Bernhard Vechtel

Bernhard Vechtel

Bernhard Vechtel
Born (1920-07-31)31 July 1920
Vohren near Warendorf
Died 21 August 1975(1975-08-21) (aged 55)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Luftwaffe
Rank Oberleutnant
Unit JG 51
Commands held 14./JG 51
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Leutnant Bernhard Vechtel (31 July 1920 – 21 August 1975) was a Luftwaffe flying ace of World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Vechtel was credited with 108 aerial victories claimed in some 860 combat missions, all on the Eastern Front.[1]


He served his entire military career with the Jagdgeschwader 51 "Mölders" (JG 51—51st Fighter Wing) as a member of with 10, 11 & 14./JG 51. He was awarded the Ehrenpokal on 3 January 1944, the German Cross in Gold on 28 January 1944, and later received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 27 July 1944, for 93 aerial-victories. He claimed Jagdgeschwader 51s 8000th aerial victory of the war on 1 May 1944.

From 11 December 1944 onwards he led 14./JG 51 as Staffelkapitän (squadron leader). On 25 March 1945, Vechtel was credited with his 100th aerial victory. He was the 99th Luftwaffe pilot to achieve the century mark.[2]




  1. Spick 1996, p. 232.
  2. Obermaier 1989, p. 244.
  3. Obermaier 1989, p. 217.
  4. Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 485.
  5. Scherzer 2007, p. 756.
  6. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 429.


  • 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 Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. New York: Ivy Books. ISBN 978-0-8041-1696-1. 

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