Franz Eisenach

Franz Eisenach was born on 11 August 1918 in Reetz/Neumark, Germany. In my research I have found a couple different villages/towns with those names, so I'm trying to narrow it down. I think he became a officer cadet in 1937, and was made a Lieutenant in the Luftwaffe in 1939. In 1940, and possibly into 1941, he was part of II/ZG 76. In November of 1941 I think he joined 1/JG 1. In January of 1942 he may have joined IV/JG 1, later renamed III/JG 5.

In October/November of 1942 he was transferred to I/JG 54 in the East. By 8 November 1942 he had 21 victories. In April/May of 1943 he was made staffel kapitan of 3/JG 54. He was awarded the Honor Goblet on 31 August 1943. On 18 December 1943 he was hit by flak while flying Fw 190A-6 "Yellow 3" (WNr. 530391). Although seriously wounded, he took to his parachute.

Franz Eisenach was awarded the German Cross on 16 January 1944. In June of 1944 he returned to Stab/JG 54 in Courland. On 8 August 1944 he was made group commander of I/JG 54. By 8 September 1944 he had achieved 58 more victories. On 14 September 1944 he scored nine victories in one day, and brought his total to 100 or 107. On 21 September 1944 he was again seriously wounded when bombing combat positions. He was awarded the Knights Cross on 10 October 1944 for his 107th victory. He returned to the front on 15 December 1944. By 31 March 1945 he had 22 more victories for his final total of 129.

A list of Sturmovik Aces of the Luftwaffe in combat with Il-2 Sturmovik on the internet lists Major Franz Eisenach sixth after Major Erich Rudorffer with 52 Sturmovik victories. He survived the war and was a British POW. Major Franz Eisenach joined the Bundeswehr in 1956 and left service in 1974 as a Oberstleutant. He passed away on 21 August 1998. He stands 41st on the list of Luftwaffe Aces tied with Oberst Walter Dahl, and Oblt. Heinrich Sterr also of JG 54.

Below is a very rough lay out of Franz Eisenach's victories. This doesn't take into account the time(s) he was injured, or days like 14 September 1944 when he had 9 victories in one day.

Nov 42 Lt Eisenach posted to I./JG 54 at Krasnogvardeisk.

01 Dec 42 Lt Eisenach served with 9./JG 54.

08 Dec 42 Lt Eisenach is involved in combat with 3 LaGG-3s with no success.

Base Siverskaya

09 Dec 42 Lt Eisenach shot down 1 Il-2.(BaseSiverskaya)

22 Dec 42 Lt Eisenach holds a lecture on espionage&sabotage for staff

30 Dec 42 Lt Eisenach shot down 1 Il-2 & 1 LaGG-3.

05 Jan 43 Lt Eisenach shot down 1 Il-2.(BaseIsotscha)

12 Jan 43 Lt Eisenach shot down 1 Il-2, his 7th victory.

14 Jan 43 Lt Eisenach shot down 1 LaGG-3, his 8th victory.

15 Jan 43 Lt Eisenach shot down 1 LaGG-3, his 9th victory.

01 Mar 43 Lt Eisenach in Lille, France "Eisenach showed himself again for a short while, but obviously his preparations for his upcoming home leave are more important to him." He spent some time in France & Germany w/ III./JG 54 in the Spring of 1943.

21 Apr 43 Lt Eisenach in Oldenburg, Germany "Oberleutnant Eisenach is healthy again."

28 Apr 43 Lt Eisenach transferred to 2.(sic!)Gruppe in the Eastern Front as Staffelkapitan.

06 May 43 Lt Eisenach assumed command of 3./JG 54.

15 Jun 43 Lt Eisenach in picture w/ W. Nowotny after Nowotny's 100th.

08 Jul 43 Lt Eisenach injured near Orel.

26 Aug 43 Lt Eisenach injured?Unknown.

18 Dec 43 Lt Eisenach injured 4km NW of Gorodok, Pl. Qu. 96493.Bailed out of Fw 190 (W. Nr. 530391, "Yellow 3") after aerial combat w/ Il-2s & fire by enemy AAA over the frontline.

01 May 44 Hptm Eisenach promoted from 1LT.(RDA.58)

Jun 44 Hptm Eisenach back in operations w/ 3./I./JG 54.

8/9Aug 44 Hptm Eisenach arrives as Commander I./JG 54 at Skirotava near Riga.

14 Sep 44 Hptm Eisenach in the AM shot down 2 Il-2s.(#'s 92 & 93)

Hptm Eisenach later shot down 4 Pe-2s.(#'s 94, 95, 96 & 97)

Hptm Eisenach then shot down 3 more planes.(#'s 98, 99 & 100)

10 Oct 44 Hptm Eisenach awarded Knights Cross after 107 victories.

14 Dec 44 Hptm Eisenach claimed 2 Il-2s over the Gulf of Riga.

15 Dec 44 Hptm Eisenach shot down 4 Pe-2s in a single combat/sortie.

01 Jan 45 Maj Eisenach promoted from CPT.

Awards EK 2, EK 1, Frontflugspange, (Silber), Ehrenpokal der dtsh.Luftw., Deutsches Kreuz in Gold, Ritterkreutz 10.10.1944. According to Christer Bergstrom, Major Eisenach in reality achieved 154 aerial victories on 319 combat sorties This would move him up on the German WW2 ace list from 41st to 26th if it is in fact true. It would also probably move him up on the list of Il-2 aces as well. The research will continue.


Eisenach Biography compiled by Sean Leeman.