|Born||15 September 1917|
|Died||6 September 1942(age 77)|
|Place of birth||Lobkevitz on the isle of Rügen|
|Place of death||near El Alamein|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Feldwebel Günther Steinhausen (born 15 September 1917 in Lobkevitz on the isle of Rügen – killed in action, 6 September 1942 near El Alamein, Egypt) was a German World War II Luftwaffe Flying ace with 40 combat victories to his name. He was also a posthumous recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German language:Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. For the fighter pilots, it was a tangible measure of their skill and success.
Günther Steinhausen was born 15 September 1917 at Lobkevitz, on the island of Rügen. After flight training, Steinhausen was posted, as an Unteroffizier, to 1./JG 27 (the 1st aquadron of the 27th Fighter Wing) in the spring of 1941, transferring with the unit to North Africa soon after.
The first Luftwaffe fighter unit in Africa, they were initially based at Ain-el-Gazala, just west of the besieged port of Tobruk. Flying the older Bf 109E-7, it was still found to be eminently competitve against the British squadrons based there. He recorded his first victory on 9 June, shooting down a Hawker Hurricane north of Tobruk. On 26 August Steinhausen claimed his fifth victory: probably a Tomahawk IIb of No. 250 Sqn flown by British ace Sgt. Maurice Hards (7 victories) who force-landed wounded near Mersa Matruh. In August, as the remaining Gruppen of Jagdgeschwader 27 transferred in to North Africa from Russia as reinforcements, I./JG 27 rotated its squadrons back to Germany to re-equip onto the Bf 109F.
After the British Operation Crusader in November and December had relieved Tobruk and driven the Axis back, in January Rommel had sufficient fuel supplies to launch his next counter-attack, and he took Benghazi on 29 January, as the aircrew retraced their steps to airfields they had abandoned only a month or so previously. On 28 March Steinhausen claimed his 10th victory, when he shot down a Kittyhawk fighter of 94 Squadron RAF flown by P/O Crosbie, near Timimi. Four days after his 13th victory on 22 May 1942, Rommel launched his offensive that woudl eventually take the Axis forces right across Libya and into Egypt, almost to the gates of Alexandria. It was this time, as with many other pilots of JG27 that was to be particularly successful for Steinhausen. With a rush of multiple victories he advanced his tally: a pair of South African Tomahawks on 31 May, followed by four fighters in the El Adem area on 16 June (20-23v.) and then a further four Hurricanes (of No. 238 Sqn (RAF)) on 28 June over Sidi Haneish (27-30v.).
On 9 July, Steinhausen shot down a United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) B-24 Liberator, ("Eager Beaver"), and only the second four-engine bomber claimed by JG 27. One of six bombers of the Halverston Detachment that had been sent to attack an Axis supply convoy, it was his 34th victory. By now the front had stabilised at the Alamein line and both sides paused to draw breath, and build up supplies for their next offensives. In the interim, he was awarded the Ehrenpokal (Trophy of Honour) on 5 August, and then the German Cross in Gold on 21 August, for his success to date.
At the end of August, activity picked up again, and Rommel launched his assualt on the fortified Alamein line at the beginning of September. On 6 September 1942, on an early-morning patrol, Fw Steinhausen shot down a Hurricane of No. 7 Sqn (SAAF) or No. 274 Sqn (RAF) near El Alamein for his 40th victory. However, he was then himself shot down in his Bf 109F-4 "White 5" (WerkNr. 13272). His body was never recovered. Günther Steinhausen was credited with 40 victories, all recorded over the Western Desert, all but two of those were over single-seat fighters. On 3 November he was posthumously awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz) and promoted to Leutnant.
