Thursday, November 9, 2017

Stuka Ace Erhard Jähnert

Erhard Jähnert (17 August 1917 - 23 July 2006) showed an early interest in the aviation by joining the NSFK (Nationalsozialistisches Fliegerkorps) in his youth. In 1936 he joined the Luftwaffe, where he was trained as a pilot. In 1938 he attended the Militärflugzeugschule in Kaufbeuren. Then he was transferred to II.Gruppe / Schlachtgeschwader 122. In 1939 he participated in the invasion of Poland, after retrained on Junkers Ju 87 'Stuka'. In 1940 he then flew over France and England. From December 1940 he moved to the Mediterranean theater of war, where he flew missions against Malta and in North Africa. In the spring of 1943 he was transferred to the Eastern Front, and in here that Jähnert received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 18 May 1943 as Leutnant and Flugzeugführer in III.Gruppe / Sturzkampfgeschwader 3 (StG 3). He flew over 622 combat sorties with StG 3 and sank three Russian destroyers in a single day! He finally reached the rank of Major on May 1945. According to his own words, he was awarded the Eichenlaub zum Ritterkreuz on 30 April 1945. However, no evidence has been found yet. At the end of the war he was captured by British troops in Flensburg after flying with his unit from Courland Pocket. Jähnert then was released in July 1945. Other medals and decorations he receives: Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 1. Oktober 1938; Flugzeugführerabzeichen; Eisernes Kreuz II.Klasse (20 October 1939); Eisernes Kreuz I.Klasse (2 July 1940); Frontflugspange für Kampfflieger in Silber (4 August 1941); Frontflugspange für Kampfflieger in Gold (25 August 1941); Italian Medaglia d'argento al Valore Militare (6 December 1941); Luftwaffe Ehrenpokale für besondere Leistungen im Luftkrieg (18 March 1942); Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (17 June 1942)

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