Hans Ewe


As interviewed by Alec Ewe, March 14, 2017

Hans Ewe: In His Own Words

How long were you in the Luftwaffe and NATO?

I was in the Luftwaffe 57-93, and i was serving in the NATO staff for 6 years from 78-81 and 87-90.

What rank were you in the Luftwaffe?


My final rank was lieutenant colonel.

Did you have any scary experiences as a pilot? If so tell me about them.

Any pilot has probably in his life had occasions where he barely made it. I had 2 as far as I remember now. One in 84 when my engine quit just over the landing strip, but I had enough speed to complete the landing circle and landed safely. And the other one was at night in very bad weather,in the F-104, when the nozzle opened unexpectedly, but I could close it with a mechanical device and I could land the airplane safely.

What is NATO, and why was it made?

NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, it was founded in the 50's, and it was formed because of the threatening of the Soviet Union for some West European states after the war. Germany was not one of the first members, that was of course the United States, Great Britain, and France, later on the Benelux states.

Where did your NATO/Luftwaffe job take you?

I had a lot of flying outside the country, neighboring countries naturally like Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Great Britain, Italy, Turkey, Greece, France, and Spain, and Portugal, besides that of course I had the training in the United States, and we flew a lot of long distance flights over the United States.

What languages did you use in NATO?

We of course communicated most of the time in English, or let's say, almost every time, except when I was talking of course to my German colleagues, but not in the air of course. That was on the ground. In the air it was strictly English, and even with the other nations it was in English and when we had a problem with communication, which sometimes was the case with our Turkish friends, one of them, flying in the same formations, was an English speaker and he was translating then what they said in the native language.