Rudolf Schoenert

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Rudolf Schoenert
Born (1911-07-27)27 July 1911
Glogau, Silesia
Died 30 November 1985(1985-11-30) (aged 74)
province Manitoba, Canada
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Balkenkreuz (Iron Cross) Luftwaffe
Years of service 1933–45
Rank Major of the Reserves
Commands held 4./NJG 2, Nachtjagdgruppe 10
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Rudolf Schoenert (27 July 1911 – 30 November 1985) was the seventh highest scoring night fighter flying ace in the German Luftwaffe during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Early life and career[edit]

Schoenert was born on 27 July 1911 in Glogau in the Province of Silesia, a province of the German Kingdom of Prussia, today it is Głogów in Poland. On 22 May 1933, he started flight training as a civil pilot with the Deutsche Verkehrsfliegerschule (German Air Transport School) in Braunschweig. From 4 December 1936 to 26 February 1937, he received his recruit training. On 1 April 1937, Schoenert started working as a civil flight instructor.[1]

World War II[edit]

After five years in the Merchant Navy, Schoenert began flight training in 1933 and went on to fly commercial aircraft for Lufthansa. He was commissioned as a Leutnant in the Luftwaffe's Reserve in 1938 and in June 1941 joined 4./Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 (NJG 1—1st Night Fighter Wing) at Bergen in northern Holland. He was credited with his first aerial victory on the night of 8/9 July 1941 when he claimed an Armstrong Whitworth Whitley bomber shot down at 02:51 60 kilometres (37 miles) northwest of Vlieland.[2] His total stood at 22 by 25 July 1942 and he was awarded the Knight's Cross.

Schoenert is recognised as the instigator of upward-firing armament in German night fighter aircraft, which he introduced into his own Dornier Do-17 in 1942. The concept, dubbed Schräge Musik (Jazz Music), was initially rejected by Helmut Lent and Werner Streib. Oberfeldwebel Paul Mahle, an armourer attached to II./Nachtjagdgeschwader 5 (NJG 5—5th Night Fighter Wing) at Parchim, worked closely with Rudolf Schoenert and built his own working prototype of Schräge Musik, which was soon fitted to all of the Gruppe's aircraft.

Schoenert claimed the first aerial victory with Schräge Musik in May 1943.[3] By August he was flying with Nachtjagdgeschwader 100 (NJG 100—100th Night Fighter Wing) over the Eastern Front, where he claimed to have shot down 30 Soviet aircraft by early 1944.

On 11 April 1944, Schoenert was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub), the 450th soldier to receive this distinction. The presentation was made by Adolf Hitler at the Berghof, Hitler's residence in the Obersalzberg of the Bavarian Alps, on 5 May 1944.[4]

Schoenert and Leutnant Karl Schnörrer, Oberst Gordon Gollob, Major Georg Christl, Hauptmann Heinz Strüning, Major Josef Fözö formed the guard of honor at Walter Nowotny funeral at the Zentralfriedhof in Vienna. Nowotny had been killed in action on 8 November 1944. The eulogy was delivered by Generalleutnant Adolf Galland and Generaloberst Otto Deßloch.[5]

During a sortie east of the Elbe on 27 April 1945, an electrical fault rendered Schonert's radar unserviceable and his Junkers Ju 88G was shot down by a Royal Air Force (RAF) de Havilland Mosquito. He survived and was rescued by German troops.

Schoenert survived the war. Schoenert's radio and wireless operator was usually Oberfeldwebel Johannes Richter.

Aerial victory claims[edit]

Schoenert was credited with 65 aerial victories claimed in 376 combat missions, including 35 Soviet aircraft on the Eastern Front.[6]

  This and the ? (question mark) indicates that the aerial victory claim is not listed by Foreman, Matthews and Parry, authors of Luftwaffe Night Fighter Claims 1939 – 1945.

