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Karl-Heinz Scherfling
Born (1918-09-06)September 6, 1918
Died 21 July 1944(1944-07-21) (aged 25)
Place of birth Gelsenkirchen
Place of death Mol, Belgium
Buried at Lommel German war cemetery
(Block 21-grave 140)
Allegiance Flag of German Reich (1935–1945) Nazi Germany
Service/branch Balkenkreuz Luftwaffe
Years of service 1938–1944
Rank Oberfeldwebel
Unit NJG 1

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Karl-Heinz Scherfling (6 September 1918 – 21 July 1944) was a German Luftwaffe night fighter ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Karl-Heinz Scherfling claimed 33 aerial victories, all of them at night.[Notes 1]


Scherfling was born on 6 September 1918 in Gelsenkirchen. He was posted to III./Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 (NJG 1) in late 1940, and claimed his first victory on 31 March-1 April 1941; a Vickers Wellington over Groningen. On 9/10 April he recorded his second, a Short Stirling near Lingen.

In the spring of 1942 Scherfling transferred to 5./Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 (NJG 2) and by late 1942 he had a victory total of six. 5./NJG 2 was redesignated as 10./NJG 1 soon after. He claimed three Lancaster bombers downed on 25–26 June. Scherfling was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross in April 1944 for 29 victories.

On 20–21 July 1944 Scherfling recorded his last victory as shortly afterwards he was shot down and killed near Mol, Belgium by a Mosquito night fighter of No. 169 Squadron, flown by W/C NBR Bromley and F/L PV Truscott. Scherfling’s Bordschütze was also killed in the engagement, but his Bordfunker survived badly wounded.



  1. For a list of Luftwaffe night fighter aces see List of German World War II night fighter aces.


  1. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 306.
  • 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. 

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