Robert Olejnik
Hauptmann

Robert Olejnik

    Robert Olejnik was born on 9 March 1911 at Essen-Borbeck. In October 1933, he learned to fly at the Deutsche Verkehrsfliegerschule and, in March 1935, entered the Luftwaffe becoming a fighter pilot instructor for a long period. On 15 June 1940, Olejnik was transferred to JG 3. Oberfeldwebel Olejnik was assigned to 2./JG 3. He recorded his first victory on 26 August during the Battle of Britain. By the end of 1940, his victory total stood at five. In January 1941, Olejnik was promoted to the rank of Leutnant and, on 17 May, he was appointed Staffelkapitän of 1./JG 3. He led the unit during the invasion of the Soviet Union. On 22 June 1941, at 0340, Olejnik shot down a Russian I-16 fighter, the first pilot to score a victory over the Eastern front. He shot down four Russian bombers on 23 June, to record his seventh through 10th victories, and a further five on 26 June (11-15). Olejnik was shot down on 27 June, in combat with Russian I-16 fighters over Kanev. It is thought that he was the victim of Russian ace Leitenant Vasilii Demenok (8 victories, killed in action 14 August 1941) of 88 IAP, VVS. After reaching 32 victories, he was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 30 June. On 14 August, in aerial combat with I-16s, Olejnik’s Bf 109 F received hits in the radiator necessitating a forced landing near Vasilkov. He escaped injury. By 14 September, when I./JG 3 left Russia, he had 37 victories to his credit. Following re-equipment with Bf 109 F-4 fighters, I./JG 3 was relocated to bases in Holland to perform shipping protection patrols and to intercept enemy formations. On 15 January 1942, I./JG 3 was redesignated II./JG 1. Olejnik retained command of 1./JG 3 as 3./JG 1. In May 1943, Olejnik was appointed acting Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 1 following the loss of Hauptmann Dietrich Wickop (13 victories) on 16 May. He relinquished command to Hauptmann Walter Hoeckner (68 victories, RK, killed in action 25 April 1944) on 28 June, reverting to the leadership of 4./JG 1. On 26 July 1943, Hauptmann Olejnik was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 1 following the loss of Major Karl-Heinz Leesmann (37 victories, RK) on 25 June. He was to claim his last three victories of the war with this unit, all USAAF B-17 four-engine bombers. Olejnik relinquished command of III./JG 1 to Hauptmann Friedrich Eberle (33 victories, DKiG) on 8 October 1943 when he was assigned to Erprobungskommando 16 to test the rocket-powered Me 163 fighter. On 21 December, he was appointed acting Gruppenkommandeur of Jagdgruppe Süd, but three days later left this unit and was reassigned to EKdo 16. Following a flight on 21 April 1944, the engine of his Me 163 B exploded on landing at Wittmundhaven. Considering most previous accidents of this type had had deadly results, Olejnik was very lucky to escape with “just” a broken back and facial injuries. Following release from hospital in August, he was assigned  to JG 400. Olejnik was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 400 in September 1944 .
On 2 November 1944, Olejnik took command of IV./EJG 2, equipped with Me 163s, based at Udetfeld. He was to end his war serving with this unit. Olejnik died on 29 October 1988 in Munich.
    Robert Olejnik was credited with 42 victories achieved flying 680 missions. He recorded 32 victories scored over the Eastern front. Of his 10 victories recorded over the Western front, three were four-engine bombers.
 
No
Date
Time
A/c Type
Unit
Location / Comments
1.
26.8.1940
-
Hurricane 2./JG 3 Faversham
2.
5.9.1940
-
Spitfire 2./JG 3 Themsemündung
3.
5.9.1940
-
Spitfire 2./JG 3 Themsemündung
4.
5.10.1940
-
Spitfire 2./JG 3 Canterbury
5.
5.2.1941
-
Spitfire 2./JG 3 NW St. Omer
6.
22.6.1941
3:40
I-16 1./JG 3 near Kurovitsa, I-16 of 66SHAP VVS
7.
23.6.1941
-
SB-2 1./JG 3  
8.
23.6.1941
-
SB-2 1./JG 3  
9.
23.6.1941
-
SB-2 1./JG 3  
10.
23.6.1941
-
SB-2 1./JG 3  
11.
26.6.1941
-
Il-4 1./JG 3  
12.
26.6.1941
-
Il-4 1./JG 3  
13.
26.6.1941
-
Il-4 1./JG 3  
14.
26.6.1941
-
Il-4 1./JG 3  
15.
26.6.1941
-
Il-4 1./JG 3  
16.
27.6.1941
-
Il-4 1./JG 3  
17.
27.6.1941
-
Il-4 1./JG 3  
18.
2.7.1941
-
V-11 1./JG 3 Il-2 
19.
2.7.1941
-
U-2 1./JG 3  
20.
3.7.1941
-
I-16 1./JG 3  
21.
6.7.1941
15:38
Il-4 1./JG 3 Shepetowka
22.
7.7.1941
-
SB-2 1./JG 3  
23.
8.7.1941
-
Il-4 1./JG 3  
24.
8.7.1941
-
Il-4 1./JG 3  
25.
8.7.1941
-
Il-4 1./JG 3  
26.
9.7.1941
-
Il-4 1./JG 3  
27.
10.7.1941
-
SB-2 1./JG 3  
28.
11.7.1941
-
I-16 1./JG 3  
29.
11.7.1941
-
I-16 1./JG 3  
30.
13.7.1941
-
I-16 1./JG 3  
31.
16.7.1941
-
SB-2 bis 1./JG 3  
32.
16.7.1941
-
SB-2 bis 1./JG 3  
33.
1.8.1941
11:25
Il-4 1./JG 3 40 km SE Malin
34.
9.8.1941
8:45
Il-4 1./JG 3  
35.
11.8.1941
-
SB-2 bis 1./JG 3  
36.
25.8.1941
7:55
R-10 1./JG 3 N Ostijew
37.
1941
-
E/a 1./JG 3  
38.
9.5.1943
20:13
Mosquito 4./JG 1 15km SE Den Helder / Mosquito IV (DZ316) of 1409 Met Flt, RAF flown by P/O WC Woodruff, crash-landed, 2 POW
39.
31.5.1943
-
Spitfire II./JG 1 60km N Margate
40.
26.7.1943
14:00~
B-17F III./JG 1  
41.
17.8.1943
15:45
B-17 III./JG 1 Pl Qu 05 Ost S/QR-9
42.
8.10.1943
15:23
B-17 III./JG 1 ENE Bremen

Victories : 42
Awards : Ehrenpokal (18 July 1941)
                Ritterkreuz (30 July 1941)
Units : JG 3, JG 1, Ekdo 16, JGr Süd, JG 400, EJG 2

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