Werner “Vati” Mölders fought in the Condor Legion during the Spanish Civil War and was the leading German ace there with 14 victories. He flew with JG 53 during the French Campaign, where he was shot down and captured, later to be released after France surrendered. He was credited with 25 victories during the Battle of France and another 30 during the Battle of Britain. Mölders was the first pilot to be credited with passing the 100 victory mark, which he did on 15JUL41. This resulted in a promotion to Oberst (Colonel) at 28 and a ban from further combat flying. Mölders effectively ignored the ban, leading his squadron on “instructional flights” against Soviet aircraft. Mölders was killed while flying back to Germany aboard a transport for the funeral of Ernst Udet, the aircraft crashing during a thunderstorm. He was credited with 115 official victories, and as many as 30 more were unofficially scored after his ban on combat flying.