Gerhard Thyben

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Gerhard Thyben
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-2007-1218-500, Gerhard Thyben.jpg
Gerhard Thyben
Nickname(s) Gerd
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.svg 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
Other work La Violencia (Colombian Conflict, as instructor)

Gerhard Thyben (24 February 1922 – 4 September 2006) was a German former Luftwaffe fighter ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves during World War II. A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat.[1]

Gerhard "Gerd" Thyben flew 385 combat missions and claimed 157 aerial victories. He claimed 152 victories on the Eastern Front, including 28 Il-2 Sturmoviks and five victories on the Western Front. He flew 22 fighter-bomber missions on which he claimed two aircraft and seven trucks destroyed on the ground.

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.[2]

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. The Pe-2 crew, consisting of Starshiy Leytenant Grigoriy Davidenko, Kapitan Aleksey Grachev, and Starshina Mikhail Murashko were all killed in the engagement. 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]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ According to Scherzer as Leutnant and pilot in the 7./Jagdgeschwader 54[6]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Spick 1996, pp. 3–4.
  2. ^ Obermaier 1989, p. 244.
  3. ^ a b Thomas 1998, p. 381.
  4. ^ Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 476.
  5. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 423.
  6. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 745.
  7. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 101.

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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. 
  • Huß, Jürgen; Viohl, Armin (2003). Die Ritterkreuzträger des Eisernen Kreuzes der preußischen Provinz Schleswig-Holstein und der Freien und Hansestadt Lübeck 1939–1945 [The Knight's Cross Bearers the Prussian Province of Schleswig-Holstein and the Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck 1939–1945] (in German). Zweibrücken, Germany: VDM Heinz Nickel. ISBN 978-3-925480-79-9. 
  • 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. 
  • Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. New York: Ivy Books. ISBN 978-0-8041-1696-1. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 

External links[edit]

  • "Gerhard Thyben". Lexikon der Wehrmacht (in German). Retrieved 19 October 2011.