Oberleutnant, Commander, Jasta 26
He was award the Pour le Mérite for distinguished military service, leadership, and his 20th aerial victory.
Born January 22, 1891 in Berlin
Jasta 26, Jasta 3
Awards: Iron Cross, Pour le Mérite, Hohenzollern Ritter Kreuz
The following bio was provided by Stephen Luczkowski:
Bruno Loerzer was born on 22 Jan. 1891 in Berlin. He was a cadet with the Baden 112th. Inf. rgt. before attending Military School in Potsdam..after graduation he returned to his old unit and was commissioned a Leutnant 1913. He was very interested in early aviation...after taking flying lessons..he was hooked.and quickly volunteered for service with the air corp. He was accepted and shortly after the First World War broke out in August l914. It was during a visit to another fellow officer from the 112th. RGT. who was in the Hospital...a Hermann Goring...that he convinced his friend to join him in the Air Corp. The two friends would be linked together for the balance of the war ..and beyond. In 1915..both Bruno and Hermann flew together as observers.. on observation missions. They were both hungry for action..Bruno trained as a fighter pilot..and was first assigned to the Boelcke Squadron ..where he learned a great deal from the great Boelcke. In March 1916..he scored his first victory...and then a second . Shortly after he was wounded..upon recovery he returned to his old unit. He was awarded the Iron Cross in 1917..as well as the Hohenzollern Ritter Kreuz..and of course a wound badge.
In January 1917 he was assigned the task of forming the Fighter Squadron 26...they fought the British and French..it was in this unit that he flew missions with his brother Fritz...who was known as the flying pastor. When Bruno Loerzer scored his 20th. victory he was awarded Germany's highest military award.the Pour Le Merite..it was awarded on Febuary 12th.1918. Three days later he was given command of Fighter Squadron 111...on Sept.2,1918..the squadron shot down 26 enemy planes without a single lo-ss..to the squadron. Field-Marshal von Hindenburg sent him a telegram congratulating him on his outstanding combat achievements. Bruno Loerzer scored 44 total victories and finished the war as the number 7 surviving ace..right after Ernst Udet. His friend Goring..also when on to become a fighter ace..winning the Blue Max...he ended his career as the Leader of the Richthofen Squadron. After the war ....both Bruno and Hermann were instrumental in re-establishing the New German Luftwaffe...Hermann as head of Air forces picked his old friend Bruno Loerzer to be the President of the DLV...a for-runner of the Luftwaffe. Bruno went on to Command units in the Second World War...especially during the Battle of Britian..and the Italian campaign...he was awarded the Ritter Kreuz in1940....he was promoted to General-Colonel on Feb.16th.1943...in 1944 he was made head of Luftwaffe Personnel. He was often seen in the company of his old friend Reich-Marshal Goring.
Bruno is often seen in photo's from Adolf Hitler's headquarters at Raustenburg..in East Prussia. Bruno was able to escape to Bavaria in early 1945..he was captured at Berchtesgarden...by American forces. He was kept in a military prisoner-of -war camps until 1947..one of which was Dachau..the infamous death-camp..converted to house German military personnel. In 1947 as a cilivian he settled in Hamburg...where he remained till his death..on Aug.8th.1960...at the time of his death..he was the highest Pour le Merite winner from WW1. One side note...during the Nuremburg trails he was asked to be a character wittness for Reich-Marshal GORING...Bruno politely refused....the spell that Hermann Goring had over him had finally come to an end along with the Third Reich.