August Geiger (pilot)

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August Geiger
File:August Geiger.jpg
Born 6 May 1920
Died 29 September 1943(1943-09-29) (aged 23)
over Zuiderzee, Netherlands
Buried at Ysselsteyn German war cemetery, Netherlands
(Block M—row 4—grave 83)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1939–43
Rank Hauptmann
Unit NJG 1
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

August Geiger (6 May 1920 – 29 September 1943) was a German Luftwaffe night fighter ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.


Geiger was born on 6 May 1920 in Überlingen, near Lake Constance. Geiger joined the Luftwaffe in late 1939 and was posted in mid-1941 as Leutnant to 8./Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 (NJG 1).[Note 1] Geiger's first two claims were a Vickers Wellington and a Armstrong Whitworth Whitley on 26 June 1942. By the start of 1943 Geiger had ten victories and been awarded the Iron Cross First Class.

In early 1943 Geiger was promoted to Oberleutnant (first lieutenant) and transferred to a 7./NJG 1, becoming Staffelkapitän (squadron leader) in May 1943, with some 40 confirmed victories.

On 29 September 1943 he was shot down by the Beaufighter VI of W/C Bob Braham of No. 141 Squadron RAF over the Zuiderzee, Netherlands.[1] Gieger managed to bail out of his Messerschmitt Bf-110 G but was drowned when his parachute dragged him under.

He was posthumously awarded the Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross on 2 March 1944.

In 328 combat missions, Geiger claimed 53 aerial victories, all of them at night.[Note 2] According to O.K.L. Fighter Claims Reich & Western Front 35 mm micro-films; Geiger and long time friend/fellow night fighter Herbert Lütje were reported to have shot down a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress at 11:31 at 4,200 meters (13,800 feet) on 4 March 1943 during a daylight B-17 raid which was known by American pilots as the "Hamm Massacre".



  1. For an explanation of the meaning of Luftwaffe unit designation see Organisation of the Luftwaffe during World War II.
  2. For a list of Luftwaffe night fighter aces see List of German World War II night fighter aces.



  1. Scutts 2000, pp. 54-55.
  2. Obermaier 1989, p. 61.
  3. Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 132.
  4. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 192.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Scherzer 2007, p. 329.
  6. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 79.


  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 – 1945 (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 978-3-87341-065-7. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • 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. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Scutts, Jerry (1998). German Night Fighter Aces of World War 2. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85532-696-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Shores, Christopher F. and Clive Williams (1994). Aces High: a Tribute to the most notable fighter pilots of the British and Commonwealth Forces in WWII. London: Grub Street. ISBN 1-898697-00-0.
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links