Heinrich Klöpper

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Heinrich (Heinz) Klöpper
Born (1918-01-09)9 January 1918
Groß Bülten, Germany
Died 29 November 1943(1943-11-29) (aged 25)
Vollenhove, Netherlands
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1939–1943
Rank Oberleutnant
Unit JG 77, JG 51, JG 1
Commands held 7. /JG 1
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Heinrich (Heinz) Klöpper (9 January 1918 – 29 November 1943) 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. Heinrich Klöpper was credited with 94 victories.

Career[edit]

In 1940 Heinrich (Heinz) Klöpper served with Jagdgeschwader 77 (JG 77), during the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain he recorded his first two victories. On the first day of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, he claimed his first victory on the Eastern Front, when he shot down a Russian SB-3 bomber. On 27 October 1941 he claimed a double Soviet victory, shooting down two LaGG-3 fighters. Another double on 5 July 1942, an Il-2 and an I-16 Rata; and five victories on 7 July 1942. Another five victories on 4 August 1942; a MiG-3, a Pe-2 and three Il-2 ground-attack aircraft. On the Western Front his 91st victim was a B-17 bomber on 5 November 1943. His 92nd, was a P-38 Lightning fighter on 13 November 1943. His 93rd victim was a B-24 Liberator bomber, "Sack-Time Sally", on 26 November 1943 and his 94th and final victory was a P-38 at Hasselt, on 29 November 1943.

Heinrich (Heinz) Klöpper was killed on 29 November 1943 on the Western Front, when his plane was shot down in a dogfight with two US Army Air Force P-38 Lightnings. He crashed near "de Oldenhof" castle in the vicinity of Vollenhove, in the Netherlands. He was Staffelkapitän of 7./Jagdgeschwader 1.

During his career, he shot down a total of 94 enemy planes in approximately 500 combat missions (18 victories were on the Western Front), of which eight were four engined bombers and seven Il-2 Sturmoviks.

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  • Die Ordensträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht (CD), VMD-Verlag GmbH, Osnabrück, 2002
  • 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. 
  • 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.