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Jürgen Harder
German flying ace

Jürgen Harder

Jürgen Harder
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro German flying ace
Was Flying ace
From Germany
Field Military
Gender male
Birth 13 June 1918, Świnoujście
Death 17 February 1945, Strausberg (aged 26 years)
Jürgen Harder
The details (from wikipedia)


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.


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.

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 who 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.


  • Iron Cross (1939) 2nd and 1st class
  • Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (16 November 1942)
  • German Cross in Gold (12 January 1943)
  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
    • Knight's Cross on 5 December 1943 as Hauptmann and Staffelkapitän in the III./Jagdgeschwader 53
    • 727th Oak Leaves on 1 February 1945 as Major and Geschwaderkommodore of the Jagdgeschwader 11
  • ^
  • ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 366.
  • Thomas 1987, p. 245.
  • Fellgiebel 2000, p. 213.
  • Fellgiebel 2000, p. 96.

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