Heinz Schnaufer wearing the Diamonds to his Knight's Cross
|Nickname||Spook of Sint-Truiden|
16 February 1922|
|Died||15 July 1950
|Buried at||Calw, Village Cemetery|
|Years of service||1939 – 1945|
|Unit||NJG 1, NJG 4|
|Commands held||12./NJG 1, IV./NJG 1, NJG 4|
|Awards||Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub, Schwerten und Brillanten|
|Other work||wine business|
Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer (16 February 1922 – 15 July 1950) was a German Luftwaffe night fighter pilot and is the highest scoring night fighter ace in the history of aerial warfare. A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five (in some services, notably the World War I German air force, classification as an ace required ten) or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat. All of his 121 aerial victories were claimed during World War II at night, mostly against British four-engine bombers.[Note 1] For which he was awarded the coveted Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub, Schwertern und Brillanten) on 16 October 1944. At the time of its presentation to Schnaufer it was Germany's highest military decoration.[Note 2] He was nicknamed "The Spook of St. Trond", from the location of his unit's base in occupied Belgium.
Born in Calw, Schnaufer began military service in the Third Reich by joining the Luftwaffe in 1939. After training at various pilot and fighter-pilot schools, he was posted to Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 (NJG 1—1st Night Fighter Wing), operating on the Western Front, in November 1941. He flew his first combat sorties in support of Operation Cerberus, the breakout of the German ships Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, and Prinz Eugen from Brest. Schnaufer participated in the Defence of the Reich campaign from 1942 onwards, in which he would achieve most of his success. He claimed his first aerial victory on the night of 1/2 June 1942. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for 42 aerial victories on 31 December 1943. Schnaufer achieved his 100th aerial victory on 9 October 1944 and was awarded the Diamonds to his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords on 16 October. Schnaufer was appointed Geschwaderkommodore (wing commander) of Nachtjagdgeschwader 4 (NJG 4—4th Night Fighter Wing) on 4 November 1944. He was taken prisoner of war by British forces in May 1945. A year later he was released and returned to home town and took over the family wine business. He died of injuries sustained in a road accident on 13 July 1950 during a wine-purchasing visit to France. Schnaufer succumbed to his injuries in a hospital at Bordeaux on 15 July 1950, two days after the accident.
Childhood, education and early career
Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer was born 16 February 1922 in Calw, at the time in the Free People's State of Württemberg of the German Reich during the Weimar Republic. He was the first of four children of the mechanical engineer (Diplom-Ingenieur) and merchant Alfred Schnaufer and his wife Martha, née Frey.[Note 3] The other three children were his brother Manfred, his sister Waltraut and his brother Eckart.[Note 4] His father owned and operated the family business, the winery Schnaufer-Schlossbergkellerei (literal translation for Schnaufer's Castle Mountain Winery), in the Lederstraße, Calw.
The winery had been founded by both his father and his grandfather, Hermann Schnaufer, shortly after World War I in 1919. Following the death of his grandfather in 1928 the winery was run by his father alone. When his father unexpectantly died in 1940, his mother then ran the business until her children took over the winery after World War II. The company then expanded the business and in addition to the winery offered wine imports, sparkling wines, and a distillery for wine and liqueur. The distribution channel worked with agents and sales offices throughout Germany.
Schnaufer, at the age of six, went to the local Volksschule (primary school) at Calw. After completing his fourth grade, he received two years of schooling at the Oberschule in Calw. At an early age he expressed his wish to join an organisation of military character and joined the Deutsches Jungvolk (German Youth) in 1933. After completing his six grade he took and passed the entry examination at the Backnang National Political Institutes of Education (Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalt—Napola), a secondary boarding school founded in Nazi Germany. The goal of the Napola schools was to raise a new generation for the political, military and administrative leadership of Nazi Germany. Schnaufer was considered a very good student, finishing top of his class every year. Aged seventeen he graduated with his Abitur (diploma) in November 1939 with distinction. At the Napola school he also received the Reich Youth Sports Badge (Reichsjugendsportabzeichen), the base-certificate of the German Life Saving Association (Deutsche Lebens-Rettungs-Gesellschaft), the bronze Hitler Youth-Performance Badge (HJ-Leistungsabzeichen), and completed his B-license to fly glider aircraft. In 1939 Schnaufer was one of two students posted to the Napola in Potsdam. The Flying Platoon (Fliegerzug) stationed in Potsdam centralised all the destined flyers from all the Napolas. Here he learned to fly glider aircraft, at first short hops on the DFS SG 38 Schulgleiter, and later on the two-seater Göppingen Gö 4 which was towed by a Klemm Kl 25. During his stay at Potsdam, the film producer Karl Ritter was making the Ufa film Cadets in Potsdam. The Napola had detached two companies to work on the film, among them Schnaufer. It remains unclear what role exactly he played on this film.
Following his graduation from school Schnaufer passed his entry exams for officer cadets of the Luftwaffe. He joined the Luftwaffe on 15 November 1939 and underwent his basic military training at the Fliegerausbildungsregiment 42 (42nd flight training regiment) at Salzwedel. Schnaufer was appointed as Fahnenjunker (cadet) on 1 April 1940. He then received his flight training at the Flugzeugführerschule A/B 3 (FFS A/B 3—flight school for the pilot license) at Guben, present-day the Cottbus-Drewitz Airport.[Note 5] He completed his A/B flight training on 20 August 1940. He was trained to fly the Focke-Wulf Fw 44, Fw 56 and Fw 58, and the Heinkel He 72, He 41 and He 51, the Bücker Bü 131, the Klemm Kl 35, the Arado Ar 66 and Ar 96, the Gotha Go 145 and the Junkers W 34 and A 35.
