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Robert Weiß

Robert Weiß

Luftwaffe flying ace
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Luftwaffe flying ace
A.K.A. Robert Weiss
Gender male
Birth April 21, 1920 (Baden bei Wien, Baden District, Lower Austria, Austria)
Death December 29, 1944
Robert Weiß
The details
Biography

Robert "Bazi" Weiß (21 April 1920 – 29 December 1944) was a German World War II fighter ace who served in the Luftwaffe from 1939 until his death on 29 December 1944. A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). 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.

Biography

Robert "Bazi" Weiß was born on 21 April 1920 in Baden, Austria.

In the beginning of his military career, he served with a flak regiment before transferring to learn to fly in early 1940. In early 1941, Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant) Weiß was a pilot with 6 Staffel, Jagdgeschwader 26 (JG 26—26th Fighter Wing) flying on the Channel Front. He claimed a Supermarine Spitfire shot down in September 1941. In September 1942, Weiß was transferred to 1 Staffel, Jagdgeschwader 54 (JG 54—54th Fighter Wing), based on the Eastern Front, flying operations on the Leningrad front. His victory score grew slowly, and by April 1943, he had claimed 30 victories. Falling ill in May 1943, he was hospitalised until July 1943, when he was made Staffelkapitän (squadron leader) 3./JG 54. On 2 August 1943, he was awarded the German Cross in Gold. By October, he had 68 claims and was Staffelkapitän 10./JG 54. He received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) for 98 claims in March 1944.

In May 1944, Weiß was transferred to III./JG 54, engaged in Defense of the Reich missions against the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) bombing offensive, although in June the unit transferred to the Western Front, with Weiß as appointed Gruppenkommandeur (group commander). Under Hauptmann (Captain) Weiß, III./JG 54 became the most successful fighter unit on the Western Front, claiming some 100 Allied aircraft shot down for the loss of 50 of its own aircraft in combat. By August, when the unit was withdrawn from operations for re-equipment, Weiß himself was credited with 118 victories. III./JG 54 re-equipped with the Fw 190 D-9, becoming the first operational Gruppe of the Luftwaffe to receive the 'Dora-9'. On 28 September, Weiß shot down a Spitfire of 541 Squadron as the first confirmed victory of the Fw 190 D-9. On 29 December 1944, III./JG 54 were ordered up against RAF fighter-bombers in the Osnabrück, Münster and Rheine areas. Weiß led the Stab, III./JG 54 and 11./JG 54 into a large formation of Spitfires from 331 and 501 Squadrons. None of Weiß's Schwarm returned, with 17 aircraft lost and 13 pilots, including Weiß, killed, while claiming six fighters.

It is assumed that Weiß was shot down in Fw 190 D-9 (Werknummer 210 060—factory number) "Black 10" by Flight Sergeant Haanes of No. 331 Squadron RAF (Norwegian Squadron) near Lingen. He was posthumously awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub) on 12 March 1945.

"Bazi" Weiß is officially credited with 121 aerial victories in claimed 471 missions. 26 of his victories were claimed over the Western Front. Included in his total are 40 Il-2 Sturmoviks, 12 Spitfires and five P-38 Lightnings.

Awards

  • Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (8 May 1943)
  • Iron Cross (1939)
    • 2nd Class (August 1940)
    • 1st Class (5 December 1941)
  • German Cross in Gold on 12 July 1943 as Oberleutnant in the I./JG 54
  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
    • Knight's Cross on 26 March 1944 as Oberleutnant and Staffelkapitän of the 3./JG 54
    • 782nd Oak Leaves on 12 March 1945 as Hauptmann and Gruppenkommandeur of the III./JG 54
  • Obermaier 1989, p. 74.
  • ^ Thomas 1998, p. 428.
  • Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 504.
  • Fellgiebel 2000, p. 440.
  • ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 776.
  • Fellgiebel 2000, p. 99.


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