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Kurt Plenzat
17 January 1914(1914-01-17) – 17 November 1998 (aged 84)
Kurt Plenzat.jpg
Kurt Plenzat
Place of birth Insterburg
Place of death Cologne
Allegiance Nazi Germany Germany (to 1945)
West Germany West Germany
Service/branch Balkenkreuz.svg Luftwaffe (Wehrmacht)
Bundeswehr Kreuz.svg Luftwaffe (Bundeswehr)
Years of service 1933–1945
1957–1971
Rank Hauptmann
Unit StG 2
Commands held 2./ StG 2
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves

Kurt Plenzat (17 January 1914 – 17 November 1998) was a German Hauptmann and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves during World War II.

Contents

Early life

Plenzat was born in Insterburg, East Prussia. On 1 April 1933, he joined the 10th company of the 2nd Infantry-Regiment. In 1935 he transferred to the 11th company of the 44th Infantry-Regiment only to join the Luftwaffe in July 1938. He was trained as a Stuka pilot and was transferred via the Ergänzungsgruppe of the 2nd Stuka-Geschwader StG 2[1] to the 2nd Staffel of the Geschwader.

World War II

Feldwebel Plenzat flew his first combat sortie in 1940 over the English Channel. In the spring of 1941 he participated in the Balkans Campaign and the Battle of Crete.

From June 1941 on Plenzat fought on the Eastern front over Russia. On 14 October 1941 he was awarded the Ehrenpokal of the Luftwaffe. On 20 April 1942, after 652 combat sorties, he received the German Cross in Gold. After 652 combat sorties on 19 September 1943 as Oberfeldwebel, Plenzat received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. Since the end of 1943, after being promoted to Leutnant, he led the 2nd Staffel of the now renamed Schlachtgeschwader 2 Immelmann. On 18 October 1944 Plenzat flew his 1.000th mission over Hungary. After his 1.100th mission he was decorated with the 712th Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves on 24 January 1945.

By the end of the war Plenzat had flown 1,234 combat sorties and is listed fourth on the list of Stuka-Aces.[2] He was shot down seven times, claimed four aerial victories, and destroyed approximately 80 tanks, which ranks him twelfth of all German ground attack pilots.

After the war

After the take-over of eastern Germany by the Soviet Union Plenzart found refuge in West Germany and in 1957 he joined the Bundeswehr. In 1971 he retired holding the rank of Hauptmann. He died in Cologne.

Awards

Notes

  1. ^ For an explanation of the meaning of Luftwaffe unit designation see Luftwaffe Organization
  2. ^ For a list of Luftwaffe ground attack aces see List of German World War II Ground Attack aces

References

  • Brütting, Georg. Das waren die deutschen Stuka-Asse 1939 - 1945. Motorbuch, Stuttgart, 1995. ISBN 3-87943-433-6.
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