Gerhard Thyben

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Gerhard Thyben
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-2007-1218-500, Gerhard Thyben.jpg
Born (1922-02-24)24 February 1922
Kiel
Died 4 September 2006(2006-09-04) (aged 84)
Santiago de Cali, Colombia
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Balkenkreuz (Iron Cross) Luftwaffe
Years of service 1940–45
Rank Oberleutnant
Unit JG 3, JG 54
Commands held 7./JG 54
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Gerhard Thyben (24 February 1922 – 4 September 2006) was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves during World War II. Thyben flew 385 combat missions and claimed 157 aerial victories: 152 on the Eastern Front and five on the Western Front.

Biography[edit]

Gerhard Thyben was born on 24 February 1922 in Kiel. He volunteered for military service in the Luftwaffe in late 1940 and by summer 1941 gained his pilot's licence. On 30 September 1944, Thyben was credited with his 100th aerial victory. He was the 93rd Luftwaffe pilot to achieve the century mark.[1]

On 8 May 1945 he claimed his last victory over the Baltic Sea. He shot down a Petlyakov Pe-2 that was almost certainly looking for German refugee ships escaping from the besieged Courland Pocket. Thyben caught the reconnaissance Pe-2 at 07:54 and achieved what very well might have been the last Focke-Wulf Fw 190 victory of World War II.[2] Thyben surrendered to the British on touching down. Following his release in 1946 he traveled to Spain and Argentina before serving as an instructor with the Colombian Air Force.

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Obermaier 1989, p. 244.
  2. ^ Weal 2001, p. 117.
  3. ^ Thomas 1998, p. 381.
  4. ^ Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 476.
  5. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 423.
  6. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 745.
  7. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 101.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. 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 1939 – 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. 
  • Patzwall, Klaus D. (2008). Der Ehrenpokal für besondere Leistung im Luftkrieg [The Honor Goblet for Outstanding Achievement in the Air War] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-08-3. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Weal, John (1995). Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Aces of the Russian Front. London, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85532-518-0. 
  • Weal, John (2001). Jagdgeschwader 54 'Grünherz'. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-286-9.