Luftwaffe OERs

Knight’s Cross Recipients in Volume 1


Luftwaffe Efficiency and Promotion Reports for the Knight’s Cross Winners, Volume 1

Rudolf Abrahamczik, “Exemplary willingness for combat and risk-taking.”

Herbert Bachnick, “Temperamental character, sometimes a little flippant.”

Josef Barmetler, “With a good talent for comprehension and a talent for clear judgment.”

Viktor Bauer, “The squadron under his command did not lose a single pilot through enemy action.”

Ludwig Becker, “His lack of talent for improvisation and quick decision-making are disturbing.”

Friedrich Beckh, “He is never satisfied with his own accomplishments.”

Hans Beisswenger, “He enjoys the full confidence of the other pilots.”

Hans-Wilhelm Bertram, “Demonstrates courage paired with calculation and logical thinking.”

Heinrich Boecker, “Goal-oriented.”

Rudolf Boehlein, “He has endurance and is tough.”

Rudolf Böhmler, “He is firm during a crisis and prevails with an iron tranquility.”

Hans-Joachim Brand, “The proof of descent from German or related blood of Hans-Joachim Brand and his spouse has been obtained.”

Werner Breese, “Passionate pilot.”

Gerhard Brenner, “Demonstrated superhuman accomplishments.”

Max Buchholz, “Toward the men under his command strict, but always correct.”

Kurt Bühligen, “He possesses élan.”

Horst Carganico, “Personal courage and daring in combat.”

Wilhelm Crinius, “He is tough, but he fights with calculation and deliberation.”

Adolf Dickfeld, “He sometimes tends towards high-handedness.”

Erwin Diekwisch, “One can always trust him.”

Anton Döbele, “He can be harsh and one-sided in judging the people around him.”

Alfred Druschel, “Distinct talent for improvisation.”

Hans Ehlers, “Of particular note is that on October 8, 1943, after he had completely depleted his ammunition, he rammed a four-engine bomber.”

Siegfried Engfer, “His appearance is modest and reserved.”

Waldemar Felgenhauer, “Not totally free of personal ambition.”

Leopold Fellerer, “Untiring willingness for action, coupled with an iron will for victory.”

Karl Fitzner, “Mentally very alert with the best ability to comprehend.”

Erwin Fleig, “As an acting squadron commander, he is an exemplary officer on the ground and in the air.”

Ernst Frömming, “Over Crete, he conducted his first jump into enemy territory, without prior training.”

Wilhelm Fulda, “While with the 3rd Squadron, Air-Landing Wing, he received the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross from the Führer due to his courage in combat.”

Robert Gast, “Alert and open to new ideas.”

Siegfried Gerstner, “A healthy degree of self-confidence and ambition.”

Walter Gericke, “Major Gericke has fully proven himself as a battalion commander.”

Franz Grassmel, “Sometimes a little stubborn.”

Alfred Gross, “Keeps rather to himself.”

Hans Grünberg, “In his nature are hidden leadership qualities.”

Andreas Hagl, “He is no longer able to withstand the hardships of war.”

Reino Hamer, “He sweeps the men under his command along with him.”

Friedrich-August von der Heydte, “Distinguished himself through prudent leadership of his battalion and ruthless personal action.”

Herbert von Hoffer, “He is very sensitive, easily becomes nervous.”

Franz Hrdlicka, “He has read the Führer’s Mein Kampf.”

Eberhard Jacob, “Man of character.”

Karl Janke, “He lacks the talent to sweep the soldiers along with him and to create enthusiasm for something.”

Peter Jenne, “Unwavering spirit for battle.”

Karl Kennel, “He is well liked due to his calm, but also humorous and very friendly manner.”

Alfred Kindler, “He is an example for his squadron.”

August Lambert, “He was mentioned several times in official Wehrmacht dispatches.”

Emil Lang, “Demands of himself first.”

Karl-Heinz Langer, “After the encirclement of Stalingrad, showed unusual courage on numerous combat missions out of the fortress.”

Erich Leie, “Has excelled in his current assignment.”

Ludwig Leingärtner, “Has fully distinguished himself as an officer with great willingness for combat against the enemy.”

Lothar Linke, “Possesses good social manners.”     

Helmut Lipfert, “He is a shining example for his squadron.”

Knight’s Cross Recipients in Volume 12014-08-23T12:54:53-05:00

Knight’s Cross Recipients in Volume 2

Luftwaffe Efficiency and Promotion Reports for the Knight’s Cross Winners, Volume 2

Luftwaffe Efficiency and Promotion Reports for the Knight’s Cross Winners, Volume 2

Walter Matoni, “Mentally, interested and versatile.”

