Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hitlers favorite test pilot

George, our test pilot friend visited last night on his way up to LA for another test pilot convention. He tells great stories and last night we heard about the time he checked in at the Hyatt for a convention and Wernher Von Brahn and Hanna Reitsch were in the same line. Wernher von Brahn needs no explanation, but Hanna is not exactly well known.

She was "Hitler's favorite test pilot", says George and the first woman pilot to accomplish many aviation feats.  She tested the first buzz bomb and survived  - even though it was extremely difficult, almost impossible, for the pilot to get out of the thing. It was a kamikaze-like design. Aimed at a target, loaded up with bombs,  the pilot would eject at the last minute while the plane went on to crash into the target.  Hitler's Luftwaffe didn't like the idea (duh) as the pilot would likely die or at best, be captured; they managed to kill the concept before it killed them.

Not surprisingly, Hanna was a zealous Nazi as was her family. Her big regret was not being able to remain in the bunker with Der Feurher at the end. Conveniently, her father killed the whole family - his wife, children and grandchildren. Hanna was captured by us and interred for some time. She led an interesting life post war; not guilty of any war crimes, she moved around the world readily and was welcomed in many countries. Happily the gene pool is rid of her and the whole family because she never married or had children.   

George said that Werner, who had been living in the US for some time, reverted to type upon facing Hanna and greeted her with heels clicking, a low bow and a kiss on the hand. That must have been something to see. 


  1. Very interesting story. Reminds of another woman who worked for Hitler - Leni Riefenstahl - his favorite filmmaker.
    Wonder why he liked women for these very male jobs. There's a story there somewhere.

  2. Richard has Leni's biography. It's a she must have led an interesting life. Yes, it does seem odd about women in these jobs.

  3. I read the tome. Really an interesting life - considering she went on to become a photographer of the Sudanese tribes people, then in her 80s became an underwater photographer!! She always denied being a Nazi. I wonder.

  4. Just found time to read this post. Such a busy life being retired!
    Your friend is sure a treasure trove of interesting stories. Will we ever meet him?

  5. Nothing like a lovable nazi to liven up a party.