Hans-Arnold Stahlschmidt

Hans-Arnold Stahlschmidt

Hans-Arnold Stahlschmidt
Nickname(s) Fifi
Born (1920-09-15)15 September 1920
Kreuztal near Siegen
Died 7 September 1942(1942-09-07) (aged 21)
near El Alamein
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Luftwaffe
Years of service 1939–42
Rank Oberleutnant
Unit JG 27
Commands held 2./JG 27
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub

Hans-Arnold Stahlschmidt (15 September 1920 – missing in action 7 September 1942) was a German fighter pilot in the Luftwaffe during World War II. He claimed all of his 59 victories against the Western Allies in North Africa flying the Messerschmitt Bf 109. Stahlschmidt was a close friend of Hans-Joachim Marseille.

Military career

In November 1941, just as the British launched Operation Crusader to relieve Tobruk, the now-commissioned Leutnant Stahlschmidt scored his next victories - a trio of SAAF Maryland bombers - southwest of Tobruk.[1] On 22 January 1942 No. 3 Squadron RAAF was bounced by Leutnant Stahlschmidt and his wingman. Stahlschmidt shot down Flying Officer James McIntosh, who was killed.[2]

Back at Staffel HQ Stahlschmidt learned from Marseille and Homuth that the lead Kittyhawk had pulled up sharply and fired accurately; both were of the opinion that it was a wonderful shot. The Allied pilot was the leading Australian ace, Squadron Leader Clive Caldwell, CO of No. 112 Squadron RAF.[3][Notes 1] He was awarded the German Cross in Gold on 9 April 1942,[4]

On 7 September 1942 Stahlschmidt went missing in action during a combat mission, and his exact fate remains unknown to this day. Recent research suggests that he may have been shot down by an American ace, Flight Lieutenant John H. Curry (RCAF; 7.5 claims), of 601 Sqn.[5] In the space of three weeks I. Gruppe, Jagdgeschwader 27 lost its three top aces. Stahlschmidt's death only 24 hours after the death of Günter Steinhausen (40 victories) was followed on 30 September 1942 by the death of Hans-Joachim Marseille. I./JG 27 claimed 588 aircraft shot down in April 1941–November 1942. Stahlschmidt, Steinhausen and Marseille between them accounted for 250 of these; 42% of the unit's total.[6]



  1. A description of this action from the Allied side can be found on the Clive Caldwell page.



  1. Scutts 1994, p. 16.
  2. Brown 2000, p. 83.
  3. C. Shores & C. Williams 1994, p.163
  4. 1 2 Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 453
  5. C. Shores & C. Williams 1994, p. 204.
  6. Mediterranean Air war, C. Shores, Ian Allan Publications , 1974
  7. Thomas 1998, p. 343.
  8. 1 2 Scherzer 2007, p. 716.


  • Brown, Russell. Desert Warriors: Australian P-40 Pilots at War in the Middle East and North Africa, 1941-1943. Maryborough, Queensland, Australia: Banner Books, 2000. ISBN 1-875593-22-5.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (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 [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Scutts, Jerry (1994). Bf 109 Aces of North Africa and the Mediterranean. London, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85532-448-0. 
  • Shores, Christopher. Aces High – Volume 2: A Further Tribute to the Most Notable Fighter Aces of the British and Commonwealth Air Forces in World War II. London: Grub Street, 1999. ISBN 1-902304-03-9.
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Hptm Ernst Maack
Squadron Leader of 2./JG 27
1 July 1942 – 7 September 1942
Succeeded by
Oblt Josef Jansen
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