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Blechschmidt, Joachim (Zerstörergeschwader 1)

Date of birth:
December 28th, 1912 (Schleiz/Thuringia, Germany)
Date of death:
July 13th, 1943 (near Orel, Soviet Union)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, Third Reich)

Biography

Joachim Blechschmidt was a German Luftwaffe ace who was last seen exiting his aircraft after being shot down near Orel behind enemy lines. He was posthumously promoted to Oberstleutnant.

Career:
24.04.1941: Hauptmann and Staka 2./ KGr.z.b.V. 9
20.08.1942: Hptm., converted to fighters and appointed Kdr I./ ZG 1
12.04.-13.07.1943: Kommodore Zerstörergeschwader 1
19.06.1943: Major, appointed provisional Kommodore ZG 1
13.07.1943: Stab/ ZG 1 MIA – in Bf 110 G-2 (S9+BA) shotup by fighters and force-landed on fire behind Russian lines around Ulyanovo-Bolchov near Orel; crew exited aircraft but not seen again and presumed dead and subsequently promo to Oberstleutnant in absentia
01.08.1944: officially listed as MIA.
Credited with over 400 combat missions and 17 air victories.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Hauptmann (Flight Lieutenant)
Unit:
Staffelführer, Kampfgruppe z.b.V. 9, Luftwaffe
Awarded on:
February 4th, 1942
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major (Squadron Leader)
Unit:
Kommandeur, I. Gruppe, Zerstörergeschwader 1, Luftwaffe
Awarded on:
March 17th, 1943
The following newspaper excerpt (dated 02.04.1943) describes why Blechschmidt was awarded the Knight’s Cross…

“Major Blechschmidt has proven himself over the course of 400 combat sorties as both a transport flyer and later as the commander of a Zerstörergruppe. In the great Don bend he took off from an encircled airfield.”
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

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