Gerhard Hoffmann (pilot)
6 November 1919|
Nieden, Eastern Prussia
17 April 1945 25) (aged|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Gerhard Hoffmann (6 November 1919 – 17 April 1945) 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. Hoffmann was credited with 130 aerial victories—that is, 130 aerial combat encounters resulting in the destruction of the enemy aircraft.
Unteroffizier Hoffmann was transferred to the 4./Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52) in June 1942 on the Eastern Front. His first streak of success was achieved in April and May 1943 over the Kuban bridgehead where he claimed his 42nd aerial victory on 30 May 1943. He was wounded on 25 September 1943 and claimed his 100th aerial victory on 16 March 1944 over the Crimea. He was the 65th Luftwaffe pilot to achieve the century mark.
His victory tally stood at 125 when he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 14 May 1944. He was transferred to the Ergänzungs-Jagdgruppe West at the end of April 1944 as a fighter pilot instructor and promoted to Leutnant. He was put in command of the 4./Ergänzungs-Jagdgeschwader 1 (EJG 1). He claimed 4 aerial victories in March 1945 at the Oder front with this Staffel and was made Staffelkapitän of the 11./JG 52. He shuttled an aircraft to Breslau on 11 April 1945. On this flight he crashed and was killed. The reasons for this crash remain unanswered.
- German Cross in Gold on 12 December 1943 as Feldwebel in the 4./Jagdgeschwader 52
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (28 February 1944)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 14 May 1944 as pilot and Fahnenjunker-Feldwebel in the 4./Jagdgeschwader 52
- 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.
- "Gerhard Hoffmann". World War 2 Awards.com. Retrieved 11 April 2012.