Wilhelm Mayer, “He shows talent for quick comprehension and great mental flexibility.”

Maximilian Mayerl, “He brought back the old enthusiastic spirit of the entire squadron.”

Julius Meimberg, “Very passionate, outstanding fighter pilot.”

Joachim Meissner, “‘Lieutenant Meissner’ will be a valuable addition for the Luftwaffe.”

Hans Hermann Merker, “Well-liked by comrades and superiors.”

Heinz Meyer, “He succeeded in such devastating blows to the Americans at Monte Castre that he was recommended for the Oak Leaves to the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross for this outstanding success.”

Werner Milch, “Distinguished himself through extraordinary courage and relentless personal engagement.”

Helmut Missner, “Ability to quickly comprehend.”

Horst Müller, “Sometimes his temperament appears to be boisterous and blustery.”

Karl-Friedrich Müller, “Possesses a lot of youthful élan and can be very enthusiastic.”

Dr. Maximilian Otte, “In difficult situations, he has demonstrated a high degree of courage and decisiveness.”

Karl August Paulsen, “He is an officer who, by reason of his great sense of justice, will always be a good superior.”

Viktor Petermann, “Of particular note are his cold-bloodedness, dare-devil nature and eagerness for action.”

Karl Peters, “Great mental flexibility.”

Herbert Pölz, “Takes remarks of a general nature too personal.”

Dietrich Puttfarken, “Sometimes he is a little too fast in making judgments and remarks.”

Rudolf Rademacher, “Somewhat disinterested and stubborn.”

Hans Roehrig, “Very good athlete.”

Herbert Röwer, “Mentally above average, with diverse interests.”

Erich Rudorffer, “He is an example for the men under his command.”

Martin Schächter, “During an artillery attack on the division command post at the Invasion Front, he was buried alive and again wounded.”

Wolfgang Schellmann, “An exemplary military trainer and educator for his squadron.”

Wolfgang Schenck, “He appears to have lost his spirit for battle and is tired of being at the front.”

Horst Schiller, “Very passionate Stuka pilot of outstanding courage and untiring eagerness for combat.”

Horst Schimpke, “He is diligent, conscientious and eager to work.”

Leonhard Schmidt, “Has always been an exemplary platoon leader and has consistently proved his unusual courage in the heaviest combat.”

Otto Schmidt, “In every respect, well-rooted character.” 

Heinz Schnaufer, “Somewhat shy.”

Herbert Schob, “Full of humor.”

Rudolf Schoenert, “He always looks for new missions.”

Walter Schuck, “Slender build, but has endurance and hardiness.”

Wolf-Werner von der Schulenburg, “Despite his age and the severe injuries suffered during the World War – one leg 5 cm shorter than the other – at the beginning of the war, he reported to the parachute troops.”

Franz Schwaiger, “Inspiring and an example in every respect for the young pilots.”

Georg Seelmann, “Straight-forward, intelligent human being.”

Günther Sempert, “Mentally very active, skillful in quick comprehension.”

Friedrich Seyffardt, “Overseeing and mastering every situation with great success.”

Werner Sigel, “Tendency to salesmanship behavior, which manifests itself in his frequent attempts to ‘trade off’ something from clearly spelled out orders.”

Eduard Skrzipek, “Still lacking social manners, particularly in social gatherings.”

Rudolf Smola, “Natural leader.”

Willi Sölter, “Within a very short time, his group has sunk 15,000 tons commercial shipping capacity and one destroyer, and has also damaged an additional 93,000 tons and \two destroyers.”

Waldemar Stadermann, “Secure and calm in every situation.”

Heinrich Sterr, “He has an enthusiastic heart.”

Walter Stimpel, “He always understands how to comprehend the essential.”

Heinz Strünning, “Could be a little more lively sometimes.”

Karl Tannert, “Tannert with a few men of his headquarters and the signal platoon retook the village on his own initiative, averting a danger to the flank of the regiment and the entire division.

Gerhard Thyben, “Due to his young age, still somewhat unbalanced.”

Cord Tietjen, “Skillful trainer.”

Erich Timm, “Dazzling élan.”

Kurt Ubben, He has understood how to master the most difficult situations.

Rudolf Weigel, “Slightly conceited.”

Ernst Weismann, “Confronts all things in life without worry.”

Theodor Weissenberger, “Without a doubt, belongs with the best fighter group commanders.”

Walter Werner, “His outstanding courage during the Second Cassino Battle marks the typical resolute soldier in his personality.”

Heinz Wernicke, “Would rather have others tell him what to do than to reach for his own initiative.”

Otto Wessling, “For the men under his command, he is a thoroughly just superior.”

