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Theodor Weissenberger

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Theodor Weissenberger

Theodor Weissenberger
Theodor Weissenberger
Born (1914-12-21)21 December 1914
Mühlheim am Main
Died 10 June 1950(1950-06-10) (aged 35)
Nürburgring
Allegiance Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1936–45
Rank Major
Unit JG 77, JG 5, JG 7
Commands held III./JG 6, I./JG 7, JG 7
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

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.

World War II

Gruppenkommandeur Hauptmann Weißenberger on 4 October 1944

Prewar Weissenberger was a keen glider pilot and was an instructor in the early war years. He finally managed an operational posting in mid 1941, to I(Z)./JG 77 in Norway. He claimed his first kill in October 1941, and went on to score a further twenty-one kills in the Bf 110, in addition to fifteen locomotives, two flak installations, and numerous ground targets destroyed.

In September 1942 he was posted to II./JG 5, based in Northern Finland. Flying with 6 Staffel, and then as commander of 7 Staffel, he had claimed 104 kills by July 1943, and been awarded the Ritterkreuz.

Becoming Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 5 in April 1944, he had claimed some 175 kills by May 1944 in over 350 missions on the Arctic Front.

Taking over I./JG 5 on 4 June, the unit transferred to the Western Front in mid 1944 and through June and July 1944, Weissenberger flew twenty-six sorties and was credited with twenty-five victories over the Invasion Front around Normandy (his claims were half the total score by the whole unit, I./JG 5, during this period). He claimed five P-47s on 7 June, two more P-47s on 9 June, and another three P-47s on 12 June. He scored again on 19 July with three Typhoons and a P-51. On 25 July he claimed two more Spitfires shot down.

Weissenberger converted to the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter in the second half of 1944. In November 1944 he was posted to command I./JG 7.

On New Year's Day 1945 Theo Weissenberger married his teenage love Cilly Vogel. Best man at his wedding was Walter Schuck.[1]

Promoted to Major on 1 January 1945, Weissenberger was put in command of JG 7 as Geschwaderkommodore. He is credited with eight confirmed victories (seven B-17s and a P-51) while flying the Messerschmitt 262.[Notes 1]

Despite his excellent talents as a fighter pilot, Weissenberger's casual often 'non-military' attitude and demeanour meant he often got into trouble with his superiors regarding discipline.

Weissenberger became a motor racing driver after the war and was killed at the infamous Nürburgring circuit on 10 June 1950, when his BMW-powered single seater crashed on the first lap of the XV Eifelrennen motor race.

Awards

He was recommended by Oberstleutnant Johannes Steinhoff for the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords after his 200th aerial victory. This request was declined on 20 February 1945.[6]

References in the Wehrmachtbericht

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
10 July 1943 Deutsche Jäger schlugen in der vergangenen Nacht den Angriffsversuch feindlicher Torpedoflugzeuge auf ein Geleit in den Gewässern des hohen Nordens ab und vernichteten ohne eigene Verluste 20 feindliche Flugzeuge. Hierbei erzielte Leutnant Weissenberger sieben Luftsiege.[7] German fighters repulsed an enemy torpedo aircraft attack on a convoy in the seas up north last night and destroyed without sustaining any losses 20 enemy aircraft. Leutnant Weissenberger achieved seven aerial victories in this engagement.
26 July 1944 Hauptmann Weissenberger, Gruppenkommandeur in einem Jagdgeschwader, errang an der Ostfront seinen 200. Luftsieg.[8] Hauptmann Weissenberger, group commander in a fighter wing, achieved his 200th aerial victory on the eastern front.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ For a list of Luftwaffe Jet aces see List of German World War II Jet aces

References

Citations
  1. ^ Schuck 2007, p. 184.
  2. ^ a b Thomas 1998, p. 430.
  3. ^ Obermaier 1989, p. 58.
  4. ^ Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 504.
  5. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 776.
  6. ^ Berger 2000, p. 395.
  7. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 2, p. 513.
  8. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 3, p. 176.
Bibliography

External links

  • "Lexikon der Wehrmacht". Theodor Weissenberger (in German). Retrieved 27 March 2007. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Oberstleutnant Johannes Steinhoff
Commander of Jagdgeschwader 7 Nowotny
1 January 1945 – 8 May 1945
Succeeded by
none
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