Walter Ehle

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Walter Ehle
Born 28 April 1913
Windhuk, Namibia
Died 18 November 1943(1943-11-18) (aged 30)
St. Trond, Belgium
Buried at Lommel, Belgium
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1935–43
Rank Major
Unit Condor Legion
ZG 1
NJG 1
Commands held II./ NJG 1
Battles/wars

Spanish Civil War
World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Walter Ehle (28 April 1913 – 18 November 1943) 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. Walter Ehle claimed 39 aerial victories, 35 of them at night.[Note 1]

At the start of the war Ehle flew with 3./ZG 1 and was credited with three daylight kills before the unit was redesignated 3./Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 (NJG 1) and he became a night fighter.

Ehle was one of the longest serving Gruppenkommandeur in the Luftwaffe, leading II./NJG 1 from October 1940 until his death in November 1943. His sixth night victory was a Bristol Blenheim shot down on 2 June 1942, and he had 16 victories in total by the end of 1942.

On 18 November 1943 Walter Ehle's Bf-110 crashed near St. Trond, Belgium. As he was landing his airfield lights were extinguished; his aircraft crashed and he and his crew, Ofw. Leidenbach (Bordfunker—radio/wireless operator) and Uffz. Derlitzky (Bordschütze—aerial gunner), perished.

Major Ehle was awarded the Knight's Cross on 29 August after 31 victories and at the time of his death he was credited with 39. He shot down a total of 38 enemy aircraft of which 35 were at night.

Awards[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ For a list of Luftwaffe night fighter aces see List of German World War II night fighter aces.
  2. ^ According to Obermaier on 9 November 1942.[2]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 98.
  2. ^ Obermaier 1989, p. 106.
  3. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 143.
Bibliography
  • 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. 
  • 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 Graf von Stillfried und Rattonitz
Gruppenkommandeur of II. Nachtjagdgeschwader 1
6 October 1940 – 17 November 1943
Succeeded by
Major Eckart-Wilhelm von Bonin