Werra, Baron von, Franz Xaver

Date of birth:
July 13th, 1914 (Lenk/Berne, Switserland)
Date of death:
October 25th, 1941 (north of Flushing, the Netherlands)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

Achieved a total of 21 aerial victories (13 on the Eastern Front).
He also distinguished himself as the only German prisoner to escape from Canada over the course of the war.
Shot down in his E-4, 5 September, 1940 by RAF pilot, Peterson Hughes of No. 234 Sq. near Marden, England. Subject of a movie due to his "Home Run" epic escape across Canada and the U.S.A.
He was the only British POW to return to Germany, arriving 4 April, 1941, escaping 21 January, 1941. He gained notoriety when he claimed 9 Hurricanes over Kent on 28 August, 1940. His claim was recognized for its propaganda value, and allowed to stand. Actually 4 were aerial victories (nos.5 thru 8), 5 were ground victories.
KIA 25 October, 1941. Drowned when his Werk# 7285 suffered engine failure during a practice flight and plunged into the North Sea 25 km W of Katwijk Holland, near Vlissingen.
He Had a pet lion cub, "Simba" for a mascot.
13 victories in the East. His first victory was a Hurricane 15 km east of Arras on 20 May, 1940. His 2nd, 3rd & 4th victories, two Breguet 690s and a Potez 63, were recorded on 22 May, 1940.

Do you have more information about this person? Inform us!

Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (Flying Officer)
Unit:
Adjutant II. / Jagd-Geschwader 3
Awarded on:
December 14th, 1940
Action:
Awarded for achieving 8 aerial victories and destroying 5 aircraft on the ground. It is reported by some sources that he received the Knight's Cross as a result of his successful escape from Canada. This is mistaken as he received the award in late 1940, while he was still in captivity.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant (Pilot Officer)
Unit:
II./ Jagdgeschwader 3
Awarded on:
May 1940
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant (Pilot Officer)
Unit:
II./ Jagdgeschwader 3
Awarded on:
June 9th, 1940
Action:
signed by General der Flieger Kesselring Chef der Luftflotte 2
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse

Sources

Photo