Helmut Rüffler
Oberfeldwebel
 
Helmut Rüffler
 
    Helmut Rüffler was born on 18 January 1918 at Weißstein in the Waldenburg region of Niederschlesien. Rüffler was posted to the Ergänzungsgruppe/JG 3 on 28 September 1940 for operational training. On 1 February 1941, Unteroffizier Rüffler was transferred to 7./JG 3. He gained his first victory over the Eastern front on 22 June. By the end of 1941, he had nine victories to his credit. In April 1942, Rüffler was transferred to Ergänzung-Jagdgruppe Ost for a period of instructing. In July, he returned to combat duty with 1./JG 3, based on the Eastern front. In October, he claimed 18 victories, including three enemy aircraft on 2 October to record his 30th through 32nd victories, a further three enemy aircraft shot down on 17 October (36-38), his 40th victory on 24 October and five enemy aircraft shot down on 28 October (41-45). He recorded his 50th victory on 16 November. Feldwebel Rüffler was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 23 December for 51 victories. At the end of December, Rüffler fell ill and was hospitalised. Following his recovery from illness, Rüffler was transferred, as an instructor, to Ergänzungs-Jagdgruppe West on 15 June 1943. He served with the unit until 30 August. On 1 September 1943, Rüffler was transferred to 4./JG 3 operating on Reichsverteidigung duties. He recorded eight four-engine bombers and four fighters shot down over the Invasion front, including his 60th victory on 30 June. On 18 July 1944, he shot down two USAAF P-51 fighters southeast of Caen (62-63) but was then shot down himself in Bf 109 G-6 (W.Nr. 165 451) “White 13”. He was badly wounded in the engagement.

Ofw. Helmut Rüffler shortly after return from combat flight - note the damaged armour glass. Junkertroylhof 1945
Ofw. Helmut Rüffler shortly after return from combat flight - note the damaged armour glass. Junkertroylhof 1945

    In February 1945, Rüffler underwent conversion training on to the Me 262 jet fighter. However, he was transferred to 9./JG 51, based on the Eastern front, on 1 March. During March and April, he claimed 25 victories. On 24 April, Rüffler, despite only holding the rank of Oberfeldwebel, was appointed Staffelkapitän of 9./JG 51 and led this unit to the end of war. Rüffler died on 21 September 2001 at Niederkassel, aged 83.
    Helmut Rüffler was credited with 88 victories in 690 missions. He claimed a further 10 victories that were not confirmed. He recorded 76 victories over the Eastern front. Of his 12 victories recorded over the Western front, eight were four-engine bombers.
 
No
Date
Time
A/c Type
Unit
Location / Comments
1
22.6.1941
8:10
I-15 7./JG 3 -
2
23.7.1941
13:42
DB-3 7./JG 3 -
3
25.7.1941
18:55
SB-3 7./JG 3 -
4
10.8.1941
10:47
DB-3 7./JG 3 -
5
23.9.1941
10:50
Il-2 7./JG 3 -
6
4.10.1941
16:40
SB-3 7./JG 3 -
7
5.10.1941
15:40
Pe-2 7./JG 3 -
8
14.10.1941
7:05
SB-3 7./JG 3 -
9
29.10.1941
-
R-10 7./JG 3 -
10
4.3.1942
9:06
U-2 7./JG 3 -
11
9.3.1942
10:55
Pe-2 7./JG 3 -
12
17.3.1942
9:18
I-61 7./JG 3 -
13
28.3.1942
13:50
I-301 7./JG 3 -
14
28.3.1942
13:53
I-301 7./JG 3 -
15
28.3.1942
13:55
I-61 7./JG 3 -
16
29.3.1942
7:53
U-2 7./JG 3 -
17
30.3.1942
16:30
I-61 7./JG 3 10km E Staraya Russa
18
25.7.1942
7:30
MiG-3 7./JG 3 -
19
5.8.1942
15:15
LaGG-3 7./JG 3 30 462
20
23.8.1942
8:55
LaGG-3 1./JG 3 40 769
21
27.8.1942
12:13
LaGG-3 1./JG 3 49 271
22
28.8.1942
13:30
R-5 1./JG 3 49 254
23
27.9.1942
8:50
MiG-1 1./JG 3 49 222
24
27.9.1942
9:15
LaGG-3 1./JG 3 50 750
25
28.9.1942
8:50
Yak-1 1./JG 3 40 850
26
28.9.1942
9:10
Yak-1 1./JG 3 40 560
27
28.9.1942
11:20
Il-2 1./JG 3 49 260
28
30.9.1942
5:13
LaGG-3 1./JG 3 40 590
29
1.10.1942
6:45
Yak-4 1./JG 3 50 863
30
2.10.1942
12:20
Il-2 1./JG 3 4074
31
2.10.1942
12:25
Il-2 1./JG 3 4074
32
2.10.1942
15:40
Jak-1 1./JG 3 49 123
33
6.10.1942
11:20
Pe-2 1./JG 3 29 473
34
8.10.1942
8:20
LaGG-3 1./JG 3 4052
35
9.10.1942
7:45
Su-2 1./JG 3 4943
36
17.10.1942
6:02
Il-2 1./JG 3 49 270
37
17.10.1942
6:04
LaGG-3 1./JG 3 49 280
38
17.10.1942
6:05
Il-2 1./JG 3 49 410
39
24.10.1942
13:45
LaGG-3 1./JG 3 4074
40
24.10.1942
13:55
Il-2 1./JG 3 5912
41
28.10.1942
9:44
Il-2 1./JG 3 49 122
42
28.10.1942
9:45
Il-2 1./JG 3 49 131
43
28.10.1942
9:47
Il-2 1./JG 3 40 790
44
28.10.1942
9:50
LaGG-3 1./JG 3 40 730
45
28.10.1942
15:10
LaGG-3 1./JG 3 -
46
31.10.1942
13:50
Il-2 1./JG 3 49 441
47
1.11.1942
15:00
LaGG-3 1./JG 3 6959
48
1.11.1942
15:12
LaGG-3 1./JG 3 5963
49
16.11.1942
10:30
LaGG-3 1./JG 3 40 421
50
16.11.1942
10:32
LaGG-3 1./JG 3 40 451
51
24.11.1942
12:05
E/a 1./JG 3 -
52
20.10.1943
14:45
B-17 4./JG 3 -
53
11.12.1943
-
B-17 HSS 4./JG 3 -
54
24.2.1944
13:42
B-24 4./JG 3 SW Ansbach
55
8.4.1944
-
B-24 4./JG 3 -
56
18.4.1944
-
B-17 4./JG 3 -
57
19.4.1944
-
B-17 4./JG 3 -
58
19.4.1944
-
B-17 HSS 4./JG 3 -
59
8.5.1944
-
B-17 HSS 4./JG 3 -
60
30.6.1944
20:50
P-51 4./JG 3 Seine Mündung
61
16.7.1944
20:17
Spitfire 4./JG 3 Condé-sur-Noireau
62
18.7.1944
9:21
P-51 4./JG 3 SE Caen
63
18.7.1944
9:21
P-51 4./JG 3 SE Caen
64-88
??.?.1945
-
25 victories 9./JG 51 Eastern front

Victories : 88
Awards : Ehrenpokal (15 June 1942)
                Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (3 December 1942)
                Ritterkreuz (23 December 1942)
Units : JG 3, JG 51

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