Peter Spoden

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Peter Spoden
Born(1921-11-08)8 November 1921
Borken, Westphalia, Prussia, Germany
Died9 December 2021(2021-12-09) (aged 100)
Kronberg, Hesse, Germany
AllegianceNazi Germany
Years of service1940–45
UnitNJG 5, NJG 6
Commands heldI./NJG 6
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsGerman Cross in Gold
Other workAirline Captain

Peter Spoden (8 November 1921 – 9 December 2021) was a German night fighter ace during World War II.[Note 1]


Spoden was born in Borken. He was credited with 24 night victories and bearer of the German Cross in Gold.[1] Spoden was member of night fighter units NJG 5 and NJG 6 and appointed to Gruppenkommandeur of I./NJG 6 at the end of war. In 1945, despite orders to hold Schleißheim Airfield in ground combat against the advancing Allies, he surrendered the installation to US forces, pre-empting a devastating artillery strike and ground battle.[2]

After 1 April 1955, with the re-establishment of the now West German airline Lufthansa on 6 January 1953, he became Captain on the DC-3 and the famous Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation, later on Boeing 720, Boeing 707 and Boeing 747. He trained hundreds of commercial pilots until his retirement in 1981.[3] In May 1999, Spoden revealed that a historian once showed him the passenger lists of his wartime victories. He spoke of his "horror" when realising that many of the men he killed were no older than his own sons.[4]

Spoden turned 100 in November 2021,[5] and died the following month.[6]


  1. ^ For a list of Luftwaffe night fighter aces see List of German World War II night fighter aces


  1. ^ "Aces of the Luftwaffe - Peter Spoden". Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  2. ^ "Mut in Schicksalsmoment". (in German). 8 November 2021. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  3. ^ Enemy in the Dark: The Story of a Luftwaffe Night-Fighter Pilot Retrieved 8 November 2019
  4. ^ "Son of Pilot Chronicles Bomber Campaign". Nanaimo Daily News. 3 May 1999. p. 11. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  5. ^ "Mut in Schicksalsmoment". (in German). 8 November 2021. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  6. ^ "Peter Spoden verstorben". (in German). 11 December 2021. Retrieved 11 December 2021.