Schnaufer then attended the advanced Flugzeugführerschule C 3 (FFS C 3—advanced flight school) at Alt Lönnewitz near Torgau and the blind flying school Blindflugschule 2 (BFS 2—2nd blind flying school) at Neuburg an der Donau from August 1940 to May 1941. This qualified him to fly multi-engine aircraft. During this assignment he was promoted to Fähnrich (cadet sergeant) on 1 September 1940, to Oberfähnrich (rank equivalent to Company Sergeant Major) on 1 February 1941 and to the officer rank of Leutnant (second lieutenant) on 1 April 1941. He was then posted for ten weeks to the Zerstörerschule (destroyer school) at Wunstorf near Hanover. At Wunstorf Schnaufer and the aerial radio operator (Bordfunker) Friedrich Rumpelhardt crewed up on 3 July 1941. Schnaufer's previous radio operator had proved unable to cope with aerobatics, therefore Schnaufer thoroughly tested Rumpelhardts ability to cope with aerobatics before they teamed up. Here the two decided to volunteer to fly as night fighters in defence of the increasing Royal Air Force (RAF) Bomber Command offensive against Germany. Following their training at Wunstorf, the two were sent to the Nachtjagdschule 1 (1st night fighter school) at Schleißheim near Munich, formerly the Zerstörerschule 1 (ZS 1—1st destroyer school), to learn the rudiments of night-fighting.
World War II
In November 1941 Schnaufer was posted to the II. Gruppe of Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 (II./NJG 1—2nd group of the 1st Night Fighter Wing) at the time based at Stade near Hamburg.[Note 6] Here, Schnaufer was assigned to the 5. Staffel (5./NJG 1—5th squadron of 1st Night Fighter Wing). On 15 January 1942, II./NJG 1 transferred to Sint-Truiden—Saint-Trond in the French pronunciation—in Belgium. Schnaufer's first operation came in February 1942, when II./NJG 1 flew escort for the German capital ships Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, and Prinz Eugen when they broke out from Brest in the Channel Dash.
His first aerial victory was claimed on the night 1/2 June 1942, when he claimed a Handley Page Halifax south of Louvain in Belgium. The aircraft probably was a Halifax from No. 76 Squadron piloted by Sergeant Thomas Robert Augustus West which was shot down at 01:55 on 2 June 1942 and crashed at Grez-Doiceau, 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) south of Louvain. West and another member of the crew were killed. Schnaufer and Rumpelhardt were vectored to their target by means of ground-controlled interception of the Kammhuber Line. Once near to the target, Rumpelhardt had visually found the bomber and directed Schnaufer into attack position from below and astern. The Halifax went into flames after two firing passes. Both were awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class (Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse) for their first aerial victory.
Schnaufer had to wait two months to achieve another victory, claiming the destruction of two Vickers Wellingtons and Armstrong Whitworth Whitley within the space of 62 minutes in the early hours of the 1 August. On the night of the 24/25 August 1942, Schnaufer became an ace, when he filed a claim for another Wellington, while following this success with another on the 28/29 August. On the night of the 21/22 December 1942, Schnaufer shot down an Avro Lancaster; his first victory against this type. It was Schnaufer's seventh victory, establishing him as a successful fighter pilot.
By the end of the year, his total stood at 7, with 3 victories recorded on one night. Schnaufer was promoted to Oberleutnant in July 1943, when his total was 17. Schnaufer was transferred to IV./NJG 1, based in the Netherlands, where he was appointed Staffelkapitän (squadron leader) in August 1943. Oberleutnant Schnaufer was awarded the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes for 42 victories in December 1943.
On the night before his 22nd birthday on 15 February 1944, Schnaufer and his crew claimed aerial victories 45 to 47. Bomber Command had sent 561 Lancasters and 314 Halifax four-engined bombers, supported by Mosquitoes night-fighters and bombers, destined for Berlin. Schnaufer, who had been suffering from stomach pains all day, and his crew returned to Leeuwarden at 00:14. Rumpelhardt had been the first to congratulate him on his birthday over the intercom. Their fellow airmen had prepared a birthday celebration. The stomach pains had become unbearable and Schnaufer was taken to a hospital with appendicitis. He stayed in the hospital for about two weeks before, together with Rumpelhardt, went on vacation back home. Carelessly lifting his suitcase, the stitches burst, mandating further hospitalization. His flew his first mission after these events on 19 March 1944.
March 1944 saw Schnaufer appointed Gruppenkommandeur (group commander) IV./NJG 1. He claimed five enemy aircraft on the night of 24/25 May. Hauptmann Schnaufer was awarded the Eichenlaub on 24 June for 84 victories and the Schwerter on 30 July, with his total at 89.
Geschwaderkommodore of Nachjagdgeschwader 4
Schnaufer was then appointed Geschwaderkommodore (wing commander) of Nachtjagdgeschwader 4 (NJG 4—4th Night Fighter Wing) on 20 November 1944; the youngest Geschwaderkommodore in the Luftwaffe at 22. The Geschawaderstab as well as the II. Gruppe were stationed at Gütersloh. He flew his first combat mission as Geschwaderkommodore on the 22 November 1944 from Gütterloh and claimed two victores in the area of Dortmund. Schnaufer and his crew flew from Gütersloh to Berlin-Staaken on 27 November 1944 for the official presentation of the Diamonds to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords by Hitler. Following the official photo session by Hitler's photographer Heinrich Hoffmann, Schnaufer met with Oberst (Colonel) Nicolaus von Below, Hitler's Luftwaffe adjutant, at the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (Ministry of Aviation). Here Schnaufer and his crew were filmed for the German newsreels Die Deutsche Wochenschau. Three days later they returned to Gütersloh.
