31 July 1920|
Vohren near Warendorf
21 August 1975 55) (aged|
|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.
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.
- Iron Cross (1939) 2nd and 1st Class
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (3 April 1944)
- German Cross in Gold on 28 January 1944 as Feldwebel in the 10./Jagdgeschwader 51
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 27 July 1944 as pilot and Fahnenjunker-Oberfeldwebel in the 10./Jagdgeschwader 51 "Mölders"
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) . 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.
- "Bernhard Vechtel". World War 2 Awards.com. Retrieved 29 April 2013.