walter krupinski

My new wing commander [Hrabak] was addressing me when a fighter came in smoking and suddenly landed, flipped over, and exploded. We knew the pilot was dead. One of the men said, “It is Krupinski,” and out of the blinding smoke this man walked from the wreckage with a singed uniform but no other damage. He was smiling and complained about the flak over the Caucasus, but without any real surprise on his face. This was my first meeting with “The Count.” He had landed in a pile of bombs. Amazing. Well, he [Walter “Krupi” Krupinski] came in, introduced himself, demanded another plane, went up, was shot down, scored a victory, and was brought back by car. He then took another plane, scored two kills, and returned, then wanted dinner. The whole event was treated as casually as a card game. Batz looked at me and said, “That is Graf [“Count”] Krupinski, and he is not quite right in the head.”
—  The German Aces Speak II, Erich Hartmann’s chapter, by Colin D. Heston and Anne-Marie Lewis