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Josef Kociok
Feldwebel Josef Kociok in a Bf 110, 1943
Born (1918-04-26)26 April 1918
Died 26 September 1943(1943-09-26) (aged 25)
Place of birth Alt Schalkendorf, Upper Silesia, Germany
Place of death Kerch, Crimea
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1940–1943
Rank Leutnant, Posthumously
Unit ZG 76, SKG 210, ZG 1, NJG 200

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Josef Kociok (26 April 1918 – 26 September 1943) was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace during World War II and a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. which was awarded for extreme battlefield bravery or military leadership. Kociok was credited with 33 confirmed aerial victories in more than 200 combat missions. He was killed after a collision in the dark, when he bailed out and his parachute did not open.


Josef Kociok began his military career in the fall of 1940 to be designated to serve in 7./ZG 76 (7th Staffel of Zerstörergeschwader 76), headquartered in Norway. On 24 April 1941, he was transferred to 4./SKG 210 - later redesignated 4./ZG 1. This unit was soon engaged in the invasion of the USSR, where he obtained his first aerial victory on 30 June 1941, when he shot down a Tupolev SB bomber. In this squad, Kociok executed attack missions against airfields, vehicles, trains, tanks, field artillery positions and antiaircraft artillery, and infantry attacks against the Soviets. For his performance in these missions, Kociok was awarded the Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe on 1 June 1942 and the German Cross in Gold on 2 December 1942. In February 1943, integrated into 10.(Nachtjagd)/ZG 1, Kociok already accumulated 12 aerial victories, 15 aircraft destroyed on the ground, four tanks, four cannons, 141 freight cars, 80 different vehicles, 4 locomotives, two bridges and an anti-aircraft battery. In the night, he obtained several victories multiple, especially three Russian bombers killed on the night of 9/10 May 1943, followed by four others on 15/16 May 1943. When he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 31 July 1943, he had achieved 15 wins in the night. However, on the night of 26/27 September 1943, after downing a DB-3 bomber in a fight over the location Kerch, (Crimea), his Bf 110 G-2 broke down (according to some sources, when he collided with a crashing Russian DB-3), forcing the crew to jump. But Kociok's parachute did not open, although his radio operator Feldwebel, Alexander Wegerhoff, survived. When he died in combat, Josef Kociok had executed a total of 200 combat missions during which he earned 33 victories (all on the Eastern Front), of which 21 were at night. Posthumously, he was promoted to Leutnant.


Reference in the Wehrmachtbericht

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
17 May 1943 Oberfeldwebel Kociok schoß in einer Nacht vier sowjetische Bombenflugzeuge ab.[3] Sergeant Kociok shot down four Soviet bombers in one night.


  1. Obermaier 1989, p. 147.
  2. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 264.
  3. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, p. 494.
  • 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. 
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943. München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, 1985. ISBN 3-423-05944-3.

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