Erich Schmidt (pilot)

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Erich "Schmidtchen" Schmidt
Nickname(s) "Schmidtchen"
Born 17 November 1914
Neuhaus am Rennweg
Died 31 August 1941(1941-08-31) (aged 26)
Dubno, Ukraine
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service ?-1941
Rank Oberleutnant
Unit JG 53
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Erich "Schmidtchen" Schmidt (17 November 1914 – 31 August 1941) was a German Luftwaffe ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership - for the fighter pilots, it was a quantifiable measure of skill and combat success.

Career[edit]

After completing his flight training, at the start of the war in September 1939, Leutnant Schmidt was in the 2nd Staffel of Jagdgeschwader 53 (2./JG 53).[1] Transferred to 9th Staffel (9./JG 53) in the following February, he had no success in the French campaign, and his first victory was on 12 August 1940 when he shot down a Spitfire over the Isle of Wight. He was far more successful in the Battle of Britain however, and he had 17 victories by end of November 1940,[2] when he was transferred briefly to the Stab (HQ) flight of III./JG 53 as Gruppe-Adjutant.[3]

But he was back with 9./JG 53 for the invasion of Russia Operation Barbarossa. With his unit covering the advance of Hoth's panzers on the northern side of Army Group Centre, on the opening day of the campaign (22 June 1941) he shot down four Russian aircraft, and his 30th victory was an I-16 fighter on 4 July. For that score he was awarded the Knight's Cross by the newly promoted General of Fighters Werner Mölders on 23 July. His unit was constantly on the move, leap-frogging forward to airbases often only cleared of enemy a day or two before. Barely staying a few days to a week at a time, their mission was to protect the ground troops from enemy bombers as the blitzkrieg stormed eastward past Minsk, Vitebsk, Smolensk, toward Moscow.

On 26 July he shot down 5 DB-3 bombers, 3 in the morning and 2 more in the afternoon. He shot down his final three victories on 29 August taking his total to 47. But on 31 August 1941, returning from a freie Jagd (free hunt), he was himself shot down after being hit by Soviet anti-aircraft fire east of Velikiye Luki.[4] Baling out behind enemy lines, he was never seen again.[5] At the time he was the top-scoring pilot of III/JG 53, and was posthumously promoted to Oberleutnant.

Victories[edit]

