2 January 1921|
|Died||5 July 2004
|Rank||Oberleutnant of the Reserves|
|Unit||JG 27, JG 52, JG 400|
|Commands held||6./JG 400|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
|Other work||Ingenieurbüro Woidich|
Franz-Walter Woidich (2 January 1921 – 5 July 2004) was a Luftwaffe flying ace of World War II. Wernitz was credited with 110 aerial victories claimed in roughly 1000 combat missions. 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.
Woidich was born on 2 January 1921 in Znaim, present-day Znojmo in the Czech Republic, at the time in the German-speaking region of southern Moravia of the First Czechoslovak Republic. Oberfähnrich (Ensign) Woidich joined the 5./Jagdgeschwader 27 (JG 27–27th Fighter Wing) on 11 July 1941, then stationed in North Africa.[Note 1] He claimed two aerial victories in the North African theater of operations, the first on 22 November 1941.
He was transferred to the 3./Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52–52nd Fighter Wing) which fought on the Eastern Front on 1 April 1942. Here he claimed seven aerial victories by the end of 1942. When he took command of the 3./JG 52 on 11 June 1943 his score had increased to 16 aerial victories. His score of enemy aircraft shot down had increased to 56 by the end of 1943. He had claimed four aircraft shot down on both 7 and 13 July 1943. He was decorated with the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 11 June 1944 following his 80th aerial victory. A noteworthy achievement was made on 11 January 1944 when he claimed his 57th to 60th aerial victory. He became an ace in a day on 17 January 1944 when he shot down his 62nd to 66th enemy aircraft. He again claimed four aircraft shot down on 16 April 1944 for victories 72 to 75. His most successful month was July 1944 with 29 aircraft shot down.
Woidich was transferred to Ergänzungsstaffel (Training/Supplement Squadron) of Jagdgeschwader 400 (JG 400–400th Fighter Wing) for conversion training to the Messerschmitt Me 163 rocket powered aircraft on 11 August 1944. As a Staffelkapitän (squadron leader) of the 6./JG 400 he claimed one of the very rare aerial victories while flying the Me 163 rocket fighter on 22 April 1945.
After World War II in 1953, Ing.-grad. Woidich together with Dipl.-Ing. Karl Thress opened the Ingenieurbüro Woidich (Engineering Office Woidich), an automotive technical engineering bureau, in Mainz-Kastel.[Note 2] Woidich's son, Dipl.-Bw. Gerd Woidich, joined the firm in 1981.
- Iron Cross (1939) 2nd and 1st Class
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe on 13 September 1943 as Oberfeldwebel and pilot
- German Cross in Gold on 17 October 1943 as Oberfeldwebel in the 3./JG 52
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 11 June 1944 as pilot and Leutnant of the Reserves in the 3./JG 52[Note 3]
- For an explanation of the meaning of Luftwaffe unit designation see Luftwaffe Organization
- In German, an engineer's degree is called Diplom-Ingenieur, abbreviated Dipl.-Ing. The depreciated graduate engineering degree, Ing.-grad. (graduierter Ingenieur) are no longer awarded.
- According to Scherzer as Leutnant.
- Obermaier 1989, p. 226.
- Ramson and Cammann 2010, p. 97.
- Spick 1996, p. 232.
- "Wir über uns - Qualität mit Tradition". Ingenieurbüro Woidich (in German). Retrieved 19 September 2013.
- Patzwall 2008, p. 220.
- Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 520.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 451.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 794.
- 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.
- Patzwall, Klaus D. (2008). Der Ehrenpokal für besondere Leistung im Luftkrieg [The Honor Goblet for Outstanding Achievement in the Air War] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-08-3.
- Ransom, Stephen; Cammann, Hans-Hermann (2010). Jagdgeschwader 400: Germany's Elite Rocket Fighters. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84603-975-1.
- 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 978-0-8041-1696-1.
- "Franz Woidich". Traditionsgemeinschaft Jagdgeschwader 52 (in German). Retrieved 11 April 2013.
- "Franz Woidich" (PDF). Ritterkreuztraeger.info (in German). Retrieved 11 April 2013.
- "Franz Woidich". World War 2 Awards.com. Retrieved 19 September 2013.