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Berthold Korts
Berthold Korts
Born (1912-05-21)21 May 1912
Died 29 August 1943(1943-08-29) (aged 31)
Place of birth Karlsruhe
Place of death near Charkow
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Balkenkreuz.svg Luftwaffe
Rank Leutnant
Unit JG 52
Commands held 9./JG 52
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Berthold Korts (21 May 1912 – 29 August 1943) was a German World War II fighter ace and was credited with 113 aerial victories—that is, 113 aerial combat encounters resulting in the destruction of the enemy aircraft. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.


Berthold Korts military career began with the artillery before he began his pilot training in the summer of 1940.[Note 1] Holding the rank of Feldwebel, he was transferred to 9th Staffel of Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52—52nd Fighter Wing) on the Eastern front as in June 1942.[Note 2] In spring of 1943 he served with the Stab of III./JG 52. Promoted to an officers rank and Staffelkapitän (squadron leader) he led the 9th Staffel of JG 52 as of 11 May 1943. Over the Kuban bridgehead he achieved his 23rd–26th aerial victory on 15 April 1943, 36th–40th on 27 May 1943 and the 50th on 2 June 1943. The 75th aerial victory was claimed on 3 August 1943 and the century mark was reached on 17 August 1943 — 39 aerial victories in month of August. He received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on the day he went missing in action.[1]

Korts and his wingman Unteroffizier Hans-Otto Müller were last seen in combat with Soviet P-39 Airacobra fighters on 29 August 1943.[1]



  1. Flight training in the Luftwaffe progressed through the levels A1, A2 and B1, B2, referred to as A/B flight training. A training included theoretical and practical training in aerobatics, navigation, long-distance flights and dead-stick landings. The B courses included high-altitude flights, instrument flights, night landings and training to handle the aircraft in difficult situations.
  2. For an explanation of Luftwaffe unit designations see Organisation of the Luftwaffe during World War II.
  3. According to Scherzer on 23 August 1943.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Obermaier 1989, p. 150.
  2. Patzwall 2008, p. 123.
  3. Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 247.
  4. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 270.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 (in German). Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 – 1945 (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 3-87341-065-6.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D. and Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941–1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 3-931533-45-X.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D. (2008). Der Ehrenpokal für besondere Leistung im Luftkrieg (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-08-3.
  • 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 (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.

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