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War plane recovery: the pilot has got a name, he was an ace of the Luftwaffe

Udine, Italy - Shot down by American fighters on January 30th, 1944


(WAPA) - After the rescue of the Messerschmitt BF-109, occured the last October 20th, in the city of Concordia Saggitaria (Venice), also the remains of the German pilot shot down by US fighters on January 30th, 1944, have been identified.

After a first and difficult reading of the pilot's ID, which made think to a different name and grade, now finally there are no doubts anymore. After the necessary cleaning and restauration of the document, since Monday the deadly remains discovered after 63 years have got a name again.

It is the Obfdw (Major Marshal) Kurt Niederhagen, ace of the Luftwaffe with 17 shooting-downs to his credit and officially declared missing, deceased at the age of 28, born in the town of Mettmann, in the nearings of Düsseldorf, and holder of the Iron Cross decoration.

The researchers of the GRSA, after an analysis of the historical bibliography, determined the belonging of the pilot to the 1/JG77 (1st Group of the 77th Fighter Wing), in that period based in Lavariano (Udine), taken off that morning to intercept the formations of American bombers, taken off from Puglia and set to bomb the Friulan airports of Lavariano, Campoformido and Villorba in the province of Udine, and the airport of Maniago in province of Pordenone.

That morning furious air combats took place in the skies over Friuli and eastern Veneto, and a historical esteem sets in 30 the number of airplanes lost that day on both sides.

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(World Aeronautical Press Agency - )
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