At the end of the year, his victory total stood at 106.
Schnaufer was ordered to Carinhall, the residence of the Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, on 8 February 1945. Göring informed him about the intent to appoint him as Inspekteur der Nachtjäger (Inspector of the night fighter force), a role held by Oberst Werner Streib at the time. Schnaufer pushed back, not wanting to push out his friend and mentor from this position. He argued that he would better serve the German cause in an enemy facing position. Göring was convinced and Schnaufer remained in his position as Geschwaderkommodore.
The British propaganda radio station Soldatensender Calais (Soldiers' Radio Calais) congratulated Schnaufer on account of his 23rd birthday on 16 February 1945. The radio station explicitly addressed the soldiers of NJG 4 stationed in Gütersloh followed by the song "Das Nachtgespenst" [The Bogeyman] praising him for the honorary title given to him by the British bomber crews "The spook of St. Trond".
Schnaufer's greatest one-night success came on 21 February 1945, when he claimed nine Lancaster heavy bombers in the course of one day. Two were claimed in the early hours of the morning and a further seven, in just 19 minutes, in the evening between 20:44 and 21:03. On 7/8 March, he claimed three RAF four-engine bombers as his last victories of the war. He was then banned from further combat flying and was tasked with evaluating the then new Dornier Do 335, a twin-engine heavy fighter with a unique "push-pull" layout, for its suitability as night fighter. Disobeying his ban from combat flying, he flew his last mission of the war on 9 April 1945. Attempting to chase a Lancaster he took off from Faßberg Air Base at 22:00 and landed after 79 minutes at 23:19 without success.
His radar operator on his first 12 claims was Fw. Dr. Leo Baro, while 100 of his claims were with Lt. Friedrich "Fritz" Rumpelhardt. His air gunner on 98 claims was Oberfeldwebel Wilhelm Gänsler. Both the latter received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes.
Schnaufer flew variants of the Messerschmitt Bf 110 exclusively.
Prisoner of war
Schnaufer was taken prisoner of war by the British Army in Schleswig-Holstein in May 1945. According to Schumann he was taken to England for interrogation. In this account British authorities were especially interested in knowing whether his achievements had been made under the influence of methamphetamine or other stimulating psychoactive drugs which induce temporary improvements in either mental or physical functions or both. He was released later that year in November following a Diphtheria illness.
According to Hinchliffe this is an incorrect statement. Hinchliffe based his account on Rumpelhardt's testimony who claims that Schnaufer was never taken to England. Rumpelhardt was released on 4 August 1945 and soon after Schnaufer was admitted to a hospital in Flensburg, ill with a combination of Diphtheria and scarlet fever. Interrogation had begun in late May 1945 by a team of twelve officers from the Department of Air Technical Intelligence (DAT), led by Air commodore Roderick Aeneas Chisholm. The German prisoners were brought to Eggebek. Here they conducted a number of interviews with various members of the night fighter force.
Later life and death
Following his release from the hospital and as prisoner of war—the exact date is unknown—Schnaufer took over the family wine business. Schnaufer had never planned to run the family winery, his ambition had always been to pursue an officer's career in the Luftwaffe. The state of the family business shortly after World War II did virtually no longer exist and Schnaufer was tasked with rebuilding the business from scratch. He had to re-establish business links to suppliers and customers and to consolidate them. Next he had to expand and grow the business by making new contacts, and lastly he had to create an infrastructure which supported the growth of the business.
Although the business began to prosper Schnaufer also gave thought to alternative employment possibilities. He continued seeking for an opportunity to pursue a career in peacetime aviation. Together with his wartime friend Hermann Greiner they wanted to explore the opportunity to find employment as a pilot in South America. The two met at Weil am Rhein and crossed the Swiss-German border illegally. They met with South American diplomats in Bern, Switzerland with disappointing results. Forced to return, they again tried to cross the Swiss-German border illegally and were caught by Swiss border guards, who handed them over to the French occupation authorities. The two were imprisoned in Lörrach, where they remained until Schnaufer managed to make contact to a French general, who was a customer of the Schnaufer winery and had them released. This adventure kept him away from his business for about half a year.
Schnaufer was visiting France on a wine buying visit in July 1950. He was heading south on the Route Nationale No. 10 (N10) just south of Bordeaux on the afternoon of 13 July 1950. He died of injuries sustained in an accident in which his Mercedes-Benz convertible with the registration number AWW 44-3425, collided with a Renault 22 truck near Bordeaux at about 18:30. The accident occurred at the intersection of road D1, present-day D211, and the N10, present-day D1010, in Cestas ( ). The truck, driven by Jean Antoine Gasc, carried a six ton load of empty gas cylinders. The collision ruptured the fuel tank of the Mercedes, igniting the petrol. Witnesses to the accident quickly put out the flames. Alice Ducourneau gave first aid to Schnaufer, who was bleeding from a wound from the back of his head. The police appeared at the scene of the accident at about 19:30 followed by an ambulance shortly after. Suffering a fractured skull, he was then immediately taken to the Saint-André Hôpital in Bordeaux.
The investigation concluded that though the impact of the two vehicles was severe, it seemed unlikely that the collision itself was the cause of his injuries. It was speculated that at least one of the 30 empty gas cylinders which were thrown off the truck by the collision had struck Schnaufer on the head. Schnaufer never regained consciousness and succumbed to his injuries at the hospital two days later on 15 July 1950. Subsequently Gasc was charged with manslaughter and breach of traffic regulations before a court at Jauge, Cestas. The hearing began on 29 July 1950 and concluded with his conviction on 16 November 1950. Gasc was found guilty of not yielding the right of way, and his speed was considered too high. It was ruled that as a consequence of not observing the law, he involuntarily caused the death of Schnaufer.
Schnaufer's Messerschmitt Bf 110 G-4/U 8 was brought to England as well. The aircraft was displayed in the London Hyde Park. The portside vertical stabiliser this twin tail Bf 110 G-4, tallying all his kills, is now on display at the Imperial War Museum in London. In addition, another fin from a Bf-110 of Schnaufer's is at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. The street "Heinz-Schnaufer-Straße" in Calw was named after him.
Aerial victory credits
Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer was the top-scoring night fighter pilot of World War II. He was credited with 121 aerial victories claimed in just 164 combat missions. His victory total includes 114 RAF four-engine bombers; arguably accounting for more RAF casualties than any other Luftwaffe fighter pilot and becoming the third highest Luftwaffe claimant against the Western Allied Air Forces. His flight book indicated 2,300 takeoffs and 1,133 flying hours.
Ace of spades) indicates those aerial victories which made Schnaufer an ace in a day, a term which designates a fighter pilot who has shot down five or more airplanes in a single day. This and the ♠ (
This along with the + (plus) indicates almost certain identification.
This along with the * (asterisk) indicates probable identification.
This along with the ? (question mark) indicates possible identification.
|Chronicle of aerial victories|
|Victory||Date||Time||Type||Location||Unit||Serial No./Squadron No.|
|– II. Gruppe/Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 –|
|1||2 June 1942||01:55||Halifax II||Grez-Doiceau, 15 km (9.3 mi) S of Louvain, Belgium||No. 76 Squadron||W1064/MP-J*|
|2||1 August 1942||02:47||Wellington IC||1 km (0.62 mi) SW Loon op Zand, Netherlands||25 Operational Training Unit||DV439/-H*|
|3||1 August 1942||03:17||Wellington IC||Huldenberg, Belgium||27 Operational Training Unit||DV552/UJ-N+|
|4||1 August 1942||03:45||Whitley V||Gilly, Charleroi, Belgium||24 Operational Training Unit||BD347*|
|5||25 August 1942||02:54||Wellington III||Near Loonbeek, Belgium||No. 150 Squadron||BJ651/JN-M*|
|6||29 August 1942||01:16||Halifax II||Tombeek, 16 km (9.9 mi) SE of Brussels, Belgium||No. 78 Squadron||W7809/EJ*|
|7||21 December 1942||23:53||Lancaster I||Poelkapelle, Belgium||No. 106 Squadron||R5914/ZN-+|
|8||14 May 1943||02:14||Stirling I||Heerlen, Netherlands||No. 214 Squadron||R9242/BU-O*|
|9||14 May 1943||03:07||Halifax II||Near Blanden, Belgium||No. 78 Squadron||JB873/EY-J+|
|10||30 May 1943||00:48||Stirling III||S of Baelen, Belgium||No. 218 Squadron||BF565/HA-H+|
|11||30 May 1943||01:43||Halifax II||Budingen, 7 km (4.3 mi) NW of Sint-Truiden, Belgium||No. 35 Squadron||DT804/TL-C+|
|12||30 May 1943||02:22||Stirling III||Schaffen Air Base, 22 km (14 mi) N of Sint-Truiden, Belgium||No. 218 Squadron||BK688/HA-A+|
|13||22 June 1943||01:33||Stirling III||Langdorp, Belgium||No. 218 Squadron||BK712/HA-D+|
|14||25 June 1943||02:58||Wellington||Hamme-Mille, S of Louvain, Belgium|
|15||29 June 1943||01:25||Lancaster III||Solwaster, SE of Verviers, Belgium||No. 97 Squadron||LM323/OF-U+|
|16||29 June 1943||01:45||Halifax V||Wandre, NE of Liège, Belgium||No. 76 Squadron||DK137/NP-R+|
|17||29 June 1943||01:55||Halifax II||Near Vottem, N of Liège, Belgium||No. 35 Squadron||HR812/TL-F+|
|18||4 July 1943||00:48||Wellington X||Averbode, 7 km (4.3 mi) NW of Diest, Belgium||No. 196 Squadron||HE980ZO-+|
|19||4 July 1943||01:01||Stirling III||Near Geetbets, 9 km (5.6 mi) NW of Sint-Truiden, Belgium||No. 149 Squadron||BF530/OJ-B+|
|20||9 July 1943||02:33||Lancaster III||Near Grobbendonk, 23 km (14 mi) ESE of Antwerp, Belgium||No. 49 Squadron||ED663/EA-+|
|21||11 August 1943||00:32||Lancaster||Hähnlein, 25 km (16 mi) SSW of Darmstadt, Germany|
|– 12. Staffel/Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 –|
|22||28 August 1943||03:59||Halifax II||Jemeppe-sur-Sambre, 15 km (9.3 mi) W of Namur, Belgium||No. 102 Squadron||JB835/DY-X+|
|23||31 August 1943||22:41||Halifax II||2 km (1.2 mi) SE Kuinre, Zuider Zee||No. 35 Squadron||HR878/TL-J+|
|24||31 August 1943||03:53||Wellington X||Near Lozen, N of Bree, Belgium||No. 166 Squadron||HE988/AS-U*|
|25||24 August 1943||00:09||Halifax II||Near Eschede, 20 km (12 mi) NNE of Celle, Germany||No. 77 Squadron||JD379/KN-M*|
|26||23 September 1943||23:00||Stirling III||5 km (3.1 mi) S Kirchheimbolanden, Germany||No. 218 Squadron||EJ104/HA-G+|
|27||27 September 1943||23:31||Halifax||Near Stemmen, W of Stadthagen, Germany|
|28||3 October 1943||21:50||Halifax II||Near Lande, 8 km (5.0 mi) N of Minden, Germany||No. 51 Squadron||HR728/LK-D?|
|29||9 October 1943||01:13||Halifax II||Near Schwaförden, 9 km (5.6 mi) N of Sulingen, Germany||No. 158 Squadron||HR945/NP-Y*|
|30||9 October 1943||01:42||Four-engined bomber||Near Holtensen, SW of Hanover, Germany|
|31||18 October 1943||20:25||Lancaster III||Near Negenborn, NNW of Hanover, Germany||No. 101 Squadron||DV230/SR-T*|
|32||20 October 1943||19:13||Lancaster III||Near Gieten, E of Assen, Netherlands||No. 7 Squadron||JB175/MG-A+|
|33||20 October 1943||19:25||Lancaster III||Near Harrenstätte, NW of Werlte, Germany||No. 405 Squadron||JB348/LQ-R+|
|34||22 October 1943||21:40||Lancaster III||Near Dransfeld, Hanover, Germany||No. 57 Squadron||JB320/DX-X*|
|35||23 November 1943||18:50||Lancaster III||2 km (1.2 mi) NW Ter Apel, near Emmen, Netherlands||No. 405 Squadron||JA939/LQ-C+|
|36||23 November 1943||19:00||Lancaster III||Lorup, NNW Cloppenburg, Germany||No. 12 Squadron||JB537/PH-N?|
|37||16 December 1943||18:01||Lancaster III||Near Follega, Netherlands||No. 7 Squadron||JA853/MG-L+|
|38||16 December 1943||18:12||Lancaster I||Near Lemmer, Netherlands||No. 101 Squadron||DV300/SR-W+|
|39||16 December 1943||18:23||Lancaster III||SW Wolvega, Netherlands||No. 49 Squadron||JB545/EA-O+|
|40||16 December 1943||18:41||Lancaster II||2 km (1.2 mi) SW Wirdum, Netherlands||No. 432 Squadron||DS831/QO-N+|
|41||29 December 1943||18:50||Halifax II||5 km (3.1 mi) NE Meppel, Netherlands||No. 10 Squadron||JD314/ZA-X+|
|42||29 December 1943||19:45||Lancaster II||Near Wietmarschen, W of Lingen, Germany||No. 408 Squadron||DS718/EQ-R+|
|43||27 January 1944||19:45||Lancaster III||Near Essen, 4 km (2.5 mi) NW of Quakenbrück, Germany||No. 12 Squadron||JB283/PH-W?|
|44||30 January 1944||22:15||Lancaster||In GK5, W of Amsterdam, Houtrakpolder, Netherlands||No. 97 Squadron||JB659/OF-J|
|45||15 February 1944||22:58||Lancaster III||In the sea, DJ93||No. 103 Squadron||ND363/PM-A+|
|46||15 February 1944||23:19||Lancaster II||Near Hoorn, Netherlands||No. 115 Squadron||LL689/KO-P+|
|47||15 February 1944||23:33||Lancaster I||EL78 in the Wattenmeer, Netherlands||No. 622 Squadron||W4272/GJ-C+|
|48||22 March 1944||23:10||Lancaster III||Halle, near Lembeck, 18 km (11 mi) S of Brussels, Belgium||No. 9 Squadron||LM430/WS-B+|
|49||25 March 1944||00:12||Four-engined bomber||E of Dortmund, Germany|
|50||25 March 1944||00:21||Lancaster I||Neuwarendorf, E of Münster, Germany||No. 626 Squadron||HK539/UM-A2*|
|51||25 March 1944||00:41||Four-engined bomber||Near Varsseveld, Netherlands, NE Emmerich, Germany|
|– IV. Gruppe/Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 –|
|52||11 April 1944||23:15||Lancaster III||Near Beerse, 6 km (3.7 mi) W of Turnhout, Belgium||No. 83 Squadron||ND389/OL-A+|
|53||11 April 1944||23:25||Lancaster I||2 km (1.2 mi) N Sint-Lenaarts, Belgium||No. 49 Squadron||LL899/EA-P+|
|54||25 April 1944||02:03||Lancaster I||Near Alken, Belgium||No. 115 Squadron||HK542/KO-J*|
|55||25 April 1944||02:28||Lancaster II||3 km (1.9 mi) N Mechelen, Belgium||No. 115 Squadron||DS734/KO-Y+|
|56||25 April 1944||02:30||Halifax III||1 km (0.62 mi) W of Haasdonk, Belgium||No. 192 Squadron||LW622/DT-R*|
|57||25 April 1944||02:40||Halifax||In the sea at LG 35|
|58||27 April 1944||02:05||Lancaster III||1 km (0.62 mi) S Achtmaal, Netherlands||No. 156 Squadron||JB307/GT-H+|
|59||27 April 1944||02:18||Lancaster II||Over the sea, LG 38||No. 408 Squadron||DS719/LQ-U*|
|60||28 April 1944||01:30||Halifax V||8 km (5.0 mi) N Aubel, Belgium, 15 km (9.3 mi) SW of Aachen, Germany||No. 434 Squadron||LL258/WL-W+|
|61||28 April 1944||01:40||Halifax III||Verviers, Belgium||No. 432 Squadron||MZ588/QO-W+|
|62||9 May 1944||03:34||Halifax III||Near Grand-Reng, 30 km (19 mi) SW of Charleroi, Belgium||No. 432 Squadron||LW594/QO-G+|
|63||13 May 1944||00:44||Halifax III||Londerzeel, 8 km (5.0 mi) W of Mechelen, Belgium||No. 426 Squadron||LK883/OW-E*|
|64||13 May 1944||00:46||Halifax III||5 km (3.1 mi) ENE Hasselt, Belgium||No. 158 Squadron||HX334/NP-C?|
|65||13 May 1944||00:48||Halifax III||Hoogstraten, 16 km (9.9 mi) NW of Turnhout, Belgium||No. 466 Squadron||LV919/HD-O+|
|66||22 May 1944||01:34||Lancaster||3 km (1.9 mi) S of Mol, Belgium|
