Jürgen Harder

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Jürgen Harder
Born 13 June 1918
Swinemünde in Pomerania
Died 17 February 1945 (1945-02-18) (aged 26)
near Strausberg, Germany
Buried at Cemetery St. Marien in Strausberg
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1939–45
Rank Major
Unit JG 53
Commands held JG 11
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
Relations Harro Harder

Jürgen Harder (13 June 1918 – 17 February 1945) was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub) 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. Harder claimed 64 aircraft shot down in approximately 500 missions. Among these 64 aerial victories are 47 victories, including 9 four-engine bombers, achieved over western flown aircraft.

Career

On 25 April 1944 Harder attacked a four-engined bomber formation and shot one of the down and rammed another thereby claiming his aerial victories number 49 and 50.[1]

Harder was killed in an aircraft crash, flying a Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-14 Werk.Nr. 784 738 (factory number) following engine failure on 17 February 1945. Technical experts that analysed the wreckage came to the conclusion that the piston of cylinder 12 had penetrated the engine block. Escaping toxic fumes thus intoxicated Harder who then lost control of the aircraft.

His older brother Harro with eleven credited aerial victories was one of the most successful German fighter pilots of Spanish Civil War. Flying with the III./Jagdgeschwader 53 (JG 53), he was killed in action on 12 August 1940 at the channel front. His brother Rolf was killed in 1943 in Russia on the Eastern Front.[2]

Awards

Notes

  1. According to Obermaier on 8 February 1943.[2]
  2. According to Scherzer as Oberleutnant and Staffelführer in the III./Jagdgeschwader 53.[3]

References

Citations

  1. Michulec 2002, p. 72.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Obermaier 1989, p. 72.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Scherzer 2007, p. 366.
  4. Thomas 1987, p. 245.
  5. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 213.
  6. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 96.

Bibliography

  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). 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>
  • Michulec, Robert (2002). Luftwaffe at War/Luftwaffe Aces of the Western Front. London: Greenhill Books. ISBN 1-85367-486-9.
  • 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>
  • 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>
  • Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  • 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

Military offices
Preceded by
Major Günther Specht
Commander of Jagdgeschwader 11
January 1945 – 17 February 1945
Succeeded by
Major Anton Hackl