12 June 1920|
|Died||22 December 1944
|Commands held||4./JG 52, 5./JG 52|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Hauptmann Heinrich Sturm (born 12 June 1920 in Dieburg, Hessia – killed in flying accident 22 December 1944 in Csór, Hungary) was German World War II Luftwaffe 158 victories Flying ace. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
He joined 6./Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52—6th squadron of the 52nd fighter wing) with the rank of Feldwebel (Sergeant) in the summer of 1941, he claimed his first three aerial victories at the end of the year.
He then transferred to a fighter school as instructor and returned to frontline service in November 1942. He was assigned to the Stab of II./JG 52 (2nd group of the 52nd fighter wing). In the period up to 17 December 1942 he scored a further six victories. On the 1 January 1943 he was promoted to Leutnant. He claimed his 20th kill on the 15 April 1943, adding five more kills on the 20 April 1943 and reached his 40th kill on the 30 June 1943 and kill total of 75 on the 30 November 1943. From the 1 September 1943 he was top scoring fighter pilot of 4./JG 52 (4th squadron of the 52nd fighter wing). Scoring his 100th victory on the 23 March 1944 he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross three days later. He was the 66th Luftwaffe pilot to achieve the century mark. A month later, on the 16 April 1944, he was wounded badly by bomb debris on Chersonese (Crimea) airfield.
In August 1944 he returned to JG 52 and took over command of 5./JG 52, his score standing at 111. On the 22 December 1944 he scored his last two kills. Taking off for another sortie from Csór that day, one of the landing gear struts hit a truck killing him in the accident.
- Iron Cross (1939) 2nd and 1st Class
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe on 26 July 1943 as Leutnant and pilot
- German Cross in Gold on 23 July 1943 as Leutnant in the Stab/JG 52
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 26 March 1944 as Leutnant (war officer)and Staffelführer of the 4./JG 52
- Obermaier 1989, p. 244.
- Weal 2004, p. 116.
- Patzwall 2008, p. 202.
- Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 467.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 734
- 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 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 Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
- Weal, John (2004). Jagdgeschwader 52: The Experten (Aviation Elite Units). Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-786-4.
- "Heinrich Sturm". Jagdgeschwader 52—Traditionsgemeinschaft Jagdgeschwader 52 e.V. (in German). Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- "Heinrich Sturm". World War 2 Awards. Retrieved 12 September 2011.