Q: Adolf Galland told me that he tried to get you to join his JV-44 in 1945. Why did you not take him up on the offer, like Krupi and Barkhorn?
A: I did qualify in the Me-262, but my heart and friends were in JG-52, and I felt that was where I belonged. Unit loyalty to me was important. Plus I had many new pilots who needed guidance and instruction. They were getting younger all the time and had fewer and fewer hours of flight instruction before they were thrown into battle. I was needed and that was where I stayed. Rall, Krupinski, Steinhoff and others were transferred to the Reich Defense, where they ended their war. I was torn between these facts, but I felt that I made the right decision at the time. In later years I realized that my life would have been very different if I had stayed with JV-44.