Ulrich Wernitz

Ulrich Wernitz

Ulrich Wernitz
Nickname(s) Pipifax
Born (1921-01-21)21 January 1921
Died 23 December 1980(1980-12-23) (aged 59)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany (to 1945)
 West Germany
Service/branch  Luftwaffe
 German Air Force
Rank Leutnant (Wehrmacht)
Oberstleutnant (Bundeswehr)
Unit JG 54
Commands held 3./JG 54
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Ulrich Wernitz (21 January 1921 – 23 December 1980) was a Luftwaffe flying ace of World War II. A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat.[1] Wernitz was credited with 101 aerial victories—that is, 101 aerial combat encounters resulting in the destruction of the enemy aircraft—claimed in roughly 240 combat missions.[2] He served in the post World War II German Air Force of the Federal Republic of Germany, retiring with the rank of Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel).


Wernitz was born in Schweinitz/Herzberg in the district of Wittenberg, a Province of Saxony, on 21 January 1921. Feldwebel Wernitz, who frequently flew as wingman to Otto Kittel, was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) for his 82nd aerial victory, a Petlyakov Pe-2 shot down on 28 August 1944.[3] The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. He was given command of the 3./Jagdgeschwader 54 in Courland in February 1945. On 26 March 1945, Wernitz was credited with his 100th aerial victory. He was the 100th Luftwaffe pilot to achieve the century mark.[4]



  1. According to Scherzer as pilot in the I./Jagdgeschwader 54.[7]
  2. According to Von Seemen on 1 November 1944 as pilot in the I./Jagdgeschwader 54.[8]



  1. Spick 1996, pp. 3–4.
  2. Spick 1996, p. 233.
  3. Weal 2001, p. 114.
  4. Obermaier 1989, p. 244.
  5. Obermaier 1989, p. 223.
  6. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 443.
  7. Scherzer 2007, p. 780.
  8. Von Seemen 1976, p. 357.
  9. Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 508.


  • 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. 
  • Von Seemen, Gerhard (1976). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 : die Ritterkreuzträger sämtlicher Wehrmachtteile, Brillanten-, Schwerter- und Eichenlaubträger in der Reihenfolge der Verleihung : Anhang mit Verleihungsbestimmungen und weiteren Angaben [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 : The Knight's Cross Bearers of All the Armed Services, Diamonds, Swords and Oak Leaves Bearers in the Order of Presentation: Appendix with Further Information and Presentation Requirements] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7909-0051-4. 
  • Weal, John (2001). Jagdgeschwader 54 'Grünherz'. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-286-9. 
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