|Born||19 August 1910|
|Died||13 March 2007(aged 96)|
|Place of birth||Berlin|
|Place of death||St. Ulrich (Tyrol)/Austria|
|Years of service||1932–1945|
|Unit||ZG 76, ZG 1, NJG 1|
|Commands held||NJG 1|
World War II
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Military career[edit | edit source]
On 7 April 1931, he began his pilot training at the Deutsche Verkehrsfliegerschule (German Air Transport School) at Schleißheim. The course he and 29 other trainees attended was called Kameradschaft 31, abbreviated "K 31". Among the members of K 31 were men like Hannes Trautloft and Günther Lützow. Falck graduated from the Deutsche Verkehrfliegerschule 19 February 1932. In February 1933 he attended the Infantry School at Dresden for officer training and made Leutnant in October 1934. In March 1935, Leutnant Falck became an instructor at the Deutsche Verkehrsfliegerschule at Schleissheim and in April 1936 promoted to Oberleutnant and transferred to JG 132 'Richthofen' based at Jüterbog-Damm, as Staffelkapitän of 5. Staffel. In July 1938, Falck was appointed Staffelkapitän of 8. Staffel of the new JG 132, based at Fürstenwalde. The new unit was later redesignated I./ZG 76 and equipped with the Bf 110 Zerstörer fighter.
War Service[edit | edit source]
Falck led 2./ZG 76 during the Polish campaign from Ohlau in Silesia, gaining three victories over Polish Air Force aircraft. The unit was then relocated to Jever to protect the northern seaboard and the Kriegsmarine naval bases. On 18 December 1939 he claimed two Vickers Wellington twin-engine bombers attacking Wilhelmshaven. Falck force-landed his aircraft after return fire from the bombers damaged his engines. In February 1940 Hauptmann Falck was appointed Gruppenkommandeur I./Zerstörergeschwader 1 (ZG 1), based at Düsseldorf. The Gruppe was relocated to the Baltic coast in April and on 9 April, Falck led the unit during the invasion of Denmark. He recorded his seventh (and final) victory, shooting down a Danish Fokker C.V taking off from Værløse.
While based at Aalborg in Northern Denmark Falck prepared a comprehensive tactical appraisal report on night interception. Thus after I./ZG 1's participation in the Battle of France General Albert Kesselring ordered Falck to take his unit to Düsseldorf and reform for the night fighter role.
Father of the Nachtjagdwaffe[edit | edit source]
Major Falck became Kommodore of the first dedicated night fighter unit Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 in June 1940, and received the Ritterkreuz in October 1940. He was to command NJG 1 for three years and in partnership with General Josef Kammhuber develop a highly effective night fighter force.
In July 1943, Falck was promoted to Oberst and transferred to the Generalstab as Kammhuber's representative at the Luftwaffenführungsstab. Falck was then sent to Berlin and appointed within the Luftwaffenbefehlshaber Mitte, as overall responsible for the day and night fighter defence of the Reich.
He was then appointed Jagdfliegerführer Balkan based at Pančevo from June 1944. Falck then became General Flieger-Ausbildung, responsible for all Luftwaffe training schools, shortly after. In March 1945 he was given command of fighters based in the Rhineland, but did not take up the role, becoming a prisoner of the American Forces on 3 May 1945 in Bavaria.
Awards[edit | edit source]
- Iron Cross (1939) 2nd and 1st class
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 1 October 1940 as Major and Geschwaderkommodore of NJG 1
Post-war career[edit | edit source]
Released in June 1945, Falck had a variety of jobs, including farming, working for a pharmaceutical company, and working for the British Army as a Civil Officer at the stores section of the 47th Royal Engineers. He attended night school and studied business, which resulted in a job selling playing cards. In 1961, he was approached by North American Aviation to undertake an aviation consultancy post. In 1966 he joined McDonnell Douglas. On retirement from business in 1986, he lived in St Ulrich in Austria. He continued flying post war, being a member of many flying clubs.
Documentary[edit | edit source]
In 1997, Falck appeared in the last episode of the documentary The Nazis: A Warning from History, named Fighting to the end. Falck was amongst several German war veterans who explained what motivated them to continue fighting late in the war. Falck himself explained the motivations of the Nachtjagdgeschwader (Night Fighter Wings) during the Defence of the Reich campaign.
References[edit | edit source]
- Scherzer 2007, p. 302.
- Braatz, Kurt (2005). Gott oder ein Flugzeug - Leben und Sterben des Jagdfliegers Günther Lützow. NeunundzwanzigSechs Verlag. ISBN 3-9807935-6-7.
- Falck, Wolfgang (2003). Falkenjahre. NeunundzwanzigSechs Verlag. ISBN 3-9807935-2-4.
- 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.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 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.
[edit | edit source]
- Wolfgang Falck in the German National Library catalogue
- "Aces of the Luftwaffe". Wolfgang Falck. http://www.luftwaffe.cz/falck.html. Retrieved 8 May 2007.
- "Lexikon der Wehrmacht". Wolfgang Falck. http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Personenregister/F/FalckW.htm. Retrieved 8 May 2007.
- "Goldener Oktober". Der Spiegel 8/1969. http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-45794034.html. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
|Commander of Nachtjagdgeschwader 1
26 June 1940 – 1 July 1943
Oberst Werner Streib
Oberstleutnant Bernhard Woldenga
|Commander of Jagdfliegerführer Rumänien
June 1944 – 7 October 1944
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