13 February 1920|
|Died||16 July 1944
Caen, Normandy France
|Buried at||Cimetière militaire allemand de Champigny-St. André
Plot 17—grave 2032
|Years of service||1939–44|
|Unit||JG 52, JG 3|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Friedrich Wachowiak (13 February 1920 – 16 July 1944) was a former German Luftwaffe 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. Wachowiak served with Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52—52nd Fighter Wing) and Jagdgeschwader 3 (JG 3—3rd Fighter Wing) and gained his first victories against the Royal Air Force in 1940. At the end of 1941 he received his 20th victory and the 40th was in March 1942. His first Soviet victory was on 1 May 1942. On 7 May 1942 he reported his 62nd and on 29 November 1942 the 86th victory. 1943/1944 he was temporary a fighter flight trainer and came back to the front in May 1944 with the JG 52 over Normandy.
Wachowiak was killed in action on 16 July 1944 on the Normandy invasion front during aerial combat with a Spitfire by Ecouche (in the Caen- Argentan area), as Leutnant and Flugzeugführer III/JG 3 "Udet".
The exact number of aerial victories Wachowiak was credited with is not exactly known. He was credited with at least 86 victories on the Eastern Front. His mother testified that he had claimed about 120 victories, while his comrades stated that he shot down about 140 aircraft. Wachowiak was nominated for the Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
- Iron Cross (1939)
- 2nd Class
- 1st Class
- Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe in Gold
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (15 December 1941)
- German Cross in Gold on 22 January 1942 as Unteroffizier in the III./Jagdgeschwader 52
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 5 April 1942 as Unteroffizier and pilot in the III./Jagdgeschwader 52[Note 1]
- Obermaier 1989, p. 219.
- Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 491.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 433.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 763.
- 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.
- Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. New York: Ivy Books. ISBN 978-0-8041-1696-1.
- Weal, John (2004). Jagdgeschwader 52: The Experten (Aviation Elite Units). London, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-786-4.