|Born||24 January 1921|
|Died||8 January 1957(age 62)|
|Place of birth||Lüchtringen|
|Place of death||Schongau|
Nazi Germany (to 1945)|
|Years of service||
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Waldemar Radener[Note 1] (24 January 1921 – 8 January 1957) 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.
Radener was born on 24 January 1921 at Lüchtrigen and as a Leutnant joined 4 staffel, Jagdgeschwader 26 "Schlageter" (JG 26) in February 1943 following completion of training. Radener claimed his first victory, an Royal Air Force (RAF) Spitfire, on 3 May 1943 and two United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) P-47 Thunderbolt's near Arnhem on 30 July. Radener was appointed Staffelkapitän (squadron leader) of 6 staffel, JG 26 in August. Radener shot down a P-47 on 11 January 1944 to record his 10th claim, and was awarded the German Cross in Gold on 16 April. On 11 May Radener downed a B-24 Liberator bomber but then accidentally rammed a second in his Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-8. He baled out with minor injuries. Radener was again shot down by USAAF P-51 Mustang fighters on 15 June and suffered injuries on landing keeping him hospitalised until the end of the month.
In September 1944 Oberleutnant Radener was re-appointed Staffelkapitän, 7./JG 26, and by the end of 1944 had 23 credited victories. Radener was then made Gruppenkommandeur (group commander) of II./JG 26 in January 1945, and in February 1945 transferred to command II./Jagdgeschwader 300 (JG 300).
Radener was awarded the Ritterkreuz in March 1945 and survived the war. He joined the Bundesluftwaffe but was killed in a flying accident on 8 January 1957 near Schongau.
Radener was credited with 37 victories and 14 unconfirmed victories, all recorded over the Western front. These included 12 heavy bombers (10 USAAF, 2 RAF) with another six unconfirmed.
- Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe
- Iron Cross (1939)
- 2nd Class
- 1st Class
- German Cross in Gold on 16 April 1944 as Leutnant in the 7./Jagdgeschwader 26
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 12 March 1945 as Oberleutnant and Gruppenkommandeur of the II./Jagdgeschwader 26 "Schlageter"
- 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 (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall (in German). 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.
Major Anton Hackl
|Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 26|
30 January 1945 – 22 February 1945
| Succeeded by|
Hauptmann Paul Schauder
Major Alfred Lindenberger
|Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 300|
23 February 1945 – 16 April 1945
| Succeeded by|
Hauptmann Karl-Heinz Dietsche
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