View Full Version : The Combat experience of Lt. Gottfried Paul Johannes Dulias

01-14-2005, 10:56 PM
It's about time, right? A few months ago I announced that I was typing up my notes in my spare time of the lecture that Lt. Dulias gave back in 2004. Well, here is the section on his training and combat experiences. I won't do the section on his capture because I feel that it would incite riots on these forums, and most of us aren't mature enough to handle it. But anyway, here is part of his story. If you want the full thing, I suggest you go to http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/SearchCatalog~PagePK~fa49d1bf-f73d-4830-8983-b3f355fe46d7.aspx and pick up a copy of his book!
Notes: Gottfried Paul Johannes Dulias, III/JG53

Born June, 1925, Konigsberg, East Prussia
Mother took care of him
Father worked for a railroad company. Moved around a lot. At age 11, 1936, Moved to Munich.
Dulias: Hitler Youth was mandatory. Had to €œHowl with the wolves€ or else be persecuted. Hitler Youth was like the American Boy Scouts.

Flying Hitler Youth:
Hitler youth could join glider clubs.
You had to learn to fly gliders before you flew powered aircraft.
In order to fly powered aircraft, need an A, B, and C test passes in gliders.
Built his own glider, passed the A, and B tests while in Flying Hitler Youth.

Called up:
Called to service in January, 1943. Joined the Luftwaffe same month.
First had to pass a €œquick thinking€ test by 8 Luftwaffe psychiatrists. They ask him random questions, he has to answer anything, but quickly. One question was, €œWhat would you say if someone called you stupid?€ and he answered, €œI must be a Luftwaffe Psychiatrist!€ Nevertheless, he passed the test, was admitted to Boot Camp.
Boot camp training was 3 months long, but came out of it successfully and sent to Berlin-Gatow military airfield for flight training.
Sent to training camp B in Berlin-Gatow, but would rather have gone to training camp D, in Munich, where his family was living. But, he had an uncle in Berlin who owned a chain of 12-13 grocery stores. On his days off, mostly weekends, he would go and see his aunt and uncle who would load him up on sweets and cookies and other rarities during the war. €œI was very happy during that time.€ He remarked.
He was ahead of his class since he already had A and B ratings for gliders, so after completing his C rating he moved onto powered aircraft. The first plane he flew was the Focke Wulfe 49, an open cockpit two seat trainer almost identical to the US Navy N3N. After completing solo flights in this plane, he moved onto fly single-seat aerobatics aircraft. His instructors told him that his flying was flawless, he was an excellent student. He graduated to the Bf-108 Taifun plane, originally designed by Messerschmitt as a corporate aircraft, but re-modeled for the Luftwaffe as a trainer. The Bf-108 handled much like the Bf-109, and soon, after soloing in the 108, Lt. Dulias graduated to the Bf-109 model.
The Bf-109 for training they had at Berlin-Gatow was an old Emil version that was retired from front-line duty. They were now using Bf-109F€s and G€s at the front, and the 109E was too antiquated and slow for modern combat. So the remaining ones were given to training units or in their last stages as fighter-bombers. Lt. Dulias remembered his first flight in the Bf-109 very clearly,
€œMy first solo flight in the Bf-109€¦ Oh boy (sarcastically) I loved the plane very much. Do not allow me to contradict myself, it was a fine airplane and I loved it. It flew like a dream. But the first time I flew the darned thing, the landing gear jammed on me!€
The cockpit lights told him the gear was down and locked, but the ground personnel told him that only his right gear was down. So he decided to fly up to 3000 meters, dive down, and then pull up sharply. Maybe then the gear would fall into place. €œWell€¦ it didn€t work.€ Said Lt. Dulias. €œNow I had the left landing gear stuck in the wing, and the right one stuck down! I decided to try and belly land the plane, so I attempted to retract the right landing gear, but it too was jammed! The ground control told me I could try to land it with only one gear, or bail out. I decided to land it with the one gear because if I bailed out there was no telling where or who the plane would hit. So finally, after 3 tries, on the third try I got down on the perfect angle, and touched down, and as speed decreased the left wing touched down and made a ground loop on the grass, we only had grass runways€¦. I was given a commendation.€
He had other training in the 109 before he left for the front, including gunnery practice (shooting at both stationary and moving targets), Jabo targetry (fighter-bombing) and several other tests of tactics and maneuvering.
Soon after passing his Bf-109 examination he was sent to the Messerschmitt factory to pick up his new Bf-109G-14/AS. From there he departed to the front as part of the III.JG53 squadron. This was August, 1944.
At this time JG53 was assigned to drawing escort fighters away from B-17€s, so the more heavily armed Fw-190€s could attack the bombers. Lt. Dulias was a €œHessian,€ as refered to by his squadmates, or translated: A little rabbit. His job until he became more experienced was to watch his wing-leader dogfight and learn how to fight that way while also covering his tail.
Soon after graduating from a €œHessian€ to a €œHerr,: Lt. Dulias got his first kill. He got into a dogfight with a very experienced pilot and his Spitfire. At this point Spitfires were escorting the B-17€s, not P-51€s. Using what maneuvers had been taught to him, and using the superiority of his plane, Lt. Dulias struggled but eventually caught the British pilot hesitating. He got within 10-20 feet of the Spitfire and fired his 30mm Mk108 gun and the Spitfire€s wing ripped right off.
After the British pilot was captured, Lt. Dulias met him. His name was Leftenant Fred Browning. He was 20 years old. Lt. Dulias was only 19 at the time. He found out that the British pilots not only trained longer, they trained harder. But even though they were enemies in terms of this great war, Left. Browning patted Lt. Dulias on the shoulder and said, €œJolly good fight! €˜Twas a Jolly good fight!€
On another combat mission 3 weeks later, Lt. Dulias noticed an unknown plane flying alongside his squadron. He left to see what it was, and found it was a Spitfire. Careful not to get seen by the pilot in the Spitfire€s rear view mirror, he snuck up behind the Spit until he was no more than 10-20 feet away, pulled up sharply and let loose with his 30mm cannon. The tail of the Spitfire parted completely with the forward section of the aircraft. The pilot bailed out. To make sure he was okay, Lt. Dulias flew in a circle to pass the pilot in his chute. The British pilot gave him a proud salute from his Parachute, and Lt. Dulias waggled his wings back.
Within a few weeks of this incident JG53 was transferred to the Eastern front. Now Lt. Dulias was fighting a new enemy, the Russian VVS. Even though it was 1944, the Russians were still using updated versions of the I-16 Rata. Lt. Dulias€s final 3 kills were all Ratas. While going for his 6th kill, he shot another Rata with the 30mm cannon and badly hit a fuel tank. The fuel began leaking out, so the Russian pilot started heading home. Lt. Dulias suffered from Greed at the precise wrong moment, and tried to record the Rata crash landing so he could get another confirmed kill on his gun camera. But the Rata kept flying past the Front lines. Finally, while chasing the plane, Lt. Dulias€s plane was hit by ground fire and he had to belly land his Bf-109. He climbed out of his plane, and seconds after running into the woods, his beloved Bf-109 exploded.
He was captured by Russian soldiers 1 day later.

