Kurt Tanzer
Leutnant
 
Kurt Tanzer
 
    Kurt Tanzer was born on 1 November 1920 at Moscow in Russia. Tanzer was transferred from Ergänzungsgruppe/JG 51 to 12./JG 51, based on the Eastern front, on 18 March 1942. He claimed his 35th victory on 5 May 1943. The next day, Russian Il-2 Sturmovik ground-attack aircraft attacked the airfield at which Tanzer was stationed. He managed to scramble and shot down two of the attacking aircraft. Tanzer was wounded in this combat but continued attacking the raiding Russian aircraft shooting down a further two Il-2s. Russian fighters then intervened and Tange was further wounded. Despite severe wounds to his right hand and blood loss, Tanzer managed to land his badly damaged Fw 190 A-4 (W.Nr. 7161) “Blue 7” at his base airfield. Oberfeldwebel Tange was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 5 December for 39 victories. Following his recovery from the wounds received in May 1943, Tanzer returned to JG 51 and front line duty on 4 November. He was assigned to the Geschwaderstab of JG 51, with whom he flew many successful fighter-bomber missions while also increasing his tally of aerial victories. In June 1944, Tanzer accompanied Karl-Gottfried Nordmann (78 victories, RK-EL), Kommodore of JG 51, to the staff of Jagdfliegerführer 6.
 
Lt. Kurt Tanzer (left) and FjOfw. Heinz Negus Marquardt (15./JG 51, Ritterkereuz on 18 November 1944, 121 victories)
Lt. Kurt Tanzer (left) and FjOfw. Heinz "Negus" Marquardt (15./JG 51, Ritterkereuz on 18 November 1944, 121 victories)
 
    He continued flying combat and recorded his 100th victory while serving with this establishment. Tanzer was transferred to the staff of Jagdfliegerführer Ostpreußen on 1 September 1944. It was while serving with Jafü 6 and Jafü Ostpreußen that Tanzer recorded his 17 victories over the Western front. On 10 February 1945, Tanzer transferred to 13./JG 51. He was appointed Staffelkapitän of the unit on 12 March. Tanzer survived the war and joined the post-war Bundesluftwaffe. On 25 June 1960, Tanzer was killed in a T-33 jet trainer over the Baleric Islands in bad weather.
    Kurt Tanzer’s victory total is uncertain. He recorded at least 128 victories in 723 missions, including 187 fighter-bomber missions. However some sources quote his final victory total as 143. Tanzer recorded 17 victories over the Western front, including four four-engine bombers.
 
No
Date
Time
A/c Type
Unit
Location
?
2.8.1942
9:00
Il-2 12./JG 51 Near Kalinin
?
5.1.1943
9:15
Il-2 12./JG 51 77 762
?
5.1.1943
9:18
Il-2 12./JG 51 7 792
?
6.1.1943
8:30
MiG-3 12./JG 51 7 554
?
6.1.1943
11:00
Pe-2 12./JG 51 7 813
?
6.1.1943
11:58
Il-2 12./JG 51 7 761
?
6.1.1943
12:20
Il-2 12./JG 51 7 732
?
7.1.1943
12:05
Pe-2 12./JG 51 7 584
35
5.5.1943
-
E/a 12./JG 51  
36
6.5.1943
-
Il-2 12./JG 51  
37
6.5.1943
-
Il-2 12./JG 51  
38
6.5.1943
-
Il-2 12./JG 51  
39
6.5.1943
-
Il-2 12./JG 51  
100
VI. 1944
-
E/a Jafü 6  
 
Victories : 128+
Awards : Ehrenpokal (15 February 1943)
                Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (24 June 1943)
                Ritterkreuz (5 December 1943)
Units : JG 51, Jafü 6, Jafü Ostpreußen

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