Note that the Knight's Cross at his neck is a photomontage
|Born||29 April 1915
|Died||23 August 1942
|Years of service||1939–42|
World War II
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Heinrich-Wilhelm Ahnert (29 April 1915 – 23 August 1942) was a German Luftwaffe ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. Ahnert claimed 57 aerial victories, 4 over the Western Front and 53 over the Eastern Front. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Heinrich-Wilhelm Ahnert was originally an intelligence officer and reconnaissance pilot, he flew missions during the Invasion of Poland and during the Battle of France. In 1941 he was retrained as a fighter pilot and joined 3. Staffel, Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52—52nd Fighter Wing) in the Netherlands, claiming 4 victories over the Western Front. Oberfeldwebel Ahnert claimed a Hurricane over Oostende, Belgium on 15 February 1941, two Bristol Blenheim's shot down on 9 June 1941 and 26 August, and a Spitfire was claimed on 12 September 1941. In October 1941 he was transferred to the Eastern Front and claimed another 53 victories. On 9 July 1942 Oberfeldwebel Ahnert claimed his 50th enemy aircraft destroyed.
On 23 August 1942 Ahnert engaged Petlyakov Pe-2 twin-engine bombers in combat over Koptewo. His Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-2 "Yellow 9" was hit by return fire from the bomber gunners and he crashed to his death. For his actions he was posthumously awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
- Iron Cross (1939)
- 2nd Class
- 1st Class
- Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe in Gold
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe on 2 March 1942 as Oberfeldwebel and pilot[Note 1]
- German Cross in Gold on 27 July 1942 as Oberfeldwebel in the I./JG 52
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 23 August 1942 (posthumous) as Oberfeldwebel and pilot in the I./Jagdgeschwader 52[Note 2]
- Patzwall 2008, p. 40.
- Obermaier 1989, p. 81.
- Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 12.
- Fellgiebel 2000, pp. 114, 482.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 188.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [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.
- 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.