No Date Time Unit & Airfield Gruppe Kommandeur[6] Location Claimed Aircraft Source / Comments[7]
1 12 Aug 1940 12:37 9./JG 53 - Brest Hptm Harro Harder Isle of Wight Spitfire OKL, Prien/Bock
2 31 Aug 1940 20:42 9./JG 53 - Le Touquet, Calais Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke near Dover Spitfire OKL, Prien/Bock
3 5 Sep 1940 16:35 9./JG 53 - Le Touquet Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke  ? Spitfire OKL, Prien/Bock
4 9 Sep 1940 18:55 9./JG 53 - Le Touquet Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke near London Spitfire OKL, Prien/Bock
5 15 Sep 1940 12:44 9./JG 53 - Le Touquet Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke S of London Spitfire OKL, Prien/Bock
6 15 Sep 1940 13:08 9./JG 53 - Le Touquet Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke 10 km S of London : 4000m Spitfire OKL, Prien/Bock
7 15 Sep 1940 15:36 9./JG 53 - Le Touquet Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke  ? Spitfire OKL, Prien/Bock
8 17 Sep 1940 16:41 9./JG 53 - Le Touquet Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke  ? Spitfire OKL, Prien/Bock
9 27 Sep 1940 13:33 9./JG 53 - Le Touquet Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke London Spitfire OKL, Prien/Bock
10 30 Sep 1940 14:33 9./JG 53 - Le Touquet Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke near Hastings Spitfire OKL, Prien/Bock
11 2 Oct 1940 11:06 9./JG 53 - Le Touquet Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke Thames Estuary Spitfire OKL, Prien/Bock
12 2 Oct 1940 11:10 9./JG 53 - Le Touquet Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke Thames Estuary Spitfire OKL, Prien/Bock
13 5 Oct 1940 12:33 9./JG 53 - Le Touquet Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke Thames Estuary Hurricane OKL, Prien/Bock
14 7 Oct 1940 14:20 9./JG 53 - Le Touquet Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke Mayfield Spitfire OKL, Prien/Bock
15 10 Oct 1940 11:30 9./JG 53 - Le Touquet Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke Thames Estuary : 4500m Spitfire OKL, Prien/Bock
16 1 Nov 1940 12:45 9./JG 53 - Le Touquet Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke Tunbridge Wells : 5000m Spitfire OKL, Prien/Bock
17 30 Nov 1940 11:30 9./JG 53 - Le Touquet Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke N of Dover : 5000m Spitfire OKL, Prien/Bock
18 22 Jun 1941 7:15 9./JG 53 - Suwalki Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke near Grodno I-16 Prien/Bock
19 22 Jun 1941 11:35 9./JG 53 - Suwalki Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke Byelorussia DJ-6 Prien/Bock
20 22 Jun 1941 18:25 9./JG 53 - Suwalki Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke Byelorussia I-16 Prien/Bock
21 22 Jun 1941 20:45 9./JG 53 - Suwalki Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke Byelorussia DJ-6 Prien/Bock
22 25 Jun 1941 8:33 9./JG 53 - Vilnius Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke Byelorussia SB-3 Prien/Bock
23 25 Jun 1941 11:30 9./JG 53 - Vilnius Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke Byelorussia-Minsk SB-3 Prien/Bock
24 26 Jun 1941 7:28 9./JG 53 - Vilnius Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke Byelorussia-Minsk DB-3 Prien/Bock
25 26 Jun 1941 7:41 9./JG 53 - Vilnius Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke Byelorussia-Minsk DB-3 Prien/Bock
26 27 Jun 1941 5:08 9./JG 53 - Vilnius Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke Byelorussia-Minsk DB-3 Prien/Bock
27 27 Jun 1941 14:57 9./JG 53 - Vilnius Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke Byelorussia-Minsk DB-3 Prien/Bock
28 27 Jun 1941 18:34 9./JG 53 - Vilnius Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke Byelorussia-Minsk DB-3 Prien/Bock
29 2 Jul 1941 20:09 9./JG 53 - Molodeczno Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke N of Minsk I-153 Prien/Bock
30 4 Jul 1941 12:21 9./JG 53 - Molodeczno Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke N of Minsk I-16 Prien/Bock
31 14 Jul 1941 18:05 9./JG 53 - Vitebsk Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke twd Smolensk I-17 (MiG-3) Prien/Bock
32 26 Jul 1941 9:35 9./JG 53 - Demidov Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke near Smolensk DB-3 Prien/Bock
33 26 Jul 1941 10:10 9./JG 53 - Demidov Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke near Smolensk DB-3 Prien/Bock
34 26 Jul 1941 10:12 9./JG 53 - Demidov Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke near Smolensk DB-3 Prien/Bock
35 26 Jul 1941 18:28 9./JG 53 - Demidov Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke near Smolensk DB-3 Prien/Bock
36 26 Jul 1941 18:32 9./JG 53 - Demidov Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke near Smolensk DB-3 Prien/Bock
37 2 Aug 1941 13:45 9./JG 53 - Moschna Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke twd Velikiye Luki I-18 (MiG-3) Prien/Bock
38 5 Aug 1941 10:41 9./JG 53 - Moschna Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke twd Velikiye Luki I-18 (MiG-3) Prien/Bock
39 5 Aug 1941 10:46 9./JG 53 - Moschna Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke twd Velikiye Luki I-18 (MiG-3) Prien/Bock
40 7 Aug 1941 10:22 9./JG 53 - Surasch Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke twd Velikiye Luki I-16 Prien/Bock
41 19 Aug 1941 13:05 9./JG 53 - Maklok Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke near Velikiye Luki I-16 Prien/Bock
42 23 Aug 1941 17:00 9./JG 53 - Maklok Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke near Velikiye Luki I-18 (MiG-3) Prien/Bock
43 25 Aug 1941 14:55 9./JG 53 - Maklok Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke near Toropets Il-2 Prien/Bock
44 27 Aug 1941 16:25 9./JG 53 - Maklok Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke  ? I-153 Prien/Bock
45 29 Aug 1941 15:35 9./JG 53 - Maklok Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke  ? I-16 Prien/Bock
46 29 Aug 1941 15:44 9./JG 53 - Maklok Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke  ? I-18 (MiG-3) Prien/Bock
47 29 Aug 1941 15:46 9./JG 53 - Maklok Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke  ? I-18 (MiG-3) Prien/Bock
31 Aug 1941 - 9./JG 53 - Maklok Hptm Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke E of Velikiye Luki AA

Awards[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ According to Scherzer as pilot in the 9./Jagdgeschwader 53.[9]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ Luftwaffe Officer Career Summaries website.
  2. ^ Aces of the Luftwaffe website.
  3. ^ Weal 2007, pg. 38.
  4. ^ Weal 2007, pg. 48.
  5. ^ Spick 2006, pp. 121, 123.
  6. ^ Luftwaffe Air Units: Single–Engined Fighters website.
  7. ^ Aces of the Luftwaffe website.
  8. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 381.
  9. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 669.
Bibliography
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. New York: Ivy Books. ISBN 0-8041-1696-2.
  • Weal, John (1996). Bf109D/E Aces 1939-41. Oxford: Osprey Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-85532-487-3.
  • Weal, John (2001). Bf109 Aces of the Russian Front. Oxford: Osprey Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-84176-084-6.
  • Weal, John (2007). Aviation Elite Units #25: Jagdgeschwader 53 Pik-As’. Oxford: Osprey Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-84603-204-2.

External links[edit]