|Born||July 21, 1920|
|Died||22 July 1944(aged 24)|
|Place of birth||Auerbach|
|Place of death||Focşani, Romania|
|Years of service||?-1944|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Ernst Beutelspacher (21 July 1920 – 22 July 1944) was a German Luftwaffe ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Career[edit | edit source]
Beutelspacher was born in Auerbach near Karlsruhe. In May 1941 Fähnrich (Ensign) Beutelspacher was posted to II.(S)/Lehrgeschwader 2 (LG 2—2nd demonstration wing) as a ground attack pilot, and flew his first combat missions at the start of the invasion of Russia in June 1941. In early 1942 II./(S)/LG 2 was redesignated as II./Schlachtgeschwader 1 (SG 1—1st ground attack wick). On 21 December 1942 Beutelspacher was promoted to Leutnant (2nd lieutenant), and awarded the German Cross in Gold (Deutsches Kreuz in Gold) in August 1943. In the summer of 1943 Beutelspacher was made Staffelkapitän (squadron leader).
Beutelspacher recorded his first aerial victory on 5 August 1943, shooting down a LaGG-5 fighter. In October 1943 II./SG 1 was again redesignated, this time to II./Schlachtgeschwader 2, with Beutelspacher commanding 6 staffel. By the end of 1943 he had three aerial victories to his credit. Beutelspacher was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross in May 1944.
On 22 July 1944 the FW-190s of SG 2 were in combat near Buzau and Zilistea with the P-38s of the 82nd and 14th Fighter Groups and P-51s of the 31st Fighter Group. Beutelspacher was one of five pilots shot down and killed in his Fw 190F-8 during aerial combat east of Focşani in Rumania.
He was credited with 5 victories in over 600 missions, all of them over the Eastern Front, including one B-17 claimed in June 1944 over Bucharest.
Awards[edit | edit source]
- Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (21 December 1942)
- Iron Cross (1939)
- 2nd Class
- 1st Class
- Eastern Front Medal
- German Cross in Gold (12 July 1943)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 4 May 1944 as Oberleutnant and Staffelführer of the 6./Schlachtgeschwader 2 "Immelmann"
References[edit | edit source]
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 112.
- 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.
- 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.