Max-Hellmuth Ostermann began the war flying the Bf 110 twin-engine fighter with ZG 1 during the Invasion of Poland. He transferred to JG 21 flying the Bf 109 in time for the Battle of France, where he scored his first victory, a Morane-Saulnier M.S.406 on 20MAY40. By the close of the Battle of Britain he had achieved eight victories.
Ostermann continued to score against the Soviets from the start of Operation Barbarossa, being awarded the Knight’s Cross at the beginning of September 1941 for 29 victories. His score had risen to 70 by February 1942, when he was granted leave to get married. Because of his small build and youthful appearance, he was briefly arrested for impersonating a Luftwaffe Officer on his wedding day.
He achieved his 100th victory on 12MAY42 but was wounded in the engagement. He was presented with the Swords while recuperating. Ostermann was shot down and killed on 09AUG42 by Arkady Ivanovich Sukov flying a LaGG-3. His final score was 102. Max-Hellmuth Ostermann’s Bf 109F-2, 7. / JG54 at Dno, Russia, September 1941