Erich “Bubi” Hartmann, known as the Black Devil during World War II, was the greatest ace fighter pilot in the history of aviation with a credited 352 kills. Although he was forced to land his plane because of mechanical failure or damage from falling debris 14 times in his career, he was never shot down or forced to land due to enemy fire.
One of the last know wartime photos of Erich Hartmann, taken at Chrudim, in Czechoslovakia, on 17 April 1945. ‘Bubi’ had just landed after claiming his 350th victory (a Yak-9), and is facing a crowd of well-wishers and yet more garlands - much to his obvious embarrassment! Two more kills and three weeks later and it would all be over….