Paul Semrau

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Paul Semrau
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2008-0024, Paul Semrau.jpg
Born (1915-11-12)12 November 1915
Deutsch Eylau, West Prussia
Died 8 February 1945(1945-02-08) (aged 29)
near Twente, Netherlands
Buried at Ysselsteyn, Netherlands
(Block G—Row 2—Grave 38)
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Balkenkreuz.svg Luftwaffe
Rank Major
Unit KG 30, NJG 2, NJG 6
Commands held 3./NJG 2, V./NJG 6, III./NJG 2, NJG 2
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Paul Semrau (12 November 1915 – 8 February 1945) was a Luftwaffe night fighter flying ace of World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Semrau was credited with 46 nocturnal aerial victories, claimed in 350 combat missions.[Notes 1][1]

Career[edit]

Paul Semrau joined the long distance night fighter service (Fernnachtjagd) as a former destroyer pilot (Zerstörer) of Kampfgeschwader 30 (KG 30—30th Bomber Wing) in July 1940. He took command of the 3rd Staffel of Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 (NJG 2—2nd Night Fighter Wing) in the fall of 1940. He fought in the Battle of Britain and in the Siege of Malta. Hauptmann Semrau received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross after 160 missions on 7 October 1942. Promoted to Major, he took command of the 4th Gruppe of Nachtjagdgeschwader 6 (NJG 6—6th Night Fighter Wing) in June 1943. After two months he was transferred again, taking command of the 3rd Gruppe of NJG 2. In November 1944 he became the Geschwaderkommodore of NJG 2. He was shot down on 8th of feb. 1945 and killed in action on factory flight with his crew, Oberfeldwebel Hantusch and Fahnenjunker-Oberfeldwebel Behrens, of Junkers Ju 88 G-6 (Werknummer 620 562 — factory number) when he was intercepted during the landing approach at Fliegerhorst Twente by F/Lt K.S. Sleep of No. 402 Squadron RCAF on 8 February 1945.[1] The aircraft of Semrau came down between Fliegerhorst Twente and Oldenzaal (Holland)

Awards[edit]

Reference in the Wehrmachtbericht[edit]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Thursday, 19 June 1941 Bei der Abwehr feindlicher Luftangriffe auf das Reichsgebiet zeichneten sich folgende Besatzungen von Nachtjagdflugzeugen in hohem Maße aus: Erstens Oberfeldwebel Gildner, Unteroffizier Poppelmeyer und Unteroffizier Schlein, zweitens Oberleutnant Prinz zu Lippe, Unteroffizier Renette und drittens Oberleutnant Semrau, Unteroffizier Peter und Unteroffizier Behrens.[6] The following crews of night fighter aircraft highly distinguished themselves in defense of the Reich: First Oberfeldwebel Gildner, Unteroffizier Poppelmeyer and Unteroffizier Schlein, second Oberleutnant Prinz zu Lippe, Unteroffizier Renette and third Oberleutnant Semrau, Unteroffizier Peter und Unteroffizier Behrens.

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. ^ a b Obermaier 1989, p. 77.
  2. ^ a b Thomas 1998, p. 314.
  3. ^ Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 442.
  4. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 702.
  5. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 102.
  6. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 1, p. 581.
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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, 1. September 1939 bis 31. Dezember 1941 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 1, 1 September 1939 to 31 December 1941] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Paul Semrau at Wikimedia Commons

Military offices
Preceded by
Oberst Günther Radusch
Commander of Nachtjagdgeschwader 2
12 November 1944 – 8 February 1945
Succeeded by
Oberstleutnant Wolfgang Thimmig