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Reinhard Kollak
Born (1915-03-28)March 28, 1915
Died 6 February 1980(1980-02-06) (aged 64)
Place of birth Frögenau
Place of death Bonn
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany (to 1945)
 West Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1933–1945
Rank Stabsfeldwebel (Wehrmacht)
Hauptfeldwebel (Bundeswehr)
Unit ZG 1

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Reinhard Kollak (28 March 1915 – 6 February 1980) 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.

Reinhard Kollak was the highest scoring non commissioned Nachtjagd pilot who, together with his Bordfunker Hans Herman, was credited with 49 victories in over 250 missions, all at night.[Notes 1]


Kollak was born in East Prussia, in March 1915 and began his military career by joining the Reichswehr. In 1935, Kollak was transferred to the Luftwaffe where he trained as a fighter pilot. Upon completion of his training in the spring of 1940, Kollak was posted to the I./ ZG 1 Zerstörergeschwader 1 and participated in the Campaigns in France and the |Battle of Britain. In October 1940 Kollak was posted to the newly formed 1./NJG 1.

Kollak claimed his first night victory while flying as a Feldwebel with I./NJG 1, when he destroyed a Whitley in the early hours of 17 June 1941. He remained with I./NJG 1 when it was redesignated 7./NJG 4 in May 1942 and on the night of 24/25 August 1942, shot down a Stirling as his tenth victory.He was awarded the German Cross in Gold on 12 April 1943, and the Knight's Cross he received on 29 August 1943 when his tally had increased to 29 victories.

Kollak was the most successful pilot of III./NJG 4. Hans Herman joined the Luftwaffe in 1938 and served as Kollak’s Bordfunker until the wars end.

Post War

After the war Reinhard found it difficult to adjust to civilian life before he rejoined the newly founded Bundeswehr in 1956. He later joined the Bundeswehr in 1956 and retired in 1967 as a Hauptfeldwebel. On 6 February 1980 he died at the age of 65.



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


  1. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 220.
  • 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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