|67||22 May 1944||01:51||Lancaster||10 km (6.2 mi) S of Herentals, Belgium||No. 550 Squadron||DV309/BQ-S+|
|68||23 May 1944||01:23||Lancaster I||Near Neerpelt, Belgium||No. 75 Squadron||ME690/AA-Z+|
|69||23 May 1944||01:36||Lancaster I||Near Brecht, 22 km (14 mi) NE of Antwerp, Belgium||No. 100 Squadron||ME670/HW-Q*|
|70♠||25 May 1944||01:15||Halifax III||3 km (1.9 mi) NW of Eindhoven, Netherlands||No. 51 Squadron||LK885/MH-Z+|
|71♠||25 May 1944||01:18||Halifax III||2 km (1.2 mi) NNW of Tilburg, Netherlands||No. 158 Squadron||LW653/NP-T?|
|72♠||25 May 1944||01:22||Halifax III||1.5 km (0.93 mi) W Goirle, SSW of Tilburg, Netherlands||No. 76 Squadron||MZ622/MP-L*|
|73♠||25 May 1944||01:25||Halifax III||Between Dongen and Tilburg, Netherlands||No. 429 Squadron||LW124/AL-N?|
|74♠||25 May 1944||01:29||Lancaster||7 km (4.3 mi) SW of Tilburg, Netherlands|
|75||13 June 1944||00:27||Lancaster II||Avesnes-les-Auvert, E of Cambrai, France||No. 408 Squadron||DS772/EQ-T+|
|76||13 June 1944||00:31||Lancaster II||Cambrai airfield||No. 408 Squadron||DS726/EQ-Y*|
|77||13 June 1944||00:34||Lancaster II||Tilloy, N of Cambrai, France||No. 408 Squadron||DS688/EQ-R+|
|78||16 June 1944||01:00||Lancaster||N of Arras, France|
|79||17 June 1944||01:54||Four-engined bomber||Dreumel, N of s'Hertogenbosch, Netherlands|
|80||17 June 1944||02:04||Halifax III||Berkel, Netherlands||No. 77 Squadron||NA524/KN-F+|
|81||22 June 1944||01:25||Lancaster III||Valkenswaard, Netherlands||No. 44 Squadron||LM582/KM-Q*|
|82||22 June 1944||01:30||Lancaster I||2 km (1.2 mi) S of Meeuwen, Belgium||No. 207 Squadron||ME683/EM-W*|
|83||22 June 1944||01:36||Lancaster III||5 km (3.1 mi) S of Opoeteren, Belgium||No. 44 Squadron||LM434/KM-F?|
|84||22 June 1944||02:05||Lancaster I||6 km (3.7 mi) S of Hamont, Belgium||No. 630 Squadron||ME843/LE-U*|
|85||21 July 1944||01:40||Lancaster I||1.5 km (0.93 mi) N of Boxtel, Netherlands||No. 90 Squadron||LM183/WP-L?|
|86||21 July 1944||01:51||Four-engined bomber||8 km (5.0 mi) N of Breda, Netherlands|
|87||29 July 1944||01:38||Lancaster I||Pforzheim, Germany||No. 467 Squadron||ME856/PO-T?|
|88||29 July 1944||01:50||Four-engined bomber||Eutingen, near Pforzheim, Germany|
|89||29 July 1944||01:57||Lancaster I||Malmsheim, 20 km (12 mi) W of Stuttgart, Germany||No. 106 Squadron||ME778/ZN-O?|
|90||13 August 1944||00:48||Four-engined bomber||Wasserliesch, Germany|
|91||13 August 1944||01:09||Lancaster III||Werbomont, SSE of Liège, Belgium||No. 635 Squadron||ND694/F2-R*|
|92||13 August 1944||01:15||Four-engined bomber||Gouvy, 28 km (17 mi) SSW of Malmédy, Belgium|
|93||13 August 1944||01:19||Four-engined bomber||3 km (1.9 mi) W of Mons, near Liège, Belgium|
|94||12 September 1944||23:07||Four-engined bomber||RQ-RP|
|95||23 September 1944||22:56||Four-engined bomber||JP-HP|
|96||23 September 1944||23:10||Four-engined bomber||JO|
|97||23 September 1944||23:15||Four-engined bomber||HO-JO|
|98||23 September 1944||23:25||Four-engined bomber||JN-HN|
|99||9 October 1944||20:32||Four-engined bomber||S of Bochum, Germany|
|100||9 October 1944||20:55||Four-engined bomber||JO|
|101||6 November 1944||20:55||Four-engined bomber||KP-IP|
|102||6 November 1944||19:34||Four-engined bomber||KP-IP|
|103||6 November 1944||19:41||Four-engined bomber||KP-IP|
|– Stab/Nachtjagdgeschwader 4 –|
|104||21 November 1944||19:05||Four-engined bomber||KP|
|105||21 November 1944||19:11||Four-engined bomber||KP|
|106||12 December 1944||20:00||Four-engined bomber||MO-LO|
|107||3 February 1945||21:09||Four-engined bomber||LO|
|108♠||21 February 1945||01:53||Lancaster||MM-MN|
|109♠||21 February 1945||01:58||Lancaster||MM|
|110♠||21 February 1945||20:44||Lancaster||HQ-HP|
|111♠||21 February 1945||20:48||Lancaster||HP-HO|
|112♠||21 February 1945||20:51||Lancaster||HP-HO|
|113♠||21 February 1945||20:55||Lancaster||HP-HO|
|114♠||21 February 1945||20:58||Lancaster||IO-JN|
|115♠||21 February 1945||21:00||Lancaster||JN-KM|
|116♠||21 February 1945||21:03||Lancaster||KM-KL|
|21 February 1945||21:10||Lancaster I||KM-KL||No. 463 Squadron||NG329/JO-Z*|
|117||3 March 1945||21:55||Lancaster||HQ|
|118||3 March 1945||22:04||Lancaster||HQ|
|119||7 March 1945||20:41||Lancaster||LR-MR|
|120||7 March 1945||20:47||Lancaster||LS-MS|
|121||7 March 1945||21:56||Lancaster||GC-HC|
- Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe for Night Fighters in Gold
