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The Jagdgeschwader 53 Pik As was disbanded in April 1945.

Hauptmann and Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 53 Werner Mölders recieved his Knight's Cross on 29 May 1940, he was the first fighter pilot to received that award.

Commanders

Oberstleutnant Werner Junck (1 Sep 1939 - 30 Sep 1939)
Major Hans Klein (30 Sep 1939 - 31 Dec 1939)
Oberstleutnant Hans-Jürgen von Cramon-Taubadel (1 Jan 1940 - 30 Sep 1940)
Oberstleutnant Freiherr von Maltzahn (30 Sep 1940 - 4 Oct 1943)
Major Friedrich Karl Müller (? Oct 1943 - ? Oct 1943)
Major Kurt Ubben (? Oct 1943 - ? Nov 1943)
Oberstleutnant Helmut Bennemann (? Nov 1943 - 27 Apr 1945)

Notable members

Erich Hartmann (The highest scoring air ace ever with 352 claimed victories, holder of the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. After the war he became commander of Jagdgeschwader 71 Richthofen in the Bundeswehr)
Werner Mölders (The first pilot to score 100 victories, Holder of the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, the post-WW2 Luftwaffe unit Jagdgeschwader 74 Mölders was named in his honour 1973-2005 as was the Bundesmarine destroyer D186 Mölders)

Downed Bf109 of JG53
me109-downed-jg53
(Courtesy of Joe Imwalle)

Sources used

Research by Gareth Collins

Reference material on this unit

Jochen Prien - Jagdgeschwader 53 (3 volumes)
John Weal - Jagdgeschwader 53 'Pik-As'

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