Rudolf Sinner
Major

Rudi Sinner

    Rudolf “Rudi” Sinner was born in 1915 in Austria. In 1936, he was serving in the Austrian Army in the horsedrawn artillery. During the invasion of Poland, he served with an anti-aircraft artillery unit before transferring to the Luftwaffe in 1940. Sinner began his aerial combat career with JG 3, based on the Western front, but was then transferred to JG 27 serving in North Africa. He was assigned to 2./JG 27. It was with JG 27 that Sinner gained his greatest successes. He claimed his first victory on 12 October 1941, when he shot down a RAF P-40 fighter near Sidi Omar. On 4 June 1942, Sinner was appointed Staffelkapitän of 6./JG 27. On 10 June, Oberleutnant Sinner was shot down near Bir Hacheim by the British Ace, Charles Overton (5.5 confirmed, 1 probable and 0.5 damaged victories), flying a Spitfire Vb fighter of 145 Squadron, RAF. Then, on 24 June, Sinner’s aircraft was hit in the engine during combat with RAF Hurricane fighters and he was forced to make a forced-landing. On 10 July, he shot down a Hurricane fighter with only one of his 7.92mm MG 17 machine-guns functioning. Sinner recorded his 10th victory on 13 July and his 20th on 24 July. On 31 August, Sinner shot down a Hurricane near Alam el Haifa. His victim was South African Ace, John “Harry” Gaynor (5.5 destroyed and 6 damaged victories) of 1 Sqn, SAAF, who crash-landed unhurt. He claimed his 30th victory on 3 September. In June 1943, Hauptmann Sinner was appointed Gruppenkommandeur IV./JG 27 then based at Kalamaki, Greece. However, his stay with the unit was destined to brief. On 30 July 1943, Sinner was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of IV./JG 54, based on the Russian front, taking over from Hauptmann Erich Rudorffer (224 victories, RK-S). Sinner led the Gruppe until 10 February 1944. He added three further victories to his victory total during his time with the unit. In March 1944, Hauptmann Sinner became Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 54 located on the Western front. On 6 March 1944, Sinner shot down a USAAF B-17 four-engine bomber for his 36th victory. However, his aircraft was hit by the bombers’ defensive fire and Sinner was badly wounded. He successfully baled out of his stricken Bf 109 G-6 (W.Nr. 410 557) "2". By 12 June 1944, Sinner was again serving with JG 27, based on the Invasion front in France, in command of I. Gruppe. He was to lead the Gruppe until 1 August 1944. On 1 January 1945, Major Sinner was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 7 flying Me 262 jet fighters. At this time his victory total stood at 36, including 32 victories achieved over North Africa. Sinner was to add three confirmed victories to his tally flying the jet, including two USAAF B-24 four-engine bombers near Rathenow on 3 March. On 4 April, Sinner led seven other Me 262s off from Rechlin. Emerging from the clouds shortly after take-off, the flight was bounced by P-51 fighters of the 339th Fighter Group, USAAF. In the ensuing combat “Rudi” Sinner’s aircraft was hit. With his face and hands badly burned, he baled out at low level. His parachute deployed at the last moment, but did not completely fill, and he was hanging by just the left strap when he hit the ground heavily in a ploughed field and dragged into a barbed wire fence. He reported that the P-51s then attempted to strafe him, but he feigned death and, as the P-51 fighters departed, he made his way to the safety of a deep furrow. Sinner’s wounds were serious enough to keep him out of the rest of war.
    Rudolf Sinner was credited with 39 victories in 305 missions. 36 of his victories were achieved over the Western front, including three four-engine bombers and three flying the Me 262 jet fighter. Three victories were achieved over the Eastern front. He was shot down 12 times, baling out on three occasions, and was wounded five times.
 
No
Date
Time
A/c Type
Unit
Location
Comments
1.
12.10.1941
9:05
P-40 2./JG 27 Sidi Omar Tomahawk IIb (AN355) of 3 Sqn, RAAF flown by Sgt TD Parker, baled out
2.
17.12.1941
11:10
Hurricane 2./JG 27 SE Martuba Hurricane of 1 Sqn, SAAF flown by Lt MacRobert
3.
13.2.1942
9:26
Hurricane 2./JG 27 ESE Tobruk -
4.
23.2.1942
13:23
P-40 2./JG 27 SE Umm-er-Rzem Kittyhawk of 450 Sqn, RAF flown by F/O CKT Thompson
5.
23.2.1942
13:25
P-40 2./JG 27 SE Umm-er-Rzem Kittyhawk of 450 Sqn, RAF flown by Sgt KM McBride, crash-landed, DOW
6.
30.5.1942
14:05
P-40 Stab I./JG 27 Bir-el-Harmat -
7.
24.6.1942
10:00
Hurricane 6./JG 27 20 km S Bir el Tholata Hurricane of 33 Sqn, RAF flown by P/O Ingelsby
8.
26.6.1942
18:40
Hurricane 6./JG 27 SE Marsa Matruh -
9.
10.7.1942
6:15
Hurricane 6./JG 27 SW El Alamein Hurricane of 274 Sqn, RAF flown by Sgt Craggs
10.
13.7.1942
12:25
P-40 6./JG 27 ENE El Dakar -
11.
17.7.1942
6:37
Spitfire 6./JG 27 El Dakar Spitfire of 145 Sqn, RAF flown by Sgt Rostart
12.
17.7.1942
13:22
Hurricane 6./JG 27 Haggag-el-Quasaba -
13.
17.7.1942
13:27
Hurricane 6./JG 27 S Haggag-el-Quasaba -
14.
19.7.1942
9:15
Hurricane 6./JG 27 Bir el Themta Hurricane of 127 or 238 Sqn, RAF
15.
19.7.1942
9:19
Hurricane 6./JG 27 S El Alamein Hurricane of 127 or 238 Sqn, RAF
16.
20.7.1942
11:19
Hurricane 6./JG 27 3 km SE Bir-el-Khasa Hurricane of 33 Sqn, RAF flown by Sgt Moher
17.
21.7.1942
18:09
P-40 6./JG 27 N Bir-el-Harmat -
18.
21.7.1942
18:16
Hurricane 6./JG 27 SW El Alamein -
19.
24.7.1942
9:40
P-40 6./JG 27 S Bir el Abd Kittyhawk of 112 Sqn, RAF or 5 Sqn, SAAF
20.
24.7.1942
17:19
Hurricane 6./JG 27 S Deir ei Raghil Hurricane of 92 Sqn, RAF flown by Sgt Moore, baled out, POW
21.
28.7.1942
18:25
Hurricane 6./JG 27 3 km E Deir-el-Taqa Hurricane IIa of 208 Sqn, RAF flown by P/O K Clark, killed
22.
3.8.1942
17:55
Hurricane 6./JG 27 SE El Daba Hurricane of 33 or 213 Sqn, RAF
23.
3.8.1942
18:00
Hurricane 6./JG 27 Bir Ibrahim Hurricane of 33 or 213 Sqn, RAF
24.
14.8.1942
6:30
P-40 6./JG 27 NW El Alamein Not confirmed
25.
27.8.1942
14:10
Hurricane 6./JG 27 NE Kharita Hurricane of 1 Sqn, SAAF flown by 2/Lt D de Klerk, killed
26.
31.8.1942
10:30
Hurricane 6./JG 27 Alam el Haifa Hurricane II “AX-A” of 1 SAAF Sqn flown by JH Gaynor (5.5/0/6 victories), crash-landed
27.
31.8.1942
18:30
Spitfire 6./JG 27 S Ilmayid -
28.
1.9.1942
6:59
P-40 6./JG 27 ENE Deir-el-Taqa Kittyhawk of 450 Sqn, RAF
29.
1.9.1942
7:01
P-40 6./JG 27 E Deir-el-Taqa Kittyhawk of 450 Sqn, RAF
30.
3.9.1942
14:25
P-40 6./JG 27 S El Hammam -
31.
3.9.1942
14:35
Spitfire 6./JG 27 S Bir Ibrahim -
32.
6.9.1942
17:25
P-39 6./JG 27 S Ilmayid -
33.
11.10.1943
15:08
LaGG-3 Stab IV./JG 54 NE Ussvyati -
34.
18.10.1943
10:04
P-40 Stab IV./JG 54 SE Pushkin -
35.
27.10.1943
13:45
La-5 Stab IV./JG 54 10 714 -
36.
6.3.1944
12:06
B-17 Stab III./JG 54  Essen-Vechta -
37.
26.11.1944
13:10
P-38 III./JG 7 Near Kitzbühl P-38J of 1FG, USAAF flown by Lt Julius Thomas, baled out, POW
38.
3.3.1945
-
B-24 Stab III./JG 7 Near Rathenow B-24 of 448BG, USAAF
39.
3.3.1945
-
B-24 Stab III./JG 7 Near Rathenow B-24 of 448BG, USAAF
?
7.3.1945
-
P-51 Stab III./JG 7 not confirmed? -

Victories : 39
Awards : Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (27 October 1942)
Units : JG 3, JG 27, JG 54, JG 7

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