Chronicle of aerial victories
Victory Date Time Type Location Serial No./Squadron No.
– 4./Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 –
1 9 July 1941 02:51 Whitley[2] 60 km (37 mi) northwest of Vlieland
2 9 July 1941 03:40 Whitley[7] 55 km (34 mi) northwest of Vlieland
3 17 July 1941 00:50 Wellington[7] 5 km (3.1 mi) west of Lemmer
4 4 August 1941 00:14 Wellington[8] southwest of Stavoren
5 2 September 1941 23:34 Wellington[9] 15 km (9.3 mi) northeast of Wangerooge
6 31 October 1941 21:37 Halifax[10] north of Wangerooge
7 31 October 1941 22:05 Halifax[10] 15 km (9.3 mi) north of Langeoog
– 5./Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 –
8 1/2 November 1941
Hampden[10]
9 5/6 November 1941
Hampden[10]
10 30 November 1941 20:52 Whitley[11] 10 km (6.2 mi) west of Aurich
11 10 January 1942 23:15 Wellington[12] 17 km (11 mi) northwest of Langeoog
12 14 January 1942 20:50 Manchester[12] 5 km (3.1 mi) southwest of Jever
13 26 January 1942 20:56 Whitley[12]
– 4./Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 –
14 28 March 1942 23:21 Halifax[13]
15 26 April 1942 00:24 Wellington[14] 25 km (16 mi) southwest of Helgoland
16 18 May 1942 00:24 Stirling[15] 15 km (9.3 mi) northeast of Leeuwarden
17 7 June 1942 02:27 Wellington[16] Borkum
18 20 June 1942 01:49 Wellington[17] west of Emden
19 23 June 1942 01:17 Wellington[17] northwest of Baltrum
20 23 June 1942 02:07 Stirling[17] north of Aurich
– 5./Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 –
21 20 July 1942 02:51 Halifax[18] near Borkum
22 26/27 July 1942
Halifax[19]
23 29 July 1942 03:28 Wellington[19]
Stab II./Nachtjagdgeschwader 5 –
24 30 March 1943 01:30 Lancaster[20] northwest of Rerik
25 21 April 1943 02:23 Lancaster[21] Hafen Gjetser
26 2 August 1943 02:23 Halifax[22] Russia
Stab I./Nachtjagdgeschwader 100 –
27 16 August 1943 22:08 TB-7[23] Russia
28 16 August 1943 23:36 R-5[23] Russia
29 16 August 1943 23:56 R-5[23] Russia
30 27 August 1943 20:20 TB-7[24] Krotovko
31 31 August 1943 22:01 Mitchell[25] Russia
32 31 August 1943 22:21 Mitchell[25] Russia
33 31 August 1943 22:37 Mitchell[25] Russia
34 31 August 1943 23:00 Mitchell[25] Russia
35 3 September 1943 22:34 Mitchell[26] Poltava
36 6 September 1943 21:03 R-5[27] Russia
37 7 September 1943 20:58 DB-3[27] east of Slobodka
38 7 September 1943 21:48 DB-3[27] Brünischlschi
39 7 September 1943 22:17 PS-84[27] Grischany
40 7 September 1943 22:29 PS-84[27] Mischaly
41 20 September 1943 23:27 DB-3[28] Kislyaki
42 20 September 1943 23:57 DB-3[28] west Mirgorod
43?
44 11 October 1943 20:54 PS-84[29] north of Charvovo
45 11 October 1943 21:00 PS-84[29] southeast of Sapolye
46 11 October 1943 21:37 PS-84[29] north of Alexejevo
47 12 October 1943 22:43 U-2[30] southeast of Alexandroka
48 13 October 1943 01:07 DB-3[30] Babinovitski
49 13 October 1943 17:46 DB-3[30] Berseja
50 13 October 1943 21:24 DB-3[30] Russia
51 14 October 1943 18:21 DB-3[30] west of Demenino
52 14 October 1943 18:26 DB-3[30] west of Demenino
53 14 October 1943 18:37 DB-3[30] west of Demenino
54 14 October 1943 20:56 DB-3[30] Naravoki
55 15 October 1943 20:17 PS-84[30] Haschuki
56 27 October 1943 19:37 DB-3[31] Warafina
57 27 October 1943 22:37 R-5[31] Russia
Stab of Nachtjagdgruppe 10 –
59 15 February 1944 21:08 Halifax[32] north-northwest of Berlin
60 20 February 1944 04:33 Halifax[33] 6–10 km (3.7–6.2 mi) southwest of Leipzig

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Stockert 2007, p. 108.
  2. ^ a b Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 24.
  3. ^ Hinchliffe 1998, p. 122.
  4. ^ Stockert 2007, p. 109.
  5. ^ Held 1998, p. 157.
  6. ^ a b Obermaier 1989, p. 64.
  7. ^ a b Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 25.
  8. ^ Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 28.
  9. ^ Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 30.
  10. ^ a b c d Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 32.
  11. ^ Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 33.
  12. ^ a b c Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 34.
  13. ^ Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 37.
  14. ^ Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 38.
  15. ^ Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 40.
  16. ^ Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 44.
  17. ^ a b c Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 46.
  18. ^ Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 50.
  19. ^ a b Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 51.
  20. ^ Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 72.
  21. ^ Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 76.
  22. ^ Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 100.
  23. ^ a b c Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 102.
  24. ^ Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 107.
  25. ^ a b c d Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 109.
  26. ^ Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 110.
  27. ^ a b c d e Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 112.
  28. ^ a b Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 114.
  29. ^ a b c Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 121.
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 122.
  31. ^ a b Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 125.
  32. ^ Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 148.
  33. ^ Foreman, Matthews & Parry 2004, p. 150.
  34. ^ a b Thomas 1998, p. 278.
  35. ^ Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 420.
  36. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 680.
  37. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, pp. 386, 503.
  38. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 81.
  39. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, pp. 98, 174.

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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. 
  • Foreman, John; Matthews, Johannes; Parry, Simon (2004). Luftwaffe Night Fighter Claims 1939–1945. Walton on Thames: Red Kite. ISBN 978-0-9538061-4-0. 
  • Held, Werner (1998). Der Jagdflieger Walter Nowotny Bilder und Dokumente [The Fighter Pilot Walter Nowotny Images and Documents] (in German). Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3-87943-979-9. 
  • Hinchliffe, Peter (1998). Luftkrieg bei Nacht 1939–1945 [Air War at Night 1939–1945] (in German). Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3-613-01861-7. 
  • 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. 
  • Stockert, Peter (2007). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 5 [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 5] (in German). Bad Friedrichshall, Germany: Friedrichshaller Rundblick. OCLC 76072662. 
  • 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. 
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 2, 1 January 1942 to 31 December 1943] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Oberstleutnant Walter Borchers
Commander of Nachtjagdgeschwader 5
5 March 1945 – May 1945
Succeeded by
none