Theodor Weissenberger

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Theodor Weissenberger
Theodor Weissenberger.jpg
Theodor Weissenberger
Born (1914-12-21)21 December 1914
Mühlheim am Main
Died 10 June 1950(1950-06-10) (aged 35)
Nürburgring
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Balkenkreuz.svg Luftwaffe
Years of service 1936 – 1945
Rank Major
Unit JG 77, JG 5, JG 7
Commands held III./JG 6, I./JG 7, JG 7
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Major Theodor Weissenberger (born 21 December 1914 in Mühlheim am Main, Grand Duchy of Hesse, killed in a car racing accident 10 June 1950 on the Nürburgring) was a German World War II fighter ace who served in the Luftwaffe from 1936 until the end of World War II in 1945. He flew more than 500 combat missions claiming 208 enemy aircraft shot down. 33 claims were made on the Western Front, including some 7 heavy bombers.

World War II[edit]

Gruppenkommandeur Hauptmann Weißenberger on 4 October 1944

Prewar Weissenberger was a keen glider pilot and was an instructor in the early war years. He finally managed an operational posting in mid 1941, to I(Z)./JG 77 in Norway. He claimed his first kill in October 1941, and went on to score a further twenty-one kills in the Bf 110, in addition to fifteen locomotives, two flak installations, and numerous ground targets destroyed.

In September 1942 he was posted to II./JG 5, based in Northern Finland. Flying with 6 Staffel, and then as commander of 7 Staffel, he had claimed 104 kills by July 1943, and been awarded the Ritterkreuz.

Becoming Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 5 in April 1944, he had claimed some 175 kills by May 1944 in over 350 missions on the Arctic Front.

Taking over I./JG 5 on 4 June, the unit transferred to the Western Front in mid 1944 and through June and July 1944, Weissenberger flew twenty-six sorties and was credited with twenty-five victories over the Invasion Front around Normandy (his claims were half the total score by the whole unit, I./JG 5, during this period). He claimed five P-47s on 7 June, two more P-47s on 9 June, and another three P-47s on 12 June. He scored again on 19 July with three Typhoons and a P-51. On 25 July he claimed two more Spitfires shot down.

Weissenberger converted to the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter in the second half of 1944. In November 1944 he was posted to command I./JG 7.

On New Year's Day 1945 Theo Weissenberger married his teenage love Cilly Vogel. Best man at his wedding was Walter Schuck.[1]

Promoted to Major on 1 January 1945, Weissenberger was put in command of JG 7 as Geschwaderkommodore. He is credited with eight confirmed victories (seven B-17s and a P-51) while flying the Messerschmitt 262.[Notes 1]

Despite his excellent talents as a fighter pilot, Weissenberger's casual often 'non-military' attitude and demeanour meant he often got into trouble with his superiors regarding discipline.

Weissenberger became a motor racing driver after the war and was killed at the infamous Nürburgring circuit on 10 June 1950, when his BMW-powered single seater crashed on the first lap of the XV Eifelrennen motor race.

Awards[edit]

He was recommended by Oberstleutnant Johannes Steinhoff for the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords after his 200th aerial victory. This request was declined on 20 February 1945.[6]

References in the Wehrmachtbericht[edit]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
10 July 1943 Deutsche Jäger schlugen in der vergangenen Nacht den Angriffsversuch feindlicher Torpedoflugzeuge auf ein Geleit in den Gewässern des hohen Nordens ab und vernichteten ohne eigene Verluste 20 feindliche Flugzeuge. Hierbei erzielte Leutnant Weissenberger sieben Luftsiege.[7] German fighters repulsed an enemy torpedo aircraft attack on a convoy in the seas up north last night and destroyed without sustaining any losses 20 enemy aircraft. Leutnant Weissenberger achieved seven aerial victories in this engagement.
26 July 1944 Hauptmann Weissenberger, Gruppenkommandeur in einem Jagdgeschwader, errang an der Ostfront seinen 200. Luftsieg.[8] Hauptmann Weissenberger, group commander in a fighter wing, achieved his 200th aerial victory on the eastern front.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

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

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ Schuck 2007, p. 184.
  2. ^ a b Thomas 1998, p. 430.
  3. ^ Obermaier 1989, p. 58.
  4. ^ Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 504.
  5. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 776.
  6. ^ Berger 2000, p. 395.
  7. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 2, p. 513.
  8. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 3, p. 176.
Bibliography
  • 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. 
  • Boehme, Manfred (1992). JG 7 The World's First Jet Fighter Unit 1944/1945. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 0-88740-395-6. 
  • 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. 
  • Murawski, Erich. Der deutsche Wehrmachtbericht 1939 - 1945, vom 1.7.1944 bis zum 9.5.1945 (in German). Schriften des Bundesarchivs 9, Boppoard am Rhein: Harald Boldt Verlag, 1962
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Schuck, Walter (2007). Abschuss! Von der Me 109 zur Me 262 Erinnerungen an die Luftkämpfe beim Jagdgeschwader 5 und 7 (in German). Helios Verlags- und Buchvertriebsgesellschaft. ISBN 978-3-938208-44-1.
  • 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. 
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 2, 1 January 1942 to 31 December 1943] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 
  • 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. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Oberstleutnant Johannes Steinhoff
Commander of Jagdgeschwader 7 Nowotny
1 January 1945 – 8 May 1945
Succeeded by
none