- Iron Cross (1939) 2nd and 1st class
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (5 August 1942)
- German Cross in Gold (21 August 1942)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 3 November 1942 as Feldwebel and pilot in the 1./JG 27
|No||Date||Time||Unit & Airfield||Gruppe Kommandeur||Location / Planquad||Claimed Aircraft||Source / Comments|
|1||9 Jun 1941||5.05||1./JG 27 - Ain-el-Gazala||Hptm Eduard Neumann||N of Tobruk||Hurricane||C.2036/II Nr.64914/41; of RAF 73 Sqn|
|2||18 Jun '41||5.05||1./JG 27 - Ain-el-Gazala||Hptm Eduard Neumann||Buq Buq||Buffalo (P-40)||C.2036/II Nr.64914/41; of RAF 250 Sqn|
|3||2 Aug '41||18.50||1./JG 27 - Ain-el-Gazala||Hptm Eduard Neumann||40 km NW of Mersa Matruh||Hurricane||C.2036/II Nr.81857/41; of SAAF 1 Sqn|
|4||2 Aug '41||18.50||1./JG 27 - Ain-el-Gazala||Hptm Eduard Neumann||40 km NW of Mersa Matruh||Hurricane||Prien & Bock; of SAAF 1 Sqn|
|5||26 Aug '41||?||1./JG 27 - Ain-el-Gazala||Hptm Eduard Neumann||N of Sidi Barrani||P-40 (Tomahawk)||Prien & Bock; Sgt Hands of RAF 250 Sqn|
|6||14 Sep'41||18.15||1./JG 27 - Ain-el-Gazala||Hptm Eduard Neumann||SE of Gasr-el-Ahrid||P-40 (Tomahawk)||C.2036/II Nr. 83012/42; of RAAF 3 Sqn|
|7||7 Jan 1942||13.02||1./JG 27 - Agedabia||Hptm Eduard Neumann||NE of Agedabia||P-40 (Tomahawk)||C.2036/II Nr. 100037/43; of SAAF 2 or 4 Sqn|
|8||9 Jan '42||15.05||1./JG 27 - Agedabia||Hptm Eduard Neumann||E of Agedabia||P-40 (Hurricane)||Prien & Bock; of RAF 229 Sqn|
|9||9 Jan '42||15.30||1./JG 27 - Agedabia||Hptm Eduard Neumann||E of Agedabia||P-40 (Hurricane)||C.2036/II Nr. 100037/43; of RAF 229 Sqn|
|10||28 Mar'42||13.40||1./JG 27 - Martuba||Hptm Eduard Neumann||S of Tmimi||P-40 (Kittyhawk)||C.2036/II Nr. 100037/43; P/O Crosbie of RAF 94 Sqn|
|11||11 Apr'42||10.50||1./JG 27 - Martuba||Hptm Eduard Neumann||N of Bir Habex||P-40 (Tomahawk)||C.2036/II Nr. 100037/43; of SAAF 4 Sqn|
|12||25 Apr'42||10.10||1./JG 27 - Martuba||Hptm Eduard Neumann||ESE of Ain-el-Gazala||P-40||C.2036/II Nr. 100037/43|
|13||22 May'42||7.50||1./JG 27 - Martuba||Hptm Eduard Neumann||20 km S of Martuba||P-40 (Kittyhawk)||C.2036/II Nr. 100037/43; of RAF 250 Sqn|
|14||28 May'42||7.50||1./JG 27 - Martuba||Hptm Eduard Neumann||5 km N of Gasr-el-Ahrid||Hurricane||C.2036/II Nr. 100037/43; F/Sgt Wintersdorf of RAF 80 Sqn|
|15||31 May'42||7.25||1./JG 27 - Tmimi||Hptm Eduard Neumann||N of Martuba||P-40 (Tomahawk)||C.2036/II Nr. 100037/43; of SAAF 4 Sqn|
|16||31 May'42||7.35||1./JG 27 - Tmimi||Hptm Eduard Neumann||N of Martuba||P-40 (Tomahawk)||C.2036/II Nr. 100037/43; of SAAF 4 Sqn|
|17||9 Jun'42||7.53||1./JG 27 - Tmimi||Hptm Eduard Neumann||S of Mteifel Chebir||P-40 (Tomahawk)||C.2036/II Nr. 101541/43; of SAAF 4 or 5 Sqn|
|18||12 Jun'42||19.03||1./JG 27 - Tmimi||Hptm Eduard Neumann||W of El Adem||Hurricane||C.2036/II Nr. 101541/43; of RAF 73 or 208 Sqn|
|19||12 Jun'42||19.14||1./JG 27 - Tmimi||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||SSW of El Adem||P-40 (Kittyhawk)||C.2036/II Nr. 101541/43; of RAF 260 Sqn|
|20||16 Jun'42||18.00||1./JG 27 - Ain-el-Gazala||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||E of El Adem||Hurricane||C.2036/II Nr. 103614/43; of RAF 73 or 208 Sqn|
|21||16 Jun'42||18.10||1./JG 27 - Ain-el-Gazala||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||E of El Adem||P-40 (Tomahawk)||C.2036/II Nr. 103614/43; of SAAF 2, 4 or 5 Sqn|
|22||16 Jun'42||18.14||1./JG 27 - Ain-el-Gazala||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||SW of El Adem||P-40||C.2036/II Nr. 103614/43|
|23||16 Jun'42||18.20||1./JG 27 - Ain-el-Gazala||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||E of Gambut||P-40 (Kittyhawk)||C.2036/II Nr. 103614/43; of RAF 250 Sqn|
|24||27 Jun'42||8.58||1./JG 27 - Sidi Barrani||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||WSW of El-Daba||Martin 167 (Baltimore)||Prien & Bock; of RAF 223 Sqn|
|25||27 Jun'42||18.27||1./JG 27 - Sidi Barrani||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||SW of Fuka||Hurricane||C.2036/II Nr. 103945/43|
