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Ernst Süß
Born (1912-08-31)31 August 1912
Died 20 December 1943(1943-12-20) (aged 31)
Place of birth Possessern, Germany (now Poland)
Place of death Oldenburg, Germany
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1939–1943
Rank Oberleutnant
Unit JG 52, JG 50, JG 11
Commands held 9./JG 52, 9./JG 11

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Ernst Süß (31 August 1912 – 20 December 1943) was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. During his career he was credited with 68 aerial victories.


As a reserve pilot, he was appointed to join 9./Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52—52nd Fighter Wing) as an Unteroffizier. With this unit he participated in the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain, without achieving any victory confirmed in this period. On 22 June 1941, the start of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Süß finally achieved success as a fighter pilot. In the months following the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, the 9./JG 52, later dubbed the Karaya Quartet, became one of the most successful units of the Luftwaffe. Süß flew alongside Hermann Graf (212 wins), Alfred Grislawski (133) and Heinrich Füllgrabe (67). He claimed his first victory on 8 August 1941 and in the next twelve months, fighting in the Caucasus and the Battle of Stalingrad, Süß reached a series of victories against the Soviets, for which he was awarded the Ehrenpokal of the Luftwaffe on 4 May 1942, the German Cross in Gold on 29 June 1942 and the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 4 September 1942.

In the spring of 1943, Süß was transferred to the Ergänzungsgruppe Ost, where he remained a long time as an instructor. With this unit he attained his 64th and last victory on the Russian front on 31 May 1943. Promoted to Lieutenant, Süß was transferred to the Western Front in late June 1943 when, following an invitation of his friend Hermann Graf, joined the Jagdgeschwader 50. Süß was made the Staffelkapitän (squadron leader) on 3 October 1943 of 9./JG 11. This unit fought in the Defense of the Reich, with which he won his last four victories. On 20 December 1943, during a combat with P-38 Lightning fighters south of Oldenburg, the Bf-109G6 (Werknummer 15 709—factory number) of Süß was hit by enemy fire, forcing him to jump from the plane. While he was in his parachute, Süss was shot at and killed by U.S. pilots. Oberleutnant Ernst Süß had achieved a total of 68 victories - all, except for four (including two four-engine) on the Eastern Front.



  1. According to Obermaier on 29 June 1942.[3]


  1. Patzwall 2008, p. 202.
  2. Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 469.
  3. Obermaier 1989, p. 213.
  4. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 417.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) (in German). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [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]. Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1989) (in German). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 – 1945 [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Luftwaffe Fighter Force 1941 – 1945]. Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 978-3-87341-065-7. 
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001) (in German). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2]. Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. 
  • Patzwall, Klaus D. (2008) (in German). Der Ehrenpokal für besondere Leistung im Luftkrieg [The Honor Goblet for Outstanding Achievement in the Air War]. Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-08-3. 
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007) (in German). 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]. Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. New York: Ivy Books. ISBN 978-0-8041-1696-1. 

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