SAO PAULO — A decorated World War II German ace has died in southern Brazil at the age of 94.

Close friend Oswaldo Pfiffer says Martin Drewes died Sunday of multiple organ failure in the city of Blumenau.

Drewes flew Messerschmitts and shot down more than 50 allied aircraft during the war.

In an interview with the Globo TV network, Drewes said last year that he never shot at pilots that parachuted out of the planes he shot down. He refused to talk about Adolf Hitler or the Holocaust.

Pfiffer says Drewes “was a soldier not a Nazi.”

Drewes came to Brazil in 1949. One of his jobs was to fly planes used to make aerial photos for companies involved in the construction of Brasilia, the capital.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press