down on his 299th combat mission. During the final evacuation of Tunisia, Hammer was able to fly four men out in his Bf 109’s baggage compartment on four separate missions. On 10 July 1943, now operating from bases in Sicily, Hammer shot down a Spitfire for his sixth victory. However, he then suffered engine failure in his Bf 109 G-6 (W.Nr. 183 98) “White 14 + -“ necessitating a belly-landing southwest of Gerbini. He was fortunate to escape injury. Leutnant Hammer was appointed Staffelkapitän of 6./JG 53 on 28 July 1943. On 20 August, II. and III./JG 53 were scrambled to intercept a formation of four-engine bombers with a strong fighter escort. The bombers were targetting Capua in Italy. In the subsequent aerial combat, 14 USAAF P-38 twin-engine fighters were claimed by JG 53 pilots, including one by Hammer as his seventh victory. On 7 January 1944, now based at Vienna-Seyring operating on Reichsverteidigung duties, II./JG 53 were scrambled to intercept a large formation of bombers targetting Vienna.

Lt. Alfred Hammer with his mother by the tail of his Bf 109 G-6/R6 Yellow 1
Lt. Alfred Hammer with his mother by the tail of his Bf 109 G-6/R6 "Yellow 1". The photo was taken on 12 February 1944 at Vienna-Seyring.

    At an altitude of 8,000m they intercepted 20 to 25 P-38 twin-engine fighters. In the ensuing combat, which drifted south and ended at low-level over northern Yugoslavia, II./JG 53 claimed 15 P-38s shot down, including one by Hammer as his 10th victory. On 24 February, Hammer was wounded in the right leg by defensive fire from USAAF four-engine bombers targetting the Steyr works at Linz. He was forced to land at Linz due to blood loss from his wounds and was hospitalised at Wels. Hammer was again wounded on 13 June 1944, operating over the Invasion front, in aerial combat with USAAF B-24 four-engine bombers and their P-51 fighter escort near Vannes in France. He baled out near Gail. On 29 December, Hauptmann Hammer fell ill and was temporarily withdrawn from combat duty. On 9 January 1945, Hammer was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of IV./JG 53 based at Echterdingen in Germany performing Reichsverteidigung duties. He led the unit until the end of the war.
    “Martello” Hammer was credited with 26 victories in approximately 500 missions. All his victories were recorded over the Western front and included two four-engine bombers, eight Thunderbolts and five Lightnings .
 
No
Date
Time
A/c Type
Unit
Location / Comments
1
25.10.1942
16:52
Spitfire 4./JG 53 Malta / Spitfire of 126 Sqn, RAF
2
4.3.1943
15:12
P-38 4./JG 53 20km S La Galite
3
9.6.1943
14:01
P-38 II./JG 53 8 km S Pantalleria
4
4.7.1943
14:16
B-26 II./JG 53 50km SW Gela
5
9.7.1943
10:57
P-40 II./JG 53 10km E Capo san Vito
6
10.7.1943
16:42
Spitfire II./JG 53 8km W San Pietro
7
20.8.1943
12:42
P-38 6./JG 53 Near Capua
8
22.8.1943
12:21
B-26 6./JG 53 100km SW Capri
9
2.9.1943
13:41
P-38 6./JG 53 10km SW Ventotene
10
7.1.1944
11:53
P-38 6./JG 53  
11
30.1.1944
12:31
B-24 6./JG 53 Near Udine
12
22.2.1944
13:04
B-24 6./JG 53 Near Altötting am Inn
13
23.8.1944
14:08
Piper L-4 6./JG 53 Dollot
14
28.9.1944
17:35
P-47 6./JG 53 La Petit Pierre
15
2.10.1944
15:40
P-51 6./JG 53 15km S Lunéville
16
8.10.1944
15:04
P-47 6./JG 53 Near Worms
17
29.10.1944
11:46
P-51 6./JG 53 Bruchsal area
18
1.12.1944
15:30
P-51 6./JG 53  
19
24.12.1944
-
B-26 6./JG 53 Near Offenberg
20
14.1.1945
9:38
P-47 Stab IV./JG 53 S Karlsruhe
21
14.1.1945
9:39
P-47 Stab IV./JG 53 S Karlsruhe
22
15.2.1945
9:16
P-47 Stab IV./JG 53 Near Karlsruhe
23
28.2.1945
15:47
P-47 Stab IV./JG 53 Near Karlsruhe
24
19.3.1945
9:13
P-47 Stab IV./JG 53  
25
11.4.1945
10:51
P-47 Stab IV./JG 53  
26
14.4.1945
17:21
Auster Stab IV./JG 53 Crailsheim-Rastatt

Victories : 26
Awards : Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Units : JG 53

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