Kurt Plenzat

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Kurt Plenzat
Kurt Plenzat II.jpeg
Leutnant Plenzat
Birth date 17 January 1914(1914-01-17)
Place of birth Insterburg, East Prussia, German Empire
Death date 17 November 1998 (aged 84)
Place of death Cologne, Germany
Allegiance  National Socialist Germany
 West Germany
Service/branch War Ensign of Germany (1921–1933).png Reichswehr
Luftwaffe eagle.jpg Luftwaffe
Bundeswehr cross.png Bundeswehr (Luftwaffe)
Years of service 1933–1935
Rank Hauptmann (Captain) of the Bundeswehr
Unit StG 2
Commands held 2. Staffel/SG 2
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Kurt Plenzat (17 January 1914 – 17 November 1998) was a German NCO of the Reichswehr as well as officer of the Wehrmacht as Stuka pilot of the Luftwaffe with over 1,200 missions (Feindflüge) and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves during World War II. After his time as a POW and his flight to West Germany, he became a Hauptmann of the Deutsche Luftwaffe of the new Bundeswehr.


Kurt Plenzat was born and brought up in Insterburg, East Prussia, and joined the army (Reichsheer) of the Reichswehr on 1 April 1933. He was posted to the 10th Company/Infanterie-Regiment 2. In 1935, he was transferred to 11th Company/Infanterie-Regiment 44. In July 1938, Plenzat made the transfer to the Luftwaffe. After pilot's training, he was posted to 2. Staffel/Sturzkampfgeschwader 2. With this unit he took part in the battles on the Western Front, the Balkans and in the Landing on Crete. Following this he served on the Eastern Front. At the end of 1943, he became squadron leader of 2. Staffel/Schlachtgeschwader 2 in the rank of Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant). By the end of the war, Leutnant Plenzat (other sources claim Oberleutnant or even Hauptmann) had flown 1,234 combat sorties and is listed fourth on the list of Stuka-Aces. He was shot down seven times, claimed four aerial victories (Luftsiege), and destroyed approximately 80 enemy tanks as well as several enemy trains, but also had attacked warships. After the take-over of eastern Germany by the Soviet Union, Plenzart found refuge in West Germany and in 1957 he joined the Bundeswehr. On 31 March 1971, he retired holding the rank of Hauptmann.[1] He lived with his wife in Köln-Langerich (Schlackstraße).

Luftwaffe Officer Career Summaries

PLENZAT, Kurt. (DOB: 17.01.14 in Insterburg/Ostpreussen). (RE, DKG). 01.04.33 entered service with the Heer and assigned to Inf.Rgt. 10. 1935 trf to 11./Inf.Rgt. 44. 07.38 trf to the Luftwaffe. 1940 with Erg.Gr./St.G. 2. 11.40 assigned to 2./St.G. 2 on completion of training. 09.04.42 Ofw., awarded DKG, I./St.G. 2. 14.10.42 awarded Ehrenpokal. 19.09.43 Ofw., awarded Ritterkreuz, 2./St.G. 2. 25.08.44 Lt., Staka 2./SG 2. 18.10.44 attained his 1,000th mission. 24.01.45 Lt., awarded the Eichenlaub (No. 712), 2./St.G. 2. Credited with 4 aerial victories in 1,234 combat missions as well as destroying about 80 tanks and had many hits on warships. Shot down 7 times. 1957 joined the Bundeswehr after the war and retired in 31.03.71 as Hptm. †17.11.98 in Köln.[2]

Awards and decorations


Further reading

  • Patzwall, Klaus D. / Scherzer, Veit (2001): Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber, Band II (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007): Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas, 2000. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5


  1. Plenzat, Kurt (Sturzkampfgeschwader 2 "Immelmann")
  2. Luftwaffe Officer Career Summaries, Section L-R
  3. Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 260.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Scherzer 2007, p. 597.
  5. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 340.
  6. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 95.