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Wilhelm Herget
Born (1910-06-30)30 June 1910
Died 27 March 1974(1974-03-27) (aged 63)
Place of birth Stuttgart
Place of death Stuttgart
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Balkenkreuz.svg Luftwaffe
Rank Major
Unit ZG 76, NJG 3, NJG 1, NJG 4, JV 44
Commands held I./NJG 4

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Wilhelm Herget (30 June 1910 – 27 March 1974) was a night fighter flying ace[a] in the German Luftwaffe during World War II.


Born in Stuttgart, Herget trained as a pilot prior to the outbreak of war, and was serving with II./ZG 76 flying the twin-engine Messerschmitt Bf-110 with 6 Staffel. In intensive operations during the 1940 Western campaign he scored his first air victories, with three Spitfires downed during May and a Curtiss Hawk in June; he was also awarded the Iron Cross 2nd class. During the Battle of Britain he claimed two Hurricanes on 30 August, and a Spitfire the following day. Three more Spitfires were claimed on 1 September and another on 2 September. By the end of 1940, he had amassed 14 air victories.

In 1941, Herget converted to the night fighter role with NJG 1 and in September 1942 became Commander of I gruppe, NJG 4 until December 1944. On 20 June 1943 Herget had claimed some 30 victories and was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). He was awarded the Oak Leaves in June 1944, after 63 victories. In January 1945 he underwent training to fly the new Me 262 jet fighter. After service with Sonderkommision Kleinrath, an experimental operations unit, he joined Adolf Galland's Jagdverband 44 in April 1945. His last missions of World War II were flown with JV 44, claiming one victory ( a P-47) before the war's end.

Herget is credited with 72 aerial victories (57 at night and 16 during daylight missions) in 700 combat sorties. This included 8 RAF bombers claimed in just 50 minutes during a raid against Frankfurt on the night of 20 December 1943.



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


  1. Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 179.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Scherzer 2007, p. 384.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945 (in German). Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Hinchliffe, Peter (1998). Luftkrieg bei Nacht 1939-1945 (in German). Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-613-01861-6.
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 - 1945 (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 3-87341-065-6.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D. and Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 - 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II. Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 3-931533-45-X.
  • Schaulen, Fritjof (2003). Eichenlaubträger 1940 - 1945 Zeitgeschichte in Farbe I Abraham - Huppertz (in German). Selent, Germany: Pour le Mérite. ISBN 3-932381-20-3.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). 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 (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 3-7648-2299-6.

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