Walter Wolfrum, “Serial victories are not rare for him.”

Otto Würfel, “Physically able to bear a burden.”

Hilmar Zahn, “Understands exceedingly well how to make gunnery training interesting and diversified.”

Eugen-Ludwig Zweigart, “He possesses a clear manner of giving orders.”

Knight’s Cross Recipients in Volume 22016-01-13T17:34:52-06:00

Wegen Tapferkeit vor dem Feinde (For Bravery in the face of the enemy) for Werner Milch

Wegen Tapferkeit vor dem Feinde (For Bravery in the face of the enemy) for Werner Milch.  Werner Milch, the brother of Luftwaffe Field Marshal Erhard Milch, was a hero in his own right.  Born November 15, 1903 in Wilhelmshaven, he served with the German Army’s 603rd Artillery Regiment, winning the Iron Cross 2nd Class.  He also fought on the northern sector of the Eastern Front before joining the Luftwaffe.  That sent him to Africa, where he served under Colonel Ramcke, the famed airborne leader.  Milch served on the Western Front in 1944 and distinguished himself at Flavigny, on the Moselle River, as the commander of the 2nd Paratroop Mortar Battalion.  He received the Ritterkreuz (Knights Cross) on January 1, 1945 for bravery with this unit.  Werner Milch died on November 17, 1984 at Hemer in North-Rhine Westphalia.  He is buried in the Waldfriedhof at this town (Section D, Field 21, Grave 176-180.)

Wegen Tapferkeit vor dem Feinde

Wegen Tapferkeit vor dem Feinde (For Bravery in the face of the enemy) for Werner Milch2013-01-13T17:22:52-06:00

Vorschlag zur bevorzugten Beförderung (Proposal for Accelerated Promotion) for Friedrich-August von der Heydte

Vorschlag zur bevorzugten Beförderung (Proposal for Accelerated Promotion) for Friedrich-August von der Heydte.  Nicknamed the Rosary Paratrooper, Friedrich-August von der Heydte was born on March 30, 1907 in Munich.  In the 1920s he served in the 18th Cavalry Regiment before pursuing his studies at the Universities of Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Graz and Innsbruck.  He rejoined the Army in the 1930s, but trasnferred to the Luftwaffe in 1940.  At the airborne invasion of Crete, he commanded the 1st Battalion of the 3rd Paratroop Regiment, winning the Knights Cross for his actions at the village of Agia in Prison Valley.  In 1942 he fought at El Alamein; he also fought in Russia.  He commanded the 6th Paratroop Regiment at Carentan, Normandy in June 1944 against the US 101st Airborne Division.  He was promoted to Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel) and received the Eichenlaub (Oak Leaves) for those actions in France.  During the Battle of The Bulge, von der Heydte commanded a special airborne battle group that dropped behind American lines.  Seriously wounded, he was captured by American troops.  Later in life, he became a Fellow in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  Friedrich-Wilhelm von der Heydte died on July 7, 1994 at Aham an der Vils, near Landshut in Bavaria.  If you visit the Ardennes/Battle of the Bulge with Colonel MacLean, he can show you where von der Heydte landed and was captured in 1944.  This document is signed by Kurt Student in his customary pencil.  It is initialed by Bruno Loerzer.

Vorschlag zur bevorzugten Beförderung

Vorschlag zur bevorzugten Beförderung (Proposal for Accelerated Promotion) for Friedrich-August von der Heydte2013-01-13T17:26:09-06:00

Vorschlag zur bevorzugten Beförderung (Proposal for Accelerated Promotion) for Reino Hamer

Vorschlag zur bevorzugten Beförderung (Proposal for Accelerated Promotion) for Reino Hamer.  This is the front side; the reverse is signed by three other officers, including Kurt Student.  Reino Hamer was born on August 29, 1916 in Rastede, near Oldenburg.  This is a proposal for an accelerated promotion to Hauptmann (Captain.)  He received the Ritterkreuz (Knights Cross) in September 1944 for his actions in combat the previous May.  American forces captured Major Hamer at Brest, France on September 19, 1944.  Reino Hamer died on July 24, 1992 in Ubstadt near Bruchsal, in Baden.  Documents in both volumes are signed by numerous Knights Cross winners and other prominent personalities in the Luftwaffe.

