- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Hauptmann (Captain)
- Kommandeur III. / 4.Regiment "Brandenburg"
- Awarded on:
- September 16th, 1943
On the evening of the 26.12.1942 a small group of 20 Brandenburger commandoes led by Hauptmann Koenen took off in three gliders from the airbase at Bizerta. Their mission was to destroy the railway bridge at Sidi-bou-Baker, near the Wadi-el-Kabir, located deep behind enemy lines in south Tunisia. The gliders landed wide of the target due to enemy AA fire, but the Brandenburgers were nonetheless able to make their way there and blow the bridge as planned. The group then started a 200 km trek through the desert until reaching the nearest Italian strongpoint at Maknassi.
For conducting this operation successfully, and without losing a single man from his unit, Koenen would be decorated with the Knight’s Cross.