Wilhelm Moritz

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Wilhelm Moritz
Wilhelm Moritz.jpg
Born (1913-06-29)29 June 1913
Altona
Died 2004
Ontario, Canada
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer (1933–35)
Luftwaffe (1935–45)
Years of service 1933–45
Rank Major
Unit ZG 1, JG 77, JG 1, JG 51, JG 3, JG 4
Commands held IV./JG 3
II./JG 4
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Wilhelm Moritz (29 June 1913 - 2004) was a German Luftwaffe ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. During his career Wilhelm Moritz was credited with 44 victories in 500+ missions.

Career[edit]

Focke Wulf Fw 190 A-8/R8 of IV.(Sturm)/JG 3 "Udet", flown by Hauptmann Moritz

On 7 July 1944 a force of 1,129 B-17 Flying Fortresses and B-24 Liberators of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) Eighth Air Force set out from England to bomb aircraft factories in the Leipzig area and the synthetic oil plants at Boehlen, Leuna-Merseburg and Lützkendorf. This formation was intercepted by a German Gefechtsverband (combat formation) consisting of IV.(Sturm) Gruppe Jagdgeschwader 3 "Udet" (4th assault group of the 3rd fighter wing), led by Hauptmann Moritz, escorted by two Gruppen of Bf 109s from Jagdgeschwader 300 (300th fighter wing) led by Major Walther Dahl. Dahl and Moritz drove the attack to point-blank range behind the Liberators of the 492d Bombardment Group before opening fire. 492d Bombardment Group was temporarily without fighter cover. Within about a minute the entire squadron of twelve B-24s had been annihilated. The Germans claimed 28 USAAF 2nd Air Division B-24s that day and were credited with at least 21. The majority to the Sturmgruppe attack.[1] This event, also known as the Luftschlacht bei Oschersleben (aerial battle at Oschersleben), earned both Dahl and Moritz a reference in the Wehrmachtbericht, an information bulletin issued by the headquarters of the Wehrmacht, on 8 July 1944. To be singled out individually in the Wehrmachtbericht was an honour and was entered in the Orders and Decorations' section of a soldier's Service Record Book.

Awards[edit]

Wehrmachtbericht reference[edit]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
8 July 1944 Die unter persönlicher Führung ihres Geschwaderkommodore Major Dahl kämpfende IV. Sturmgruppe Jagdgeschwader 3, mit ihrem Kommandeur Hauptmann Moritz, zeichnete sich durch Abschuß von 30 viermotorigen Bombern besonders aus.[5] The under the personal leadership of its wing commander Major Dahl fighting 4th assault group of the 3rd fighter wing, with its commander, Captain Moritz, distinguished itself exceptionally by shooting down of 30 four-engined bombers.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ According to Scherzer as Gruppenkommandeur of the IV.(Sturm)/Jagdgeschwader 3 "Udet".[4]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Weal 1996, p. 78.
  2. ^ Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 315.
  3. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 258.
  4. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 551.
  5. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 155.

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. 
  • 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 Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Weal, John (1996). Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Aces of the Western Front. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-85532-595-0.
  • Weal, John (2005). Luftwaffe Sturmgruppen. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-908-8.
  • Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. New York: Ivy Books. ISBN 978-0-8041-1696-1. 
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 3, 1. Januar 1944 bis 9. Mai 1945 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 3, 1 January 1944 to 9 May 1945] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Hauptmann Heinz Lang
Commander of IV. Jagdgeschwader 3
18 April 1944 – 5 December 1944
Succeeded by
Hauptmann Hubert-York Weydenhammer
Preceded by
Major Rudolf Schröder
Commander of I. Jagdgeschwader 4
March 1945 – 8 May 1945
Succeeded by
None