|26||27 Jun'42||18.30||1./JG 27 - Sidi Barrani||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||SW of Fuka||Hurricane||C.2036/II Nr. 103945/43|
|27||28 Jun'42||11.25||1./JG 27 - Bir-el-Astas||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||SW of Fuka||Hurricane||C.2036/II Nr. 103945/43; of RAF 238 Sqn|
|28||28 Jun'42||11.30||1./JG 27 - Bir-el-Astas||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||S of Fuka||Hurricane||C.2036/II Nr. 103945/43; of RAF 238 Sqn|
|29||28 Jun'42||11.31||1./JG 27 - Bir-el-Astas||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||SW of Fuka||Hurricane||C.2036/II Nr. 103945/43; of RAF 238 Sqn|
|30||28 Jun'42||11.33||1./JG 27 - Bir-el-Astas||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||SW of Fuka||Hurricane||C.2036/II Nr. 103945/43; of RAF 238 Sqn|
|31||3 Jul'42||9.15||1./JG 27 - Mumin Busak||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||ESE of El Alamein||P-40||C.2036/II Nr. 103945/43|
|32||4 Jul'42||17.05||1./JG 27 - Mumin Busak||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||20 km SSE of El Alamein||Hurricane||C.2036/II Nr. 103945/43; of SAAF 1 Sqn|
|33||5 Jul'42||18.00||1./JG 27 - Mumin Busak||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||Burg-el-Arab||P-46||Prien & Bock|
|34||9 Jul'42||18.00||1./JG 27 - Turbiya||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||100 km NW of Bir-el-Astas||B-24||C.2036/II Nr. 103945/43; of USAAF Halverston Det|
|35||22 Aug'42||14.07||1./JG 27 - Quotaifiya||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||7 km S of El-Hammam||Spitfire V||Prien & Bock; F/Sgt Schofield of RAF 601 Sqn|
|36||25 Aug'42||14.07||1./JG 27 - Quotaifiya||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||S of El-Alamein||Hurricane II||Prien & Bock; of RAF 213 or 274 Sqn|
|37||1 Sep'42||17.46||1./JG 27 - Quotaifiya||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||Alam el Halfa||Hurricane II||C.2036/II Nr. 105004/43|
|38||3 Sep'41||15.43||1./JG 27 - Quotaifiya||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||N of Manga el Rahla||Hurricane II||Prien & Bock|
|38||3 Sep'41||15.46||1./JG 27 - Quotaifiya||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||N of Manga el Rahla||Hurricane II||C.2036/II Nr. 105004/43|
|40||6 Sep'41||7.57||1./JG 27 - Quotaifiya||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||SE of El-Alamein||P-40 (Hurricane)||C.2036/II Nr. 103067/43; of SAAF 7 Sqn or RAF 274 Sqn|
|†||6 Sep'41||?||2./JG 27 - Quotaifiya||Hptm Gerhard Homuth||S of El-Alamein|
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000), Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 (in German). Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
- 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.
- Scutts, Jerry (1994). Bf109 Aces of North Africa and the Mediterranean. Oxford: Osprey Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-85532-448-2.
- Smith, J.Richard & Pegg, Martin (2003). Jagdwaffe Vol 3, Sec3: War over the Desert June1940 - June1942” Hersham, Surrey: Ian Allan Publishing ISBN 1-903223-22-9, incl a profile of his aircraft, p.235
- Roba, Jean-Louis & Pegg, Martin (2003). Jagdwaffe Vol 4, Sec2: The Mediterranean 1942 - 1943” Hersham, Surrey: Ian Allan Publishing ISBN 1-903223-35-0
- Weal, John (2003). Aviation Elite Units #12: Jagdgeschwader 27 'Afrika'. Oxford: Osprey Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-84176-538-4.
- "Aces of the Luftwaffe". Günther Steinhausen. http://www.luftwaffe.cz/steinhausen.html. Retrieved 8 January 2008.
- "das-ritterkreuz.de". Günther Steinhausen. http://www.das-ritterkreuz.de/index_search_db.php4?modul=search_result_det&wert1=6277. Retrieved 11 May 2007.
- "Luftwaffe Officer Career Summaries". Günther Steinhausen. http://www.ww2.dk/Lw%20Offz%20-%20S-Z%20-%20April%202012.pdf. Retrieved 7 November 2013
- "Luftwaffe Fighter Claims". Günther Steinhausen. http://lesbutler.co.uk/claims/tonywood.htm. Retrieved 7 January 2013
- "Luftwaffe Air Units: Single–Engined Fighters". Jagdgeschwader 27. http://www.ww2.dk/. Retrieved 7 November 2013