01-15-2005, 12:57 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gifPBNA-Boosher... I feel like I just went to see a movie and they Left the ending out for Part 2!
Great story... but what about the Ending????

Gottfried Dulias
bottom picture... on the left

In November of 1947, Gottfried was put into a cattle car on a train bound for Germany. His physical condition had deteriorated until he was too sick for slave labor, but too tough to die. Only because he was of no further use to the Russians was he sent home. He began to recover, gaining weight from a low of 67 pounds to a still sickly 145.

After three years of unimaginable torture, Gottfried returned home on January 4, 1948. Four weeks in a medical mountain retreat was followed by his return to architectural schooling and apprenticeship.

On March 31, 1951, he married his lovely fiancé, Hedwig Wagner, whom he had met during his carpentry apprenticeship (a pre-requisite for admission to the Polytechnic Institute in the study of architecture).

Unable to get an apartment in bomb shattered Post-War Germany, Gottfried and Hedwig accepted an offer to join his younger sister€s in-laws in the United States. On March 17, 1953, they docked at Pier 86, New York, having made the voyage aboard the Homeland. Gottfried continued his work as a carpenter and €œHedi€ as a catering chef. On July 4, 1954, they had saved enough to buy their own home in Patchogue, Long Island.

The years that followed blessed the Dulias€ with three daughters and ultimately grandchildren. Sadly, 46 years to the day of their marriage, Gottfried lost Hedi to cancer on March 31, 1997.

Gottfried has retired now after having been a locksmith in Long Island, where he resides to this day.

Gottfried Dulias was introduced to the LARA when he visited the Reading World War Two Weekend in June of 2001. The personable and helpful man that he is, he quickly formed a bond with the reenactors who lived and demonstrated a respect for the achievements of his youth. He is actively involved in the reproduction and maintenance of Al Rubenbauer€s Me109G6 replica in Commack, Long Island. He is a friend whose life we in the LARA take pride in honoring.

01-15-2005, 07:58 AM
The ending, apparently, you already know, but the book itself deals with his years as a POW in Russian Gulags. It is a very interesting story, I suggest the book, I really do.

01-15-2005, 08:59 AM
The word "hessian" is funny.
Little hare is "H¤schen" (diminutive of "Hase" = Hare), and it is pronounced exactly like "hessian"
"Hessian" would be english for an inhabitant of the german state of Hesse (or Prussian province before 1946) like me.

and "a railway company" is a bit misleading, as between 1922 and 2000 the german railway was state owned, with almost military ranks and uniforms (at least for train personell).
So his father was an "eisenbahner", who got transfered a lot (but were provided with free housing and a lot of benefits by the Reichsbahn/Bundesbahn).

01-15-2005, 02:52 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gifSounds like Excellent reading PBNA-Boosher! I'll be putting this on my list.

01-15-2005, 03:50 PM
thank you for this nice story

01-16-2005, 12:42 AM

01-16-2005, 11:41 AM
great story thanks for sharing. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif