- Category : 1891-births
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Split - Small (7,10,19,30,34,48,57)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Unexpected 4
German air force officer during World War I and World War II, who benefited from his long friendship with Hermann Göring.
Loerzer was a prewar army officer who learned to fly in 1914. Göring flew as Loerzer's observer from 28 October 1914 until late June 1915. Transferring to fighters, Loerzer flew with two Jagdstaffeln in 1916 before joining Jagdstaffel 26 in January 1917. By then he had scored two victories over French aircraft. His tally reached 20 victories at the end of October and he received the Pour le Mérite in February 1918.
The same month, he took command of the newly formed Jagdgeschwader III, the third of Germany's famed "flying circuses." Loerzer proved a successful wing commander. He achieved his last ten victories in September when he reached his final score of 44 victories. Shortly before the armistice, he was promoted to Hauptmann (captain).
During the 1930s he was a leader in various civil aviation organizations (National Socialist Flying Corps: NSFK), and rejoined the Luftwaffe in 1935 with the rank of Oberst (colonel).
Loerzer benefited from his friendship with Göring, becoming Inspector of Fighters with rank of major general in 1938. During the early war years he was commander of II Air Corps, being awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross in May 1940. Göring promoted Loerzer to Generaloberst in February 1943 and in June 1944 was chief of the National Socialist Leadership Branch of the Luftwaffe. He retired in April 1945.
Loerzer died on 23 August 1960, aged 69, in Hamburg, Germany.