August Geiger (pilot)
|Born||6 May 1920
|Died||29 September 1943
over Zuiderzee, Netherlands
|Buried at||Ysselsteyn, Netherlands
(Block M-row 4-grave 83)
|Years of service||1939–1943|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves|
August Geiger (6 May 1920 – 29 September 1943) was a German Luftwaffe night fighter ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves during World War II. 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.
Geiger was born on 6 May 1920 in Überlingen, near Lake Constance. Geiger joined the Luftwaffe in late 1939 and was posted in mid-1941 as Leutnant to 8./Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 (NJG 1).[Note 1] Geiger's first two claims were a Vickers Wellington and a Armstrong Whitworth Whitley on 26 June 1942. By the start of 1943 Geiger had ten victories and been awarded the Iron Cross First Class.
On 29 September 1943 he was shot down by the Beaufighter VI of W/C Bob Braham of No. 141 Squadron RAF over the Zuiderzee, Netherlands. Gieger managed to bale out of his Messerschmitt Bf-110 G but was drowned when his parachute dragged him under.
He was posthumously awarded the Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross on 2 March 1944.
In 328 combat missions, Geiger claimed 53 aerial victories, all of them at night.[Note 2] According to O.K.L. Fighter Claims Reich & Western Front 35 mm micro-films; Geiger and long time friend/fellow night fighter Herbert Lutje were reported to have shot down a B-17 at 11:31hrs at 4,200 meters on 4 March 1943 during a daylight B-17 raid which was known by American pilots as the "Hamm Massacre".
- Aviator badge
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (19 October 1942)
- Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe in Gold
- Iron Cross (1939)
- 2nd Class
- 1st Class
- German Cross in Gold on 31 August 1943 as Hauptmann in the 1./Nachtjagdgeschwader 1
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
- Scutts 2000, pp. 54-55.
- Obermaier 1989, p. 61.
- Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 132.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 192.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 329.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 79.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.
- Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 – 1945 [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Luftwaffe Fighter Force 1941 – 1945] (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 978-3-87341-065-7.
- Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
- Scutts, Jerry (1998). German Night Fighter Aces of World War 2. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85532-696-5.
- Shores, Christopher F. and Clive Williams (1994). Aces High: a Tribute to the most notable fighter pilots of the British and Commonwealth Forces in WWII. London: Grub Street. ISBN 1-898697-00-0.
- Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6.