Hans-Karl Mayer
Hauptmann

Hans-Karl Mayer

    Hans-Karl “Mayer-Ast” Mayer was born on 8 March 1911 at Rufach in the Gebweiler region of Elsaß. Mayer served in the Spanish Civil War with the Condor Legion. Leutnant Mayer was assigned to 1. Staffel of J 88. He was one of the more successful German pilots participating in this conflict gaining eight victories. Mayer was awarded the Spanienkreuz in Gold mit Schwerten for his accomplishments in Spain. On his return to Germany, Mayer was posted to JG 53. Oberleutnant Mayer was assigned to 1./JG 53. On 3 October 1939, he was appointed Staffelkapitän of 1./JG 53. He claimed his first victory of World War 2 on 5 November 1939, when he shot down a French Potez 63 twin-engine reconnaisance aircraft. Mayer claimed eight victories during the French campaign, including five enemy aircraft shot down on 14 May 1940 to record his fourth through eighth victories of World War 2. Mayer led 1./JG 53 into the Battle of Britain. He shot down two RAF Hurricane fighters in the Isle of Wight-Portsmouth area on 12 August 1940 (10-11). On the afternoon of 25 August, I. and II./JG 53 flew a mission into the Portland area where they were to meet and escort a returning bomber unit. The two Gruppen became embroiled in aerial combat with RAF Spitfire and Hurricane fighters. Mayer shot down a Hurricane for his 15th victory. It is thought that his victim was the British ace F/Lt “Alfie” Bayne (8.366 confirmed, 3.833 probable and 2 damaged victories), who baled out. The next day, I. and II./JG 53 were again operating in the Portsmouth area. Again combat ensued with RAF fighters and Mayer was successful shooting down two Spitfires. One of his victim was another British ace Sgt Cyril Babbage (7.25 confirmed, 2.333 probable and 2 damaged victories), who baled out. Hauptmann Mayer was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 3 September. He recorded his 20th victory of World War 2 on 9 September. Mayer was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 53 on 1 September 1940, replacing Hauptmann Werner Mölders (115 victories, RK-Br, killed in action 22 November 1941), who had been appointed Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 53. He recorded his 30th victory on 15 September. On 16 October 1940, Mayer took off on a test flight in Bf 109 E-7 (W.Nr. 4138). He never returned, his body washing up on the English coast 10 days later.
    “Mayer-Ast” Mayer was credited with 30 victories. He recorded eight victories during the Spanish Civil War. All his World War 2 victories were recorded over the Western front.
 
No
Date
Time
A/c Type
Unit
Location / Comments
1
7.2.1938
-
SB-2 1./J 88 Spain
2
7.2.1938
-
I-16 1./J 88 Spain
3
21.2.1938
-
I-16 1./J 88 Spain
4
13.6.1938
-
I-16 1./J 88 Spain
5
16.6.1938
-
SB-2 1./J 88 Spain
6
29.9.1938
-
I-15 1./J 88 Spain
7
1938
-
E/a 1./J 88 Spain
8
1938
-
E/a 1./J 88 Spain
9
5.11.1939
15:15
Potez 63 1./JG 53 W Losheim / Potez 63 (No 3) of GR II/33 of Armée de l’Air flown by Adj Bernard, 2 killed, 1 baled out, DOW
10
21.4.1940
12:05
Hurricane 1./JG 53 NW Merzig / Hurricane of 73 Sqn, RAF flown by P/O PB Waller, force-landed, wounded
11
11.5.1940
7:53
Morane 406 1./JG 53 10-15km S Metz
12
14.5.1940
16:23
Hurricane 1./JG 53 Sedan
13
14.5.1940
16:24
Battle 1./JG 53 Sedan
14
14.5.1940
16:40
Blenheim 1./JG 53 Sedan
15
14.5.1940
16:40
Blenheim 1./JG 53 SW Sedan
16
14.5.1940
16:55
Battle 1./JG 53 S Sedan
17
25.5.1940
12:05
Curtiss 1./JG 53 S Attigny
18
12.8.1940
13:20
Hurricane 1./JG 53 Isle of Wight-Portsmouth area
19
12.8.1940
13:25
Hurricane 1./JG 53 Isle of Wight-Portsmouth area
20
13.8.1940
17:00
Hurricane 1./JG 53 Portland area
21
15.8.1940
18:45
Hurricane 1./JG 53 Salisbury
22
24.8.1940
17:40
Spitfire 1./JG 53 Isle of Wight
23
25.8.1940
18:30
Hurricane 1./JG 53 W Portland / Possibly Hurricane (V7407) of 17 Sqn, RAF flown by F/Lt AWA Bayne (8.366/3.833/2 victories), baled out 
24
26.8.1940
14:30
Spitfire 1./JG 53 E Portsmouth
25
26.8.1940
17:35
Spitfire 1./JG 53 Portsmouth / Spitfire (X4188) of 602 Sqn, RAF flown by Sgt CF Babbage (7.25/2.333/2 victories), baled out
26
6.9.1940
10:30
Hurricane Stab I./JG 53 NW Dungeness
27
7.9.1940
18:00
Hurricane Stab I./JG 53 -
28
9.9.1940
19:05
Hurricane Stab I./JG 53 -
29
15.9.1940
12:45
Spitfire Stab I./JG 53 15km S London
30
15.9.1940
13:10
Spitfire Stab I./JG 53 Maidstone

Victories : 30
Awards : Ritterkreuz (3 September 1940)
Units : J/88, JG 53

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