Nov 6, 1999 - Gathering of Eagles
On Nov 6, 1999 the Friends of the Aces sponsored a Gathering of Eagles at the Willow Centre in Long Beach, California.
American and German aces joined together in friendship to remember, 'talk shop' and meet the public. Aces such as Gunther Rall, Hans-Ekkehard Bob, Walter Schuck, Ernst Scheufele, Bud Anderson, Richard Peterson, Thomas Hayes and Spiros Pisanos signed books, art prints and photographs for an enthusiastic crowd.
Hans-Ekkehard Bob busy signing. Notice the book, JG 54: A Photographic History, which he co-authored with Hannes Trautloft. By far, Bob had the longest lines of any of the aces. This is due to this being a rare appearance for him outside of Germany. Afterwards, I had the pleasure of speaking briefly with Herr Bob privately about this webpage. I was amazed at the tremendous reserve of energy he had even after signing from 10am to 4pm.
Oscar Boesch happily signing a copy of Claes Sundin's and Christer Bergstrom's book. During a brief interlude between signings, Boesch described the tough times first flying with JG 3 'Udet' as a high-altitude fighter and Sturm Staffel I. In particular, he said that Sturm Staffel I suffered nearly 580% casualties. Boesch volunteered for this unit after a experiencing the heavy bombing of Hamm on Apr 15 1944. In all, Oscar Boesch flew 120 combat missions and scored 18 victories including six B-17s, two B-24s, a Mustang, a Spitfire, two Yak-9s (one of which he rammed head-on), two La-5s and four Sturmoviks.
Ernst Scheufele posing after signing. Herr Scheufele served with IV./JG 4 and scored 18 victories including three bombers and two Mustangs. When signing the book, he recognized the aircraft of his commander, Franz Wienhusen. On Dec 3, 1944, on a mission near Aachen, Scheufele and Wienhusen were shot down along with ten other pilots of IV./JG 4. Scheufele survived but Wienhusen perished.
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