4 December 1901|
|Died||19 January 1999
|Commands held||I./JG 1, JG 27, JG 77|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Oberst Bernhard Woldenga (4 December 1901, Hamburg – 19 January 1999) served in the Luftwaffe during World War II, commanding the JG 27 and JG 77 fighter wings. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Woldenga's career started as a captain in the merchant marine. He started his flight training in 1928 and worked as chief pilot for the FVK Warnemünde. He transferred to the newly emerging Luftwaffe, taking command as Gruppenkommandeur of the I./Jagdgeschwader 131 (JG 131) — later renamed to I./Jagdgeschwader 1 (JG 1) — on 1 April 1937. With this unit he participated in the invasion of Poland in 1939. He surrender command of the Gruppe on 1 February 1940 and was transferred to the Reichsluftfahrtministerium. He briefly led Jagdgeschwader 27 (JG 27) on the Channel Front from 11 October to 22 October 1940 before he was made Geschwaderkommodore of Jagdgeschwader 77 (JG 77). JG 77 distinguished itself under his leadership in the Balkans Campaign and invasion of Crete. JG 77 claimed 50 aerial victories, 114 ground victories, sank 5 fast attack crafts and 81,000 gross register tons (GRT) of merchant shipping. Woldenga himself flew numerous ground support missions. He received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) for these accomplishments. He again took command of JG 27 on 21 June 1941 on the Russian front during Operation Barbarossa and claimed 4 aerial victories. He relocated the Geschwaderstab to North Africa in December 1941. He was appointed Fliegerführer Balkan on 10 June 1942. His last service position of the war was commander of the Luftkriegschule 10 in Fürstenwalde near Berlin.
He is credited with three aerial victories of which two were claimed on the Eastern front.
- Iron Cross (1939) 2nd and 1st class
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 5 July 1941 as Major and Geschwaderkommodore of JG 77
- Obermaier 1989, p. 226.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 451.
- 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.
- Ring, Hans and Girbig, Werner (1994). Jagdgeschwader 27 Die Dokumentation über den Einsatz an allen Fronten 1939-1945. Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-87943-215-5.
- 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.
- Prien, Jochen, Peter Rodeike and Gerhard Stemmer (1998). Messerschmidt Bf 109 im Einsatz bei Stab und I./Jagdgeschwader 27 1939 - 1945. Eutin, Germany: Struve-Druck. ISBN 3-923457-46-4.
- 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.
Oberstleutnant Max Ibel
|Acting Commander of Jagdgeschwader 27 Afrika
October 11, 1940 – October 22, 1940
Major Wolfgang Schellmann
Major Wolfgang Schellmann
|Commander of Jagdgeschwader 27 Afrika
June 21, 1941 – April 10, 1942
Oberstleutnant Eduard Neumann
Oberstleutnant Eitel Roediger von Manteuffel
|Commander of Jagdgeschwader 77 Herz As
December 22, 1940 – June 23, 1941
Major Gotthard Handrick
|Commander of Jagdfliegerführer Rumänien
July, 1943 – June, 1944
Hauptmann Wolfgang Falck