Horst Carganico

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Horst Carganico
Born 27 September 1917
Died 27 May 1944(1944-05-27) (aged 26)
Chevry, France
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Balkenkreuz (Iron Cross) Luftwaffe
Years of service 1937–44
Rank Major
Unit JG 5
Commands held II./JG 5
I./JG 5

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Horst Carganico (27 September 1917 – 27 May 1944) was a Luftwaffe 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.


He joined the Luftwaffe in 1937 and attended pilot school at Berlin-Johannisthal. At the outbreak of World War II Carganico was Technical Officer with the staff of Jagdgeschwader 1. In April 1940, he became Adjutant of II./Jagdgeschwader 77 (JG 77), serving in Norway. He claimed his initial victory on 21 June 1940; a "RAF Hereford" (actually a Bristol Beaufort) near Bergen. He claimed several more victories before II./JG 77 was posted to Northern France in November 1940. He claimed his fifth victory on 30 November, a Bristol Blenheim. Oberleutnant Carganico was made Staffelkapitän of 1./JG 77 in January 1941 and stationed in Sola, Norway.

Flying intensively following the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Carganico was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 25 September 1941 for 27 victories. By early 1942 Carganico commanded 6./Jagdgeschwader 5 (JG 5). As a Hauptmann, he was appointed Gruppenkommandeur II./JG 5 in April 1942 and in summer 1942 he claimed 23 victories in six weeks. On 12 August Carganico was part of a Schwarm intercepted by Soviet fighters and Carganico's Bf 109 F-4 was damaged sufficiently to force an emergency landing near Motovsk. He evaded capture and returned to his unit the next day.

On 26 March 1944 Hauptmann Carganico was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 5 participating in the Defence of the Reich against the USAAF heavy bomber offensive. Following combat with USAAF four-engined bombers on 27 May 1944, Carganico was killed when his Bf 109 G-5 hit high tension cables while attempting a forced landing near Chevry, France.

He was credited with 60 victories in 600 missions, including six victories over the Western Allies.

Carganico was the son of Luftwaffe general Generalleutnant Viktor Carganico. He was buried in the military section of the Waldfriedhof Zehlendorf.[1]



  1. ^ According to Scherzer as Staffelkapitän of the 1./Jagdgeschwader 77.



  1. ^ MacLean 2007, p. 94.
  2. ^ Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 72.
  3. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 152.


  • 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. 
  • MacLean, French L (2007). Luftwaffe Efficiency & Promotion Reports: For the Knight's Cross Winners. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Military History. ISBN 978-0-7643-2657-8. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. New York: Ivy Books. ISBN 978-0-8041-1696-1. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Major Hennig Strümpell
Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 5
April 1942 – 26 March 1944
Succeeded by
Hauptmann Theodor Weissenberger
Preceded by
Major Erich Gerlitz
Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 5
26 March 1944 – 27 May 1944
Succeeded by
Hauptmann Theodor Weissenberger