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NEVER before seen photo of LW ACE

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    NEVER before seen photo of LW ACE

    In 1990 I was at a local flea market looking for "nazi stuff", as usual. When I asked a vendor if he knew whether he had anything "nazi" related and he said, "no..., but my neighbor might because he used to fly an ME109 during the war." Well, that certainly intrigued me so I intoduced myself to the very apparent looking Latin fellow, who was selling an array of new and used items, and asked him (in German), "did you fly during the war with the Luftwaffe?",...well he looked at me and smiled this little (devilish) smile he was known to have and answered "Jawohl".

    During the years that I knew him we would always talk, especially regarding the war years, and I got to know all about him and his family. His name was Julius "Julio" Karl Hofmann (with one "f" he'd always say) and was a 5 victory ace who flew with JG53 "Pik As" in Africa.

    Karl (as I called him), who was actually known by most everyone as "Julio", was a slender man who was part Chilian and part German. Karl had a sister and both he and his sister moved to Germany in 1935 to go to school there while living with his grand parents. School didn't last long for either of them as they both got caught up in "the movement" with Karl joining the HJ and his sister the BDM. It wasn't long until Karl was flying gliders and reached the highest scores and awards of his group. He quickly joined the regular flight arm of the LW and began training immediately in 109's.

    When the war broke out he first saw service in a front line squadron on the Russian Front. Later he was transferred to JG53 in Africa where he got to know all the famous aces of his group (and others) and often flew wingman for Wolfgang Tonne. He also had a very strong friendship with Oaks winner Wilhelm Cranius of JG53.

    In 1943 he was shot down by a British Spitfire and while inverted, baild out of his burning plane. Upon leaving the cockpit he was struck in the thigh by the planes rudder, breaking his thigh and knocking him unconcious. He could never say how he pulled his rip cord because he could never remeber having done so. When he awoke he found himself being transported by a native Bedoin but again fell unconcious. The next time he awoke he was in a field hospital run by the British!

    He told me that the Bedoin didn't know what side he was on so he took him to the nearest military installation he knew about. Too bad for Karl.

    Karl was first taken to England where he stayed for 6 months. After that he was shipped to the USA and was interned in a POW camp in Colorado (which he escaped from 3 times).

    After the war he was repaitreated to his home country of Chile where he flew transports between Chile and Argentina. He later became a Pilot for LAN Chile, the national airline of Chile. He retired from that after 20 years and immigrated to Miami.

    He was a very interesting and funny fellow who wore a DAK ring every day and still owned his custom tailored, albeit stripped, Fliegerbluse and his bullion wire insignia visor cap (I replaced the eagle for him) which he had turned into a crusher.

    Karl had a definate wild side and he enjoyed tempting fate. At that time he was in his mid 70's and drove his car at 90 mph all the time. He said it was like flying sorties, "always looking (for patrol cars) left, right, forward, and rearward, just how I used to fly".

    I relunctantly ended my friendship with him after he became involved with a smuggling ring working out of Miami International Airport (which was later busted) that he wanted me to be a part of.

    I never knew what happened to him after that but prior to his illegal activities we made a number of copies of an old studio portrait which he signed. It had been our plan to sell these to collectors but at the time there was no interest in them.

    So, anyway, I thought the community would find this interesting as I recently found all the signed photos and will be selling them here on the estand.

    Thanks,

    Chuck
    Attached Files
    Charles Stubben: ALWAYS SEEKING TOMBAK Wurster small "w" PAB & IAB's

    #2
    Very cool story!
    WAF LIFE COACH

    Comment


      #3
      wicked story, thanks for it.

      Comment


        #4
        Great story



        Andy

        Comment


          #5
          Very interesting story. I wonder what happened to him............

          Comment


            #6
            Hi I can't see the photo for some reason

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by bratwurstdimsum View Post
              Hi I can't see the photo for some reason
              I don't know why as it's still visible to me but I will post it again just in case.
              Attached Files
              Last edited by vonStubben; 08-06-2012, 09:00 AM. Reason: add picture
              Charles Stubben: ALWAYS SEEKING TOMBAK Wurster small "w" PAB & IAB's

              Comment


                #8
                Wow, great story.
                It's a shame that he had to get involved in illegal activities.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I found this on the web (from 1992!!!)

                  Aviators To Gather At Reunion Artist Paints Scene Of Ww II Fighter Pilot
                  January 5, 1992|By KEN KAYE, Staff Writer SunSentinel

                  In the grand scheme of things, German fighter ace Julius Hofmann`s flight into Tunisia in 1942 will not be remembered as one of the highlights of World War II.
                  But for Germany and its Luftwaffe, it was the opening of a campaign into North Africa and a strategic mission.
                  Hofmann led a squadron of fighters into battle and helped secure an airfield. Then he became the first German pilot to land there.
                  Hofmann, 69, who lives in Lantana, will be at the Florida Aviation Art gallery, 209 SW Second St. in Fort Lauderdale, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday to meet fellow pilots, give autographs, sign photos and talk about his experiences.
                  In what is becoming a growing trend in aviation circles, pilots who were mortal enemies during the war are getting together at reunions. Or in the case of Hofmann, they are willing to greet any fellow aviator simply to talk about airplanes and flying.
                  Hofmann, like most Luftwaffe pilots, was not a member of the Nazi party.
                  ``Hitler was not the one to initiate the Luftwaffe. That was in place way before he got there,`` said artist Robert Cernuda.
                  Cernuda, recognized as one of the more colorful aviation artists, befriended Hofmann after hearing of the pilot`s adventures.
                  ``When I heard his story, I thought it would be a good subject to do a painting (about). Of course, when I learned he spoke perfect Spanish, it was easy to communicate,`` said Cernuda, who was born in Havana and now lives in Miami.
                  Cernuda painted a scene of Hofmann flying his Messerschmitt 109 in the heat of combat. It now hangs in the Florida Aviation Art gallery and sells for $6,500. Cernuda is planning to have it reproduced as a limited edition print.
                  Cernuda said although Hofmann scored many combat victories, he had no bloodlust or hatred for the enemy.
                  ``It was a job he had to do,`` he said.
                  Hofmann said his most frightening experience as a fighter pilot was being shot down by British Spitfires over North Africa.
                  ``I lost consciousness when I jumped and regained it just in time to open the parachute,`` he said.
                  After the war, Hofmann flew as an airline pilot for Lan Chile Airlines and spent 10 years in the Peruvian jungle flying transport planes.
                  Last edited by NickG; 08-06-2012, 11:52 AM.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by NickG View Post
                    I found this on the web (from 1992!!!)

                    Aviators To Gather At Reunion Artist Paints Scene Of Ww II Fighter Pilot
                    January 5, 1992|By KEN KAYE, Staff Writer SunSentinel

                    In the grand scheme of things, German fighter ace Julius Hofmann`s flight into Tunisia in 1942 will not be remembered as one of the highlights of World War II.
                    But for Germany and its Luftwaffe, it was the opening of a campaign into North Africa and a strategic mission.
                    Hofmann led a squadron of fighters into battle and helped secure an airfield. Then he became the first German pilot to land there.
                    Hofmann, 69, who lives in Lantana, will be at the Florida Aviation Art gallery, 209 SW Second St. in Fort Lauderdale, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday to meet fellow pilots, give autographs, sign photos and talk about his experiences.
                    In what is becoming a growing trend in aviation circles, pilots who were mortal enemies during the war are getting together at reunions. Or in the case of Hofmann, they are willing to greet any fellow aviator simply to talk about airplanes and flying.
                    Hofmann, like most Luftwaffe pilots, was not a member of the Nazi party.
                    ``Hitler was not the one to initiate the Luftwaffe. That was in place way before he got there,`` said artist Robert Cernuda.
                    Cernuda, recognized as one of the more colorful aviation artists, befriended Hofmann after hearing of the pilot`s adventures.
                    ``When I heard his story, I thought it would be a good subject to do a painting (about). Of course, when I learned he spoke perfect Spanish, it was easy to communicate,`` said Cernuda, who was born in Havana and now lives in Miami.
                    Cernuda painted a scene of Hofmann flying his Messerschmitt 109 in the heat of combat. It now hangs in the Florida Aviation Art gallery and sells for $6,500. Cernuda is planning to have it reproduced as a limited edition print.
                    Cernuda said although Hofmann scored many combat victories, he had no bloodlust or hatred for the enemy.
                    ``It was a job he had to do,`` he said.
                    Hofmann said his most frightening experience as a fighter pilot was being shot down by British Spitfires over North Africa.
                    ``I lost consciousness when I jumped and regained it just in time to open the parachute,`` he said.
                    After the war, Hofmann flew as an airline pilot for Lan Chile Airlines and spent 10 years in the Peruvian jungle flying transport planes.
                    Great research Nick, I knew of this article and read this clipping that Karl cut from our local paper but didn't know it was on the web. He would often talk about taking the airport at Tunis. The small airport in Lantana is where an aviation collector kept a custom built, to scale copy, of a flying ME109. The article included a picture of Karl standing next to the cockpit of this airplane. Although Karl had a house in Lantana he sold it an moved back to Miami around 1994.

                    Here's an interesting side note, and a bit odd at that, but he had twin daughters that he named Jennifer and Jennifer!!!

                    Thanks for sharing
                    Last edited by vonStubben; 08-06-2012, 01:02 PM.
                    Charles Stubben: ALWAYS SEEKING TOMBAK Wurster small "w" PAB & IAB's

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Charles

                      have you checked the Kracker Archiv on-line for some basic but extensive info's on Karl H. ?

                      E ~

                      Comment


                        #12
                        What's the Kracker Archiv? I am looking for info on a Luftwaffe pilot too
                        WAF LIFE COACH

                        Comment


                          #13
                          google kracker archiv; and the pilots - quite a few of them are listed by last name A-Z. the site is world class

                          any LW aficionado should bookmark this for their database it is that good.

                          http://aircrewremembrancesociety.com...erArchive.html

                          plus check out aircrewrememberance society, another incredible site covering both LW and Allied losses - database.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Nice website, thanks for the link

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Fantastic website - thank you so much Hirschstein!

                              Jack

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