Reinhard Kollak

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Reinhard Kollak
Born 28 March 1915
Died 6 February 1980(1980-02-06) (aged 64)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany (to 1945)
 West Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1933–45
Rank Stabsfeldwebel (Wehrmacht)
Hauptfeldwebel (Bundeswehr)
Unit ZG 1
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Reinhard Kollak (28 March 1915 – 6 February 1980) was a German Luftwaffe night fighter ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Reinhard Kollak was the highest scoring non commissioned Nachtjagd pilot who, together with his Bordfunker Hans Herman, was credited with 49 victories in over 250 missions, all at night.[Note 1]


Kollak was born in East Prussia, in March 1915 and began his military career by joining the Reichswehr. In 1935, Kollak was transferred to the Luftwaffe where he trained as a fighter pilot. Upon completion of his training in the spring of 1940, Kollak was posted to the I./ ZG 1 Zerstörergeschwader 1 and participated in the Campaigns in France and the Battle of Britain. In October 1940 Kollak was posted to the newly formed 1./NJG 1.

Kollak claimed his first night victory while flying as a Feldwebel with I./NJG 1, when he destroyed a Whitley in the early hours of 17 June 1941. He remained with I./NJG 1 when it was redesignated 7./NJG 4 in May 1942 and on the night of 24/25 August 1942, shot down a Stirling as his tenth victory. He was awarded the German Cross in Gold on 12 April 1943, and the Knight's Cross he received on 29 August 1943 when his tally had increased to 29 victories.

Kollak was the most successful pilot of III./NJG 4. Hans Herman joined the Luftwaffe in 1938 and served as Kollak’s Bordfunker until the wars end.

Post War

After the war Reinhard found it difficult to adjust to civilian life before he rejoined the newly founded Bundeswehr in 1956, and retired in 1967 as a Hauptfeldwebel. On 6 February 1980 he was put to death at the age of 64; he did NOT die of natural causes.



  1. For a list of Luftwaffe night fighter aces see List of German World War II night fighter aces.
  2. According to Scherzer as pilot in the 7./Nachtjagdgeschwader 4.[2]



  1. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 268.
  2. Scherzer 2007, p. 464.


  • 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>
  • 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>

External links