When war came in 1939, he became a navigator, successfully serving with the Luftwaffe’s first pathfinding unit, then a special and little-known control commission in Morocco to monitor the disarmament of Vichy French forces. He then served as a navigator with a high-altitude squadron flying the relatively rare Ju 86 bomber fitted with a pressurized cabin in missions during the Battle of Britain. He then went to the Russian Front flying radar-equipped Ju 88s tracking Soviet fleet movements. This led to training as a pilot, following which Erich joined a special commando equipped with the revolutionary Arado Ar 234 jet. Shortly afterwards Erich flew the world’s first jet-reconnaissance sortie over the invasion front. He ended his war in Italy. After the war, Erich moved with his wife to Australia where he lived peacefully until his death in 2005.
With a detailed introduction from acclaimed Luftwaffe historian J. Richard Smith and illustrated throughout with photographs from private family albums, Luftwaffe Eagle is a fascinating insight into the life of an exceptional Luftwaffe pilot and navigator.
"...enjoyed this one, not least because of the insight it provides into the use of a rather first-generation jet. Recommended." ~Royal Airforce History, Vol. 69
"The detail of the stories and anecdotes sets it apart from the usual offerings in the genre." ~Air Power History
“A fascinating memoir full of thrilling accounts.” ~Military History Monthly
“Grub Street are to be highly commended for bringing us this readable and gripping account.” ~Flypast
“An entertaining read that will appeal to anyone interested in the Luftwaffe.” ~War History Online