21 December 1914|
Mühlheim am Main
10 June 1950
|Years of service||1936–45|
|Unit||JG 77, JG 5, JG 7|
|Commands held||III./JG 6, I./JG 7, JG 7|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves|
Major Theodor Weissenberger (born 21 December 1914 in Mühlheim am Main, Grand Duchy of Hesse, killed in a car racing accident 10 June 1950 on the Nürburgring) was a German World War II fighter ace who served in the Luftwaffe from 1936 until the end of World War II in 1945. He flew more than 500 combat missions claiming 208 enemy aircraft shot down. 33 claims were made on the Western Front, including some 7 heavy bombers.
World War II
Prewar Weissenberger was a keen glider pilot and was an instructor in the early war years. He finally managed an operational posting in mid 1941, to I(Z)./JG 77 in Norway. He claimed his first kill in October 1941, and went on to score a further twenty-one kills in the Bf 110, in addition to fifteen locomotives, two flak installations, and numerous ground targets destroyed.
In September 1942 he was posted to II./JG 5, based in Northern Finland. Flying with 6 Staffel, and then as commander of 7 Staffel, he had claimed 104 kills by July 1943, and been awarded the Ritterkreuz.
Becoming Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 5 in April 1944, he had claimed some 175 kills by May 1944 in over 350 missions on the Arctic Front.
Taking over I./JG 5 on 4 June, the unit transferred to the Western Front in mid 1944 and through June and July 1944, Weissenberger flew twenty-six sorties and was credited with twenty-five victories over the Invasion Front around Normandy (his claims were half the total score by the whole unit, I./JG 5, during this period). He claimed five P-47s on 7 June, two more P-47s on 9 June, and another three P-47s on 12 June. He scored again on 19 July with three Typhoons and a P-51. On 25 July he claimed two more Spitfires shot down.
Promoted to Major on 1 January 1945, Weissenberger was put in command of JG 7 as Geschwaderkommodore. He is credited with eight confirmed victories (seven B-17s and a P-51) while flying the Messerschmitt 262.[Notes 1]
Despite his excellent talents as a fighter pilot, Weissenberger's casual often 'non-military' attitude and demeanour meant he often got into trouble with his superiors regarding discipline.
Weissenberger became a motor racing driver after the war and was killed at the infamous Nürburgring circuit on 10 June 1950, when his BMW-powered single seater crashed on the first lap of the XV Eifelrennen motor race.
- Iron Cross (1939)
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (28 May 1942)
- German Cross in Gold on 8 September 1942 as Oberfeldwebel in the 10.(ZS)/JG 5
- Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe in Gold
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
- Mentioned twice in the Wehrmachtbericht
References in the Wehrmachtbericht
|Date||Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording||Direct English translation|
|10 July 1943||Deutsche Jäger schlugen in der vergangenen Nacht den Angriffsversuch feindlicher Torpedoflugzeuge auf ein Geleit in den Gewässern des hohen Nordens ab und vernichteten ohne eigene Verluste 20 feindliche Flugzeuge. Hierbei erzielte Leutnant Weissenberger sieben Luftsiege.||German fighters repulsed an enemy torpedo aircraft attack on a convoy in the seas up north last night and destroyed without sustaining any losses 20 enemy aircraft. Leutnant Weissenberger achieved seven aerial victories in this engagement.|
|26 July 1944||Hauptmann Weissenberger, Gruppenkommandeur in einem Jagdgeschwader, errang an der Ostfront seinen 200. Luftsieg.||Hauptmann Weissenberger, group commander in a fighter wing, achieved his 200th aerial victory on the eastern front.|
- For a list of Luftwaffe Jet aces see List of German World War II Jet aces
- Schuck 2007, p. 184.
- Thomas 1998, p. 430.
- Obermaier 1989, p. 58.
- Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 504.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 776.
- Berger 2000, p. 395.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 2, p. 513.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 3, p. 176.
- Berger, Florian (1999). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges [With Oak Leaves and Swords. The Highest Decorated Soldiers of the Second World War] (in German). Vienna, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger.
- Boehme, Manfred (1992). JG 7 The World's First Jet Fighter Unit 1944/1945. Atglen, PA:
- Murawski, Erich. Der deutsche Wehrmachtbericht 1939 - 1945, vom 1.7.1944 bis zum 9.5.1945 (in German). Schriften des Bundesarchivs 9, Boppoard am Rhein: Harald Boldt Verlag, 1962
- 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.
- Schaulen, Fritjof (2005). Eichenlaubträger 1940 – 1945 Zeitgeschichte in Farbe III Radusch – Zwernemann [Oak Leaves Bearers 1940 – 1945 Contemporary History in Color III Radusch – Zwernemann] (in German). Selent, Germany: Pour le Mérite.
- 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.
- Schuck, Walter (2007). Abschuss! Von der Me 109 zur Me 262 Erinnerungen an die Luftkämpfe beim Jagdgeschwader 5 und 7 (in German). Helios Verlags- und Buchvertriebsgesellschaft. ISBN 978-3-938208-44-1.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- "Lexikon der Wehrmacht". Theodor Weissenberger (in German). Retrieved 27 March 2007.
Oberstleutnant Johannes Steinhoff
Commander of Jagdgeschwader 7 Nowotny
1 January 1945 – 8 May 1945