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Wilhelm Mink
Born (1912-04-29)April 29, 1912
Died 12 March 1945(1945-03-12) (aged 32)
Place of birth Cologne
Place of death Hadersleben, Denmark
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1940–1945
Rank Oberfeldwebel
Unit JG 51

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Wilhelm Mink (29 April 1912 – 12 March 1945) was a German Luftwaffe 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.


Born in Köln, Wilhelm Mink joined 5 Staffel, Jagdgeschwader 51 (JG 51) in early 1940, and participated in the French campaign of May and June 1940.

During the Battle of Britain Mink claimed no victories but was shot down by Royal Air Force (RAF) fighters over the English Channel, and was rescued by German air sea rescue (Seenotdienst). His first victory, a Blenheim, was confirmed on 29 April 1941, followed by a Hurricane on 21 May 1941.

In June 1941, JG 51 was transferred to the east for the invasion of the USSR. Mink significantly increased his tally, totalling 31 confirmed victories by the end of 1941.

On 19 March 1942, with 40 victories, Oberfeldwebel Mink was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. He reached his 50th claim in July 1942. In September 1942 Mink was transferred to the Ergänzungsgruppe Ost as an instructor. Injured in a bombing raid, Mink returned to action in November 1943, with Ergänzungsgruppe Staffel Süd fighting in Italy. After a few victories on this front, he was wounded in combat with a B-26 Marauder near Rome on 3 February 1944, baling out of his Bf 109 G-6.

Mink remained with Erg.Gr. Süd during early 1944, and transferred to Erg.Gr. Nord in September 1944. This unit was later redesignated I./EJG 1 (Ergänzungsjagdgeschwader 1). On 12 March 1945, Mink was killed in action when his Bf 109 G-14 was shot down by Allied fighters near Hadersleben, Denmark. During his career he was credited with 72 aerial victories, 8 on the Western Front and 64 on the Eastern Front.



  1. Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 311.
  2. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 255.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. New York: Ivy Books. ISBN 0-8041-1696-2.

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