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Gerhard Homuth
File:Gerhard Homuth.jpg
Gerhard Homuth
Born (1914-09-20)20 September 1914
Died 2 August 1943(1943-08-02) (aged 28)
Place of birth Kiel
Place of death near Orel
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Kriegsmarine, Luftwaffe (1935-1943)
Years of service 1933-1943
Rank Major
Unit Jagdgeschwader 2
Jagdgeschwader 27
Jagdgeschwader 54
Commands held I./JG 54

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross

Major Gerhard Homuth (20 September 1914 – 2 August 1943) was a German World War II Luftwaffe fighter ace. He scored all but two of his 63 victories against the Western Allies whilst flying the Messerschmitt Bf 109, and was one of the top scoring aces in the North African campaign.[1]

Military career

Homuth initially served in the Kriegsmarine before joining the Luftwaffe in 1935. During 1937–1938, he was a member of the Luftwaffe aerobatic team, and part of 2.(J)/Lehrgeschwader 2 (LG 2—2nd Demonstration Wing).

In October 1939, Homuth was appointed Adjutant of I./Jagdgeschwader 27 (JG 27—27th Fighter Wing), becoming Staffelkapitän (Squadron Leader) of 3./JG 27 in February 1940. He gained his first victory on 11 May, shooting down a Bristol Blenheim . By the end of the French campaign Homuth had nine victories, and added a further six victories during the Battle of Britain, becoming one of the more successful 'stars' within Jagdgeschwader 27, which had suffered severe losses for little achievement during the Battle.

In April 1941, I./JG 27 was the first Luftwaffe fighter gruppe to be sent to North Africa. Oberleutnant Homuth was awarded the Ritterkreuz in June for 22 victories. By January 1942, Homuth had 39 victories. His impressive record and leadership talents meant Homuth was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 27 in June 1942. His 60th claim came on 27 October, when he shot down a Spitfire over Bir Mumim Busak.

Coinciding with the withdrawal of I./JG 27 from North Africa, Homuth fell ill and was taken off operational flying. In February 1943 he was posted to Sofia as an instructor training Bulgarian fighter pilots. Homuth returned to front line duty in July 1943 as Gruppenkommandeur (Group Commander) I./JG 54 based in the Northern sector of the Eastern Front and flying the FW 190A. On 2 August 1943, on one of his first combat missions, Homuth was engaged in a dogfight with Soviet fighters. He finally managed to shoot down an P-39 Airacobra, however Homuth failed to return from this mission and was posted missing in action. His exact fate remains unknown.

Gerhard Homuth was credited with 63 victories in approximately 450 missions, 47 in Africa. He recorded two victories over the Eastern Front. His older brother was killed in action in 1942 on the Eastern Front, his father was shot by looting soldiers on 23 April 1945.[2]



  1. Spick, p.240.
  2. Obermaier 1989, p. 136.
  3. Scherzer 2007, p. 404.
  4. Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 196.
  • 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. 
  • Huß, Jürgen; Viohl, Armin (2003) (in German). Die Ritterkreuzträger des Eisernen Kreuzes der preußischen Provinz Schleswig-Holstein und der Freien und Hansestadt Lübeck 1939–1945 [The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross Bearers of the Prussian Province of Schleswig-Holstein and the Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck 1939–1945]. Zweibrücken, Germany: VDM Heinz Nickel. ISBN 978-3-925480-79-9. 
  • Kurowski, Franz (1994). German Fighter Ace: Hans-Joachim Marseille: Star of Africa. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military History. ISBN 0-88740-517-7.
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Scutts, Jerry (1994). Bf 109 Aces of North Africa and the Mediterranean. London: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-85532-448-2.
  • Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. Ivy Books. ISBN 0-8041-1696-2.
  • Weal, John (1995). Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Aces of the Russian Front. London, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85532-518-0. 
  • Weal, John (2003). Jagdgeschwader 27 'Afrika'. London: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-538-4.

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