Lothar Keller
Hauptmann

Lothar Keller

 
    Lothar Keller was born on 7 April 1914 at Dresden. Keller served in the Spanish Civil War with the Condor Legion. Leutnant Keller was assigned to 1. Staffel of J 88 from spring until the end of 1938. He claimed three victories during the conflict. Keller was awarded the Spanienkreuz in Gold mit Schwertern. At the outbreak of World War 2, Keller was serving with 1./JG 3. On 1 February 1940, Oberleutnant Keller was appointed Staffelkapitän of 1./JG 3. He claimed ten victories during the French campaign, including his 10th on 23 May, when he shot down a RAF Spitfire fighter near Béthune. Keller participated in the Battle of Britain. He claimed a further seven victories over England during 1940. However, on 5 September, he participated in the escort of a bomber formation which RAF fighters intercepted after the bombers had dropped their bombs on oil tanks in the Thames Estuary area. Oberleutnant Keller’s Bf 109 E-1 (W.Nr. 3882) was hit in the radiators in the subsequent aerial combat. He managed to nurse his damaged aircraft across the Channel to a point near Calais airfield where made a forced-landing, fortunately without injury. On 11 September, Keller participated in the escort of Ju 88 twin-engine bombers tasked with bombing London. However, anti-aircraft fire near Dover forced the bombers to jettison their bombs and turn back. In the process, Keller collided with a colleague. He managed to bale out of his spinning Bf 109 E-4 (W.Nr. 5276) landing in the Channel. Keller’s colleague succeeded in bringing his damaged machine back to base and alerted the air-sea rescue service. An inflatable raft was dropped to Keller and a boat rescued him 90 minutes later. On 24 November 1940, Keller was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 3, based at Arques in France. He led the Gruppe during the invasion of Russia. On 22 June, he claimed four Russian fighters shot down to record his 17th through 20th victories. Keller collided with a Fi 156 observation aircraft near Stojanow and was killed in the resulting crash on 26 June 1941. He was posthumously awarded the Ritterkreuz on 9 July.
    Lothar Keller was credited with 23 victories. He recorded three victories during the Spanish Civil War and 16 victories over the Western front.
 
No
Date
Time
A/c Type
Unit
Location / Comments
1
13.6.1938
-
I-15 1./J 88 Spain
2
15.7.1938
-
I-15 1./J 88 Spain
3
19.8.1938
-
I-16 1./J 88 Spain
4
14.5.1940
-
Morane 406 1./JG 3 NW Dinant
5
17.5.1940
12:30
Curtiss 1./JG 3 S St Quentin
6
17.5.1940
12:30
Curtiss 1./JG 3 S St Quentin
7
19.5.1940
16:40
Spitfire 1./JG 3 Philippeville
8
21.5.1940
-
Morane 406 1./JG 3 Cambrai
9
21.5.1940
-
Morane 406 1./JG 3 Cambrai
10
23.5.1940
14:10
Spitfire 1./JG 3 Béthune
11
31.5.1940
19:35
Morane 406 1./JG 3 S Amiens
12
10.6.1940
9:35
Caudron 710 1./JG 3 Dreux
13
10.6.1940
9:37
Caudron 710 1./JG 3 Dreux
14
18.8.1940
-
Hurricane 1./JG 3 -
15
26.8.1940
-
Hurricane 1./JG 3 Thames Estuary
16
31.8.1940
-
Spitfire 1./JG 3 E London
17
7.9.1940
-
Morane 1./JG 3 Rochester
18
15.9.1940
-
Spitfire 1./JG 3 London area
19
10.2.1941
17:42
Hurricane II./JG 3 E Dover
20
22.6.1941
7:28
I-16 II./JG 3 Dubno area
21
22.6.1941
7:44
I-153 II./JG 3 Dubno area
22
22.6.1941
18:42
I-153 II./JG 3 Dubno area
23
22.6.1941
18:50
I-16 II./JG 3 Dubno area

Victories : 23
Awards : Ritterkreuz (9 July 1941)
Units : JG 3

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