- Combined Pilots-Observation Badge
- Wound Badge in Black
- Iron Cross (1939)
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe on 26 July 1943 as Leutnant and pilot
- German Cross in Gold on 16 August 1943 as Oberleutnant in the II./NJG 1
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds
- Knight's Cross on 31 December 1943 as Oberleutnant and Staffelführer of 12./NJG 1
- 507th Oak Leaves on 24 June 1944 as Hauptmann and Gruppenkommandeur of IV./NJG 1
- 84th Swords on 30 July 1944 as Hauptmann and Gruppenkommandeur of IV./NJG 1[Note 8]
- 21st Diamonds on 16 October 1944 as Hauptmann and Gruppenkommandeur of IV./NJG 1
- Mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht on 10 October 1944
|Date||Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording||Direct English translation|
|10 October 1944||Der vom Führer mit dem Eichenlaub mit Schwertern zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes ausgezeichnete Hauptmann Schnaufer, Gruppenkommandeur in einem Nachtjagdgeschwader, errang in der Nacht vom 9. zum 10. Oktober seinen 100. Nachtjagdsieg.||During the night of the 9th to the 10th October Haupmann Schnaufer, Gruppenkommandeur (group commander) in a Nachtjagdgeschwader (night fighter wing), whom the Führer has decorated with the Oak Leaves with Swords to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, scored his 100th night aerial victory.|
Dates of rank
|1 April 1940:||Fahnenjunker|
|1 April 1941:||Fahnenjunker-Gefreiter|
|1 July 1940:||Fahnenjunker-Unteroffizier|
|1 September 1940:||Fähnrich|
|1 February 1941:||Oberfähnrich|
|1 April 1941:||Leutnant (Second Lieutenant)|
|1 July 1943:||Oberleutnant (First Lieutenant)|
|1 May 1944:||Hauptmann (Captain)|
|1 December 1944:||Major (Major)|
- For a list of Luftwaffe night fighter aces see List of German World War II night fighter aces
- In 1944, the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds was second only to the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross (Großkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes), which was awarded only to senior commanders for winning a major battle or campaign, in the military order of the Third Reich. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds as the highest military order was surpassed on 29 December 1944 by the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Goldenem Eichenlaub, Schwertern und Brillanten).
- According to Schumann his mothers first name was Elisabeth.
- Waltraut married Schanufer's adjutant, Oberleutnant Georg Fengler, on 15 April 1950.
- Flight training in the Luftwaffe progressed through the levels A1, A2 and B1, B2, referred to as A/B flight training. A training included theoretical and practical training in aerobatics, navigation, long-distance flights and dead-stick landings. The B courses included high-altitude flights, instrument flights, night landings and training to handle the aircraft in difficult situations. For pilots destined to fly multi-engine aircraft, the training was completed with the Luftwaffe Advanced Pilot's Certificate (Erweiterter Luftwaffen-Flugzeugführerschein), also known as C-Certificate.
- For an explanation of the meaning of Luftwaffe unit designation see Organisation of the Luftwaffe during World War II.
- Schnaufer did not claim this aerial victory. His cannon had malfunctioned during the attack and the crew did not observe the result of the attack.
- According to Scherzer on 3 August 1944.
- Spick 1996, pp. 3–4.
- Schumann 2000, p. 4.
- Hinchliffe 1999, p. 268.
- "Die Entwicklung bis 1945" [The Development up to 1945]. Schnaufer—Schlossbergkellerei GmbH (in German). Retrieved 25 July 2013.
- "Die Firmengründung im Jahr 1919" [The Company Formation in 1919]. Schnaufer—Schlossbergkellerei GmbH (in German). Retrieved 19 August 2013.
- Hinchliffe 1999, p. 18.
- Hinchliffe 1999, pp. 20–21.
- Hinchliffe 1999, p. 21.
- Schumann 2000, p. 2.
- Hinchliffe 1999, pp. 28–30.
- Foreman, Matthews and Parry 2004, p. 43.
- Hinchliffe 1999, pp. 49, 298.
- Foreman, Matthews and Parry 2004, p. 53.
- Foreman, Matthews and Parry 2004, p. 56.
- Foreman, Matthews and Parry 2004, p. 63.
- Hinchliffe 1999, p. 144.
- Hinchliffe 1999, p. 145.
- Hinchliffe 1999, p. 146.
- Schumann 2000, p. 18.
- Schumann 2000, pp. 18–21.
- Schumann 2000, p. 23.
- Foreman, Matthews and Parry 2004, p. 236.
