Lepkowski, Erich

Date of birth:
September 17th, 1919 (Giesen/Eastprussia, Germany)
Date of death:
May 31st, 1975 (Braunschweig/Lowersaxony, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

Promotions:
October 1943: Leutnant;
?: Oberleutnant;
1960: Oberleutnant (Bundeswehr);
?: Oberstleutnant (Bundeswehr).

Career:
1928 - 1936: Nussdorfer Volksschule;
1936 - 1937: Reichsarbeitsdienst;
1938 - 1939: Landjahrerzieher;
October 1939: Luftnachrichtentruppe, Luftwaffe;
1940: Fallschirmjäger Fliegerhorst Wittstock;
1940: Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 2;
1960 - December 31st, 1974: Bundeswehr.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
1940
Fallschirmschützenabzeichen der Luftwaffe
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
June 28th, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
1942
Erdkampfabzeichen der Luftwaffe ohne zahlen
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
October 27th, 1942
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
1944
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Silber
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant)
Unit:
5. Kompanie, II. Bataillon, Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 2, 2. Fallschirmjäger-Division, Luftwaffe
Awarded on:
March 29th, 1944
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant (Pilot Officer)
Awarded on:
August 8th, 1944
Action:
Awarded for his actions around Kirovograd in the winter of 1943-44. In late December of 1943 the Soviets managed to penetrate into the German lines with strong infantry forces and 7 tanks. Lepkowski led a counterattack with his II. Zug and 3 Sturmgeschütze and was able to defeat this enemy force, preventing an enemy breakthrough in the process.

Later, on the 21.12.1943, Lepkowski took over command of the 5./Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 2 after its commander had fallen in an attempt to take Hill 167. The next day the Kompanie tried again with Lepkowski at its head, and this time was able to capture the hill after a 2-hour long battle while overrunning the Soviet AT gun positions.

On the 27.12.1943 Lepkowski and his men relieved the 6. Kompanie in its positions on Hill 159.9. At the time he only had 45 men available for battle. The Kompanie then defended the hill until the 07.01.1944, repelling 16 enemy attacks. By this date however they were down to just 17 men, and their position became untenable with the Soviet encirclement of the hill on this day. Thus that night Lepkowski conducted a breakout with his troops, during which they managed to cross over a destroyed bridge and reach the rest of their Bataillon. Lepkowski would be appropriately recognized for his successes achieved over the previous weeks.
Awarded for his actions around Kirovograd in the winter of 1943-44. In late December of 1943 the Soviets managed to penetrate into the German lines with strong infantry forces and 7 tanks. Lepkowski led a counterattack with his II. Zug and 3 Sturmgeschütze and was able to defeat this enemy force, preventing an enemy breakthrough in the process.

Later, on the 21.12.1943, Lepkowski took over command of the 5./Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 2 after its commander had fallen in an attempt to take Hill 167. The next day the Kompanie tried again with Lepkowski at its head, and this time was able to capture the hill after a 2-hour long battle while overrunning the Soviet AT gun positions.

On the 27.12.1943 Lepkowski and his men relieved the 6. Kompanie in its positions on Hill 159.9. At the time he only had 45 men available for battle. The Kompanie then defended the hill until the 07.01.1944, repelling 16 enemy attacks. By this date however they were down to just 17 men, and their position became untenable with the Soviet encirclement of the hill on this day. Thus that night Lepkowski conducted a breakout with his troops, during which they managed to cross over a destroyed bridge and reach the rest of their Bataillon. Lepkowski would be appropriately recognized for his successes achieved over the previous weeks.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources