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LUDWIG MEISTER - COMMEMORATIVE ENVELOPE SIGNED CO-SIGNED BY: CAPTAIN JOSEF KRAFT, HEINZ-MARTIN HADEBALL, HANS-JOACHIM JABS - HFSID 74805

1971 British commemorative envelope signed by four Luftwaffe aces of World War II: Ludwig Meister, Hans-Joachim Jabs, Josef Kraft and Heinz-Martin Hadeball. These four pilots shot down a total of 178 Allied planes. Accompanied by small b/w photos of all four signers in uniform.

Sale Price $234.00

Reg. $260.00

Condition: lightly soiled, otherwise fine condition
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WORLD WAR II LUFTWAFFE ACES: LUDWIG MEISTER, HANS-JOACHIM JABS, JOSEF KRAFT and HEINZ-MARTIN HADEBALL
1971 British commemorative envelope signed by four Luftwaffe aces of World War II: Ludwig Meister, Hans-Joachim Jabs, Josef Kraft and Heinz-Martin Hadeball. These four pilots shot down a total of 178 Allied planes. Accompanied by small b/w photos of all four signers in uniform.
Commemorative envelope signed "[illegible]/Jabs/Kommodore/NJGi", "Josef Kraft" and "Heinz-M. Hadeball/I NJG.6", all in blue ink, and "Ludwig Meister/Kom. III.N.J.G.4" in black ink. Black and red ink stamps on verso and under flap. Color, 6½x4¼. Commemorating the joint American/British BMEWS (Ballistic Missile Early Warning System) operation and the 70th anniversary of the Royal Aero Club. With a color cachet of a Handley Page Halifax four-engine bomber. Postmarked on Aug. 25, 1971 and at Goose Airport in Newfoundland, Canada and New York City on Sept. 2, 1971. One 3p color stamp horning the 50th anniversary of the British Legion affixed. Envelope contains five unsigned photos of all four signers and a Bf 110 night fighter, with purple and red ink stamps on verso. This envelope was carried on a Gyro Steer Polar Navex mission over the magnetic north pole. Jabs (1917-2003) was a German pilot in Nazi Germany's Luftwaffe (1937-1945), where he claimed 50 air victories in the twin-engine Messerschmitt Bf 110 heavy fighter. These victories included eight British Spitfires and four Hurricanes during the Battle of Britain - quite an achievement in the relatively clumsy Bf 110. 28 of his victories were in a night fighter version of the Bf 110. Jabs appears to have been shot down only once. This was on April 29, 1944 by six Spitfires, and he still managed to shoot one down before being forced to land. Jabs rose to the rank of Oberstleutnant and was made a Gechwaderkommodore, the equivalent of a wing commander in the U. S. Air Force, in March of 1944, and was awarded the Iron Cross and the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. After the war, he became a businessman and public servant. KRAFT, an Austrian pilot in the German air force, was among the top aces of World War II. A night fighter, he piloted his Focke-Wolf 190 to 56 kills of Allied aircraft. He is shown wearing his Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves medal. HADEBALL (1921-1996) was a Luftwaffe fighter ace who downed 33 planes between 1943 and 1944. He received the Knights Cross in 1944. German pilot MEISTER, born in 1919, reportedly began learning how to fly at the tender age of 4. He joined the Luftwaffe in 1939 and, during World War II, shot down 39 enemy planes, all but one at night, in the Bf 110 heavy fighter. He was shot down only once, on March 24, 1944. His gunner Toni Werzinski fell asleep from the lack of it, and leaving his fighter open to a rear attack from an American P-47 Thunderbolt. Meister managed to crash land safely, but he and his crewmates were injured and needed help being pulled from their burning plane. He was awarded the Knight's Cross and, in 1944, was promoted to Kommandeur and made a group commander in Metz, France. Lightly toned. Jabs, Hadeball and Meister's signatures have bled lightly but are legible. Adhesive residue in bottom right corner. New York City postmark is lightly smeared but legible. Lightly soiled on verso (no show-through). Photos are lightly toned and bowed and have negative and reproduction errors. Otherwise in fine condition.

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