Leopold Fellerer

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Leopold "Poldi" Fellerer
Nickname(s) "Poldi"
Born 7 June 1919
Vienna, Austria
Died 16 July 1968(1968-07-16) (aged 49)
Mautern, Austria
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany (to 1945)
Austria Austria
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Austrian Air Force
Years of service 1940–1945
1950's–1968
Rank Hauptmann (Luftwaffe)
Oberstleutnant (Austrian Air Force)
Unit NJG 1
NJG 2
NJG 5
NJG 6
Commands held II./NJG 5
III./NJG 6
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Leopold "Poldi" Fellerer (7 June 1919 – 16 July 1968) was a German Luftwaffe night fighter 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.

Career[edit]

Fellerer was born in Vienna, Austria on 7 June 1919. In November 1940 he was posted as a bomber pilot, before being assigned as Technical Officer to II./Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 (NJG 1). He claimed his first victory on 11 February 1941, a Handley Page Hampden of No. 49 Squadron north of Bergen-Alkmaar. He was transferred to 4./NJG 1 in June 1941.

In October 1942 Fellerer was made Staffelkapitän (squadron leader) of 3./NJG 1 before being posted to Nachtjagdgeschwader 5 (NJG 5) in December 1942. Promoted to Hauptmann, Fellerer became Gruppenkommandeur (group commander) of II./NJG 5 in December 1943. During this period, Fellerer raised his score to 18 victories.

In January 1944 Fellerer claimed two United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) heavy bombers in daylight- a Consolidated B-24 Liberator on 4 January, and a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress on 11 January. On the night of 20/21 January 1944 he claimed five Royal Air Force (RAF) bombers. He was then awarded the German Cross in Gold in February 1944.

After 34 victories Hauptmann Fellerer was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 8 April 1944. He then moved to command III./Nachtjagdgeschwader 6 (NJG 6) in May 1944.

During August–October 1944 Fellerer and III./NJG 6 also flew operations to counter supply operations from Italy to the Polish Home Army uprising in Warsaw. He claimed two Douglas DC-3's and two Liberators during this time, his final kill coming in October 1944.

In 450 missions Leopold Fellerer claimed 41 aerial victories, 39 of them at night. 32 were four engine heavy bombers.[Notes 1]

During the 1950s, he served with the Austrian Air Force, becoming Commander of the Langenlebarn Airbase in Tulln on the River Donau, retiring as a Oberstleutnant. Leopold Fellerer died on 15 July 1968 in an air crash, his Cessna L-19 coming down near Krems.

Awards[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ For a list of Luftwaffe night fighter aces see List of German World War II night fighter aces.

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 111.
  2. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 150.
Bibliography
  • Berger, Florian; Habisohn, Christian (2003). Ritterkreuzträger im Österreichischen Bundesheer 1955–1985 [Knight's Cross Bearers of the Austrian Armed Forces 1955–1985] (in German). Vienna, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 978-3-9501307-2-0. 
  • 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. 
  • MacLean, French L (2007). Luftwaffe Efficiency & Promotion Reports: For the Knight's Cross Winners. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Military History. ISBN 978-0-7643-2657-8. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Hauptmann Baer
Gruppenkommandeur of II. Nachtjagdgeschwader 5
February 1944 - 10 May 1944
Succeeded by
Major Hans Leickhardt
Preceded by
None
Gruppenkommandeur of III. Nachtjagdgeschwader 6
10 May 1944 - February 1945
Succeeded by
Hauptmann Wilhelm Johnen