|Born||May 26, 1920|
|Died||August 6, 1944(aged 24)|
|Place of birth||Bochum|
|Place of death||Mortain, France|
|Buried at||German War Cemetery Marigny|
|Years of service||?–1944|
|Unit||NJG 4, NJG 1|
|Commands held||8./Nachtjagdgeschwader 4|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Helmut Bergmann (26 May 1920 – 6 August 1944) 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. Bergmann claimed 36 nocturnal aerial victories in 135 combat missions.[Notes 1]
Career[edit | edit source]
Bergmann was born in 1920 in Bochum. He joined the Luftwaffe in May 1940. After completing his pilot training in July 1941, he was assigned to the Ergänzungsstaffel (Training/Supplement Squadron) of Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 (NJG 1—1st Night Fighter Wing). He was then assigned to 8./Nachtjagdgeschwader 4 (NJG 4—4th Night Fighter Wing) in early 1942. Promoted Staffelkapitän of 7./NJG 4 in April 1944, Bergmann shot down 7 Lancasters in 46 minutes on the night of 10/11 April 1944, all from an RAF Bomber Command raid on the Aulnoye-Aymeries rail marshalling yard on the Franco-Belgian frontier. 38 Allied aircrew were killed. This was Bergmann's most successful sortie. He was transferred to 6./NJG 4 in May. On 9 June 1944 he received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes for achieving 30 victories.
However, four months later Bergmann and his crew, radar operator Fw. Gunter Hauthal and gunner Fw. Willie Schopp, would be shot down and killed in Messerschmitt Bf 110 G-4 (Werknummer 140320—factory number) on the night of 6/ 7 August 1944 at Mortain on the Cotentin (Cherbourg) Peninsula. F/L Surman, flying a Mosquito of No. 604 Squadron RAF, may have shot them down as he claimed a Bf 110 destroyed, however friendly fire from the 1st SS Leibstandarte Panzer division who were launching Operation Lüttich, the counterattack at Mortain may have been responsible.
Awards[edit | edit source]
- Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe
- Iron Cross (1939)
- 2nd Class
- 1st Class
- German Cross in Gold on 17 October 1943 as Oberleutnant in the 8./NJG 4
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 9 June 1944 as Hauptmann and Staffelkapitän of the 8./NJG 4
Notes[edit | edit source]
- For a list of Luftwaffe night fighter aces see List of German World War II night fighter aces.
References[edit | edit source]
- Perilous Moon: Occupied France, 1944 - The End Game. Author Stuart Nimmo, Casemate Publications 2012, www.Perilous-Moon.com
- Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 37.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 111.
- 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.
- 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.
- Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001) (in German). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2]. Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8.
- 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.
- Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. New York: Ivy Books. ISBN 978-0-8041-1696-1.
- Stuart, Nimmo (2012) "Perilous Moon:Occupied France, 1944 - The End Game". Philadelphia & Oxford: Casemate Publication. ISBN 978-1-61200-124-1
[edit | edit source]
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