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Hubertus von Bonin
Hubertus von Bonin
Born (1911-08-03)3 August 1911
Died December 15, 1943(1943-12-15) (aged 32)
Place of birth Potsdam
Place of death near Gorodok
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1938 – 1943
Rank Oberstleutnant
Unit JG 51, JG 52 , JG 54
Commands held III./JG 52, JG 54
Battles/wars Spanish Civil War
World War II
Awards Spanish Cross in Gold with Swords
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Relations Eckart-Wilhelm von Bonin

Hubertus von Bonin (born 3 August 1911, Potsdam – killed in action 15 December 1943) was a German World War II fighter ace who served in the Luftwaffe until his death on 15 December 1943. A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat.[1] He is credited with shooting down 77 enemy aircraft. The majority of his victories were claimed over the Eastern front. He also claimed 4 victories in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. His commands included Geschwaderkommodore of Jagdgeschwader 54 (JG 54—54th Fighter Wing).

Military career

Bonin transferred to the Legion Condor in the fall of 1938 where he replaced Werner Mölders as Staffelkapitän (Squadron Leader) of the 3./Jagdgruppe 88 on 5 December 1938. During the course of the Spanish Civil War he claimed 4 republican fighter aircraft shot down, for which he was awarded the Spanish Cross in Gold with Swords. After his return from Spain, he took command of the 5./Jagdgeschwader 26 (JG 26) and was made Gruppenkommandeur (Group Commander) of the I./Jagdgeschwader 54 (JG 54). He claimed his first aerial victory of World War II on 11 May 1940. By mid September 1940 he had claimed 8 British fighter aircraft and bombers. For three months starting on 1 July 1941 he served with Jagdfliegerschule 4 (fighter pilot training school Nr. 4). He then took command of the III./Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52) on the Eastern front. He claimed his 30th aerial victory on 17 November 1942 and was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) after 51 aerial victories. He was appointed Geschwaderkommodore (Wing Commander) of JG 54 on 6 July 1943.[2]

Bonin was killed in action on 15 December 1943 near Vitebsk, in a fight with Soviet P-39 Airacobras.[3] His father, Luftwaffe Oberst Bogislaw von Bonin, was taken prisoner of war in March 1945 and has been declared missing since. Von Bonin's brother, Jürgen-Oskar von Bonin, was killed in action as an observer in a transport Geschwader. Another brother, Major Eckart-Wilhelm von Bonin (Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipient) was a 37 kill night fighter ace who survived the war.



  1. Spick 1996, pp. 3–4.
  2. Obermaier 1989, p. 91.
  3. Weal 2001, p. 107.
  4. Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 51.
  5. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 139.
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Weal, John (1998). Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Aces of the Russian Front. London, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-85532-518-7.
  • Weal, John (2001). Jagdgeschwader 54 'Grünherz'. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-286-5.

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Oberst Hannes Trautloft
Commander of Jagdgeschwader 54 Grünherz
6 July 1943 – 15 December 1943
Succeeded by
Oberstleutnant Anton Mader

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