- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Oberfeldwebel (Flight Sergeant)
- Flugzeugführer und Bordmechaniker, 9. Staffel, III. Gruppe, Kampfgeschwader 76, Luftwaffe
- Awarded on:
- October 1st, 1940
On the 18.08.1940, Leutnant Illg was serving as the observer aboard a Do 17 during a raid against the RAF base at Kenley (south of London). In the course of the mission the aircraft’s pilot, Oberleutnant Magin, received a serious chest wound and was incapacitated. Illg, who had never piloted an aircraft before, grabbed the controls and was able to pull off a slow climb. The other two crew members pulled the unconscious pilot from his seat and Illg took his place for the return journey. He managed to reach the St. Omer airfield and achieved a landing on his fourth attempt at doing so.
Magin unfortunately succumbed to his injuries a few minutes later en-route to hospital, but Illg’s brave actions under the most trying of circumstances meant that the remainder of the crew and the aircraft itself were saved. He would be awarded the Knight’s Cross for this action while simultaneously being promoted to Leutnant.