Walter Enneccerus was born 21 November 1911 in Trier, in the Mosel region and died 3 August 1971 in Wahn, Germany. He was a highly decorated Oberst in the Luftwaffe during World War II and a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross which was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. During his career he was credited with flying 200+ missions. In 1956 he joined the Bundeswehr and rose to the rank of Brigadegeneral, retiring in 1967.
Prior to WWII he flew the He 51 with the Condor Legion in Spain, transferring to the Stuka in time to be involved in the invasion of Poland in 1939, and subsequently fought over Netherlands, Belgium, France and in the Battle of Britain. Later he fought in Crete and North Africa.
He was awarded the Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe, Iron Cross (1939) 2nd and 1st Class, and Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 21 July 1940 as Hauptmann and Gruppenkommandeur of the II./Sturzkampfgeschwader 2 'Immelmann'.
He was one of the first Stuka pilots to receive the Ritterkreuz, on 21 July 1940.
In the Western campaign he attacked road convoys, railways, troop concentrations and fortified areas such as the Maginot Line. He flew in the Battle of Britain where Stukas became prey to the fast and manoeuvrable Hurricanes and Spitfires.
After the attempted invasion of Britain was called off, he transferred to Sicily in December 1940 and took part in the attack on the Royal Navy's aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious. He also took part in the sinking of the cruiser HMS Southampton. He became known as the 'Ship Killer' for his exploits.
Moving to North Africa he supported Rommel's lightning advance with the Afrika Corps, and went on to fly in the Balkans and over Crete. He led the attack on the aircraft carrier HMS Formidable on 26 May 1941.
(Below Left: Walter Enneccerus, Gunter Schwartzkopf, Frau Enneccerus. Right: Enneccerus in North Africa dress)
(Photo: Major Enneccerus in Sicily 1941
Transferring to the Eastern Front he became Kommodore StG 77 in October 1942 but was stripped of his command for refusing to carry out what he considered to be a suicidal mission. He survived the war as a Generalmajor.
His mention in the Kracker Luftwaffe Archive (on this site) can be consulted.
Researched by Stefan Pietrzak Youngs from the Kracker Archive (on this site), Mick Spick's 'Luftwaffe Bomber Aces' and private sources.