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SHARKHUNTERS Salutes Veterans

PAUL  EGGER  (4033-1994)
STUKA Pilot, bf 109 Pilot, Luftwaffe
Sturmbannführer, Waffen SS
7th highest scoring tank commander of the War

 

Tank commander, SS Panzer Abteilung 502; received Knights Cross 28th April 1945. 7th highest scoring Panzer Ace with a score of 113.  Born in Mautern , Austria on 23 November 1916 and after finishing high school in June 1935 he worked as a clerk until joining the Luftwaffe in late 1938.  He was already a Glider Pilot and was trained as a bomber Pilot after joining Kampfgeschader 51.  Flying the Junkers JU 87 Stuka, he took part in the Invassion of Poland.  He was transferred tp Jagdeschwader 27 becoming a fighter pilot flying the Messerschmitt BF 109 taking part in the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain, flying a total of 112 missions and was shot down three times.  He had 2 kills.  In his last mission he was shot down over the English Channel and had severe head wounds which stopped him flying and he was eventually transferred to staff duties.

   
 

 EGGER then volunteered for the Waffen SS in May 1941 and was trained as anti tank gunner.  After training he moved to the Motorcycle Battalion of the Das Reich division and transferred later to the 8th Company SS Panzer Regiment 2.  As a tank commander he soon showed skill as a commander and during the battle of Kiev, he destroyed 28 tanks, 14 anti tank guns, 8 artillery batteries and 40 various Russian vehicles.
     In February 1943 during the Third battle of Kharkov he recorded his 65th tank victory but his company was all but wiped out apart form his tank and one other. 
EGGER transferred to the 102 SS Heavy Panzer battalion commanding a Tiger tank in October 1943.  After the D - Day landings, his battalion was deployed to Normandy where he fought at point 122 destroying, 14 allied tanks and 4 anti tank guns.  His commander recommended him for a Knights Cross for this action but received a Deutsches Kreuz in Gold.  His battalion was almost completely destroyed during the fighting and in September 1944,  reformed in Sennelager Germany and renamed the 502 SS Heavy Panzer Battalion.  In 1945 EGGER was promoted to Untersturmfuhrer and the 502 SS Heavy Panzer Battalion was sent to the Eastern Front and fought around Stettin.  He destroyed another 19 tanks during the fighting.
    In April 1945 he was promoted to Obersturmfuhrer took over command of the 1st Company. 
EGGER received the Knights Cross by Felix Steiner, commander of the XI SS Panzer Army Commander.  On 3 May 1945, he became the seventh top panzer ace recording his 113th tank destroyed.
   He escaped from Berlin and the Russians but surrendered to the American forces at the River Elbe after being shoot in the arm.  He became a prisoner of war for 30 months and released in November 1947.  In civilian life he became a sports reporter and died on 12 July 2007.

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