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Walter Ehle
Born (1913-04-28)April 28, 1913
Died 18 November 1943(1943-11-18) (aged 30)
Place of birth Windhuk, Namibia
Place of death St. Trond, Belgium
Buried at Lommel, Belgium
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1935–1943
Rank Major
Unit Condor Legion
ZG 1
Commands held II./ NJG 1

Spanish Civil War
World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Walter Ehle (28 April 1913 – 18 November 1943) 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. Walter Ehle claimed 39 aerial victories, 35 of them at night.[Notes 1]

At the start of the war Ehle flew with 3./ZG 1 and was credited with three daylight kills before the unit was redesignated 3./Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 (NJG 1) and he became a night fighter.

Ehle was one of the longest serving Gruppenkommandeure in the Luftwaffe, leading II./NJG 1 from October 1940 until his death in November 1943. His sixth night victory was a Bristol Blenheim shot down on 2 June 1942, and he had 16 victories in total by the end of 1942.

On 18 November 1943 Walter Ehle's Bf-110 crashed near St. Trond, Belgium. As he was landing his airfield lights were extinguished; his aircraft crashed and he and his crew, Ofw. Leidenbach (Bordfunker—radio/wireless operator) and Uffz. Derlitzky (Bordschütze—aerial gunner), perished.

Major Ehle was awarded the Knight's Cross on 29 August after 31 victories and at the time of his death he was credited with 39. He shot down a total of 38 enemy aircraft of which 35 were at night.



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


  1. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 143.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 - 1945 (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 3-87341-065-6.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 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 (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.

External links[]

Military offices
Preceded by
Hauptmann Graf von Stillfried und Rattonitz
Gruppenkommandeur of II. Nachtjagdgeschwader 1
6 October 1940 – 17 November 1943
Succeeded by
Major Eckart-Wilhelm von Bonin

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