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Heinrich-Wilhelm Ahnert
Heinrich-Wilhelm Ahnert
Born (1915-04-29)April 29, 1915
Died August 23, 1942(1942-08-23) (aged 27)
Place of birth Altenburg
Place of death Koptevo
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1939–1942
Rank Oberfeldwebel
Unit JG 52

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Heinrich-Wilhelm Ahnert (29 April 1915 – 23 August 1942) was a German Luftwaffe ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. Ahnert claimed 57 aerial victories, 4 over the Western Front and 53 over the Eastern Front. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.


Heinrich-Wilhelm Ahnert was originally an intelligence officer and reconnaissance pilot, he flew missions during the Invasion of Poland and during the Battle of France. In 1941 he was retrained as a fighter pilot and joined 3 Staffel, JG 52 in the Netherlands, claiming 4 victories over the Western Front. Oberfeldwebel Ahnert claimed a Hurricane over Oostende, Belgium on 15 February 1941, two Bristol Blenheim's shot down on 9 June 1941 and 26 August, and a Spitfire was claimed on 12 September 1941. In October 1941 he was transferred to the Eastern Front and claimed another 53 victories. On 9 July 1942 Ofw. Ahnert claimed his 50th enemy aircraft destroyed.

On 23 August 1942 Ahnert engaged Petlyakov Pe-2 twin-engine bombers in combat over Koptewo. His Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-2 "Yellow 9" was hit by return fire from the bomber gunners and he crashed to his death. For his actions he was posthumously awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.



  1. According to Scherzer in the 3./JG 52.[4]


  1. Obermaier 1989, p. 81.
  2. Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 12.
  3. Fellgiebel 2000, pp. 114, 482.
  4. Scherzer 2007, p. 188.
  • 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. 
  • 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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