- Schumann 2000, p. 24.
- Schumann 2000, p. 32.
- Hinchliffe 1999, p. 257.
- Hinchliffe 1999, p. 248.
- Hinchliffe 1999, p. 251.
- Hinchliffe 1999, p. 260.
- Hinchliffe 1999, p. 261.
- Hinchliffe 1999, p. 262.
- Hinchliffe 1999, p. 263.
- Hinchliffe 1999, p. 270.
- Schumann 2000, p. 29.
- Imperial War Museum (2011). "EPH 2961 - fin fragment from a German Messerschmitt Me 110 aircraft (flown by Major Heinz Wolfgang Schnaufer)". Imperial War Museum Collection Search. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- Google Inc. Google Maps – Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=from:+%20Waldenserstraße%20@+48.71760,%20+8.76140+to:+B-295%20@+48.7115,%20+8.7685. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- Hinchliffe 1999, pp. 298–302.
- Chorley 1992, p. 78.
- Chorley 1992, p. 231.
- Hinchliffe 1999, p. 302.
- Berger 1999, p. 314.
- Thomas 1998, p. 273.
- Kurowski 2007, p. 139.
- Patzwall 2008, p. 184.
- Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 417.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 384.
- Von Seemen 1976, p. 304.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 675.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 84.
- Von Seemen 1976, p. 46.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 44.
- Von Seemen 1976, p. 17.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 38.
- Von Seemen 1976, p. 13.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 284.
- Kurowski 1996, p. 380.
- Berger, Florian (1999). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges [With Oak Leaves and Swords. The Highest Decorated Soldiers of the Second World War] (in German). Vienna, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 978-3-9501307-0-6.
- Bowman, Martin (2011). 100 Group (Bomber Support): RAF Bomber Command in World War II. Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Pen and Sword. ISBN 1-84415-418-1.
- Chorley, W. R. (1992). Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War: Aircraft and crew losses, 1944. London: Midland Counties Publications. ISBN 978-0-904597-91-2.
- 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.
- Foreman, John; Matthews, Johannes; Parry, Simon (2004). Luftwaffe Night Fighter Claims 1939 – 1945. Walton on Thames, UK: Red Kite. ISBN 978-0-9538061-4-0.
- Fraschka, Günther (1994). Knights of the Reich. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Military/Aviation History. ISBN 978-0-88740-580-8.
- Hagen, Hans-Peter (1998). Husaren des Himmels—Berühmte deutsche Jagdflieger und die Geschichte ihrer Waffe [Hussars of the Sky—Famous German Fighter Pilots and the History of their Force] (in German). Rastatt, Germany: Moewig. ISBN 978-3-8118-1456-1.
- Hinchliffe, Peter (1999). Schnaufer: Ace of Diamonds. Brimscombe Port, UK: Tempus. ISBN 978-0-7524-1690-8.
- Kurowski, Franz (1996). Luftwaffe Aces. Winnipeg, Canada: J.J. Fedorowicz Publishing Inc. ISBN 978-0-921991-31-1.
- Kurowski, Franz (2007). Major Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer. Würzburg, Germany: Weidlich und Flechsig. ISBN 978-3-88189-736-5.
- 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.
- 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.
- Price, Alfred (1967). "One of our planes is missing..." (a.k.a. "Schnaufer's 13th Kill"), History of the Second World War (Magazine series), Vol. 4, No. 15. London: Purnell and Sons.
- Schaulen, Fritjof (2005). Eichenlaubträger 1940 – 1945 Zeitgeschichte in Farbe III Radusch - Zwernemann [Oak Leaves Bearers 1940 – 1945 Contemporary History in Color III Radusch – Zwernemann] (in German). Selent, Germany: Pour le Mérite. ISBN 978-3-932381-22-5.
- 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.
- Schumann, Ralf (2000). Ritterkreuzträger Profile Nr. 1 Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer — der erfolgreichste Nachtjäger des zweiten Weltkrieges [Knight's Cross Profiles Nr. 1 Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer — the most successful night fighter of World War II] (in German). UNITEC-Medienvertrieb. ASIN B0072RS3Q2 (23 July 2013).
- Von Seemen, Gerhard (1976). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 : die Ritterkreuzträger sämtlicher Wehrmachtteile, Brillanten-, Schwerter- und Eichenlaubträger in der Reihenfolge der Verleihung : Anhang mit Verleihungsbestimmungen und weiteren Angaben [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 : The Knight's Cross Bearers of All the Armed Services, Diamonds, Swords and Oak Leaves Bearers in the Order of Presentation: Appendix with Further Information and Presentation Requirements] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7909-0051-4.
- Scutts, Jerry (1998). German Night Fighter Aces of World War 2. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85532-696-5.
- Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. New York: Ivy Books. ISBN 978-0-8041-1696-1.
- Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9.
- Williamson, Gordon (2006). Knight's Cross with Diamonds Recipients 1941–45. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-644-7.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, 1. Januar 1944 bis 9. Mai 1945 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 3, 1 January 1944 to 9 May 1945] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2.
- Frey, Gerhard; Herrmann, Hajo (2004). Helden der Wehrmacht - Unsterbliche deutsche Soldaten [Heroes of the Wehrmacht - Immortal German Soldiers] (in German). München, Germany: FZ-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-924309-53-4.
- Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer in the German National Library catalogue
- Kacha, Petr. "Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer". Aces of the Luftwaffe. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer". Lexikon der Wehrmacht (in German). Retrieved 18 August 2013.
- Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer @ Pilotenbunker
- Grave in Calw
Oberleutnant Wolfgang Thimmig
|Commander of Nachtjagdgeschwader 4
20 November 1944 – 8 May 1945