Hentschel, Erwin

Date of birth:
October 29th, 1917 (Nieder Thalheim/Silesia, Germany)
Date of death:
March 20th, 1944 (Dniester River, USSR)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

Erwin Hentschel was the most important radio operator of the Stuka pilot Hans-Ulrich Rudel. Most of his 1490 sorties as a Ju 87 radio operator were flown with Rudel.

Hentschel not only the reached the highest number of missions flown by any Luftwaffe radio operator or rear gunner, but also flew the second-highest number of sorties by any military aviator in history, second only to Rudel himself.

In total he shot down 7 Soviet fighters as a rear gunner.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Unteroffizier
Unit:
2. Staffel, I. Gruppe, Sturzkampfgeschwader 2 "Immelmann", Luftwaffe
Awarded on:
January 9th, 1943
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberfeldwebel (Flight Sergeant)
Unit:
Bordfunker, III. Gruppe, Schlachtgeschwader 2 "Immelmann", Luftwaffe
Awarded on:
November 25th, 1943
Awarded after participating in about 1300 sorties as a radio operator.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources