- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Oberleutnant zu See der Reserve
- Commander U-Jäger 208
- Awarded on:
- November 5th, 1944
Awarded posthumously for the heroism displayed in the German operation "Wikinger", the evacuation of German naval forces from Šibenik to Fiume (Rijeka) on the Dalmatian coast of German-occupied Yugoslavia. It took place during the night of 1-2 November 1944. Wenke's ship (UJ 208) was part of an escort group for the two evacuation convoys, under the overall command of Korvettenkapitän der Reserve Thorwest. When one of the convoys came under surprise attack from the British destroyers "Wheatland" and "Avondale", three of the German escort ships (including Wenke's) engaged them. Being hopelessly outclassed they were eventually sunk in the ensuing battle. However this sacrifice enabled their quarry, escorted by R 187, to reach Fiume without losses. For this Wenke (along with the other two ship captains) received the Knight's Cross.