|Allegiance Nazi Germany|
Commands held 1./JG 54
Name Heinz Wernicke
Battles/wars World War II
Battles and wars World War II
|Born 17 October 1920
Berlin (1920-10-17) |
Died December 27, 1944, Dobele, Latvia
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Unit Erganzungs-Jagdgruppe Ost, Jagdgeschwader 54
Heinz wernicke am sonntag will mein s sser mit mir segeln
Heinz Wernicke (17 October 1920 – 27 December 1944) was a German World War II fighter ace and was credited with 117 aerial victories—that is, 117 aerial combat encounters resulting in the destruction of the enemy aircraft. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Wernicke was killed in a mid-air collision with his wingman on 27 December 1944.
Heinz Wernicke was born on 17 October 1920 in Berlin of the Weimar Republic. He joined the 3./Jagdgeschwader 54 (3./JG 54—3rd Squadron of the 54th Fighter Wing) in early 1942 as an Unteroffizier (non-commissioned officer). JG 54 at the time was stationed at the Eastern Front. Here he claimed his first aerial victory in late summer of 1942. In the fall of 1942 he was transferred to Erganzungs-Jagdgruppe Ost (Supplementary Fighter Group East) and then to 8./JG 54 in early 1943.
In mid-1943, at the time Wernicke had been credited with roughly 15 aerial victories, he became a fighter pilot instructor and underwent officer training courses. In 1944 he was back to front line service. He claimed his 88th aerial victory on 15 August 1944, and surpassed the century mark—100 aerial victories—in mid-September 1944. Wernicke was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 30 September 1944 after 112 victories. The presentation was made by General Kurt Pflugbeil. Wernicke, now Staffelkapitan (squadron leader) of the 1st Staffel (squadron) of Jagdgeschwader 54, was killed in a midair collision with his wingman Unteroffizier Wollien on 27 December 1944.