30 January 1922|
7 June 1944
south of Rouen, France
|Years of service||1939–44|
|Unit||JG 51, JG 1|
|Commands held||III./JG 1|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves|
Karl-Heinz Weber (30 January 1922 – 7 June 1944) was a Luftwaffe flying ace of World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). 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. Weber was credited with 136 aerial victories—that is, 136 aerial combat encounters resulting in the destruction of the enemy aircraft. All his victories were claimed over the Eastern Front in over 500 combat missions.
Karl-Heinz Weber was born on 30 January 1922 in Heringsdorf in the province of Pomerania, a Free State of Prussia. A pre-war glider pilot, he volunteered for military service in the Luftwaffe in late 1939. Leutnant Weber was posted to 7./Jagdgeschwader 51 (JG 51—51st Fighter Wing) on 1 October 1940.[Note 1] He claimed his first aerial victory on 24 June 1941 during the opeing phase of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union. He was credited with his 100th aerial victory on 13 August 1943.
Weber was appointed Gruppenkommandeur (group commander) of III./Jagdgeschwader 1 (JG 1—1st Fighter Wing) on 3 June 1944. Only four days later, on 7 June, Weber led III./JG 1 against Allied fighters south of Rouen on his first mission over the Invasion Front. It is assumed that he was shot down and killed in his Messerschmitt Bf-109G-6 (Werknummer 410 399—factory number) by United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) P-51 Mustangs. His body was never recovered. Weber was posthumously awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves.
- Iron Cross (1939)
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe on 21 September 1942 as Leutnant and pilot[Note 2]
- German Cross in Gold on 16 March 1943 as Leutnant in the 7./JG 51
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
- Spick 1996, p. 230.
- Obermaier 1989, p. 68.
- Weal 1998, p. 64.
- Thomas 1998, p. 419.
- Patzwall 2008, p. 213.
- Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 498.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 770.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 437.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 85.
- Aders, Gebhard & Held, Werner (1993). Jagdgeschwader 51 'Mölders' Eine Chronik - Berichte - Erlebnisse - Dokumente (in German). Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-613-01045-3.
- Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 – 1945 [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Luftwaffe Fighter Force 1941 – 1945] (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann.
- 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.
- Patzwall, Klaus D. (2008). Der Ehrenpokal für besondere Leistung im Luftkrieg [The Honor Goblet for Outstanding Achievement in the Air War] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall.
- 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.
- Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. New York:
- 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.
- Weal, John (1998). Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Aces of the Russian Front. London, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-85532-518-7.
- Frey, Gerhard; Herrmann, Hajo: Helden der Wehrmacht III - Unsterbliche deutsche Soldaten (in German). München, Germany: FZ-Verlag GmbH, 2007. ISBN 978-3-924309-82-4.
- "Aces of the Luftwaffe". Karl-Heinz Weber. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
- "Lexikon der Wehrmacht". Karl-Heinz Weber. Retrieved 28 December 2008.