"Mr. Ernst Schröder was born in May 1922 in Köln (Cologne) and developed at an early age, a liking for the aircraft that he could watch not far from his home at the airport Köln-Butzweilerhof. He started to carve models of the aircraft out of wood. He still has some of these models today!.
In 1941 he volunteered to the Luftwaffe and was trained as a mechanic on the He-111. His wish to become a pilot started to become a reality when he was transferred to Kaufbeuren to the pilot school A23 on May 13. 1943. Here he flew Bu-181, Bu-131 Kl-35 and Go-145. After receiving his pilot licence he was transferred in January 1944 to JG.101 in Pau/Lourdes in the south of France for fighter pilot training. He trained on Ar 96, Fw 56, Ar 68, D.520, Me 108, Me 109G-10, Me 109E, Me 109G-2 and Me 109G-6. One of his commanding officers there was Major Walter Nowotny.
In June 1944 he was transferred to the Jagdergänzungsgruppe West were he was introduced to the Fw 190. By this time he had made 449 flights.
On August 6th, 1944 he was posted to 5.JG.300. Lt. Bretschneider lead the Staffel. In the next five weeks he made another twelve flights, totalling 8 hours and 50 minutes, in Fw 190’s, making test flights, and transferring aircraft to and from maintenance depots. His first combat flight was on August 6. 1944. He flew 19 of his 41 combat flights with Fw 190A-8/R8 Red 19. His last flight in this aircraft was on October 10th, 1944 when he belly-landed Red 19 after a fight with a P-51 Mustang.
At war’s end he escaped becoming a prisoner of war by writing himself dismissal papers in an abandoned Luftwaffe office truck!"