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Ensign Dezső Szentgyörgyi (16 January 1915 - 28 August 1971), Copenhagenmarker) was the highest scoring Hungarianmarker fighter ace of the Royal Hungarian Honvéd Air Force in World War II.

Early life/Royal Hungarian Honvéd Air Force

Dezső Szentgyörgyi was born in 1915 in Kőkúttapaszd. He finished his studies in Enying, and was 18 years old when he volunteered for the Royal Hungarian Air Force. Initially he was an aircraft-mechanic, but later received pilot training. He finished the aviation school in Székesfehérvármarker with excellent ratings. He was trained as a fighter pilot, and took part in 1/2 FS’s operations in northern Hungary with the Fiat CR.32. In summer 1942 he was transferred with the 1/1 "Dongó" (Bumblebee) Fighter Squadron to the Soviet front. He flew the Reggiane Re.2000 Falco (MÁVAG Héja), then the Messerschmitt Bf 109G. He shot down his first aircraft on 7 August, 1942 in a friendly fire accident, the victim being a German Heinkel He 111 bomber that opened fire on him during while Szentgyörgyi was trying to identify the aircraft. His first victory over an enemy fighter was listed almost a year later, 26 June 1943, a Soviet Yak fighter. 142 sorties and 6 kills were added to his record while fighting on the Eastern Front.

In the Puma Group

The 101. Honi Légvédelmi Vadászrepülő Osztály (101st "Puma" Fighter Group) was formed on 01 May 1944. Szentgyörgyi was transferred to the 101/2 "Retek" (Radish) Fighter Squadron. He continued to score his kills among the Pumas, and 6 American planes fell to his guns. By the summer of 1944 he was a flight leader. He was promoted to Ensign on 16 November 1944. After the "American Season" ended, once again Soviet fighters became the main enemy. Dezső scored an additional 17 kills, the last on 16 April 1945. He never crashed a plane due to pilot error nor was he ever shot down. By the end of the war he had made more than 220 sorties, and had 29 confirmed kills; the most successful Hungarian fighter pilot.

After the war

After the war, he returned home and became a pilot of the MASZOVLET (Hungarian-Soviet Airlines) between 1946 and 1949. Between 1950 and 1956 he spent several years in Communist prisons, before becoming a pilot of the renamed Malév Hungarian Airlines again, logging 12,334 flight hours and covering more than 5 million kilometres in the air. On 28 August 1971 Szentgyörgyi died in a crash near Copenhagenmarker while flying an Ilyushin Il-18 (HA-MOC). He was due to retire in less than three weeks.

The MH 59th "Szentgyörgyi Dezső" Air Base of the Hungarian Air Force in Kecskemétmarker (equipped with MiG-29 and JAS 39 Gripen fighters) is named in honor of the officer.

Victories

Kill no. Date - Type

1943
  • 1. 26/06/1943 - Yak-7b
  • 2. 07/07/1943 - La-5
  • 3. 03/08/1943 - La-5
  • 4. 03/08/1943 - Il-2
  • 5. 04/08/1943 - La-5
  • 6. 04/08/1943 - Pe-2
1944
  • 7. 14/06/1944 - P-38
  • 8. 27/06/1944 - P-51
  • 9. 02/07/1944 - B-24
  • 10. 16/07/1944 - B-24
  • 11. 27/07/1944 - B-24
  • 12. 22/08/1944 - B-24
  • 13. 13/11/1944 - Yak-9
  • 14. 16/11/1944 - Il-2
  • 15. 08/12/1944 - Yak-9
  • 16. 20/12/1944 - Il-2
1945
  • 17. 04/01/1945 - La-5
  • 18. 08/01/1945 - La-5
  • 19. 18/01/1945 - La-5
  • 20. 18/01/1945 - Il-2
  • 21. 28/01/1945 - Yak-9
  • 22. 30/01/1945 - Yak-9
  • 23. 12/02/1945 - Il-2
  • 24. 09/03/1945 - Yak-9
  • 25. 11/03/1945 - La-5
  • 26. 19/03/1945 - Il-2
  • 27. 20/03/1945 - La-7
  • 28. 23/03/1945 - Yak-3
  • 29. 15/04/1945 - Yak-9


Unconfirmed

  • 1. 20/07/1943 - Soviet fighter
  • 2. 03/08/1943 - Soviet fighter
  • 3. 05/08/1943 - Soviet fighter
  • 4. 06/08/1943 - Soviet fighter
  • 5. 07/08/1943 - Soviet fighter
  • 6. 19/03/1945 - La-5


References

  • Becze Csaba - Elfelejtett Hősök - A Magyar Királyi Honvéd Légierő ászai a II. világháborúban, Puedlo Kiadó, 2006, ISBN 963 9673 064
  • Császár Ottó - Élet és Halál a Levegőben - vitéz Szentgyörgyi Dezső életrajzi regénye, Malév Kiadó, 1994, ISBN 963 450 600 3
  • Pataki I./Rozsos L./Sárhidai Gy. - Légi Háború Magyarország Felett I., Zrínyi Kiadó, 1992, ISBN 963 327 154 1
  • Pataki I./Rozsos L./Sárhidai Gy. - Légi Háború Magyarország Felett II., Zrínyi Kiadó, 1993, ISBN 963 327 163 0
  • Punka György - Hungarian Aces of World War 2, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, England, 2002.
  • Punka György - A "Messzer" - Bf 109-ek a Magyar Királyi Honvéd Légierőben, OMIKK, 1995, ISBN 963 593 208 1
  • Punka Gy./Sárhidai Gy. - Magyar Sasok - A Magyar Királyi Honvéd Légierő 1920 - 1945, K.u.K. Kiadó, 2006, ISBN 963 7437 51 7
  • Tobak Tibor - Pumák Földön-Égen, Lap és Könyvkiadó Kft., 1989, ISBN 963 7403 35 3


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