Wilhelm Mink (pilot)
|Born||29 April 1912
|Died||12 March 1945
|Years of service||1940–1945|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Wilhelm Mink (29 April 1912 – 12 March 1945) was a German Luftwaffe 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.
Born in Köln, Wilhelm Mink joined 5 Staffel, Jagdgeschwader 51 (JG 51) in early 1940, and participated in the French campaign of May and June 1940.
During the Battle of Britain Mink claimed no victories but was shot down by Royal Air Force (RAF) fighters over the English Channel, and was rescued by German air sea rescue (Seenotdienst). His first victory, a Blenheim, was confirmed on 29 April 1941, followed by a Hurricane on 21 May 1941.
In June 1941, JG 51 was transferred to the east for the invasion of the USSR. Mink significantly increased his tally, totalling 31 confirmed victories by the end of 1941.
On 19 March 1942, with 40 victories, Oberfeldwebel Mink was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. He reached his 50th claim in July 1942. In September 1942 Mink was transferred to the Ergänzungsgruppe Ost as an instructor.
Injured in a bombing raid, Mink returned to action in November 1943, with Ergänzungsgruppe Staffel Süd fighting in Italy. After a few victories on this front, he was wounded in combat with a B-26 Marauder near Rome on 3 February 1944, baling out of his Bf 109 G-6.
Mink remained with Erg.Gr. Süd during early 1944, and transferred to Erg.Gr. Nord in September 1944. This unit was later redesignated I./EJG 1 (Ergänzungsjagdgeschwader 1).
During his career he was credited with 72 aerial victories, 8 on the Western Front and 64 on the Eastern Front.
- Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (30 September 1941)
- Wound Badge (1939)
- in Black or Silver
- Iron Cross (1939)
- 2nd Class
- 1st Class
- German Cross in Gold on 4 February 1942 as Feldwebel in the 5./Jagdgeschwader 51
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 19 March 1942 as Oberfeldwebel and pilot in the 5./Jagdgeschwader 51 "Mölders"
- Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 311.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 255.
- 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. and Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941–1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II. Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 3-931533-45-X.
- 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.
- Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. New York: Ivy Books. ISBN 978-0-8041-1696-1.