Vorschlag zur bevorzugten Beförderung

Vorschlag zur bevorzugten Beförderung (Proposal for Accelerated Promotion) for Reino Hamer2016-01-13T17:38:31-06:00

Vorschlag zur Beförderung (Proposal for Promotion) for Franz Grassmehl

Vorschlag zur Beförderung (Proposal for Promotion) for Franz Grassmehl.  The report misspells his last name, but is quite complimentary of his abilities.  The year after this report, he led his unit in the airborne invasion of Crete and later commanded the 4th Fallschirmjäger Regiment.  In 1944 he won the Ritterkreuz (Knights Cross) for his epic defense of Cassino.  He later fought in the Reichswald, winning the Eichenlaub (Oak Leaves.)  Grassmehl was born on January 8, 1906 at Mochow, Brandenburg; he served in the German Army in the campaigns against Poland and France in 1939, 1940, respectively.  Franz Grassmehl died on June 30, 1985 at Stade an der Elbe.  He is buried at the Friedhof Geestberg (Section 11, Grave 97.)  Documents in both volumes are photographed in their original German and then translated.

Vorschlag zur Beförderung


Vorschlag zur Beförderung (Proposal for Promotion) for Franz Grassmehl2016-01-13T17:36:06-06:00

Joachim Meissner Next to Hitler after Receiving the Knights Cross

Joachim Meissner Next to Hitler After Receiving the Knights Cross

Joachim Meissner was born in Freystadt, Lower Silesia, on October 15, 1911. He served in the Reichswehr from 1929 to 1934 as an enlisted man, when he then joined the Foreign Section (Southeast Europe) in the Reich Sports Office. On August 26, 1939, he was mobilized with the 8th Engineer Battalion, but transferred to the Luftwaffe and joined the 1st Paratroop Regiment (Fallschirm-Jäger-Regiment 1) on January 1, 1940. Meissner then joined the secret Test Detachment Friedrichshafen, earmarked for the upcoming glider assault on the Belgian fortress of Eben Emael.

On January 30, 1940, Captain Walter Koch, the commander of Test Detachment Friedrichshafen (the code name for the special paratroop engineer assault detachment), submitted a recommendation for promotion to second lieutenant for Technical Sergeant Meissner. In addition to basic information concerning Meissner’s place of birth, religion and military service, Koch added:

“Lieutenant Meissner” will be a valuable addition for the Luftwaffe.

Meissner certainly was a valuable addition. He was promoted to second lieutenant (Reserve) on March 20, 1940. Early on the morning of May 10, 1940, as the second in command of Assault Group Iron (Eisen), Meissner watched as the Belgians blew up the bridge at Canne over the Albert Canal before his group, that was tasked to capture it intact, could land. He then observed the commander of his group, Second Lieutenant Martin Schachter, was seriously wounded, shortly after landing. Meissner then took command of the group. At about 6:10 a.m., the heavy machine gun section landed 550 yards too far to the west and suffered 14 killed and 8 wounded. After landing, the 8th Squad destroyed enemy machine gun-positions on the high ground with hand grenades, while the 3rd Squad took the valley and the trench-system on the northern hill. They also blew up three houses and the entrance to a bunker at the bridge, and captured the crew of the two bunkers there. The squad then moved into the village and captured 25 men and 1 officer.

Meissner then sent paratroopers from the 8th Squad to swim east across the Albert Canal to lead reinforcements from the German Army’s 151st Infantry Regiment and 51st Engineer Battalion forward. The Belgians began their own artillery preparation about 8:00 p.m. for a planned attack just after midnight. At 11:30 p.m., the German reinforcements finally arrived and helped repel the Belgian attack. The following morning, Meissner led the remaining elements of Assault Group Iron to the eastern side of the canal; the group had suffered 22 dead, 26 wounded and 1 missing in action. In return, they had inflicted 150 killed, 50 wounded on the enemy and had taken 190 prisoners.

Adolf Hitler personally awarded Second Lieutenant Joachim Meissner the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on May 15, 1940.

Joachim Meissner Next to Hitler after Receiving the Knights Cross2012-10-15T20:08:30-05:00

Hans Beisswenger

Hans Beisswenger

“Very good military personality, self-assured.  Very talented as a flyer, he has excelled in action as a fighter pilot.  During 449 combat flights, he has 97 kills because of his audacity.  As a flight and squadron leader in the air, he demonstrated discretion and good leadership talent.  He enjoys the full confidence of the other pilots.”  152 kills.

Hans Beisswenger2012-10-15T21:54:25-05:00

Kurt Ubben

Kurt Ubben

“As a squadron commander as well as a group commander, he has understood how to master the most difficult situations through his own example and model as a soldier and fighter pilot, and he has been able to seep his troops along with him to the highest accomplishments.”  110 kills.

Kurt Ubben2012-10-15T21:54:56-05:00

Herbert Schob

Herbert Schob

“Full of humor and an officer with immaculate character.  With quick comprehension, he understands how to improvise and work on his own.”  28 kills, including ten four-engine bombers.

Herbert Schob2012-10-15T21:55:25-05:00
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