Dietrich Schmidt (pilot)
|Born||27 June 1919
|Died||6 March 2002
|Years of service||?–1945|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Dietrich Schmidt (27 June 1919 – 6 March 2002) was a 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 and was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Oberleutnant Schmidt was initially posted to 8./NJG 1 in September 1941, based at Twente in the Netherlands. He claimed his first victory on the night of 24/25 March 1943, a Halifax bomber over Enkhuizen. On 15 June 1943 Schmidt was appointed Staffelkapitän of 8./NJG 1, having claimed five victories by this time.
On the night of 1/2 January 1944, he claimed a Lancaster bomber shot down near Ramsel for his 10th victory. He claimed three victories in a single night on 3/4 May, 22/23 May, and 28/29 July. Schmidt was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 27 July for 32 victories. Schmidt transferred as Staffelkapitän to 9./NJG 1 in December 1944. He added five further victories to raise his victory total to 43 by the end of the war. Schmidt was then interned by British troops at Schleswig-Holstein, and released in August 1945.
He attended Heidelberg University obtaining a doctorate in Chemistry, married and fathered three children. Schmidt retired in 1984.
Dietrich Schmidt was credited with 43 victories in 171 missions. All his victories were recorded at night. [Notes 1]
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (24 April 1944)
- Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe
- Iron Cross (1939)
- 2nd Class
- 1st Class
- German Cross in Gold (1 October 1944)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 27 July 1944 as Oberleutnant and Staffelkapitän of the 8./Nachtjagdgeschwader 1
- For a list of Luftwaffe night fighter aces see List of German World War II night fighter aces.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 309.
- 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.
- 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.
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- 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 Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.