Luftwaffe Pilots & Airmen – T thru Z

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Johannes “Hannes” Trautloft

Johannes “Hannes” Trautloft (3 March 1912 – 11 January 1995) was a German World War II fighter ace who served in the Luftwaffe from 1932 until the end of the war and again from 1957–70. He flew 560 combat sorties and was credited with 58 victories.

Theodor Weissenberger

Major Theodor Weissenberger (born 21 December 1914 in Mühlheim am Main, Grand Duchy of Hesse, killed in a car racing accident 10 June 1950 on the Nürburgring) was a German World War II fighter ace who served in the Luftwaffe from 1936 until the end of World War II in 1945. He flew more than 500 combat missions claiming 208 enemy aircraft shot down. 33 claims were made on the Western Front, including some 7 heavy bombers.

Franz von Werra

Franz Xaver Baron von Werra (13 July 1914 – 25 October 1941) was a German World War II fighter pilot and flying ace who was shot down over Britain and captured. He is generally regarded as the only Axis prisoner of war to succeed in escaping from a Canadian prisoner of war camp and returning to Germany, though a second man, a U-Boat rating named Walter Kurt Reich is said to have jumped from a Polish troopship (presumably the ex-liner Sobieski) in the St. Lawrence River in July 1940. Von Werra managed to return to Germany via the USA, Mexico, South America and Spain to reach Germany on 18 April 1941.Oberleutnant von Werra was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 14 December 1940.

Erich Weißflog

Erich Weißflog (29 November 1919 – 10 January 1999) was a highly decorated Oberleutnant in the Luftwaffe during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Theodor Weissenberger

Theodor Weissenberger (21 December 1914 – 11 June 1950) was a German Luftwaffe military aviator during World War II and a fighter ace credited with 208 enemy aircraft shot down in 375 combat missions. The majority of his victories were claimed near the Arctic Ocean in the northern sector of the Eastern Front, but he also claimed 33 victories over the Western Front. He claimed eight of these victories over the Western Allies while flying the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter.

Born in Mühlheim am Main in the German Empire, Weissenberger, who had been a glider pilot in his youth, volunteered for service in the Luftwaffe of the Third Reich in 1936. Following flight training, he was posted to the heavy fighter squadron of Jagdgeschwader 77 (JG 77—77th Fighter Wing) in 1941. He claimed his first aerial victory over Norway on 24 October 1941. After 23 aerial victories as heavy fighter pilot, he received the German Cross in Gold and was then posted to Jagdgeschwader 5 (JG 5—5th Fighter Wing) in September 1942. There he received the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 13 November 1942 after 38 aerial victories.

In June 1943, Weissenberger was appointed Staffelkapitän of 7. Staffel of JG 5. Following his 112th aerial victory, he was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves on 2 August 1943. He was appointed Staffelkapitän of 6. Staffel in September 1943 and in March 1944 he was given command of II. Gruppe of JG 5 which was operating in Defense of the Reich missions. In June 1944 he took command of I. Gruppe of JG 5 which defended against the Invasion of Normandy. Weissenberger claimed 25 aerial victories in this theater, which included his 200th victory on 25 July 1944.

After conversion training to the Me 262 jet fighter, he was appointed commander of I. Gruppe of Jagdgeschwader 7 “Nowotny” (JG 7—7th Fighter Wing), the first operational jet fighter wing in the world, in November 1944. Promoted to Major (major), he took command of JG 7 “Nowotny” as a Geschwaderkommodore in January 1945, a position he held until the end of hostilities.

He was killed in a car racing accident on 11 June 1950 at the Nürburgring.

Johannes Wiese

Johannes Wiese (7 May 1915 – 16 August 1991) was a German World War II fighter ace who served in the Luftwaffe from 1935 until the end of World War II on 8 May 1945. He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. After the war in 1956 he joined the Bundeswehr and attained the rank of Oberstleutnant. He retired on 30 November 1970.

Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke

Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke (born 11 March 1913 in Schrimm, Posen, killed in action 23 March 1944 near Schöppenstedt) was a German World War II fighter ace who served in the Luftwaffe from 1935 until his death. A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat. He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Other Pilots:

    • Hauptmann Erwin Aichele
    • Sergeant Major Erich Axthammer
    • Rudolf Blaser
    • Hauptmann Kurt Ebersberger
    • Franz Dietrich Fadenau
    • Hauptmann Willi Flechner
    • Major Heinrich Gerlach
    • Oberleutnant Ramón Escudé Gilbert
    • Oberfeldwebel Walter Grünlinger
    • Karl-Heinz Plücker
    • Hauptmann Konrad Kahl
    • Major Helmut Naumann
    • Oberfeldwebel Johann-Peter Oekenpöhler
    • Oberst Hans Dietrich Riesl
    • Hermann Segatz
    • Major der Reserve Rudolf “Rudi” Schoenert
    • Feldwebel Willi Schultz
    • Oberfeldwebel Albert Spieth
    • Hauptmann Erich Stoffregen
    • Unteroffizier Arno Zimmermann

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German Military History with a focus on World War 2 History including other areas of German History